Naturalising Sounds: How Instrumental Music Is (Made) National
International Conference, University of Regensburg, 22–23 January 2021
CfP Deadline: 24 July 2020
In 1997 the symposium "French and German Music in the 20th Century" in
Frankfurt am Main concluded that "today all national typology has lost its
validity" (conference review in Die Musikforschung). At the end of his
article on "Nationalism" for the New Grove Dictionary of Music and
Musicians, Richard Taruskin, citing Mark Slobin, expressed a hope for a
pluralistic global culture consisting of a "fascinating counterpoint of
near and far, large and small, neighborhood and national, home and away".
This now seems to be contradicted by the nationalistic tendencies that are
gaining popularity worldwide. Music does not remain untouched by this and
can become the subject of ideological appropriation. Against this
background, nationalistic currents of bygone music history gain relevance
once more, after having been considered for some time as over and done
with. Here we find examples of the mechanisms of making music "national" in
a nationalistically charged socio-political climate.
The conference's main focus lies on instrumental music and those particular
moments in modern music history when national or nationalistic qualities
have been attributed to it. These instances occur outside the sounding
music itself; they are manifested verbally: in texts accompanying music
performances, writings of music theory and history and, last but not least,
in the press. It is the aim of this conference to discover these instances
in the wide realm of instrumental music, to examine, analyse and compare
Keynote speaker will be Prof. Dr. Stefan Keym (University of Leipzig).
We welcome papers of 20 minutes in length settled in the area of modern
music history, focussing on questions such as (but not excluding others):
- Are there different strategies of branding music with a nationality in
music criticism and analysis?
- Who decides about the nationality of music?
- How does one become a national composer? Can this status be lost again?
Abstracts (2000 characters), along with a short autobiography (700
characters), should be sent to Dr. Michael Braun (michael4.braun -at- ur.de),
Department of Musicology at the University of Regensburg, no later than 24
July 2020. Conference languages are German and English. Notifications of
acceptance will be sent by 28 August 2020.
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