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Dear Colleagues,

We are happy to announce the conference "Musik/-Theorie und Zukunft in der
Vergangenheit und Gegenwart" on May 7th and 8th (2 to 7 PM CET) at Hamburg
University of Music and Drama (digital conference). At the conference, we
will discuss ways in which music theory proposed visions of the future
music and music theory which may not have been established subsequently and
yet may have been a formative power in the past (Reinhard Koselleck, Lucian

We aim to add another perspective to the dominating view on the past from a
retrospective perspective in music theory. While previous studies on the
history of music theory have reflected on the relationship between music
theory and the past or between music theory and the compositional practice
of a present, the perspective of the future has largely been ignored.
However, ideas on the future may have significant influence on the thoughts
and theories about music from a particular period. In fact, music theory as
a medium for reflecting on and articulating music offers a high potential
for the development, legitimation and influence of (future) music.

Although it may seem to be the natural fate of the discipline of music
theory to “lag behind” (Carl Dahlhaus) the compositional practice, music
theorists continued to think about the future of music or the future of
music theory. To address the overall question on the impact and relevance
of “future” in music theory–past and present–the conference accounts for
historiographical, epistemological and pragmatic questions from different
perspectives of Music Theory, Musicology, Philosophy and Cultural studies.

Please refer to the flyer attached or  for more
information and reach out to Anne Hameister (anne.hameister -at- in order to register free of charge.

Best wishes,

Anne Hameister, M.Mus.
PhD Student
Hamburg University of Music and Drama
anne.hameister -at-

Jan Philipp Sprick
Professor of Music Theory
Hamburg University of Music and Drama
Harvestehuder Weg 12
D-20148 Hamburg
Phone: +49-170-7020495
jan.sprick -at-


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