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“Organized Time”

  • 11.01.2015

Call for Papers

“Organized Time”

Fifteenth Annual Congress of the Gesellschaft für Musiktheorie (GMTH)

October 1–4, 2015, Universität der Künste Berlin Hochschule für Musik „Hanns Eisler“

Coinciding with the 25th anniversary of German reunification, the fifteenth Annual Congress of the Gesellschaft für Musiktheorie will deal with the temporal dimension of music and music theory.  The structuring of musical time occurs on all hierarchical levels.  It is a fundamental aspect of music perception; furthermore, it relates to musical compositions as well as to theories and conceptions of music in historical contexts.  The complex relationships among compositional history, history of music theory, and cultural/social history are an object of music-theoretical reflection, whereby the significance of historicity itself is subjected to historical change.  Dealing with a multiplicity of time levels characterizes musical life and teaching.  The practices, concepts, and theories of different time periods thereby come into relationship with the present.

The three sections of the congress are devoted to the overall topic “Organized Time.“

Section 1:  Revolution and evolution in music
Change can happen suddenly and radically while discarding the past, or it can happen gradually while preserving it.  Looking back on characteristic innovations leads to the organization of music-historical time into epochs and to the classification of works as anachronistic or “unmodern.“  The history of music theory has also experienced gradual developments as well as sudden Copernican shifts.  

Possible topics:
– Music and music theory during and after the bipartition of Germany
– Societal upheavals and their mirroring in music
– Radical evolution, peaceful revolution?
– Unsuccessful revolutions and “dead ends“
– Different conceptualizations of emulation and reference

Section 2:  Rhythm, Meter, Form
The organizing of time in music is a music-theoretical subject that bears on all stages of training, from elementary instruction to the individual analysis of musical works. Whereas the teaching of form—and thus the teaching of musically organized time on higher hierarchical levels—is widely valued, rhythm and meter receive less attention.

Possible topics:
– Interdisciplinary implications of rhythm as a concept
– Rhythmic notation:  history and new challenges
– Is there such a thing as unorganized musical time?
– Psychological representations of temporal structure in music.

Section 3: The simultaneity of the non-simultaneous (Die Gleichzeitigkeit des Ungleichzeitigen)
Music theory and musical practice always occur on multiple historical time levels.  This “simultaneity of the non-simultaneous“ is characteristic of contemporary musical culture.     The attempt to analyze works with the terminology of the era in which they were composed, as well as historically informed performance practice, attests to the desire to synchronize time levels.  

Possible topics:
– Historically informed performance practice and its relationship to new music
– Historical approaches in music theory teaching   
– Music theories in teaching and their historical context

Section 4:  Free section

Proposals for papers related to the general conference topic or free papers. The duration of the papers is 20 minutes.
Proposals for workshops related to the general conference topic or to a free topic. Please indicate the proposed length of the workshop (up to 2 hours) and working methods.
Proposals for themed sessions with a number of individual papers (duration of the whole session up to 2 hours). Please submit the proposals for the individual papers together with an explanatory text for the whole session.
Proposals for book presentations. Please submit the exact title of the book and a short abstract. If possible we ask you to also submit a copy of the book.

The length of proposals for individual papers, workshops and book presentations must not exceed 350 words (plus bibliography). For proposals for themed sessions the limit applies to each individual paper as well as to the explaining text for the whole session.

Please submit your proposal (individual papers and workshops) by May 15th 2015 on the website of the GMTH: