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CFP: International Symposium on Folk Music in Europe

Wednesday, March 27, 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Evangeline Mee

The International Symposium will be held on October 17–19, 2019 at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna, Austria. The abstract submission deadline is March 31, 2019.

Folk music, folklore, and the anthropology of music are discursive fields, deeply rooted in European thought from the Enlightenment period onwards. Up to the first decades of the 20th centuries leading intellectuals of their countries—polymaths, philosophers, historians, writers, philologists, composers, musicologists—devoted themselves to, and were inspired by, continuous observations of the expressive practices of what once was called the common people or the Volk. Their intellectual involvement with traditional music engendered powerful theories, and research methods that could later be applied to the study not only of rural or illiterate communities but to a broad field of social settings.

Due to language barriers as well as to wide-spread stereotypes of folk music and folklore discourses as genuinely and predominantly ideological, romanticist and nationalist agendas, the early intellectual history of folk music research, comparative musicology and ethnomusicology raises many unanswered questions. This concerns intellectuals’ interest in European folk music as well as in non-European music.

The symposium aims to trace the history of theory and method in the fields outlined above before it became an international paradigm under the label ethnomusicology. While the temporal scope of the Symposium is limited to the period before mid-20th century a critical evaluation of intellectual history in the context of contemporary discourses is welcome.

Scholars from different disciplines are invited to discuss the following topics:

1. The history of ideas and the study of traditional expressive cultures

The first topic is devoted to the biographical and intellectual background of early folk music and dance researchers and music anthropologists. It should be discussed how their interest in traditional expressive cultures was motivated and how it was interlinked both with their individual scholarly and/or artistic activities and with their social and intellectual environment.

2. Research motivations, theories and methods from a comparative perspective

Motivations for folk music research and its theoretical premises and methods developed in different countries in different ways. The topic encourages the highlighting of anthropological research concepts that are not often discussed in English-speaking ethnomusicology, ethnochoreology and folkloristics, and their relationship to international discourses.

3. Scholarship and non-academic discourses: alliances and conflicts

Collecting, documenting and, representing folk music and dance is not exclusively an academic matter. Since the early 19th century up to the present amateur activities in this field have been inspired by artistic/aesthetic concerns but also motivated by ideological claims (nationalist, social romanticist, and others). The topics invite participants to discuss to what extent scholarly research cooperated with broader social discourses and activities and when it came into conflict with these agendas, be it in the context of social movements or the dominant ideologies of nation states.

Form of proposal:

Abstracts (250-300 words, MS Word format) should be submitted to Ulrich Morgenstern: Please indicate the topic of your proposal.

Form of presentation:

20 minutes for presentation + 10 minutes for questions and discussion

For more information, visit MDW's website. 



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