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Conference on Interdisciplinary Musicology CIM22: Participation

Communication is the process of creating participation, of making common what had been isolated and singular […] [Art’s] function and consequence are to effect communication, and this not by external accident but from the nature he [the artist] shares with others’.
John Dewey (1934/2005), Art as Experience, 253, 282.

Making music is an inherently unstable activity involving the learning of not only musical ideals in rhythm, sound and gesture, but also learning to negotiate the values associated with practices and the values that people bring to such music-making.
Kyra Gaunt (2002), ‘Got Rhythm?: Difficult encounters in theory and practice and other participatory discrepancies in music.’, 134-5.

Participation intersects both material and theoretical issues in music scholarship. Space carved out by Keil et al’s (1987, 1995) dialogic conceptualisation of musical participation has, over the past thirty years, been filled with empirical research into the actions and interactions through which music takes shape in performative social life and mind. The ongoing legacy of an extensive body of scientific music research – into expressive microtiming, co-ordination and joint action, for example – is now complemented by the most current views in cognition which accept that our comprehension of musical sound is shaped by participatory rather than individualistic processes. Participation suggests various situations of interaction, from events of (face-to-face and online) community, to encounters imagined in solitude. As a theme, Participation also highlights music’s integration into other domains of individual and social experience: Its compact with cultural and political identity (and the influence of such in educational contexts), its varied presentations through personal and technological expression, and its complex relationship with health and wellbeing.

Participation opens up a number of topics and fields, including, but not limited to:

  • Empirical performance research on co-ordination, joint action etc
  • Community music/applied research as sites of musical participation
  • Music cognition including enactive perspectives (e.g. participatory sense-making)
  • Historical contexts for (and critiques of) musical participation
  • Critical music pedagogy and curricular renewal in related areas
  • Participation as methodology, including ethnographic vs participant observation
  • Media, virtuality, and participation

We particularly welcome co-authored proposals, to present original interdisciplinary work in the form of regular papers, roundtable discussions, or video flash-talks.

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