Call for Papers: The Art of Listening – Trends and Perspectives of a
History of Music Listening
Organized by Christian Thorau (Universität Potsdam), Hansjakob Ziemer
(Max Planck Institute for the History of Science)
Conference, July 12-14, 2012, Berlin (Radialsystem V)
Deadline: February 15, 2012
Since the mid-1990s and the publication of "Listening in Paris: A
Cultural History" (1995), the path-breaking book by James Johnson,
the history of music listening has been the focus of renewed interest
in the fields of musicology, history and cultural studies. There have
been a number of recent studies on music listening – as one among
many forms of listening in modernity – that examine the act of
listening in the concert within the broader context of music, social,
cultural, and intellectual history.
This conference aims, first, to take stock of the current state of
scholarship on music listening in the history of the 19th and 20th
centuries. Second, its goal is to identify desiderata in the research
on the history of music listening, to reflect on new methodological
approaches, and to apply insights from a critical examination of the
history of cultural practices to current discussions on music
listening in the 21st century. The conference will address a broad
spectrum of perspectives on the historicity of music listening in
modern Europe and assess their relevance for recent developments.
Because music listening as a historical phenomenon is an amorphous
object of study it cannot adequately be addressed with one research
approach but requires trans-disciplinary cooperation among the
historical disciplines of music, cultural, and media studies, history
of science, and historical anthropology.
Proposals for contributions on the following themes are welcome: 1)
Changes in the history of music listening: Looking at the longue
durée in the history of music listening allows questions about the
specificity of the changes in forms of listening. 2) Practices of
music listening: This topic encompasses all practices of listening
that are exercised in the concert hall: cultural staging of musical
performances, preparations undertaken for the listening experience,
verbal and nonverbal communication, and the emotional processing of
the music listened to. 3) Composition and music listening: The
relationship between musical texts and listening deserves new
attention. 4) Music listening and new media: This theme deals with
the relationship between music listening and technological
innovations in recording, broadcasting, and reproduction. 5) Spaces
of music listening: Music listening is anchored in local practices
and traditions, but at the same time it is a global phenomenon.
We invite proposals for individual papers in German or English.
Please send an abstract (maximum of 250 words) and a short CV by
February 15, 2012 to: Prof. Dr. Christian Thorau, Universität
Potsdam, Email: fuellner at uni-potsdam.de.