Call for papers

New Deadline for submissions: April 15

NCMM 2018    —   Main Topic

Composing Music Today

Music today is more diverse than it has ever been. The variety of genres, practices, techniques, technologies, systems of dissemination and forms of reception has changed the way in which music is composed. Music is now almost omnipresent in our society, from the concert hall to the museum, from the media to public spaces, to private listening with headphones. For each of these situations, and many others, someone composed the music, created the sound, and organized the musical discourse that will be present in the listening space. This music was created using a diversity of techniques, knowledge and technologies that should be considered, because each of these resources used in musical creation influenced the final result.

In this context it is pertinent to ask: what is composing music today? What is the role of the composer in today’s musical world? Can we continue to talk about “composing music” in any situation of music creation? Or should we consider the use of other expressions? What is the role of musical creation in the context of a museum exhibition, or in installations? Can a sound artist be considered a music composer?

Is sound art a form of musical composition? Can real-time coding or free improvisation be considered forms of musical composition? What is the difference between real-time composition and a computer music performance? In a world where the technological means seem to make musical creation accessible to anyone, what is the place of the “traditional composer”?

It is within the context of this complex problem that we encourage composers, musicologists, performers, teachers, philosophers and other interested researchers to contribute to proposals covering the whole range of questions involved in this subject. Students, postdoctoral and early-career researchers are particularly encouraged.

NCMM Themes:

The conference is also open to other topics related to contemporary music studies and practices. Thus, we encourage the submission of papers related to any aspects of the field including, but not limited to, composition, music and technology, auditory perception, music history, analysis and theory, musical genres and practices and cultural issues.

  1. Musical composition practices, performance and reception:
    1. Composition techniques and technologies, including new instruments and unconventional tools and means.
    2. Real time composition and interactive music, including live coding, electronic, interactive and computer music.
    3. Collaborative composition, free improvisations and open composition.
    4. Practice-based research in music, including composition, performance and collaborative musical activities.
  1. Music history, theory and analysis:
    1. What are the challenges of contemporary music for musical analysis and history?
    2. What new paradigms, theories and techniques are emerging?
    3. What balance is there/should there be between theory and practice in general and specific musicological methodologies?
    4. Does contemporary music need new techniques, methodologies and specifically designed tools, or is what already exists sufficient?
  1. Philosophy of music and aesthetics:
    1. What philosophical points of view can be brought to bear on aesthetic and technical transformations in contemporary music?
    2. What of epistemology, semiotics and phenomenological studies of contemporary music?
  1. Musicology, intertextuality and authenticity:
    1. How to discuss intertextuality and authenticity in the context of contemporary music, and what issues should be considered.
    2. What about critical, systematic and empirical musicological methodologies and practices in contemporary music?
  1. Auditory perception and cognition:
    1. Issues of music cognition, semiotics and the experience of contemporary music
    2. How to study the relationship between the composer’s intentions and the perceptual experience of music.
  1. Musical sound transcription, representation and music notation:
    1. What new questions does contemporary music raise in terms of transcription, representation and music notation?
    2. New tools and methods of transcription and representation of sound.
    3. How and which musical sound representations can become tools for musical art creation and research.
  1. Sound technologies and the music industry:
    1. Genres and diversity of style.
    2. The influence of industry and technology on musical aesthetics.
    3. Broadcasting and sampling: repetition and variation as a means to become a musical hit.
    4. Popular music and other contemporary arts in relation to music
    5. What musical issues do internet communities, group compositions and telematics raise?
  1. Music and image:
    1. What of music and “moving images” on TV, cinema, Internet and other kinds of multimedia?
    2. What of the musicological challenges of music for video games?
  1. Sound art, installations and exhibitions:
    1. What musicological discourse can there be for music outside the concert hall?
    2. How and why study sound art and music/sound installations in a musicological context?
    3. What can be the role of music in museum exhibitions?
  1. Soundscape, sound ecology:
    1. How, and with what terminology, can one discuss soundscapes and sound ecology in a musical domain?
    2. Virtual auditory space creation, sound ecology and sonification.
  1. Documentation and preservation of musical heritage:
    1. What problems are there concerning the preservations and documentation of contemporary music works?
    2. How and why is the performability of some contemporary music works challenging and sometimes not viable?
  1. Music and emergent cultures and societies, cultural heritage and inclusive societies:
    1. Anthropology, cultural and cross-cultural studies in contemporary music.
    2. Questions of unity, diversity, plurality, multicultural resources, hybridization, and local music in a globalized world.
    3. What problems arise concerning music criticism, the sociology of music and culture?

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