Welcome to The International Association for the Study of Popular Music UK and Ireland Branch

Metadata: Popular Music and its Metamorphoses

Posted: January 24th, 2024 | Filed under: Calls for Papers, IASPM Conferences | Comments Off on Metadata: Popular Music and its Metamorphoses

The German-speaking branch of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music is pleased to announce its biennial conference, which will take place at the University of Zurich from 07-09 November 2024.

In recent years, the term metadata has evolved from a technical IT term to a commonplace and buzzword referring to fundamental cultural semantics and technological dynamics of the present – also and particularly regarding popular music. In the context of digital systems, machine learning (AI), ubiquitous internet availability in the global North, streaming possibilities, etc., “data about data” and the labelling of other data are of considerable importance for the infrastructures of popular music. At the same time, they also affect the production side because genre boundaries and other conventions are shifting – and act as a heuristic starting point for attempts to intellectually explore and criticise respective processes. Streaming services and their music recommendation algorithms are a prime example for the current significance of metadata. Musicologists and scholars of cultural studies have recently increasingly studied such digital systems and their effects. Both ethnographically and using quantitative methods, substantial insights have been gained into the technical (infra)structures, ideologies, and redistribution effects in the environment of platform capitalism – although many (research) questions remain unanswered.

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Creative Music Practice Across Platforms

Posted: January 17th, 2024 | Filed under: Calls for Papers | Comments Off on Creative Music Practice Across Platforms

Special issue of Popular Music on “Creative Music Practice Across Platforms” (spring 2025)

Over the last two decades, web-based communication has become increasingly dependent on a relatively small number of digital platforms, which can now be understood as the sociotechnical nucleus of today’s Internet (Dolata 2021). Platforms occupy a powerful position in modern media cultures, exerting decisive influence on the exchange of information, processes of communication, and the organization of work and markets, as well as creating digital spaces for social action (Dolata/Schrape 2023). Functional rules, defined by the tech companies behind the platforms, are expressed in the platforms’ interfaces and algorithmic logics (van Dijck/Poell/de Waal 2018). These functional rules do not determine the behavior of creative workers active on platforms, but they do substantially influence it – including in the field of popular music.

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Popular Music and Musical Notation

Posted: January 8th, 2024 | Filed under: Calls for Papers | Comments Off on Popular Music and Musical Notation

Call for Submissions for a Special Issue of Die Tonkunst: “Popular Music and Musical Notation
edited by Janine Droese and Knut Holtsträter

Popular music is – within and outside of the academic discourse – often associated with immediacy and spontaneous creativity. This might be one reason why the role of musical notation in the production and distribution of popular music has received very little scholarly attention yet. Where the production and planning processes of popular music as well as its distribution are studied, the focus is mainly on analogue and digital audio media.

However, it can be assumed that nearly all genres of popular music – understood here in a very broad sense, including video game music, film music, jazz, “Schlager”, Broadway and Hollywood musical etc. – make use of musical notation. It plays an integral part in the production processes (composing and arranging, rehearsing and performing as well as recording) and sometimes even in distribution. It serves as a tool for self-documentation, for creativity and self-assertion of composers as well as for coordination of groups of performers, among others. A closer look at how musical notation is embedded in the field of popular music not only blurs the boundaries between the spheres of Western art music and popular music; as has been shown by some explorative scholarly studies, we can expect to find musical notation and with it traces of cultural practices that rely on the writing of music even in areas where it might be not expected at all, as, e.g., notated free jazz and music manuscripts in the high-tech rock studio. In recent years, more and more estates of twentieth-century popular music artists have been made accessible for scholarly research by archives and libraries. This makes it easier to evaluate the role of music manuscripts for the field of popular music, and to gain more insight into the ways and contexts in which these manuscripts were produced and used.

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EUPOP 2024: Borders

Posted: January 8th, 2024 | Filed under: Calls for Papers | No Comments »

Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre, Tallinn, Estonia, July 1st – 3rd, 2024.
Deadline: 15th March, 2024

Individual paper and panel contributions are welcomed for the tenth annual international conference of the European Popular Culture Association (EPCA), to be held at Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre, Tallinn, Estonia, July 1st – 3rd, 2024.

With the overarching theme of Borders, EUPOP 2025 will explore European popular culture in all its various forms. This includes, but is by no means limited to, the following topics: European Film (past and present), Television, Music, Costume and Performance, Celebrity, The Body, Fashion, New Media, Popular Literature and Graphic Novels, Queer Studies, Sport, Curation, Digital Culture, the idea of European identity and its relation to popular culture. A special emphasis, this year, will be on topics such as popular culture borders, politics, forms of propaganda and influencing, and methodological framings within cross-disciplinary thinking.

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