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

The Hidden Musicians Revisited

Posted: May 15th, 2015 | Filed under: Calls for Papers | No Comments »

A conference organised by the Music Department at The Open University, Milton Keynes, UK
11th-12th January 2016

Open University Professor Ruth Finnegan’s 1989 book The Hidden Musicians: Music-Making in an English Town has been recognised as a landmark in the study of music and culture, a central concern in Open University Music research. In the preface to the 2007 edition, Finnegan identifies a number of new directions which have opened up since the time of her original study due to methodological and technological advances in the study of music. Her investigation of music-making in Milton Keynes (where the OU is based) focussed on amateur musicians, but there are numerous examples of professional musicians who remain ‘hidden’, perhaps because of biases related to gender, class, race and ethnicity, or owing to trends within musicology.

The conference takes these new directions – and the idea of ‘hidden musicians’ more generally – as starting points, and welcomes proposals for individual conference papers and panels. We are open to discussion of all musical styles and contexts – Western and non-Western, historical and contemporary. Selected papers from the conference will be expanded and published in an edited volume.

Professor Finnegan and Professor Derek Scott, University of Leeds, will address the conference.

The conference will take place at the Open University’s campus in Milton Keynes, UK. The recommended accommodation option will be the nearby Kents Hill Park Training and Conference Centre, where there will be a conference dinner on the evening of 11th January.


Proposals in the form of abstracts of 200-300 words should be sent to [email protected] by Monday 14th September 2015. Proposals for panel sessions should include a brief rationale as well as an abstract for each paper. Decisions will be notified during September.

Further details about the Open University Music Department can be found here: http://www.open.ac.uk/Arts/music/index.shtml

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