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What do We Mean by Music Notation (Inscription, or Visualization)?

Posted: February 17th, 2022 | Filed under: Calls for Papers | No Comments »

The AMS Study Group for Music Notation, Inscription and Visualization invites lightning talks for the SG inaugural session at the upcoming meeting taking place November 10-13 in New Orleans, 2022.

Notation has held a central position in all branches of music studies: as an historical trace (music history), as the basis for analysis and aesthetic evaluation (music theory and criticism), as the threshold between canonical Western Art music and oral traditions (distinction between musicology vs comparative musicology, now ethnomusicology). This meeting aims to provide a space and set of resources for overcoming these disciplinary divides, approaching notation from new angles in light of forms of music transmission that have been Othered in standard narratives, or are dependent on new technologies whose affordances are still understudied.

We invite proposals for 10/15-minute lightning talks that engage with (but are not limited to) the following:

  • What is the traditional understanding of “music notation”? What are its affordances and limits?

  • What are examples of notation that challenge the expectations of traditional pedagogies, practices?  How can they aid in decentering Western ontologies of analysis and practice?

  • How can a critique of conventional terminology assist in diversity and inclusion in the field?

  • How can terms like inscription and visualization expand our concept of written musical systems?

As music studies have shifted away from the ontological question of “what is music” to focusing to the “how” of music, analogously we suggest that rather than “what is notation” we take refuge in the innumerable “how” of notation,  “trusting the ‘how’ ultimately to register the ‘why’” (Bernstein 2009).

Please submit abstracts (350 words max.) in pdf or doc form to [email protected] by the end of the day, March 6th 2022. Please include your affiliation (if any) and position in the body of your email. All submissions will be evaluated anonymously.

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