Call for Papers: Pre-AMS Mini-Conference

Music-theoretical systems have relied upon various forms of instrumental mediations, from the monochord and the Guidonian hand to the Music Encoding Initiative and computer-based toolkits such as music21. Such tools enable the articulation (and testing) of theoretical propositions, but they also limit the kind and content of the epistemic claims they enable. Does a “History of Music Theory,” then, map a “History of the Instruments of Music Theory”? What are the instruments (musical, scientific, mechanical, conceptual, digital, etc.) through which music-theoretical knowledge is generated, and how do such instruments shape and condition music-theoretical knowledge?

We invite 250-word proposals for 20-min papers that address any aspect of music theory and “instrumentality.” Our definition of “music-theoretical instruments” is intentionally broad and encompasses musical instruments (traditional and experimental), notational systems (practical and theoretical), diagrammatic and visual representations, recording technologies, digital analytic toolkits, etc. We particularly welcome submissions that engage topics in non-Western musics.

Submissions will be accepted through May 1, 2017, May 8, 2017, and speakers will be notified of acceptance in late May or early June. Please send all submissions (as MS Word or PDF attachments, with the subject “History of Theory Proposal”) and queries to Andrew Hicks at Proposals should include the presenter’s name, contact information, and institutional affiliation (if any).