Conferences & CfP

May 1, 2018: For the 2018 joint AMS/SMT meeting, we are organizing an open round-table discussion on “Women in the History of Music Theory”: Since (at least) Ptolemais of Cyrene, women have been actively involved in creating and transmitting music theory, often to a hitherto unacknowledged extent, although modern scholarship has recently begun to explore these contributions. This open round-table discussion seeks to identify the historical and social conditions under which these activities took place, while also examining the ways in which music theoretical work by women was received. Over the course of the discussion, we hope to consider how new historical methodologies combined with an expanded definition of music theory can assist in recovering and highlighting these contributions.

We invite anyone who would like to participate in the panel that will lead the discussion to send a brief proposal (no more than 200 words, please) to by May 10; we anticipate that panelists will offer short contributions (ca. 10 min), rather than full 20 min papers, in order to maximize time for open discussion.


March 15: 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, 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).

Feb. 20th: NYC-area historians of music theory are warmly invited to attend a conference on “Global Histories of Music Theory” at the Heyman Center at Columbia University.

Abstracts, schedule, and speaker info are available at the conference website.


May 15: Anna Zayaruznaya (Yale University) and Andrew Hicks (Cornell University) are delighted to announce that, with the generous support of Yale University and Cornell University, the first Historical Notation Bootcamp will be held this summer at Yale University, August 9–12.  We are now accepting online applications at: