Musicological Society of Australia (MSA) Conference 2015

MSA LogoMusical Dialogues, 1 to 4 October 2015

38th National Conference of the Musicological Society of Australia
Sydney Conservatorium of Music, The University of Sydney

2015 Conference Abstract Book

2015 Conference schedule (final)

In 2015, the year of its centenary, the Sydney Conservatorium of Music was delighted to host the annual conference of the Musicological Society of Australia. The conference invited participants to consider how the idea of ‘dialogue’ is relevant to their musical research interests. Whether conceived of in terms of the relationship between a creator and her audience, between a work and its historical antecedents, between different music cultures, or between performance and research, the notion that art involves dialogue of some kind is commonplace. Indeed, in the globalised world in which we live, dialogue between different musical traditions, different traditions of thought and different methodological approaches actively works to reshape the ways in which we both create and understand music and has given rise to recent calls for relational musicology.

Plenary Speakers

Conference Theme
The theme “Musical Dialogues” sought to engage with and showcase a wide breadth of scholarly expertise. This might involve a consideration of the way dialogue takes place in musical collaborations, performer-composer interactions, or the critical and hermeneutic discourse that has sprung up around many types of music. Participants also considered exploring dialogues across history (not forgetting that the present changes the past as much as the past influences the present) or how a composer, work, or practice can be understood as a response to past phenomena, be they musical, cultural or social. Other types of dialogue for consideration were those that took place between different traditions that co-exist within the same geographical space: settler societies such as Australia have a rich heritage of such cross-cultural interactions.

We particularly welcomed papers addressing the following topics:

  • Australian music: intercultural and intra-cultural exchanges
  • Performance as dialogue (with the composer/work/audience)
  • Temporal intersections: music of the past in the present; new musics in the context of their pasts
  • Global musical dialogues
  • Musical institutions as they engage with their social contexts
  • Discourses in music theory and historiography
  • Popular music as social discourse
  • Jazz scenes, communities and practices
  • Sound and image: dialogues between music and the visual – iconography, film, gaming

The call for papers is now closed.

Special Events
A variety of performances will be held during the conference. A highlight will be a new Noh (shinsaku Nô) play in English by Allan Marett to be presented by members of The Oppenheimer Noh Project during the conference. Entitled Oppenheimer, the play focuses on the development and use of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima in 1945. Conference registrants will be offered tickets to this event at a specially discounted price.

Conference participants are also invited to purchase tickets to see Ensemble Offspring, performing on Friday 2 October at 6.30pm.

Conference Dinner
Hokkaido Japanese Restaurant
Basement of 20 Loftus St, Circular Quay

Planning Committee

Linda Barwick, Christopher Coady, David Larkin, Alan Maddox and Kathleen Nelson

Program Committee
Linda Barwick, Christopher Coady (Chair), Michael Hooper (UNSW), David Larkin, Alan Maddox and Helen Mitchell

For further information please contact Christopher Coady or Kathleen Nelson.