Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Call for papers - Classical music as contemporary socio-cultural practice: critical perspectives

Classical music as contemporary socio-cultural practice: critical perspectives

A one day interdisciplinary seminar at Kings College London, 23 May
2014, organised by Dr Christina Scharff and Anna Bull. Funded by the
Economic and Social Research Council.

Studies of contemporary practices and institutions associated with
Western classical music have tended to fall in between disciplinary
boundaries, in the interstices of sociology, anthropology, cultural
studies, ethnomusicology and musicology. As a result, questions
around the social and cultural reproduction of these practices as well
as the institutional settings in which this reproduction occurs remain
under-scrutinised. In the context of the on-going association of
classical music with 'high culture' and middle class taste; the
continuing lack of diversity among classical musicians and audiences;
and the expansion of classical music as a middle class practice in
China and India, among other developments, we seek to reinvigorate
critical analyses and explorations of Western classical music.

This seminar calls, therefore, for a renewed attention to the
contemporary cultures surrounding classical music, asking what is
being legitimated, reproduced and subverted alongside and through
these practices. Building on theoretical and empirical work on music
and the social by Georgina Born; writing on music and ideology from
Lucy Green; and wider considerations about the role of music in our
lives (David Hesmondhalgh), themes for this workshop may include (but
are not limited to):

 the role of institutional settings in shaping dominant
traditions of classical music practice;
 the politics and ideologies of the field of classical music,
including its perceived status as 'high' or 'dominant' culture;
 the working lives of musicians, situating the profession
within the broader field of the cultural and creative sector and
attending to the workforce's lack of diversity
 continuities, changes and exclusionary practices in the
education and training of classical musicians.

We welcome papers on critical, contemporary, empirical studies of
classical music cultures and practices. Within this necessarily broad
remit, we are particularly interested to receive abstracts which seek
to excavate exclusions, contestations, boundary drawing, subversions,
and inequalities in classical music practices.

Enquiries to Anna Bull - bull.anna@gmail.com