CFP: Sound and Bodies in the World

The 8th Annual Graduate Music Society Conference
February 28, 2015
Boston University

We live in a world rich with soundscapes. Whether it is produced by bird calls, machines, the string section of an orchestra, or one’s own voice, sound around us reflect the environment we live in. How we choose to interact with sounds often reveals certain ways of being and knowing in the world. Our bodies are the first receivers of sounds, physically encountering sound waves through a multiplicity of sense. How our brains interpret sound is rooted in bodily and cognitive realities; this is especially true of musical sound, which is shaped by context, acoustics, language, and cultural preconditioning.


This conference seeks to encourage interdisciplinary conversation between musicological scholarship and areas ranging from sociology, the humanities, environmental and sound studies, and medicine. We encourage proposals exploring the relationship between sound environments and bodily realities, including (but not limited to) issues of gender, race, sexuality, bodily differences and identities, disability, illness, and wellness.


We welcome abstracts for tradition 20-minute papers, 5-minute ‘Ignite’ sessions, and poster presentations. Ignite sessions (native to technology and social media communities) essentialize research into a five-minute take accompanied by twenty PowerPoint slides, creating a dynamic, highly focused presentation. (For more information on the Ignite format, contact Jason McCool, jmccool at Abstracts of no more than 250 words are due January 5th to John Forrestal, johndf at


Keynote Speaker: Jennifer Iverson from the University of Iowa

Gli Spazi Della Musica 2/2

Open access musicology journal Gli Spazi Della Musica has a number of body-related articles in the “Variazioni” section of the current issue:

Florian Henri Besthorn: The widening, destruction and fusion of sounding bodies. The significance of the body in “experimental chamber music” works by Joerg Widmann

Ethan Allred: Disembodied Identity: Patriotism, Gender, and Homosexuality in Francis Poulenc’s Les Mamelles de Tiresias

Gianpaolo Chiriaco: La polvere e le ossa: voce, memoria, corpo e identita nella cultura musicale afroamericana

Carlo Genova: Giovani e musica dal vivo. Suoni, corpi e immagini nello spazio

I’ll be adding them to the Body | Music | Technology Zotero group later today. There are lots of other interesting references on there, too. Do consider joining!

[Event] Royal Musical Association Annual Conference 2013

This year’s RMA conference includes a panel on music and dance that might be of interest to some readers of this blog.

Panel: Crossing the Audio-Visual Divide: Music and Dance in Dialogue

Helen Julia Minors (Kingston University), convenor, ‘Music in Motion: Proposing a Gestural and Spatial Analysis of Music-Dance Works’

Stephanie Jordan (Roehampton University), ‘Arguments and Conversations: Music and Dance and the Work of Mark Morris’

Lawrence Zbikowski (Chicago University), ‘Music and Dance: An Embodied Dialogue’

Steffi Schroedter (Free University Berlin), respondent

The conference will be held at the Institute of Musical Research in London from Thursday 19th to Saturday 21st September 2013.

[Event] Performance Studies Network Second International Conference

4-7 April 2013
Cambridge University

The more musicologically-inclined of you might be interested in some of the papers at the upcoming Performance Studies Network Second International Conference. Particularly:

Nicholas Cook: The Signifying Body: Hendrix, 31 August 1970, 2am
Marilyn Wyers: Shaping phrase: exploring dance movement-supported learning and advanced pianistic training
Linda T. Kaastra and David Kirsh: Embodied creativity in bassoon performance
Murphy McCaleb: Embodied Knowledge: the case of ensemble performance
Naomi Waltham-Smith: Modelling touch in musical performance using the iPad
Mats Kussner: How musicians’ and non-musicians’ approaches to gestural representations of sound and music differ: findings from a motion-capture experiment

Abstracts are available in the conference programme.

[Call for Papers] Gli Spazi Della Musica: Sounding Bodies

Another CFP on the subject of ‘Sounding Bodies’, though this time it’s not from me. Università degli Studi di Torino have put out a call for papers that address the relationships between listening and sounding bodies across the fields of musicology, gender studies, performance studies, and more.

«Gli spazi della musica» is divided into two main sections: the first, called Saggi, comprises Ricercari, a series of free papers on basic topics of musicological research, and Variazioni, a series of papers on a given theme to examine a specific topic. The second section, called Strumenti, has a practical and teaching function.

The editorial board actively encourages authors to submit contributions for the upcoming issues, for both parts in the first section, the Ricercari on free themes, and the Variazioni on a given theme.

The theme for the Variazioni in the two issues of 2013 is

Sounding bodies: spaces, identities, relationships.

  1. Representations, images and musical constructions of the bodies: how is the body told by the music? How is it hidden? By what means the music builds and transforms the bodies? how does it inscribe different identities in it?
  2. Musical bodies, listening bodies: what is the physical component of the musical performance? how will be the body included in a work and how the somatic, psychological and motional dimension influences musical structures? What action does the sound carry on the listener’s body and her/his perception? How is the playing, singing, listening body represented in arts, cinema, literature?
  3. Bodies, instruments, sounding bodies: what kind of relationships exists between bodies and instruments? How is built the body of instruments? What are the effects of the music and of the voice on bodies and identities?
  4. Bodies, music, spaces: what are the relationships between bodies, spaces, and languages in the performance? Does the sound shape the space and its perception by the body?

Deadlines for all types of contributions (Ricercari and Variazioni), according to the Author guidelines on the website (Linee guida per gli autori) and provided with an abstract of 600 characters:
31 January 2013 for the first issue,
30 June 2013 for the second one.

Papers must be submitted to the address

Supported languages are Italian, English, French, German, and Spanish.


View the full CFP on the journal website.