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Image: “Musiksoiré” (1825), Carl Johan Ljunggren (1790-1825), Swedish National Museum, Stockholm

CfP: Music-Cultural Exchange and the Nineteenth-Century Salon

(18-19 July 2022)

Location: Musicological Library, Institute of Art History, Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague, Czech Republic / ZOOM

Deadline for submission: 18 December 2021

Exploring aspects of cultural exchange holistically and across regional borders, this symposium focuses on musical repertoire performed and conceived within the context of the ‘European’ salon during the long nineteenth century. It will bring together scholars from various geographical areas both within and outside of Europe, and is especially concerned with the inclusion of so-called peripheral cultural centres. It thus aims to decolonise musical historiography by adding to existing research studies of lesser-known salons and new perspectives on well-known cultural centres.

European salon culture has been researched for a number of years. Individual salons, i.e. regular semi-public social gatherings in private homes, have been explored with a view to their socio-cultural, political, and creative implications on the people hosting, visiting, and communicating about them. However, the salon’s potential to connect people from various geographical, social, and creative backgrounds has received less attention. Salons enabled travelling artists to familiarise themselves and mingle personally with the local artistic scene in a less formal way. Likewise, they enabled local artists to meet with famous contemporaries, with whom they would normally not have been able to get into personal contact. Through conversation and music-making salons offered opportunities for musician-composers to exchange ideas and experiences beyond the regional level. Salon culture also fostered a strong print and review culture, which often evolved around the music performed, and which paved the way for a livelier exchange of this music across regional borders. Some of the repertoire conceived and performed within salons could feature diverse compositional-aesthetic characteristics, as the cross-regional salon environment could serve as a place of innovation and a germ cell of new musical works.

The official language of this symposium will be English. We envision a collegial, cosmopolitan atmosphere, and communication in other languages will be encouraged during questions and breaks. In order to enable participation from a wide range of scholars and practitioners, this symposium will be conducted in a hybrid format, i.e. presenters and guests will be invited to attend in person or via Zoom. Parallel sessions will be avoided, since we aim for an intensive exchange of ideas and a strong focus on collaborative thinking. A publication comprising a selection of developed papers presented at this event will be conceived after the event.

We invite proposals of short research papers (15 minutes in length plus a maximum of 15 minutes for discussion), roundtable discussions, lecture recitals, or other non-conventional formats. Proposals including an abstract of no more than 250 words and a brief biographical note should be sent in a format compatible with MS Word to Dr Anja Bunzel and Professor Nancy November at no later than 18 December 2021.