The Department of Music Theory at the Stanisław Moniuszko Academy of Music in Gdańsk, Poland, is pleased to invite submissions of proposals for the International Conference “Meaning of Music”, which will take place in person and online on October 10–11, 2024 (co-financed by the Ministry of Education and Science in the “Excellent Science” programme – DNK/SP/548966/2022).
The official language of the conference is English. In addition to one-hour lectures by keynote-speakers, we plan 20-minute papers. Please submit an abstract of about 500 words and short biographical information including your name, contact details (postal address, e-mail) and affiliation no later than 15th December 2023 to email@example.com. The programme committee will make its final decision on the abstracts by the end of January 2024 and contributors will be informed immediately thereafter.
Further information about the programme, registration, conference fee, and accommodation will be announced on the conference website meaningofmusic2024.pl. Be sure to check back at a later date for full details.
Conference members are guaranteed the publication of abstracts on the Internet and in the programme and abstracts book, as well as a coffee bar, dinner and supper for each of the two days of the conference.
One of the most fundamental questions emerging from our relationship with music is: can music mean? Those who try to answer this represent two radically different schools called formalism and referentialism, but recently a third one has emerged that situates itself between these two. This third school owes its existence to relatively new cognitive linguistic theories such as conceptual metaphor and conceptual blending. The earlier of them (G. Lakoff and M. Johnson 1980) asserts that metaphor is not a literary, stylistic device, but one of the basic forms of thinking, whose characteristic feature is one-way mapping between mental spaces. In turn, the later theory (G. Fauconnier and M. Turner 2002) assumes that mapping between mental spaces is bidirectional, and a blended space emerges from the interaction of concepts of both input spaces. Meanings that are constructed in this way are mostly unconscious, but they are at the heart of both everyday meanings and unique human creativity.
The first musicological works dealing with the issue of meaning of music from a cognitive perspective appeared at the end of the twentieth century, and the twenty first century has shown that interest in this subject is growing. There are already several serious publications devoted to theoretical issues, such as musical concepts, cognitive musical grammar (L. Zbikowski 2002, 2017), musical metaphors (M. Spitzer 2004), as well as the theory called multilevel grounding (M. Antović 2022), not to mention numerous semantic interpretations of individual works from multimedia genres (song, opera, film music, music with video), instrumental programme music and – less often – absolute instrumental music. Despite some advancement in this work, the question of the definition of musical significance is not yet definitively resolved. The prevailing view is that the musical meaning is divided into auto- and hetero-referentiality, but according to M. Antović it includes “any situation in which elements of a cognitive system (for the most part, music) exhibit reference – that is, evoke a psychological reaction that listeners intuit as categorically different from, though likely superimposed on, the pure parsing of structure”.
The aim of the Gdańsk conference is to gather together in one place and time researchers from all over the world who are dealing with this topic, in order to present current theoretical knowledge, to date scattered across various sources, and to make semantic interpretation of individual works from all musical genres. Among the many important problems within the field, the organisers propose to highlight: embodied music cognition; the place of emotions in the construction of musical meaning; image schemas; musical vs. linguistic concepts; the role of percepts and concepts in the process of constructing musical meaning; physical, biological, social and cultural limitations; metaphors and blends concerning music; ambiguity; definition of musical meaning, but the above list may be widely developed. We are convinced that results of our international conference will contribute not only to the popularisation of the cognitive approach to musical meaning, but also to raise the general level of knowledge about human forms of mental and creative activity.
Lawrence M. Zbikowski: Musical Meaning and Analogy
Mihailo Antović: From form to reference: Multilevel-grounded semantics of music
Michael Spitzer: An Appraisal Theory of Musical Emotion
Rolf Inge Godøy: Motormimetic cognition of sound-motion objects in music
Anthony Brandt: Composing meaning
Danae Stefanou: Meaning, listening, silencing
Prof. Hallgjerd Aksnes, University of Oslo
Dr Ashok Kumar Arya, Assist. Prof. at Kumaun University, Nainital, Uttarakhand India
Dr Rachel Becker, Assist. Prof. at Boise State University (Idaho)
Dr Jean Beers, Assoc. Prof. at Music and Arts University of the City of Vienna
Ligia Borges Silva, PhD cand. at University of Coimbra; Luis Castro, composer, Oporto; Carlo Giovani, graphic designer, Oporto
Olga Borzyszkowska, MA, currently student at Chopin University of Music in Warsaw
Dr Renate Bräuninger, Independent Scholar, Berlin
Dr Paulo F. de Castro, Assoc. Prof. at University “Nova” of Lisbon
Dr hab. Anna Chęćka, Assoc. Prof. at Gdańsk University; Anna Prus, student of Medical University of Gdańsk and Gdańsk University
Dr Barbara Dobretsberger, Assoc. Prof. at Mozarteum University Salzburg
Dr Francesco Finocchiaro, researcher at State University of Milan, Privatdozent at University of Innsbruck
Marianthi Fotopoulou, PhD cand. at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
Gabriele Giacosa, PhD cand. at University of Cologne
Prof. Ryszard D. Golianek, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań
Dr Małgorzata Grajter, Academy of Music in Łódź
Dr Sarka Havličkova Kysová, Assoc. Prof. at Masaryk University in Brno
Stacy Jarvis, PhD cand. at University of Birmingham
Caleb Labbe Phelan, PhD cand. at University of Toronto; Dr Irida Altman, ETH Zurich
Samuel Manzoni, PhD cand. at University of Zurich
Malwina Marciniak, PhD cand. at Academy of Music in Bydgoszcz
Dr Ângelo Martingo, Assoc. Prof. at University of Minho
Agata Meissner, PhD cand. at Mozarteum University Salzburg
Dr Cristina Pascu, researcher at National Academy of Music in Cluj Napoca
Prof. Birger Petersen, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz
Dr Ivana Petković Lozo, Assist. Prof. at University of Arts in Belgrade
Dr hab. Piotr Podlipniak, Assoc. Prof. at Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań
Prof. Tijana Popović Mladjenović, University of Arts in Belgrade
Bruce Ramell, freelance researcher, Haddenham
Dr Kamilė Rupeicaitė, senior researcher at Lithuanian Culture Research Institute, Assoc. Prof. at Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre, Vilnius
Mark Sexton, lecturer at University of Portsmouth
Dr László Stachó, lecturer and senior research fellow at Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest
Alison Stevens, PhD cand. at University of Edinburgh
Dr Kalliopi Stigka, High School of Neo Faliro-Piraeus; Joannis Kourtis, composer, Montpellier
Dr M. Belén Vargas, lecturer at University of Granada
Marko Vesić, PhD cand. at University of Arts in Belgrade
Zuzana Vojnovič, PhD cand. at Charles University in Prague
Dr Petros Vouvaris, Assist. Prof. at University of Macedonia in Thessaloniki
Dr Riccardo D. Wanke, University “Nova” of Lisbon
Prof. Miloš Zatkalik, University of Arts in Belgrade
Ashok Kumar Arya: Meaning of Music in the Indian Context
Rachel Becker: Ecphratic Signification in Instrumental Music
Lígia Borges Silva, Luís Castro, Carlo Giovani: Singing images and drawing music with Cantaroler, a book designed to foster children’s imagination and artistic expression
Renate Bräuninger: How is meaning generated in a multimedia performance genre like dance?
Barbara Dobretsberger: Mozart, the couple therapist? Listening to music while reading between the lines
Gabriele Giacosa: Moving mirrors: A phenomenological analysis of Spiegel im Spiegel
Ryszard D. Golianek: Musical disguise in Mozart’s comic operas
Caleb Labbe Phelan, Irida Altman: Locating Musical Meaning in Performance: An Approach Through Translation Theory
Birger Petersen: “Figure” and “Meaning” in the Vocal Music of Dieterich Buxtehude
Tijana Popović Mladjenović: The hermeneutic fragment on the meaning of a musical work
Alison Stevens: Meaning in Participatory Music: A Bellringing Protest
Kalliopi Stigka, Ioannis Kourtis: From Dreams of Memory (2011) to Imbabazi - The Pardon (2013): An intimate dialogue between words, images, sounds and Ηistory
Zuzana Vojnovič: Pianist’s Intuition While Studying Compositions
Petros Vouvaris: Revisiting Schubert’s musical orgasms