City University London 2019

Music, Sound, Space and Place: Ethnomusicology and Sound Studies

British Forum for Ethnomusicology and Société française d’ethnomusicologie Joint Autumn Conference 2019

It might be argued, perhaps a little simplistically, that ethnomusicology has always been involved with sound studies, since its practitioners have often engaged with sounds that challenge conventional views of what constitutes ‘music’ through their examinations of sung poetry, chants, percussive ritual accompaniments, etc. The field was thus well placed to build on the early work of R. Murray Schafer in the 1960s and ‘70s in what is now termed acoustic ecology, and scholars such as Steven Feld asserted in the 1980s new auditory horizons for ethnomusicologists. In the following decades many others have engaged in research which is fluidly situated between anthropology, musicology, acoustics, environmental studies and musical creativity. In such work, listening and the auditory experience are seen as essential components of human musicking and of the relationship between human lives and the spaces and places in which they are lived. These approaches have provided new insights into longstanding ethnomusicological concerns involving emplacement/displacement, identity construction, the politics of sound, etc. Today these are augmented by, for example, growing interests in music and ecology, or the complex relationships between geographical space and digital music cultures.
The conference will also incorporate the annual John Blacking lecture, organised by the Royal Anthropological Institute, which will be held at the British Library on the evening of 31st October.
Organising committee:

Cassandre Balosso-Bardin (University of Lincoln)
Stephen Cottrell (City, University of London)
Byron Dueck (Open University)
Christine Guillebaud (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
Laudan Nooshin (City, University of London)
François Picard (Sorbonne Université)

When and Where
Thursday 31st October to Saturday 2nd November 2019.
College Building City, University of London
St John Street
London EC1V 4PB

Read the program