CFP (conf): Tracking the Creative Process in Music

Maison Européenne des Sciences de l’Homme et de la Société, Lille
29 Sep – 1 Oct 2011
Deadline for submissions: 1 Dec 2010

What pro­ce­dures, tech­niques, knowl­edge and/or know-how do musi­cians uti­lize when they ‘cre­ate’ music? Beethoven’s famous walks in the park and the no less famous sketch­books have, since the 19th cen­tury, pop­u­lar­ized the idea that the cre­ative activ­ity of com­posers is the prod­uct not only of inspi­ra­tion, but also of labor. Despite this rep­re­sen­ta­tion of the cre­ative process as work or dis­ci­pline, rel­a­tively few stud­ies of it were pro­duced over the course of the twen­ti­eth cen­tury com­pared to the exten­sive schol­ar­ship dur­ing this time con­cern­ing the prod­ucts of this process, that is, musi­cal ‘works’ in the broad sense. As a branch of musi­col­ogy, sketch stud­ies has devel­oped in the United States and Europe since the 1970s, but largely lim­ited itself to the archival study of west­ern art music. More recently, per­for­mance stud­ies and pop­u­lar music stud­ies have led to a re-evaluation of the col­lec­tive and col­lab­o­ra­tive dimen­sions of cre­ative work, while musics that do not rely on nota­tion (includ­ing elec­troa­coustic music) present new prob­lems of sources and ana­lyt­i­cal methods.

With the epis­te­mo­log­i­cal par­a­digm shifts which musi­col­ogy under­went at the end of the last cen­tury, in the wake of sim­i­lar devel­op­ments in the human­i­ties and social sci­ences, the study of the ‘cre­ative process’, far from being mar­gin­al­ized, was enriched. Not only did sketch stud­ies extend their scope towards 20th cen­tury and pre-19th cen­tury com­posers, but the recent abun­dance of research into the processes of artis­tic cre­ation con­firms the impres­sion of renewal cur­rently under­way in both the objects of study (inter­pre­ta­tion and per­for­mance, impro­vi­sa­tion, pop­u­lar musics, sound engi­neer­ing and computer-assisted design, etc.) and the meth­ods employed (com­bin­ing music analy­sis and social sci­ence, field work and exper­i­men­tal cog­ni­tive psy­chol­ogy, etc.). What new under­stand­ings of the cre­ative process are emerg­ing from the inte­gra­tion of new reper­to­ries, the elab­o­ra­tion of new ana­lyt­i­cal tools and through dia­logue with other artis­tic media and sci­en­tific fields?

This con­fer­ence will offer oppor­tu­ni­ties to assem­ble for the first time a con­sid­er­able num­ber of researchers directly or indi­rectly inter­ested in the study of the cre­ative processes involved in the (past and present) pro­duc­tion of music/sound, and to take the first steps towards a com­par­a­tive assess­ment of the dif­fer­ent method­olo­gies devel­oped over the last thirty years in research areas which inter­act with each other all too rarely. The con­fer­ence talks will present find­ings from the field of music as well as related artis­tic domains, to explore new method­olo­gies and the­o­ret­i­cal mod­els. The con­fer­ence will serve to open up broader issues of artis­tic cre­ativ­ity as it is approached in fields out­side of musi­col­ogy: his­tory, psy­chol­ogy, cog­ni­tive sci­ence, soci­ol­ogy, anthro­pol­ogy, genetic crit­i­cism, etc.

Each con­fer­ence talk pro­posal, in French or Eng­lish, will include the fol­low­ing ele­ments:
• First and last name of the pre­sen­ter;
• Insti­tu­tional affil­i­a­tion;
• Biog­ra­phy of pre­sen­ter (max­i­mum 150 words);
• Mail­ing address, tele­phone num­ber and email address;
• Pro­posed title of talk;
• Abstract (500–800), clearly pre­sent­ing the sub­ject, objec­tives and method­ol­ogy used
• Selec­tive bib­li­og­ra­phy (3–8 ref­er­ences) and prin­ci­ple sources used (archives, exper­i­men­tal or ethno­graphic data, etc.).

Pro­pos­als should be sent before 1 Decem­ber 2010 as an email with an attached Word file to the address

Con­fer­ence talk pro­pos­als (abstract and selec­tive bib­li­og­ra­phy) will be sub­mit­ted to the con­fer­ence com­mit­tee, com­posed of an inter­na­tional ros­ter of spe­cial­ists. Noti­fi­ca­tion of selec­tion will be sent to pre­sen­ters within twelve weeks.