CFP Themed Session: ‘Cyborg Musicking’


9th Conference of the Royal Musical Association Music and Philosophy Study Group
Department of Music, King’s College London; Thursday and Friday, 11–12 July 2024 

Themed Sessions invite papers centered on a shared topic. These sessions run in addition to Free Paper Sessions and Associate Sessions. The MPSG committee and the session convenor invites proposals for 20-minute (in person) papers related to a Themed Session, ‘Cyborg Musicking’.  

To propose a paper, please send a paper title and abstract of no more than 350 words to the session convenor, Dr Michael Boyle (, by the deadline of Tuesday 31st October. The decision regarding the acceptance of proposals will be communicated in December.  

Cyborg Musicking: Perspectives on Musical Creativity and Technology

It has been argued increasingly over recent decades that understanding the way technology influences our cognitive lives is crucial to understanding how human beings exist and (inter)act in the world. From the earliest bone flutes, to a modern performer reading a score from a digital tablet, to a composer using AI to assist in the compositional process, musicking has always been an inherently technological mediated process. As such, musical creativity can be productively explored through philosophical approaches which focus on the relationship between humans and technology – Heideggerian phenomenology, Latourian actor-networks, and Clark and Chalmer’s extended mind, to name but a few – and can also be a useful tool for developing and critiquing those same perspectives.
This themed session aims to bring together disparate perspectives on the relationships between musical practice and musical technologies, from all relevant fields of music and philosophy. The session therefore welcomes paper submissions which apply philosophical ideas about the relationship between mind and technology to musical creativity, or which use musical creativity as a lens through which to investigate those relationships, including those which use practice-research methodologies in combination with philosophical approaches.
Examples of specific topics are limitless, but could include:

  • Explorations of the impact of a specific technology on musical thought or creativity.
  • Ethical dilemmas to do with authorship of musical work or sustainability.
  • Musical practice which attempts to explore the human/technology relationship.
  • Explorations of technological mediation in the development of musical skill.
  • Explorations of a specific musician’s relationship with technology, or that of a specific sub-discipline/genre.

Further details of the conference, including the Call for Papers for Free Sessions on any area of music and philosophy (deadline: 31st October), can be found here.

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