8th Conference of the Royal Musical Association Music & Philosophy Study Group  

Thursday and Friday, 1–2 July 2021 | King’s College London

Keynote speakers to be announced shortly

Call for Papers

The RMA Music and Philosophy Study Group warmly invites session and paper proposals for this two-day international conference. The event will offer an opportunity for those with an interest in music and philosophy to share and discuss work, in the hope of furthering dialogue in this area. Following the success of the 2019 conference format, we will run three types of session:   

  • Associates Sessions will be hosted by organisations with related interests;  
  • Themed Sessions will be organised by individual session convenors, who have issued calls for papers on specific topics;  
  • Free Sessions will be open to papers on all topics relating to music and philosophy.

Proposals may be on any topic relating to music and philosophy broadly conceived; we particularly encourage proposals engaging with ethnomusicology, environmental issues, and ethics.

Call for Associates Sessions 

Related organisations, including scholarly societies, study groups and institutional departments, are warmly invited to host a session at the conference. The topic and organisation of such sessions is left to the host: sessions may feature invited speakers. All formats (including but not limited to workshops, roundtables, experimental or hybrid virtual/IRL sessions) will be considered; the maximum overall time available for the session will be 2 ½ hours.

If you would like to be involved in this way, please upload your session abstract (of up to 1,700 characters), proposed paper titles and speaker names by 17 August 2020. We hope to communicate decisions within a week, with a suggested deadline of 30 October 2020 for submission of any participant abstracts to session convenors. Organisers will be asked to submit participants’ abstracts (where applicable) along with information about all contributors to their session to the programme committee by 6 November 2020.

submit an associates session

Call for Themed Sessions

We seek enthusiastic individuals to propose Themed Sessions on topics that are focused yet inclusive. All topics and formats (including but not limited to workshops, roundtables, experimental or hybrid virtual/IRL sessions) will be considered but should be designed to encourage submissions from both music studies and philosophy, whilst assuming a broad and inclusive definition of each. The maximum overall time available for the session will be 2 ½ hours.

If you would like to host such a session, please upload a 300-word draft call for papers/contributions that will also function as a session abstract to the website by 17 August 2020 using the Themed Sessions form on the Music and Philosophy website. The draft call for papers should focus on the topic of, and rationale for, the session. 

We hope to communicate decisions on the selection of Themed Sessions within a week, with a further deadline of 30 October 2020 for submission of paper abstracts (where applicable) to session organisers. Organisers will be asked to submit paper choices to the programme committee by 6 November 2020. The intention is that the programme committee will, in most circumstances, simply approve the organisers’ choices, however the committee reserve the right to request changes if there are problems of topical balance or scholarly quality. Final decisions on panel acceptance will be communicated by 13 November 2020.

submit a themed session

Call for Free Sessions 

We invite submissions for papers on any topic relating to music and philosophy. The conference presumes inclusive definitions of both music and philosophy. We take music to include all forms and genres of music, art music and popular, secular and sacred, from any and all historical and geographical locales. We take philosophy to include analytic, continental, classical, and non-western thought, as well as critical theory. Regardless of disciplinary affiliation, the committee seeks conceptually rigorous and clearly articulated research that presents a novel argument and advances understanding of its topic.  

Collaboration between persons from different disciplines (including music studies, philosophy, performance, composition, psychology, history, literary studies, art history, anthropology, and others) would be especially welcomed.  

Proposals are invited for:  

individual papers (20 minutes) – up to 1,700 characters  
collaborative papers (up to 30 minutes) – up to 2,000 characters  
lecture recitals (30 minutes) – up to 1,700 characters 

Please submit proposals by 30 October 2020 using the Free Sessions form on the Music and Philosophy website. Decisions will be communicated in November.  

submit a free session

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