CfP: New Ontologies of Sound and Music (AMS Milwaukee)

Music and philosophy study group:
„New Ontologies of Sound and Music“
6-9 nov 2014 – AMS/SMT, Milwaukee

What is the “ontology” of music? Twenty years ago, the phrase connoted a series of debates among philosophers and music scholars concerning the nature of musical works (universals, sound-structures, or regulative concepts) and their relation to musical performances. But today, in dialog with the “ontological turn” in the humanities, the rise of sound studies, and the increasing importance of media studies, the ontology of music has expanded in scope and shifted in focus.

By focusing on the word “ontology,” music studies has begun not only to reconsider the kinds of objects out of which music is made, but also to articulate new ways of addressing music’s relationality, agency, materiality and modes of existence. Under the rubric of the ontology of music, we seek new investigations into the relationship between music, sound, and noise: from theories and histories of “sound objects,” to challenges of the semiotic and language-like dimensions of music, to vibrationalist accounts of sound that focus on the capacity of music to affect and move bodies, to new experimental practices in composition and sound art that seek to explore the material, spatial, and corporeal nature of sound and music. We are interested in the political dimension of ontologies that distribute an expanded notion of agency to objects, things and matter, as well as broader inquiries about the role of power in defining any ontology of sound and music.

Please visit for more information and a list of possible topics.

Our panel will feature papers of eight to ten minutes each; the session will be oriented towards discussion.

Please send Proposals of 250 words to the following email address: philosophymusic at by April 25, 2014.

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