McGill University & “Music, Digitization, Mediation: Towards Interdisciplinary Music Studies”:
“Music And Genre: New Directions”
September 27-28, 2014 – Schulich School of Music, McGill University, Montréal, QC
Keynotes: Karin Barber, John Frow, David Brackett
We are pleased to announce the interdisciplinary conference Music and Genre: New Directions to be held at the Schulich School of Music, McGill University in Montréal, QC on September 27-28, 2014. The conference is jointly sponsored and funded by the European Research Council-funded research program “Music, Digitization, Mediation: Towards Interdisciplinary Music Studies,” directed by Georgina Born, and the Schulich School of Music.
The conference aims to bring together scholars from both the local and international communities to advance thinking and practice on two major and exciting challenges facing theories of musical genre today. The first is the challenge of bringing music into productive alignment with wider shifts in genre theory beyond primarily formalist, text- and sound-focused conceptions of genre, and towards theorizing genre with reference to its social, cultural and historical entailments. The second challenge concerns how genre today occupies an increasingly paradoxical position: both elusive, in the widespread claims that certain pervasive new musics are “beyond” or “outside” genre; and increasingly concrete or instrumental, in the growing scientific and technological capacities – associated with computerized music information retrieval (or MIR) and its escalating influence in services like Spotify – to analyze, model and even predict the movement of genres.
As keynote speakers we are delighted to have three outstanding international figures in the theorization of genre: anthropologist and African Studies scholar, Karin Barber (University of Birmingham); literary and cultural theorist, John Frow (University of Sydney); and David Brackett (McGill University), a leading theorist of popular music and genre. Other speakers include Georgina Born (Oxford University and McGill University), Eric Drott (University of Texas, Austin), Charles Kronengold (Stanford University) and Steve Waksman (Smith College). We also expect to host a roundtable with Glenn McDonald, a representative from The Echo Nest, the leading music intelligence company engaged in algorithmically-based analysis of musical genres. The conference will fall into two parts. Each will be devoted to one of the core issues and presentations will be grouped as follows:
Day 1, September 27: “Digital Genre Machines: Between the Dissolution and the Reification of Genre”
Day 2, September 28: “Genre is Social: From Intra-Musical to Sociological Theories of Genre”
Organizing committee: Georgina Born, David Brackett, and Mimi Haddon
Programs and abstracts available on request.
To register for the conference and for further information, please contact:=