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Words about Music

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12 April 2014, Monash University Law Chambers, Melbourne CBD

Keynote Speaker

Dr Michael Allis (University Leeds / Monash University): ‘Literary Perspectives on Music: Bantock, Shelley and The Witch of Atlas’

Conference Outline

Since antiquity, music has been a fascinating and problematic topic for philosophers, critics, biographers, novelists, travel writers, composers, performers and bloggers. However, the ways in which music has been described, criticized or conceptualized across a range of genres–from poetry to biography–has not customarily been a focused concern of musicology.

What are the reasons writers put pen to paper to write about music? What are the politics at play behind specific musical points of view? To what extent does aesthetic appreciation play in these writings, and what are the economic, social or literary agendas at play in addition to musical ones? How have these non-musical agendas affected the reception and composition of the music described?

The organisers welcome papers on any aspect of process, politics–historical and contemporary–that have inspired writing about music whether in prose, poetry, history, biography or blogs (and much else besides).

Proposals (abstracts of 250 words plus tech requirements) for 20-minute papers should be sent to Dr Paul Watt at  paul.watt@monash.edu by 21 February. A decision on acceptance will be made by 1 March.

This conference is part of a series of events in the Monash-Leeds Music Research Partnership and is supported by the Monash University Research Accelerator Program.