Saturday, 30 August 2008

Wrapping up IAML with a German portal

Only a half-intended pun to the post title. No, this is not a new Christo installation, but one of several sculptures in the Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli which were temporarily wrapped whilst enabling works are being undertaken.

A detail of one of the many frescoes of Pompeii which survived the fires of Vesuvius and now reside in the Museo. One funny anecdote to share was that the museum guards did not want any flash photography (which I can understand) due to conservation reasons. Ironically, there were several museum pieces which had Pulisci mi (clean me) scrawled in the layers of dust which musn't be too good for the longevity and upkeep.

Before leaving for Naples, I actually stumbled across a new musicology portal called
. Little did I know that there would be a poster session by Jürgen Diet on this important resource at the conference. ViFaMusik stands for Virtuellen Fachbibliothek Musikwissenschaft (Virtual Library of Musicology.)

The main portal has an English and German interface but links to other portals and referential databases may be in German only. Some of the highlights include a useful aggregate of music e-journals. Many institutions have brought journals freely available across the web and imported the relevant metadata from places like the DOAJ (Directory of Open Access Journals) into their catalogues. Other approaches have opted to include the information in lists such as the Golden Pages of Royal Holloway(

The Elektronische Zeitschriftenbibliothek (EZB) follows this latter approach but with a slightly more refined interface. They have an easily identifiable visual icon (a red/green light traffic) to indicate which are freely available across the web or if it is a licensed resource requiring a subscription. The Golden Pages' list of journals do contain access information but one has to sift through an exorbitant amount of text line by line and would benefit from this type of approach.

Example of the EZB on display.

Another key feature of ViFa Musik is the Bibliographie des Musikschrifttums (BMS) which is a German RILM that provides bibliographic data covering music publications from 1986 to present on everything from journal articles and festschrifts to conference proceedings and monographs. They are now working backwards into the earlier half of the 20th century. To complement research in the early 20th and 19th century there is always the Hofmeister XIX ( which is a searchable interface of the Hofmeister Monatsberichte for the period between 1829-1900. Down the road, I will blog on about this particular resource.

Example of the BMS interface

Another key feature of the website is the portal of databases. The Online-Datenbanken im Datenbank-Infosystem which is similar to the Golden Pages in that it organises resources according to music disciplines but doesn't have the visual stoplight like the EZB. However, it does have a pretty clean look where one distinguishes between frei im Web (freely available) and lizenzpflichtig (requires license).

An example of the DBIS interface

There are almost 140 musicological databases in the interface which is maintained by the 'musicological section of the DBIS (Databases Information System), a cooperative service for the use of scholar databases offered by the University Library of Regensburg.'

Lastly, but with just as much significance, what portal would be complete without a section for digitisation projects being undertaken. ( Initiatives are underway to digitise the critical editions of Franz Liszt (Carl Alexander) and Georg Friedrich Händel (Chrysander's 1858-1902 edition) and the periodical, Zeitschrift für Instrumentenbau. Below you can see an example of the score of the opening bars of Liszt's symphonic poem Prometheus:

As you can see the portal is filled with lots of interesting features. If you want to follow future contributions to the database, there is an RSS feed available. Once you subscribe you will be able to see what new sheet music digitisations are being converted by the Bayerischen Staatsbibliothek. If RSS subscription is still a little mysterious, I will be blogging quite shortly about its features and how to get the most out of it!

Thursday, 28 August 2008

Call for papers (CFP) I

30 APRIL – 2 MAY 2009

An international conference on 'Polish Music since 1945' will be hosted by the Music Department of Canterbury Christ Church University - England, from Thursday 30 April to Saturday 2 May 2009. This is the first international conference on Polish Music organized by a British University, and will coincide with and augment the long-established Sounds New Music Festival, based in Canterbury. The 2009 festival will focus on and celebrate contemporary Polish music. Krzysztof Penderecki will be in residence during the festival, and one of the many highlights will feature this renowned composer conducting his 'St Luke Passion' in Canterbury Cathedral. He will also participate in the conference.

The conference is in association with:
The Sounds News Music Festival and The Institute of Musical Research

The conference aims to bring together scholars, composers and performers with interests in post-war Polish music. A wide range of contributions will be considered, including:

i) paper presentations (20 minutes, 10 minutes question time)
ii) lecture recitals (40 minutes to 1 hour max, incl question time)
iii) panel sessions (1 hour, with no more than 4 papers, incl question time)

The conference key-note address will be delivered by Prof Adrian Thomas (Cardiff University).

Proposals are invited on topics that address specific compositional and/or analytical aspects of individual composers, repertoires, genres, styles and performance practice. Papers that are more historical or sociological in nature are also welcome, as are those dealing with the broader contexts within which contemporary Polish music has evolved. Possible themes might include, but are not limited to:

  • Compositional practice of Polish composers, such as Penderecki, Górecki, Lutoslawski and Panufnik, among many others.
  • Polish film music
  • Jazz, popular and 'world' musics in Poland
  • Music, politics and identity in the Soviet and post-Soviet eras
  • The global influence of Polish music

The official language of the conference will be English.

The deadline for the submission of abstracts is Friday 31 October 2008. Successful contributors will be notified via email by late November 2008.

Abstracts should be submitted via email (preferably as plain text - only attachments in .rtf format will be accepted) to the conference organiser, Dr. Eva Mantzourani at: eva.mantzourani at

Postal correspondence should be addressed to: Dr. Eva Mantzourani, Department of Music, Canterbury Christ Church University, Canterbury, CT1 1QU, United Kingdom.

For updates and further details visit the conference website:

6 – 9 AUGUST 2009

An international conference to commemorate the bicentenary of Joseph Haydn’s death

This interdisciplinary conference will create an opportunity to celebrate the music of Joseph Haydn and to reflect on his legacy, influence, and reception over the past two hundred years. With a prodigious output in all of the Classical era’s main genres, Haydn has been the focus of much serious scholarship throughout his life and continuing until the present day. While there is already a wealth of extant research, the opportunity still exists to consider Haydn’s music and its reception even further. This conference will provide a forum for both internationally renowned Haydn scholars as well as emerging scholars to share their research in a lively and dynamic environment. As this is an interdisciplinary conference, the organizers welcome paper proposals from a wide range of disciplines including, but not limited to, musicology, performance practice, theatre and dance history, drama, and literature.

The programme for the conference will include evening concerts featuring the Penderecki String Quartet as well as fortepianist Malcolm Bilson. There will be four plenary speakers including James Webster (Goldwin Smith Professor of Music, Cornell University), Julian Rushton (Professor Emeritus, University of Leeds), Elaine Sisman (Anne Parsons Bender Professor of Music, Columbia University), and Sigrid T’Hooft (dramaturg, choreographer-stage director, International Opera Foundation Eszterháza, Belgium), as well as a Roundtable, and 96 conference papers. A banquet and off-campus events are also being planned.

Scholars and performers are cordially invited to submit 250-word abstracts for papers or proposals for lecture-recitals for review by the programme committee to . Conference papers of 25 minutes and 50-minute lecture-recitals will be followed by a 5-minute discussion period. Deadline for submission of proposals: Oct. 1, 2008. The official languages of the conference are English and French.

The conference organizers, Patricia Debly (Brock University) and Dorothy de Val (York University), look forward to welcoming you to this conference in August 2009.

For further information and conference updates, please see the conference website:

15 – 17 APRIL 2009

In conjunction with a rare staging of Duke Ellington’s comic opera “Queenie Pie,” the Center for American Music and the Butler School of Music at the University of Texas at Austin will be sponsoring a conference exploring the music and life of the composer. The conference will feature talks by James Lincoln Collier and John Franceschina, and attendees will be invited to the Butler School’s opening night performance of “Queenie Pie,” with Carmen Bradford singing the title role. The UT Jazz Orchestra will also present an all-Ellington concert.

Call for Papers: The conference organizers welcome submissions that address Ellington’s music, life and times from any perspective, including historical, sociological, analytical, theoretical, and performance. Papers concerning Ellington’s music for the theater and for film are especially welcomed. Proposals for round tables, lecture recitals or novel formats will also be considered. Presentations for individual papers should be approximately 30 minutes.

Deadline for Abstract Submission: submit a one-page abstract to Prof. James Buhler at jbuhler at or fax 512/471-7836. Abstracts must be received by Monday, November 3, 2008. Decision notification will be no later than Monday, December 1, 2008. The final version of selected papers must be submitted by March 15, 2009.

Further information is also available by contacting Prof. Jeff Hellmer, Director of Jazz Studies, jhellmer at


16 - 19 April 2009

The Betts Fund of the University of Oxford, and the British Institute of Organ Studies are pleased to announce the third Conference of a four-year sequence entitled The Organ in England: Its Music, Technology, and Role through the Second Millennium.

The next conference will take place from 16 to 19 April 2009 at Wadham College, Oxford and will cover the organ and its music in the late 18th and 19th centuries.

300-word proposals for 20-minute papers and lecture-recitals are welcome on any and all topics relating to the British organ in the late 18th and 19th centuries. Possible areas of enquiry are organ building, organ music, the role of the organ in church and secular locations, organs and theology, the public role of the organ, the organ as a domestic instrument, organs and voices, organ cases, music and the technology of the period, economics and organ building and/or playing and any other relevant topics. Please note that we not intending to be rigid in applying the specific dates indicated and are more interested in philosophies of organ building, music, performance etc in the general period.

Abstracts will be due by 15 December, with responses from the panel of readers by mid-to-late January.

The website will be updated soon: either follow the links from; or go to www/

For more information, please contact:

Dr Katharine Pardee, Betts Scholar in Organ Studies, Brookman Organ Scholar, Wadham College, University of Oxford, email:


The International Review of the Aesthetics and Sociology of Music (IRASM) is issuing a special CFP for the year 2009. In light of the fact that 2009 marks the 350th anniversary of the birth of Purcell, the 250th of the death of Handel, the 200th of the death of Haydn, and the 200th of the birth of Mendelssohn, the journal is particularly eager to publish articles focusing on the music (or activities) of any of these composers. All musicological perspectives are welcomed; though in keeping with the journal’s central mandate, we are particularly interested in essays focusing on the social, aesthetic, and broader philosophic significance of Purcell, Handel, Haydn, and Mendelssohn­ for their own time and for our own.

IRASM is the official journal of the Croatian Musicological Society and is published twice yearly (in June and December). For further information, contact its editor, Dr. Stanislav Tuksar at tuksar at, or at the address (or phone numbers) below:

Dr. Stanislav Tuksar, IRASM, Opaticka 18
HR-10000 Zagreb, Croatia
Telephone: +385 1 4651370, Fax: +385 1 4684701

22 – 24 MAY 2009

To commemorate the bicentenary of Haydn's death, The New Zealand School of Music will hold an international conference in Wellington, New Zealand on May 22-24, 2009. The conference is part of a year-long series of events devoted to Haydn at the New Zealand School of Music.

Keynote addresses will be delivered by W. Dean Sutcliffe (University of Auckland) and Richard Will (University of Virginia), and the conference will conclude with a roundtable discussion that will, in addition to the keynote speakers, also include Peter Walls (New Zealand Symphony Orchestra) and, as moderator, Elizabeth Hudson (NZ School of Music).

Proposals are invited for twenty-minute papers on topics related to the diverse forms of expression cultivated by Haydn and his contemporaneous and subsequent interpreters. Approaches may be historical, analytical, or critical. Possible topics include but are not limited to issues of genre and style, meaning and significance, performance practice, and reception. We will in addition consider proposals for scholarly presentations involving musical performances, which could also be given extra time. The conference will conclude with a round table discussion.

Proposals (250 words maximum), indicating A/V needs, should be sent by September 30, 2008 as e-mail attachments or by post to:

Dr. Keith Chapin, New Zealand School of Music
P.O. Box 600, Wellington 6140 New Zealand

HAYDN 2009
14 – 15 MARCH 2009

The British Library is pleased to announce a public conference to be held during the weekend of 14-15 March 2009, to mark the 200th anniversary of the death of Joseph Haydn, and organised in association with the Haydn Society of Great Britain. The event will take place in the British Library conference centre in London and the target audience is the musically educated general public.

Presentations, papers or lecture recitals on the themes 'Haydn in London', 'Haydn and the business of music', 'Haydn Iconography', and 'Haydn and Opera', are particularly invited, though submissions on any other aspect of the life and works of the composer would also be welcome. The event at the British Library is intended to be a significant contribution to the Haydn celebrations in 2009, and coincides with a series of concerts the preceding week at the King's Place, the exciting new concert venue close by, which will include Haydn symphonies and music from the operas, performed by Classical Opera (musical director, Ian Page).

Please send proposals - not more than 250 words, please - for submissions lasting no more than 30 mins to <> by 30 September 2008. Decisions will be made immediately thereafter and the results announced by 24 October 2008.

We would appreciate your bringing this announcement to the attention of those who may not otherwise see it, especially those in other disciplines who may nevertheless be interested or have potentially valuable contributions to offer.

KZOO 2009

7 – 10 MAY 2009

The program committee for Musicology at Kalamazoo (Cathy Ann Elias, Mary Wolinski, and Julia Wingo Shinnick) is pleased to announce the following sessions for the 44th International Congress on Medieval Studies, May 7-10, 2009:

  • Music, Liturgy, and Cluny: 1100 Years of Tradition
  • The Medieval Fiddle: Performance, Technology, and Repertory
  • Medieval Music: Performance and Improvisation
  • Medieval Music Theorists who Hate Each Other!
  • Medieval Music Theory and Sister Disciplines
  • Medieval Sources: From Song to Book
  • Motets in and out of Context
  • Mouvance: The Mobility of Medieval Musical Texts
  • Musical Medievalism: Now and Then

We hope many if not all of these sessions can foster some real dialogue between musicologists and scholars in other areas, so we encourage specialists in fields other than Music to submit proposals. Please keep in mind as well that we intend these session titles mostly as "hooks" on which a multitude of proposals can be placed rather than limitations, so send us your best work (as the editors of JAMS are fond of saying), even if it doesn't precisely seem to fit one of these topics--we may be able to make it work anyway, and we'll try to find a place for as many good proposals as we can.

Abstracts should be sent by 13 September to Cathy Ann Elias, program committee chair, at the address below. Electronic submissions are welcome. Please write in the subject part of the e-mail the following: KZOO 2009 (Please use my gmail account: cathy.elias at

You'll also need to complete and submit the “Participant Information Form” from the conference website, available at This is very important, not only because it is your only chance to make A-V requests, but because it is required by the Medieval Institute. Please note that the form appears at the bottom of the page. Be aware that this is a PDF document; if you don't have Adobe Acrobat (the writer, not just the reader) on your computer, you cannot save a completed form, so you'll have to print it and send it via snail-mail or fax.

If you have any questions, please contact Cathy Ann Elias. We look forward to seeing you in Kalamazoo next May.

Cathy Ann Elias (DePaul University)
Julia Wingo Shinnick (University of Louisville)
Mary Wolinski (Western Kentucky University)

7- 10 JULY 2009

National Early Music Association (NEMA) International Conference, in cooperation with University of York Music Department and the York Early Music Festival.

The starting point for this conference is NEMA’s conviction that early music singing is often historically uninformed and musically unsatisfactory. We invite contributors to consider evidence for vocal techniques and styles of the period and how such knowledge can enhance and invigorate current performances. See announcement and PDF link on NEMA’s website for further details.

The conference is expected to cover most aspects of this huge subject, including: vocal style; ornamentation; intonation; volume and auditoria; deportment; and controversial performance practice issues such as the use/extent of vibrato and lower larynx development. The focus will be on Musica Practica rather than Musica Theoretica, with illustrations, demonstrations, concerts, workshops, discussions and at least one “baroque bel canto” master class.

Proposals for contributions, together with an abstract or description, are invited. They should be submitted no later than 1 January 2009 to:

Dr. John Potter, Department of Music, University of York, Heslington,
YO10 5DD, UK (Email:-

Besides academics, the conference will attract early music enthusiasts and concert goers, as well as singers (whether professional or amateur, solo or choral). Please contact us if you are likely to attend, indicating which topics and periods you would like to see covered. This will help us to estimate attendance and shape the programme. However, no commitment will be expected until the conference fee and accommodation charges are known. To make a provisional booking email Richard Bethell of NEMA at .

16-18 JANUARY 2009

Organised by the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Research Unit of Musicology and the Alamire Foundation

In 1509, the great Renaissance composer Heinrich Isaac delivered an extraordinary series of commissioned mass-proper cycles to the cathedral chapter at Constance. In celebration of the 500th anniversary of this event, this conference aims to contextualise Isaac’s contribution to the mass-proper genre by examining polyphony for the proper of the mass in the Middle Ages and Renaissance.

Papers, of around 25 minutes, are invited on all topics relating to medieval and Renaissance polyphonic mass-proper repertories. These may include:

  • the earliest mass-proper repertories and their relationships with the beginnings of written polyphony in the West
  • source-studies (mass-propers in manuscripts and prints)
  • mass-propers and the liturgy
  • relationships between mass-propers and other sorts of liturgical music
  • analytical aspects (e.g. the treatment of pre-existent chant cantus firmi)
  • mass-propers and unwritten polyphony
  • precedents, context, and analysis of Heinrich Isaac’s mass-propers

Proposals for panel-sessions are also welcome. The preferred conference language is English, although other languages will also be considered. Abstracts, no longer than 300 words, may be submitted via email to David Burn (david.burn[at] or Stefan Gasch (stefan.gasch[at] by 15 October 2008. Notification of acceptance will be given no later than 30 November 2008.

The keynote paper will be delivered by Prof. Reinhard Strohm (University of Oxford, UK ).

A published proceedings is planned.

Programme Committee:
David Burn (KatholiekeUniversiteit Leuven, B), Stefan Gasch (Universität Wien, A), Birgit Lodes (Universität Wien, A), Christian Leitmeir ( University of Wales , Bangor , UK ), Katelijne Schilz (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Munich, D)

For further information, please email: or


An interdisciplinary symposium organised by the Centre for Research in Opera and Music Theatre and the Department of English and Drama, University of Sussex.

Samuel Beckett had a deep fascination with music. Several of his works incorporate canonical musical texts: Schubert's string quartet "Death and the Maiden" in All That Fall; the same composer's Lied "Nacht und Träume" in the TV drama the same name; Beethoven's "Ghost" Trio (op. 70) in the TV drama The Ghost Trio. In two of his radio plays, Words and Music and Cascando, Beckett engages directly with the problematic of music and language, and he supplied a text for the American composer Morton Feldman’s opera Neither. Beckett was also interested in the philosophical aesthetics of music, in particular the writings of Schopenhauer, and critics have often noted the “musicality” of his approach to writing and theatrical composition. Beckett’s works have also inspired many composers, including Luciano Berio, Geörgy Kurtág, Philip Glass, Heinz Holliger, Michael Finnissy, Roger Marsh and Richard Barrett.

This symposium will provide an opportunity to review work that has been undertaken on Beckett and music since the publication of the 1998 collection of essays Samuel Beckett and Music edited by Mary Bryden (OUP), and to extend that conversation to consider the ways in which Beckett’s engagement with music is conveyed across a range of practices and disciplines.

The symposium will also include a staged performance of Stefano Gervasoni’s short music theatre piece based on Beckett’s text “Pas si” (1998, revised 2008), and performances of other Beckett-inspired musical works.

Proposals for papers or presentations should be submitted as abstracts of no more than 300 words to by August 30 2008.

We would also welcome any proposals for performative, musical or sound works inspired by Beckett, or based on Beckett texts.

Conference Organisers: Sara Jane Bailes and Peter Boxall, Dept of English and Drama, Nicholas Till, Dept of Music.

Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Upcoming Conferences I

I'm still not sure as whether this will be useful long term but to invoke the now-innate organisational mantra of 'research facilitation' I will begin compiling fortnightly a list of upcoming conferences and various CFP.

5-7 SEPTEMBER 2008

The early nineteenth-century stage genre of melodrama, as exemplified by Pixérécourt’s mélodrames à grand spectacle, expressed the moral struggle between good and evil through the interrelationship of music, speech, gesture and tableau in scenes of high emotion. This cross-disciplinary conference (Music, Theatre, Film) is the culmination of an AHRC-funded Research Workshop exploring melodrama as a performance process and an aesthetic, and tracing the nature of its influence on later nineteenth- and early twentieth-century drama - including opera, ballet, pantomime and early sound and film recordings.

The keynote speaker will be Prof Jacqueline Waeber (Duke University). There will be a screening of the 1923 silent _Within the Law_ (dir. Frank Lloyd, starring Norma Talmadge) accompanied by Philip Carli. Routledge will be sponsoring a wine reception.

Full details, including programme, abstracts and a booking form can be found at: Conference convenors: Sarah Hibberd (Music) and Jake Smith (Film & TV Studies), University of Nottingham

Full details of the symposium schedule, contributors, local arrangements and registration process can be found via the introductory page at:


Scholars have in recent years made much of the idea of a "long nineteenth century", and have investigated the twentieth-century remnants and legacies of Victorianism, yet the impact of the Edwardian era has been largely bypassed. The aim of this interdisciplinary conference is to reassess British culture across the period from 1901 to 1936 in the light of the Edwardian inheritance. As the title of the conference suggests, we are particularly interested in considering the extent to which an attempt to "cultivate Britons" (often regarded as a distinctively Victorian endeavour) continued into, and metamorphosed during, the early twentieth century. We believe that this idea can most fruitfully be explored by bringing together scholars with research interests in early-twentieth-century British culture from disciplines including History, Literature, Music, Art History, Gender Studies, and Theology.

The Edwardian period between 1901 and 1910 has, by reason of chronological accident, frequently been treated as a discrete and unique period in the history of Britain. Framed by the death of Queen Victoria and the arms race which foreshadowed the Great War, the long-anticipated reign of Edward VII has since been conceptualized and memorialized in a variety of ways: as the last, tired gasp of ‘Victorianism’; as a prelapsarian ‘long summer’ brutally curtailed by the guns of 1914; or as an authentic experiment with an ambitiously ‘modern’ set of cultural, moral, and political values. The brief, uncoronated reign of Edward VIII is not usually discussed in the same context as that of his grandfather – partly because of its brevity, but also because of the cultural and experiential disjunction assumed to separate them. However, the striking personal similarities between these ‘playboy’ princes, as well as the air of unfulfilled potentiality associated with their respective eras present fruitful starting points for a re-evaluation of the discernible continuities and ruptures in the social and cultural life of Britain in the first three and a half decades of the twentieth century.

Booking for the interdisciplinary ‘Cultivating Britons’ conference is now open. A booking form can be downloaded from the conference website:

Delegates should note that the booking form must be returned by 29 August if lunch is required.

This is a collaborative venture between Oxford Brookes University and Royal Holloway, University of London. Further information may be found at the conference website.


10am - 5pm with concert at 6pm
An IMR Study Day in association with Gresham College

Chair: Ellen Rosand
Convenors: Alvaro Torrente (Complutense, Madrid) and Dinko Fabris (Basilicata and Salento)Speakers to include: Ellen Rosand (Yale), Wendy Heller (Princeton), Jennifer Williams-Brown (Grinnell College), Beth Glixon (Kentucky), Jonathan Glixon (Kentucky), Dinko Fabris (Basilicata and Salento), Hendrik Schulze (Heidelberg), Anna Tedesco (Palermo) and Alvaro Torrente (Complutense, Madrid)

The day will end with a concert of music by Cavalli performed by students from the Royal College of Music, directed from the violin by Adrian Butterfield. A free drinks reception will follow the concert.Further details at and To book places at the following event by emailing


Organizer: Dr Hyunseon Lee (IGRS, University of London)

Key speakers include: Sir Jonathan Miller, Prof Marcia Citron (Rice University, Houston/Texas), Prof Erika Fischer-Lichte (FU Berlin), Prof Anselm Gerhard (University Bern), Prof Hervé Lacombe (University Metz), Prof Herbert Lachmayer (Da Ponte Institute, Vienna).

Organized by the Institute of Germanic and Romance Studies in association with the Institute of Musical Research. For more information on programme and how to register please go to

MUSIC IN PURCELL'S LONDON: "Only Purcell e're shall equal Blow"

The Purcell Society and British Library are pleased to announce that booking is now open for this study day on the music of Henry Purcell and his contemporaries John Blow and Giovanni Battista Draghi. The study day marks the 300th anniversary of Blow and Draghi's deaths in 1708, and the start of a year-long celebration in the UK of the 350th anniversary of Purcell's birth (which occurred in 1658 or 1659).

Keynote speaker: Professor Sir Curtis Price, KBE

Other speakers include Rebecca Herissone, Christopher Hogwood, Peter Holman, Andrew Pinnock, Robert Thompson, Bryan White and Bruce Wood. The day will also include performances of music by Purcell, Blow and Draghi.

Tickets: £12 (£10 concessions).
For booking information and programme details please see

Study day hosted by the Purcell Society and the British Library. Further information is available from:
Dr Sandra Tuppen, Music Collections, British Library
Tel: +44 (0)20 7412 7500

4-5 DECEMBER 2008
The Byron Centre, University of Manchester

Few figures have captured the creative imagination to the extent of Lord Byron. Since the publication of the first instalment of Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage, virtually every age, nation and art-form has responded to his life and works. This conference will examine a wide range of adaptations of Byron over the past two centuries, interrogating his changing reception and considering how his poetry has been reconceived by being brought into contact with new, non-literary contexts and media.

Papers will discuss Byron in relation to, among other things: ballet, German song, Verdi, Mendelssohn, England, France, Italy, television drama and MySpace. Speakers include Shona Allen (Cologne), Bernard Beatty (Liverpool), Lorrie Corano (Missouri), Susan Rutherford (Manchester), Gilles Soubigou (Sorbonne), Michael Sinatra-Eberle (Montréal) and Stephen Zani (Lamar, Texas). The conference will also feature two lunchtime musical recitals on Byron-related themes, and a Byron dinner in Manchester’s city centre.

For further information, please contact Dr Laura Tunbridge, School of Arts, Histories and Cultures (Music), Martin Harris Centre for Music and Drama, University of Manchester, Coupland Street, Manchester, M13 9PL, UK (Laura.Tunbridge at

‘Adapting Byron’ is the inaugural conference of The Byron Centre, the University of Manchester’s new interdisciplinary study centre devoted to advancing the study of all aspects of Lord Byron: his life, writings, times, worldwide reception and international influence. Launched in 2007, the Centre offers a wealth of study opportunities at MA and PhD level in the fields of English, European and American Literature, Nineteenth-Century European Music and Italian Literature, History and Culture.

The Centre also has its own major Byron Archive, located at the historic John Rylands Deansgate Library, with substantial holdings of early editions, related publications and material from around the globe relating to Byron’s world-wide reception.

For more information about The Byron Centre, please visit our webpage (given below) or contact the Centre’s Director, Dr Alan Rawes, School of Arts, Histories and Cultures (English and American Studies), Samuel Alexander Building, University of Manchester, Manchester M19 3PL, UK (alan.rawes at

The Byron Centre:

Monday, 25 August 2008

More IAML08 and a French portal to contemporary resources

It's Bank Holiday Monday with no sun (but fortunately no rain as well) here in London and I wanted to blog a bit more about IAML08. London's overcast skies stand in stark contrast to the weather in Naples where the sun was shining every day. Having lived in London only 4 years I am continually impressed by the efficient public transportation from the Underground to network rail and the extensive bus lines whether you are going to one of the airports or just fumbling around the capital. Arriving in Naples on an Easyjet flight, plans to take a bus from the airport to the city were immediately thwarted by a sciopero or strike/industrial action (which was one of several to encumber la mia esperienza di Napoli.)

Local public transportation scioperi aside, my penchant for trying new forms of transport were rewarded by taking the funicolare (below) which climb the sides of Naples much like the cable-cars in San Francisco but instead go through tunnels up the hills of the city and are unhindered by traffic.

I particularly like this shot of the funicolare arriving into Morghen from Montesanto. (I think the driver reading the newspaper whilst in operation would be a nice job for the summer!)

Now onto one of the conference presentations: a new (French) portal to contemporary resources. Michael Fingerhut of IRCAM presented ( which was a joint venture between IRCAM, the Cdmc - (Centre de documentation de la musique contemporaine), Cité de la musique, the Conservatoire national supérieur de musique et de danse de Paris, and the Médiathèque Musicale Mahler. With the goal of creating a single portal for contemporary music, the website serves as a virtual catalogue (with facets for text, score, audio, video, biography, event, training and programme notes) as well as pulling together performance, lecture and exhibition information at the various institutions. The main interface is now available in bilingual versions of French and English.

Running a search in the interface one can initially only search by one facet (in the recherche express). Once you have a search result you can further refine by the facets listed above. Materials which are accessible from your location are denoted with a green circle. (Most files, particularly the audio and video files, are only fully accessible on-site in one of the institutions due to licensing restrictions.)

It is hoped that ongoing negotiations with rights holders societies will allow more materials to be available remotely. For now, short excerpts of audio recordings are available usually up to about 3 minutes. Once you click on the 'listen to an excerpt' (Ecoutez un extrait) - a browser like this will display:

Example of the site's embedded media player

I can get excerpts to play in IE, but have had problems with Mozilla which may be just a script issue. In any case, in spite of the time restrictions, it is nice to hear excerpts of recent premieres and other works that may not even get recorded and read the notes and thoughts of living composers' latest compositions. I hope that the powers that be at IRCAM and the various performing societies will allow a license for academic institutions outside France so that those in the EU and throughout the world can fully benefit from this digital resource.

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Back from IAML08

(Panoramic view of Naples in the shadow of Mt Vesuvius taken from the Castello Sant'Elmo high above the city.)

After spending some weeks in Italy, I'm finally back at work. It wasn't all r&r having attended the IAML08 Conference which was held in Naples, Italy this year. (IAML stands for the International Association of Music Libraries, Archives, and Documentation Centres.) Kudos to the conference's organising committee and the host Italian branch (Complimenti e mille grazie!) who pulled off one terrific conference full of interesting presentations!

The keynote speaker, Dr Luciano Scala (Regional Director for Cultural and Landscape Heritage of Campania) delivered (in Italian with Powerpoint slides in English) an amazing speech on Italian efforts to document their cultural heritage. Their efforts resulted in the digitisation of over 9.2 million music manuscripts, scores and other ephemeral objects. (

The interface operates in trilingual versions (English, French and Spanish). Here one can access (some for the very first time) manuscripts of Paisiello, Puccini and Verdi to name a few. Many can be downloaded albeit with reduced dpi. If needed for publication one can pay for high resolution. I can only imagine that researchers who did not want to have to travel all the way to tiny monasteries and dusty archives will be as struck as many of the conference delegates at what the Italians have truly achieved here!

One of the 9.2 million digital objects from the database. Here you can read in his own hand writing, Puccini sending a telegram the day after the premiere of the second revision of Madama Butterfly in Brescia describing what a 'complete triumph, 7 encores and being called up [to the stage] 30 times' (Biblioteca Statale di Lucca - ms. 3699/59)

The interface also serves as a union catalogue (SBN) amongst the institutions but I think there are some other e-resources (which I'll blog about later) that can do that and then some! There are digital cultural exhibitions (not just music) following on from physical exhibitions from various libraries and museums.

Certainly the Library of Congress, British Library and other national institutions have documented 'cultural memory' but this seems to stand out on its own. This is not to downplay the accomplishments of other institutions but their focus is towards an English-speaking world. It is refreshing to see an endeavour such as the one the Italians have built here operating in a pluralistic world. Certainly the musicological canon with its developments across the world at least begs us to think about it and take note.

Diving in

I went on one of Phil Bradley's Web 2.0 courses a couple years ago but am finally plunging into the waters of blogging and hopefully using this new medium to learn and hopefully inform along the way. Living on an island (albeit a fairly sizable one!), I'm often reminded that water not only isolates but can connect.
I hope that this forum will serve in that spirit.
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