Friday, 5 December 2008

CFP: Bowed String Instruments in Traditional Cultures (SOAS)

20 - 22 FEBRUARY 2009


The LONDON FIDDLE CONFERENCE AT SOAS is a biennial event in a rolling programme of research seminars and performance workshops. We cover all aspects of bowed string instruments in popular culture worldwide.

DEFINITION: The violin has its origins in Central Asian bowed string instruments that have moved around the world, developing in many different ways. Because of the importance of the violin in European culture, it has been re-exported and absorbed by other cultural traditions, often alongside indigenous string instruments. We are interested in exploring fiddlesof all types, and relationships and contrasts between instruments of the violin type and indigenous bowed string instruments.

This is an open conference, open to the general public.

There will be a CONCERT AND CEILIDH SESSION on the night of Friday 20th February featuring the combined forces of the Cambridge University Ceilidh Band and the SOAS Ceilidh Band. The conference will begin on Friday afternoon 20th February with a guided tour visit to the wonderful INSTRUMENT COLLECTION at the Horniman Museum in South London.

Early arrivers may also be interested in Colin Dunne's show OUT OF TIME at the Barbican on Thursday 19 February. This presents a dancer's view of the world of Irish traditional dance.

Our research interests address the following broad themes:

- The violin beyond the Western orchestra: Papers are invited that explore the use of fiddles in European and American folk traditions, in Middle Eastern and Indian music ensembles, and in contemporary practice.

- Fiddles through the world: Papers are invited that explore the role of bowed string instruments, their diversity, and their history. We include discussion of two-string and three-string fiddles in the Middle East, East and Southeast Asia, Islamic Africa and elsewhere.

- Diffusion and development: Papers are invited that explore the organology of violins and fiddles, particularly in a cross-cultural context. We also welcome presentations that look at historical diffusion and the socio-cultural reasons why particular instrument versions have become favoured in specific cultural traditions.

- Making instruments: Papers are invited that explore instrument construction.

Makers are invited to discuss their own construction methods and developments. We also welcome presentations that demonstrate the acoustic properties of instruments.

The above list is not exclusive, and researchers are encouraged to present papers that fall outside of these topic areas.


Full Rate £30 - Day Rate £12
Concessions £10 - Day Rate £5

If you cannot afford to pay, let us know and we shall see what can be done. Note: There is no registration charge for people presenting papers and workshops.

If you wish to register to attend the conference, or wish to present a paper, please send contact details to the organiser at the address below.

Ed Emery
[Fiddle Conference]
Cambridge CB2 1RD

E-mail: ed.emery [@]

PLEASE NOTE: This weekend will also feature the Saturday Night Concert of the not-to-be-missed LONDON FIDDLE CONVENTION, to be held at Cecil Sharp House.

The London Fiddle Conference is an independent initiative organised with the collaboration of the SOAS Department of Music.


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