Call For Papers: Practice Research in 21st Century Music

Saturday 20th May 2023

The 21st Century Music Practice Research Network’s 2023 One Day Conference on Saturday 20th May 2023 at the University of West London, St. Mary’s Road, Ealing, London W5 5RF

The C21MP network is relaunching its ‘in-person’ events with a one day conference looking for common themes in pedagogy and practice research in performance, composition, record production, music technology, music business and arts administration.

The format of the conference is slightly unusual in that is inspired by the format of the ‘flipped classroom’:

  • Themed panels involve three ‘presenters’ and a discussant / moderator. Presenters must be able to attend in person on Saturday 20th May 2023.
  • Each presenter produces a 20 minute video of their presentation in advance of the conference which are available online for attendees (and the public) two weeks in advance. All presenters and moderators must watch all three videos in advance of their ‘in person’ session.
  • During the session, each presenter gives a five minute summary / abstract which is followed by 75 minutes of discussion between the four panellists and with audience involvement, led by the discussant / moderator
  • Presentations can involve practical demonstration, musical examples and performance but must address a research question and point towards or provide answers / new knowledge

300 word abstracts using the format outlined below should be submitted to 2023conference@c21mp.org by 5pm GMT on 10th Feb 2023 and selected abstracts will be notified by 20th March 2023.

Selected abstracts will submit 20 minute videos by 5pm GMT on Friday 5th May 2023

Proceedings will be published on the website

Also – selected presentations will be invited to submit to a new C21MP Video Journal on Practice Research in Music

There will be eight panels based on the following:

Conference Themes

  1. Music technology – How is the relationship between technology and music practice shifting in the 21st century? How does this relationship alter the agency and/or creativity of music makers?
  2. Creative entrepreneurship – What does creative (music) entrepreneurship mean in the 21st century? What new approaches to practice and forms of analysis are emerging, including considerations of social media and digital dissemination?
  3. Composition and song writing – How have composition, song writing and arranging changed since the proliferation of technological tools in recording, and writing music? What are the tensions between originality and external influences (genre, commerciality etc) in contemporary song writing and composition?
  4. Workflows and tools – What influence do our workflow and/or the tools we use have on our ways of thinking about or ‘doing’ music? How do musical tools (instruments, notation, DAWs etc) embody and create representations of music, musicking and musical thought? 
  5. Methodology and practice – How can we demonstrate rigour in practice research? What are your methods of documentation and analysis for researching aesthetics and process through your practice?
  6. Collaboration – How do different forms of collaboration impact music practice and research? How have 21st Century innovations affected different ways of ‘doing’ collaborative work?
  7. Pedagogy – How should we find a balance between training and education? What new approaches, methods and theories are being used in practice education? How are community development and entrepreneurial skills being embedded in practice pedagogy?
  8. Performance – How are approaches to performance (in concert, in the studio and elsewhere) changing in the 21st Century? How are real time sound making activities being influenced by and combined with real time manipulation and editorial processes?

Abstract Format

Your abstract will be assessed on the following criteria:

  • You have clearly identified the theme / panel you wish to be considered for and why.
  • There is a clear research question or problem and an explanation of how it might produce new knowledge or understanding
  • The abstract provides a clear idea of the form your presentation will take.
  • It is clear how this presentation will contribute towards a meaningful discussion of the theme.

Seven Practice-Research Online Symposia – Summer 2020

Session 1: Deductive and Inductive Working Methods

This is a call for audio or audio-visual work which explores this practice-research theme in some way. The work will be presented online through YouTube and the C21MP.org website and additionally promoted through the IASPM UK & Ireland online conference hosted by the University of West London this summer. Discussion of the pieces (and/or practice-based responses) will also be presented through the C21MP.org website. The work can be in any style (from the highly commercial to the highly experimental) and be any combination of vocal, acoustic, electrical and electronic. It has, of course, to illuminate the theme and can include:

  • Performance
  • Composition
  • Studio Recording
  • Sound to Picture work
  • Pieces for Radio
  • Sound Art

The only format limitation is that the submission needs to capture or represent the work in the form of a video – although that can include a static image with an audio soundtrack – which must be under 20 minutes in length.

Works can take any form, from being a purely musical or sound art piece to fragments interspersed with explanations – or anywhere else your imagination takes you. They may be completed pieces or incomplete ideas / works in progress. As long as you are the copyright owner and/or can give permission for them to be presented online, they may be pieces created since the start of the 21st century or pieces specially created for these ‘events’. You will maintain full rights and ownership over any submissions. The idea is to explore and stimulate ideas about how music and sound art is created and communicated. There is no fee and no limit to the number of submissions per person. Submissions will be subject to peer review.

1. Deductive and Inductive Working Methods

One of the key distinctions in scientific research methods is between deduction and induction: between the ‘top-down’ process of starting with an hypothesis and designing experiments to prove or disprove it and the ‘bottom-up’ process of looking at some data and trying to extrapolate some meaning or hypothesis from it. What are the processes that are parallel to this in musical/sonic creativity? If conceptual systems like serialism or sonification can be seen as kinds of aesthetic hypotheses with pieces being either ‘proof’ or ‘disproof’ of their aesthetic worth, isn’t all musical activity based on a conceptual system? But isn’t the process of listening always an inductive process of extrapolating ‘meaning’ from someone else’s musical or sonic ‘data’? How do these ‘top-down’ deductive and ‘bottom-up’ inductive ways of thinking affect our approaches to making and listening to music?

The deadline for submissions to this session is 24th April 2020. Please upload your video to YouTube, Vimeo or a similar media hosting site and send the URL link or HTML embed code to admin@c21mp.org along with your name, institutional affiliation (if any) and a short description of the work and how it relates to the theme (under 50 words). 

There will be six other calls with different themes every two weeks during the summer. This session will start on the 27th April 2020 and the comments, questions and responses will be open for 14 days. After that they will be locked but still remain available for view.

Go to later pages (click below) for details of past events