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Traditional Tunes and Popular Airs

Announcement - Traditional Tunes and Popular Airs: History and Transmission

A conference to be held at Cecil Sharp House, London, on 6 - 7 October 2017
Organised by the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library, EFDSS, and the Elphinstone Institute, University of Aberdeen

Researchers have long been fascinated by the recurrence of tunes in all manner of musical styles and genres, performance contexts, levels of society, historical periods, and geographical locations. But how are we to understand this phenomenon?

The topic raises intriguing questions about the ways in which music is transmitted, experienced and conceptualised. In what sense do tunes ‘recur’? Why are some termed ‘super-tunes’ (Marsh 2016)? Do some tunes possess ‘vitality of melody’ (Kidson 1907)? Where do human agency, social structure and cultural values come in?

This conference aims to bring together those working on ‘traditional’ and ‘popular’ tunes within and across the many contexts in which they have been found. We invite contributions on any aspect of the topic and welcome a broad range of perspectives and approaches, including those drawing on ethnographic research to illuminate melodic interrelationships. Contributions from newer researchers and independent researchers are welcomed.

See the full call for papers

The deadline for submission of proposals is 31 May 2017. The programme will be announced in mid-June when booking will go live.

We look forward to a vibrant discussion of this wide-ranging topic!

Julia Bishop, Laura Smyth, Elaine Bradtke and Tom McKean (organisers)
With Vic Gammon, Ian Russell, Steve Roud (programme advisory panel)