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Call for Proposals

The 56th Annual Conference of the Royal Musical Association will be hosted by Goldsmiths, University of London, between Tuesday 8th and Thursday 10th September 2020. The conference seeks to explore and celebrate the quality and diversity of current scholarship in music, understood in its broadest sense and represented by its many branches and global aspects. As such, the committee invites a broad range of types of proposals and seeks to represent work in musicology including popular musicology and ethnomusicology, composition and performance including sonic arts, and practice research across all disciplines. Presentations representing the full range of current international scholarly and creative research in music are invited in the following formats:

  • Individual Papers (20 minutes)
  • Themed sessions of 3–4 papers (90 minutes)
  • Lecture-recitals (30 minutes)
  • Ethnographic, Documentary and Research-related Film (30 minutes)
  • Poster presentations
  • Practice research workshops (90 minutes)
  • Compositions suitable for workshop at the conference
  • Sonic Art works

The Programme Committee welcomes proposals from both established scholars and practitioners and from early-career researchers. Any individual may submit one proposal; RMA membership is not a prerequisite for submission.

The programme committee expects individual papers to address new findings. Please state if you expect to have presented essentially the same paper on a previous occasion. The committee is happy to consider proposals for papers delivered beyond the UK and Ireland within the 12 months preceding the Annual Conference and those that have been rehearsed to local audiences (e.g. at research seminars and similar events). Papers delivered at national meetings in the UK and Ireland (e.g. at meetings of other musical societies and RMA affiliated conferences) and those delivered anywhere more than 12 months ago, however, are not eligible for consideration. In particular the committee does not accept proposals that have or will have been presented already at the BFE-RMA Research Students Conference. In addition, where very many proposals are received, preference may be shown for submissions from those who did not present papers at the last annual conference. Please enquire if in doubt.

 

Submission Procedures

All proposals must be submitted via the online proposal submission form by 5 p.m. (GMT) on Friday 15th November 2019.

Any URLs included as part of the submission process must be stable and must not expire. For example, please use services such as dropbox or google drive, and do not use services such as wetransfer. Password protected links to services such as Vimeo or SoundCloud may be submitted with the associated password.

Individual Papers, Lecture-recitals and Poster Presentations

  • Proposals must contain an abstract of not more than 250 words
  • Lecture-recitals and Poster Presentations may be accompanied by a link to supporting content (not essential)

Themed Sessions

  • Proposals must contain an abstract for the session of not more than 250 words
  • In addition, proposals must contain an outline of the session theme, format and names of proposed contributors, including brief abstracts for each paper within the session, or equivalent descriptions of content where different formats are used
    • The total length of this part of the proposal must not exceed 900 words

Ethnographic, Documentary and Research-related Film

Proposals in this category should be for 30 minute sessions in a ‘Lecture-recital’ format: i.e. film or extracts of no more than 20 minutes duration that will be introduced and contextualised by the researcher in the session

  • Proposals must contain an abstract for the research of not more than 250 words
  • In addition, proposals should contain a link to the film, an extract, or another representative work if the film is still in production
  • In exceptional cases, where extracts may not be appropriate, it may be possible to consider longer films for screening. However, please note that the schedule has little room to accommodate many such proposals. Specific questions regarding duration and format of longer film proposals should be directed to: GoldsmithsRMA2020@gold.ac.uk

Practice research workshops

Proposals in this category should be distinct from Lecture-Recitals, Compositions or Sonic Art Works. In general, it is expected that proposals in this category will include an interactive element of some kind, for example: performative workshopping involving delegates, prototype testing or making practices. The committee is particularly keen to encourage submissions in this category that would not easily fit into the calls for compositions, for example those involving jazz, improvisation or popular music practices.

  • Proposals must contain an abstract for the session of not more than 250 words
  • In addition, proposals must contain an outline of the session theme, format and names of proposed contributors, including descriptions of content and and required equipment or technical support (the usual equipment available to a music department may be assumed, although may not necessarily be available). Specific questions regarding technology and equipment for such proposals should be directed to: GoldsmithsRMA2020@gold.ac.uk
    • The total length of this part of the proposal must not exceed 900 words
    • Proposals of his type may be accompanied by a link to supporting content (not essential)

Compositions

Composition submissions are invited for workshop by the following ensemble:

  • Violin (Peter Sheppard Skaerved), Oboe (Christopher Redgate) and stereo electronics
    • Compositions may be for the duet (with or without electronics), solo violin (with or without electronics) or solo oboe (with or without electronics)
    • For reasons of practicality on the day, electronics must be restricted to stereo sound and should not require extensive set-up or preparations. Specific questions regarding technology and equipment for such proposals should be directed to: GoldsmithsRMA2020@gold.ac.uk
    • Information about the Haworth-Redgate Oboe, the unique contemporary instrument owned and performed by Christopher Redgate, can be found here: http://www.21stcenturyoboe.com

When submitting a composition proposal:

  • Works will not normally be longer than 10 minutes’ duration
  • Proposals must comprise an outline of the proposed piece (which may be an existing new piece or one yet to be completed), including its proposed forces, and a brief account of how this opportunity would benefit the composer, of not more that 250 words
  • Proposals must be accompanied by a link to a score, sketch, or representative sample work in pdf format
  • In addition, proposals may be accompanied by a link to supporting audio or video content (not essential)

Sonic Art Works

Sonic art submissions—including field recordings, acoustic compositions, and A/V works—are invited for realisation in the St James Hatcham Building using an 8.1 set-up provided by the Electronic Music Studio at Goldsmiths.

  • Works will not normally be longer than 10 minutes’ duration
  • Proposals must comprise an outline of the proposed piece (which may be an existing new piece or one yet to be completed), including its format and technological requirements, and a brief account of how this opportunity would benefit the composer, of not more than 250 words. For complex technical needs please contact the conference organisers by email: GoldsmithsRMA2020@gold.ac.uk
  • Proposals must be accompanied by a link to supporting audio or video content (that may be a stereo reduction of the proposed work, a sketch, or a representative work)

Selection Procedures

  • Proposals for individual papers, lecture-recitals and poster presentations will be selected anonymously by the programme committee on the basis of the quality of the research proposal, including its aims and objectives, methodology, original contribution, and the significance of the research findings.
  • Proposals for compositions, sonic art works and ethnographic, documentary and research-related film will be selected by the programme committee with support from the Contemporary Music Research Unit, the Unit for Sound Practice Research and the research group for Music and Ethnographic film respectively, on the basis of the quality of the research proposal and the artistic practice.
  • Proposals for themed sessions and practice research proposals will be selected by the programme committee on the basis of the quality of the research proposals, including the aims and objectives, methodology, original contribution, and the significance of the research findings for each individual contribution, and also the coherence and planning of the session as a whole. The committee is particularly keen to encourage themed sessions that relate to the RMA’s study groups and sibling organisations concerned with research in music and related areas. Note that, in order to encourage the participation of speakers representing the full range of research in music, the programme committee may actively solicit proposals for themed sessions.
  • Where appropriate, the feasibility of practical elements of research proposals and the availability of technological support and equipment may also be considered as part of the decision-making process.
  • Where the number of proposals fulfilling the selection criteria is very high, preference may be shown for submissions from those who did not present papers at the last annual conference. The capacity of papers to fit within coherently themed conference sessions may also be taken into account.
  • The Programme Committee intends to notify proposal submitters of its decisions by Friday 7th February 2020. Those selected will be asked to confirm their acceptance and may make revisions to their abstract at this stage.

Presentation Resources

All conference sessions will be hosted in rooms equipped with data projectors, computers and laptop connections.

Please specify in your proposal if you require a piano for your presentation. For more complex technical needs please contact the conference organisers by email: GoldsmithsRMA2020@gold.ac.uk

Programme Committee

  • Dr Lauren Redhead (Goldsmiths)
  • Professor Tom Perchard (Goldsmiths)
  • Dr Tamsin Alexander (Goldsmiths)
  • Professor Roger Redgate (Goldsmiths)
  • Dr Michelle Assay (RMA)
  • Dr Warwick Edwards (RMA)
  • Professor Magnus Williamson (Newcastle)

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