NCMM 2023 : NOVA Contemporary Music Meeting 2023 - Listen to today's music
Call For Papers
Nova Contemporary Music Meeting (NCMM) is a biennial, 3-day international conference focused on a variety of questions relating to music since the beginning of the 20th century.
Music today is more diverse than ever. The variety of genres, practices, techniques, technologies, systems of dissemination and forms of reception, brings to a new context in which the foundation of previous assumptions is shaken, and new paradigms are emerging. Music from the past, as well as from the present, is now omnipresent in our society, from the concert hall to the museum, from the media to public spaces, to private listening with headphones. As a result of each one of these and other situations, studying music is now challenging and depends on a multiplicity of artistic and scientific domains.
In this context, NCMM was conceived as a contribution to the development of multidisciplinary and collaborative research in the field of contemporary music, and it consists in a research meeting that bring together researchers, musicologists, composers and performers, working with a diversity of areas related to contemporary music. With a special focus on the articulation between musical practices and research activities, whether theoretical or practice-based, NCMM intends to respond to the current challenges of contemporary music, in its artistic and research practices, offering a platform for proposing, discussing and disseminating knowledge in a variety of fields.
Each edition will focus on a special main subject, but NCMM will also be open to other topics.
Call for papers
Listening to today’s music
This year NCMM will focus on the broad theme of listening to music and its related aspects.
From the concert hall to the museum, from the street to private spaces, from live contexts to listening to recordings, from television to streaming systems, listening to music is today a subject that deserves our attention.
Despite the multiplicity of musical genres and the plurality of sound art practices, to discuss listening to music is essential since sound, music and noise are all around us, define our environment, and impact on our daily life. The 2020 UNESCO resolution said that music “helps to develop cognitive performance [...] boosts learning and memorization capacity, and contributes to the acquisition of other skills”. Listeners today face a turbulent sonic ecosystem: today’s music practices can be challenging, the musical landscape is saturated with many different streams and listening possibilities.
To consider today’s musical listening opens up the discussion towards new media, the context, the different musical genres and aesthetics, but also to social and political issues, environmental concerns, and cognitive abilities.
On the one hand, the passive acceptance of uniformity, the lack of concentration, the avoidance of complexity, the cultural isolation, and the shortage of active participation are just some of the problems that concern how we listen to music today as well as how we relate to our environments more generally. World Health Organization estimates that more than one billion young people are at risk for hearing loss due to exposure to music being played too loud on personal audio devices and at entertainment venues and our wider sonic environment is itself stressful. How does the omnipresence of sound affect our attention and listening abilities? How can sound and music be considered as pollution? How can the emergent field of sound ecology deal with these problems? What is the role of music in today’s sonic ecosystem, and how can music listening have an impact on society?
On the other hand, composers and interpreters are more and more interested in listening to their pieces or performances. If during the second half of 20th century the space becomes an integral musical parameter (Stockhausen, Xenakis, Lucier and so many others), the perceptual and cognitive potential of music pieces is today the new parameter to explore. How much does listening influence the creative processes? Could new listening modalities enhance the approach to the music of the past?
Within a performative perspective, today we assist more and more with new listening situations. Actively participating to music events and multisensory performances, audiences and performers are today more and more engaged with innovative auditory experiences which includes multimodal, virtual and immersive listening experiences. How do the listening modalities impact on the appreciation of a musical piece? How much is the listening process affected, or otherwise constrained, by the listening context? What is the role of music listening in a museum exhibition, a sound installation, or sound art event? What is the purpose and the potential of listening to music in public/open spaces?
It is within the context of this complex problem that we encourage composers, musicologists, performers, teachers, philosophers and other researchers to present proposals covering the whole range of questions involved in this subject. Students, post-doctoral, and early-career researchers are particularly encouraged.
NCMM permanent themes:
The conference is open to other topics related to contemporary music studies and practices. Thus, we encourage the submission of papers related to any aspects of the field, including, but not limited to, composition, music and technology, auditory perception, music history, analysis and theory, musical genres and practices, as well as cultural issues.
1. Musical composition practices, performance and reception:
a. Composition techniques and technologies, including new instruments and unconventional tools and means.
b. Real time composition and interactive music, including live coding, electronic, interactive and computer music.
c. Collaborative composition, free improvisations and open composition.
d. Practice-based research in music, including composition, performance and collaborative musical activities.
2. Music history, theory and analysis:
a. What are the challenges of contemporary music for musical analysis and history?
b. What new paradigms, theories and techniques are emerging?
c. What balance is there/should there be between theory and practice in general and specific musicological methodologies?
d. Does contemporary music need new techniques, methodologies and specifically designed tools, or is what already exists sufficient?
3. Philosophy of music and aesthetics:
a. What philosophical points of view can be brought to bear on aesthetic and technical transformations in contemporary music?
b. What of epistemology, semiotics and phenomenological studies of contemporary music?
4. Musicology, intertextuality and authenticity:
a. How to discuss intertextuality and authenticity in the context of contemporary music, and what issues should be considered.
b. What about critical, systematic and empirical musicological methodologies and practices in contemporary music?
5. Auditory perception and cognition:
a. Issues of music cognition, semiotics and the experience of contemporary music
b. How to study the relationship between the composer’s intentions and the perceptual experience of music.
6. Musical sound transcription, representation and music notation:
a. What new questions does contemporary music raise in terms of transcription, representation and music notation?
b. New tools and methods of transcription and representation of sound.
c. How and which musical sound representations can become tools for musical art creation and research.
7. Sound technologies and the music industry:
a. Genres and diversity of style.
b. The influence of industry and technology on musical aesthetics.
c. Broadcasting and sampling: repetition and variation as a means to become a musical hit.
d. Popular music and other contemporary arts in relation to music
e. What musical issues do internet communities, group compositions and telematics raise?
8. Music and image:
a. What of music and “moving images” on TV, cinema, Internet and other kinds of multimedia?
b. What of the musicological challenges of music for video games?
9. Sound art, installations and exhibitions:
a. What musicological discourse can there be for music outside the concert hall?
b. How and why study sound art and music/sound installations in a musicological context?
c. What can be the role of music in museum exhibitions?
10. Soundscape, sound ecology:
a. How, and with what terminology, can one discuss soundscapes and sound ecology in a musical domain?
b. Virtual auditory space creation, sound ecology and sonification.
11. Documentation and preservation of musical heritage:
a. What problems concerning the preservations and documentation of contemporary music works?
b. How and why is the performability of some contemporary music works challenging and sometimes not viable?
12. Music and emergent cultures and societies, cultural heritage and inclusive societies:
a. Anthropology, cultural and cross-cultural studies in contemporary music.
b. Questions of diversity, plurality, multicultural resources, hybridization, and local music in a globalized world.
c. What problems arise concerning music criticism, the sociology of music and culture?
Guidelines for Submission
The deadline for submission of paper proposals is Sunday, 15th January 2023 midnight EST. Notification of acceptance will be emailed to applicants by 15 February 2021.
A submission should consist of a PDF document containing:
• The paper abstract in English (500 words maximum, including 2 to 3 keywords), headed only by a title;
• In the same PDF but different pages:
o The author’s name(s), organizational affiliation (if any), contact address, telephone, and email address;
o A short biography (up to 150 words);
o A list of main publications (up to 10 entries).
The abstract proposal should be submitted through EasyChair platform at: https://easychair.org/conferences/?conf=ncmm23
To send a proposal you must have an account with EasyChair. If you do not have one, you can register yourself at https://easychair.org/account/signin .
For submission issues email to: ncmm[at]fcsh.unl.pt
The abstract as well as the short biography should be ready for publication if the paper is accepted. A programme containing the paper abstracts and biographies will be published on the NCMM website http://fabricadesites.fcsh.unl.pt/ncmm/ncmm-2023/ and made available at the conference.
Submissions from students and early-career postdoctoral researchers are particularly encouraged.
Paper presentation guidelines:
• Each paper presentation will be 20 minutes (including a 5 minute debate).
Papers are to be given in English.
• Standard presentation equipment will be provided including a video projector and stereo sound system. Please bring your own VGA or HDMI connector, as well as a mini-jack output adaptor if it is not included on your device.
• A computer will be available in the conference rooms.
Accepted papers will be presented at NCMM2023 and published in a Nova Contemporary Music Journal issue dedicated to the Conference Proceedings.
For any further queries, please contact us: ncmm[at]fcsh.unl.pt