The Society for Music Theory’s 40th annual meeting is now behind us (program available here). I was pleased that the conference was held in Arlington, VA, a 30-minute drive away from my apartment in Northern Virginia.
At the risk of revealing just how many papers I did not see, (*cough*) below summarizes most of what I did at SMT. I’ve divided my experience into three categories:
- Indian classical music
- Mentorship and diversity
- Popular music
I presented at my first International Association for the Study of Popular Music conference, the biennial international one, which was held this year in Kassel, Germany at the Kulturbahnhof—the former Hauptbahnhof (main train station) of Kassel, which is now converted into an arts center—a super cool venue. (Full conference program and abstracts available here.)
The program for this conference was huge, with something like six parallel sessions running at once. I tended to favor panels that were music-theory-ish, dealt with music technology, or dealt with gender.
Now that I’m back from (lovely!!) Vancouver, I’ll reflect on my #amsmt16 experience this year.
Here are the papers I saw, with a quick summary of each and maybe a few personal notes.
The 19th Annual Graduate Students in Music conference (GSIM), for which I was a co-chair with Tom Johnson, was held this past weekend (April 22–23). The conference is entirely organized by graduate students within the department of music at the Graduate Center, CUNY.
“Music and Radicalism, Radicalism in Music” was the theme of the conference, and our keynote speaker was Jonathan Pieslak of City College of New York. (View the full schedule here.)
I live-tweeted the conference in an effort to publicize the event and the presentations via social media (#GSIM2016). It was my first attempt at live-tweeting a conference and it was quite the learning experience! The 140-character limit means that you have to distill each talk to its most essential points, which are only sometimes laid out clearly by the presenter. I tried to @ people whenever I could to include them in the digital conversation, but a surprisingly small minority of people have Twitter handles.
Here’s a best-of from #GSIM2016.
Another energizing and inspiring conference is past: Music Theory Society of New York State’s annual meeting. This year it was held at Mannes’s new campus–beautiful space. And a lot of really wonderful papers! I actually found the conference short, I think because I only saw two full sessions, and the other was a “lightning round” of short papers.
Yesterday I presented my paper, “Following Schenker’s Lead in Analysis of Stravinsky” (handout here). It was actually one of two papers in the conference about understanding Stravinsky’s neoclassicism using tools for tonal analysis–the other presenter, Sarah Iker, approached it from schema theory! I had great discussion with her afterward.
As I expected the discussion after my paper was quite lively–maybe that’s why my paper was at the end of the conference!