Sound at Play: Music, Humor, and Games (CMSC2011)

Venue: Columbia University

Location: New York, New York, United States

Event Date/Time: Mar 05, 2011 End Date/Time: Mar 05, 2011
Abstract Submission Date: Dec 15, 2010
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Call for Abstracts:

Columbia Music Scholarship Conference 2011

The Columbia Music Scholarship Conference invites graduate students and recent Ph.D. recipients to submit abstracts to be selected for presentation at our eighth annual meeting on March 5, 2011 at Columbia University. We are soliciting proposals from scholars active in all fields related to the academic study of music, as well as other areas within the humanities, social sciences, education, or science and technology studies.

We seek to seriously consider music as play. The many ways that composers, performers, intermediaries, and listeners play with music and sound allow us to examine music as a locus of humor, competition, rule, risk, pleasure, and amusement. Musical games teach us about social order early in our lives, yet musical humor is often profoundly subversive of social and cultural forms and structures. As various commercial sectors capitalize on the musically humorous, playful, and competitive, they also help produce new modes of sociability and musicality. How do humor and games influence musical activity and how does playful musicality produce the humorous? How have composers incorporated games and play into their works and how does musical humor affect cultural and economic value?

Paper topics on music, humor, and games could encompass approaches focusing on a broad range of historical periods, cultures, societies, and various forms of musical activity, including composition, performance, distribution, consumption, and mechanical reproduction. CMSC aims to produce a fruitful methodological counterpoint by representing historical, biographical, sociological, textual, philosophical, and ethnographic approaches to the study of music and sound as play.

Possible topics include, but are not limited to, the following: musical puns; timing, expectation and indeterminacy; “game pieces” and aleatoric composition; irony in music; music in computer/video games; music and sports; dance games; farce; comic opera; humor and games in musical improvisation; musical games as education; playful modes of musical sociality; cultural and economic value of the musically humorous; musical drinking games; musical play in childhood, adolescence, and among adults; subversion and competition in composition, performance, and consumption.

Proposals/Abstracts: Abstracts of 250 words, including a title, should be submitted electronically by December 15, 2010 to: Please include your name and contact information in your email only, and attach the abstract as a Word, text, or .pdf file. The committee will select papers anonymously. All scholars who submit abstracts will be notified of the committee's decision by December 22, 2011.