Call for Papers

Musicology Research Series

Issue 4 (Spring 2018)

‘Geography, Music, Space’

In January 2017, Durham University hosted a one-day conference in association with the Institute of Musical Research titled Geography, Music, Space. Following the successes of the conference, the organisers are calling for abstract submissions for a collection of chapters to be published online (in collaboration with Musicology Research). As part of the Musicology Research Series, the proposed edited volume (available as an open-access e-Journal and as online articles) will reunite some of the fields, disciplines, subjects and studies of the conference, in a volume publicly accessible in Spring 2018.  You do not have to have presented at the conference (or attended) in order to submit an abstract for the publication. This ‘Call for Papers’ reflects the original call for the conference, interrogating the following lines of enquiry:

How does music shape diverse spaces, such as an immigration detention centre, a street performance, a military wives’ choir, or a family kitchen? Is there common ground to be found between researching the chants of a protest marcher, the beats of a commuter’s headphones and a soloist’s concert hall recital? What is the role of music in the construction of space, and vice versa? How and why do we research this?

The volume will echo some of the discussions raised in conference: examining the relationship between space and how music is expressed, circulated and politicised to construct particular identities. It will also examine music at a non-representational level, with meaning emerging through affect and emotion, folded through a variety of embodied and spatially situated experiences. In short, it will consider the nuanced interplay between music and space. Thus, suggested themes to be explored may include, but are not limited to:

Music, materiality and space

– How is the materiality of music (a longitudinal wave; the materials that constitute a live performance; a recording on CD or mp3 file) significant in the construction of space?
– What does the material form that music takes bring to its circulation, governance and reception?

Music, the everyday and space

– How do the materialities of music (or the sonic) fold through the multiple spaces of the everyday?
– In which social contexts are music and space mutually constitutive (performance, work, leisure)?
– What does a privileging of music bring to understanding the everyday? What other actors should be considered?

Music, the body and space

– How are spatialized identities formed through embodied acts of music such as singing, playing, and performing?
– How does music play into the construction of gendered bodies?

Music, the political and space

– What role does music have within contested, highly politicised spaces?
– What new spaces for politics open up through the circulation of music?
– How can we conceptualise the politics of music beyond textual analysis?

Music and online space(s)

– How does music function within online spaces, online communities, and online culture?
– What connections are to be explored at the intersection between digital musicology and sociotechnology?
– What other socio-cultural roles does music play in non-geographical spaces?

Researching music and space

– What methodological challenges and interdisciplinary opportunities arise from researching music and space?
– What does it mean to ‘do’ geographies of music?

Similarly with the conference, the volume aims to bring together scholars working at the intersection of music and space, not only within the areas of musicology, ethnomusicology and geography, but also as approached from a variety of other disciplinary backgrounds (including politics, sociology, anthropology, philosophy). We especially encourage contributions from Postgraduates and Early Career Researchers.

Applications should be made in the form of a submission of an abstract (no longer than 300 words) for publication of a paper no longer than 5000 words. Applications should be made online at:
Abstracts are welcome from all prospective authors. If you did present in Durham, then abstract submissions can be the same as the conference submission. If so, it is suggested that spoken conference papers are written into 3000 – 5000 word written papers on acceptance.

All abstracts will be peer-reviewed. Candidates will be notified by the end of August of the outcome of their submission. For further information, or to make an informal enquiry, please contact Dr James Williams ( (University of Derby) who is leading this specific volume in collaboration with Samuel Horlor (Durham University). Abstracts should be submitted no later than Friday 26 May 2017.

Samuel Holor (Issue Collaborator)                      E-mail:
                                          James Williams (Publications Editor)                       E-mail:

This volume is part of the Musicology Research Series. The publication is in collaboration with Durham University. It is an extension of the Geography, Music, Space conference, hosted by Durham University and supported by the Institute of Musical Research, and Durham University's Department of Geography, Institute of Advanced Study and Centre for Academic and Researcher Development in January 2017. Find out more by visiting