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Music, Performance, Architecture : Sacred Spaces as Sound Spaces between the Late Middle Ages and the Early Modern Period

11–13 December 2019
Call for Papers
International and Interdisciplinary Conference
German Historical Institute in Rome
Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, Vatican City
Deadline: 15 March 2019

Conception and Organisation: Klaus Pietschmann and Tobias Weißmann (Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz) / German Historical Intitute in Rome, Department of Music History

Expert committee: Sabine Ehrmann-Herfort, Markus Engelhardt, Teresa Gialdroni, Klaus Pietschmann and Tobias Weißmann

The compositional developments between the late Middle Ages and the early modern period were accompanied by a multifaceted change of requirements to musical performance practice, which correlated with the rite and mass piety and enduringly affected the experience of liturgy and music. The most distinctive impact of this progress is epitomised by the installation of singer balconies and organ galleries.

The planned conference focuses on the complex interrelation of music and sacred space which has so far only been investigated separately in a variety of disciplines and will concentrate on the musician’s pulpits of the early modern period. In what sense did the awarding authorities consider musical issues in designing and constructing new church buildings? Which role did architecture theorists assign to acoustics and musical performance practice? How did composers and performers react to the architectural and acoustic situation in sacred spaces? In short: How was the relationship between church music and church architecture?

The conference will explore the interdependencies between architecture, acoustics, musical performance practice in the interdisciplinary discourse between musicology, art and architecture history. 

Papers of 30 minutes each will be accepted in German, Italian and English. Interested speakers are invited to submit an abstract of their proposed paper (max. 500 words) and a short CV by 15 March 2019 to: 

klaus.pietschmann -at- 

tobias.weissmann -at-


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Dimanche 17 Mars, 2019