bandeau_actu musicologie

édition de jeudi 1er décembre 2022 —

Listening to today’s music

3-5 May 2023, Lisbon

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.

Main Topic

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.

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 2023.

A submission should consist of a PDF document containing

only by a title;

The abstract proposal should be submitted through EasyChair platform

To send a proposal you must have an account with EasyChair. If you do not have one, you can register yourself

For submission issues email to: ncmm[at]  

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 websiteand made available at the conference.

Submissions from students and early-career postdoctoral researchers are particularly encouraged.

Paper presentation guidelines


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]



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Mercredi 30 Novembre, 2022