April 9–11, 2024, Stockholm
Call for Papers
Istituto Italiano di Cultura, Stockholm, Sweden
This three-day conference seeks to investigate the influence of the Neue Sachlichkeit (New Objectivity) movement in music Europe during the interwar years. In fields such as architecture and visual arts its presence in many countries is well-documented. However, musicologists have mostly regarded the Neue Sachlichkeit movement as a German-centered phenomenon. This despite the fact that in the field of music – here understood broadly as including both composition, performance, and listening – the Neue Sachlichkeit had a considerable impact throughout Europe. The rejection of an antecedent Expressionistic aesthetic, the fascination for mechanical music and reproduction media (gramophone, radio), as well as the plead for an objective (non-personal) interpretation in the musical performance, were issues that resonated in many countries, although sometimes under different theoretical and terminological umbrellas. Thus, in Italy, the depreciation of the performer’s individuality took the form of neo-idealistic philosophy by Benedetto Croce, whereas in its geographic antipode Sweden, similar ideas shone forth in the neo-classic and neo-baroque techniques of young composers and in daily music criticism (which by the 1930s included aesthetically informed record reviews). The focus of this conference is on whether such events in various European countries should be framed as more or less casual occurrences during an interim period of abundant aesthetic and ideological trends and imputs, or whether one can speak of a more pervasive phenomenon of which the Neue Sachlichkeit is one of the more prominent manifestations?
This conference thus aims to address, although it is not restricted to, the following issues:
– how, and in which form, Neue Sachlichkeit landed in countries other than Germany: how did it cope with national specificities, political contexts, and/or endemic artistic and cultural movements?
– which form did the Neue Sachlichkeit take in those countries, such as Italy and Sweden, where it wasn’t preceded by a strong Expressionist movement?
– how has the term been translated into different languages, and what consequences did it have on the perception of the phenomenon within the music field?
– how did the inputs from the Neue Sachlichkeit influence aspects of musical life – styles and genres (from classical to popular music and jazz), modes of mediation (live performance, recordings, radio broadcast), and as object of discourse (aesthetic doctrines, daily criticism, etc.) – in different countries?
– Is it possible to blur national borders while talking about Neue Sachlichkeit? Can it ultimately be considered a European phenomenon?
The conference is organized by Örebro university in cooperation with the Italian Cultural Institute of Stockholm. It will be hosted at the Italian Cultural Institute of Stockholm on April 9–11, 2024.
We invite proposals for 20-minute papers to be submitted to email@example.com by October 20, 2023.
Abstracts should not exceed 300 words.
Attendance is free of charge.
Conference Committee: Prof Ulrik Volgsten (Örebro University), Dr Benedetta Zucconi (Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn / Örebro Universitet).
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