Call for Papers

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23rd Annual Conference of the German-Speaking Society for Music Theory (GMTH):

Music Theory & Artistic Research

University of Music Freiburg, September 22-24, 2023.

Artistic Research has been established internationally for almost thirty years both as a scientific discourse and as a multifaceted form of practice in various arts and art-related sciences. Artistic Research has led to a reexamination of the relationships between art and science, as well as their respective research concepts, methodologies, and forms of producing and disseminating knowledge. This current development is accompanied by dynamic changes in higher education policy and increasing prominence of Artistic Research at German-speaking music schools. This has led to discussions about how to adapt degree programs at the postgraduate level, as shown, for example, by the 2021 recommendations of the German Science Council (Wissenschaftsrat).

But what distinguishes Artistic Research in music from a ‘purely’ artistic practice and ‘traditional’ scientific research in music, and what is its relationship to music theory?

Music theory and Artistic Research can be seen as natural partners because music theory often exists between artistic practice, science, and pedagogy in historical, institutional, epistemological, and methodological terms, each with individual emphases. Thus, central areas of music theory are closely related to Artistic Research, since musical thinking and acting in its performativity and relation to experience can be an essential moment of music-theoretical engagement. This is, for example, the case for Ecriture/Satzlehre, improvisation, and historically informed composition and analysis, but music theory is also closely interconnected with contemporary artistic practices in new music, jazz, and popular music. Nevertheless, there is still a lack of mutual perception, exchange, and collaboration between the fields of music theory and Artistic Research regarding their content-related and methodological potentials.

The 23rd annual conference of the German-speaking Society for Music Theory (GMTH) at the University of Music Freiburg attempts to close this fundamental gap and to provide impulses for a professional discourse that deals openly, constructively, and critically – both theoretically as well as practically – with the relationship between music theory and Artistic Research as well as current higher education policy frameworks and developments.

Thematic Areas

This Call for Papers invites contributions, which discuss the following thematic areas, especially concerning the relationship between music theory & Artistic Research:

  • Philosophy of science, history of music theory as well as institutional framework and developments in music theory
  • Didactics and methodology of music theory and ear training
  • Performance studies and historically informed performance practices
  • Improvisation/improvised music practices, past and present
  • Jazz and popular music
  • New music/contemporary composition and computer music Free contributions are also welcome.


Suggested formats (time slots including time for questions and discussion):

  • Individual lecture (30 min)
  • Lecture panel (60, 90 or 120 min)
  • Lecture recital (30 or 60 as individual or 60 or 90 min as group format)
  • Workshop (60, 90 or 120 min)
  • Discussion forum (60, 90 or 120 min)
  • Project presentation (poster, installation etc.)
  • Book presentations
  • alternative individual or group formats after consultation with the conference team (please indicate suggested formats in the abstract)

The abstracts should not exceed 350 words. Abstracts for panels can have 700 words.

Conference Team

Conference team (in cooperation with the University of Music Saar): Hans Aerts, Robert Bauer, Wolfgang Drescher, Konrad Georgi, Moritz Heffter, Nathalie Meidhof, Cosima Linke, Philipp Teriete

Contact: Hans Aerts (

The conference languages are German and English.

Deadline of the Call for Papers: March 31, 2023 (Submission of contributions via the conference platform)