CfP – Branding ‘Western Music’ – 7/8/9 September 2017 – University of Bern (Switzerland)

The three-day conference Branding ‘Western Music’ aims to foster an interdisciplinary dialogue on the intersections between Western music and the institutionalised management of culture. Whilst the entrepreneurial aspects of genres as opera or world music have been largely described, the emergence of the trademark ‘Western Music’ in relation to the commodification of leisure, the institutionalisation of academic discourses, and the politics of culture remains understudied. Particularly deserving of further attention are the ways in which international events, such as festivals, world fairs, diplomatic acts, or mass broadcasting have created possibilities for homogenisation and globalisation of a corpus of musical practices labelled as Western.

The conference seeks to analyse the extent and the repercussions of a way of thinking about the social life of music, firmly established at the turn of 20th century, that has been taken for granted and therefore neglected in research.


We invite proposals for papers addressing, but not limited to, the following themes:

– Arts management and the commodification of Western music

– Music and sociability: professional and amateur agents, societies, and institutions

– Musical industries and creative practices: individuals, mediators, consumers

– Emergence of academic disciplines: musicology and ethnomusicology

– Music and materiality: production and circulation of musical objects and devices

– Music and tourism: space and marketing

– Concert programming trends


Guest Speakers:

Prof. Dr. Annegret Fauser (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)

Prof. Dr. Timothy Taylor (University of California, Los Angeles)

Dr. David Trippett (University of Cambridge)


The languages of the conference are English and German.

Please send an abstract of no more than 300 words and a biographical note of no more than 100 words to Alberto Napoli ( by 23 November 2016. Notices of acceptance will be sent by 19 December 2016. Bursaries to cover travel expenses may be available to assist postgraduate students presenting papers.

The conference is part of the research programme of the interdisciplinary SNF-funded project: The Emergence of 20th Century ‘Musical Experience’ ( and is organised by Prof. Dr. Cristina Urchueguía, Dr. Katharina Wessely, Dr. María Cáceres-Piñuel, Salvatore Melidoro (PhD Candidate), and Alberto Napoli (PhD Candidate).


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