Archive for January, 2016

Introducing the SMA Video Podcasts

2016 sees a new venture for the SMA. Over the past year we have been busy developing a series of videos, driven by the aim to help widen participation in our discipline. Each episode provides an introduction to a different application of, or approach to analysis; this could range from elucidating a particular theory or analytical method to demonstrating how close analysis can inform broader historical, ideological or socio-cultural arguments. We hope the videos will provide an accessible route into analysis for anyone from teachers and lecturers looking for engaging pedagogical resources to individuals such as performers, musicologists, students or amateur musicians seeking tools to gain a deeper appreciation of musical texts.

Series 1 explores the relationship between analysis and other avenues of music scholarship, offering examples of the kinds of questions that can be raised and answered with analysis. In episode one, Julian Horton demonstrates how the close analysis of a work can inform our understanding of its historical value, taking as his case study Brahms’ First Symphony and its relationship to the broader development of the symphony in the nineteenth century. Allan Moore confronts the challenge of working with recordings as texts, analysing texture, timbre and the ‘sound box’ in tracks by The Beatles, The Police, Leona Lewis and Snow Patrol. Anne Hyland illustrates how formal and harmonic mechanisms can play on our perception of the passing of time, identifying retrospective or recollective techniques in the music of Schubert. And in the final episode of the series, Kenneth Smith (pictured next to the piano) uses his analysis to make connections between the music of Skryabin and the cultural, philosophical and psychological ideas that were in common currency at the time of composition.

Producing this series would not have been possible without the generous help and support of many people. First and foremost our speakers, who gave their time and knowledge free of charge and whose input was invaluable in creating a style of presentation that felt more like an intimate tutorial than a formal lecture; our crew, Neil Neenan (director), Jason Creasey (sound) and Max Brill (cameras and lighting), whose expertise and dedication shines through in the sleekness and professionalism of the videos; the Music Department at the University of Surrey, who allowed us to film for two days in their studios; and our colleagues in the SMA and on the Music Analysis editorial board, who helped to firm up the aims and outcomes of the project. Kenneth Smith, who oversaw the project as Executive Producer, and Shay Loya have been especially central to developing and realising the project. We hope that this collaborative effort will bear fruit in a rich resource for students, teachers and researchers, and become a staple and valued part of the SMA’s activities.

Episode one is scheduled for release in February 2016; all subsequent episodes will then appear monthly. The videos will be hosted on the SMA website along with supplementary content such as reading lists, diagrams, scores and playlists, and will also be available to stream on Vimeo and YouTube. Please keep an eye out for emails from the SMA Information Officer, Shay Loya, with details about new episodes or subscribe to our Vimeo and YouTube feeds to keep informed about new releases. We will be charting the reach, impact and application of the videos in teaching and learning during and after the launch of each episode. If you would like to participate in a feedback group or provide individual constructive comments on the first series then please email Helen Thomas at

We also hope to broaden our net in future episodes and are open to suggestion for suitable topics and themes to tackle. If you have any ideas about what you’d like us to cover, please get in touch at

Kirstie Hewlett (Producer)
Helen Thomas (Production Coordinator / SMA Membership Development Officer)

Posted on 24th January 2016 by Shay Loya in Videos No comments » Tags:

Call for Papers: TAGS Conference 2016

University of Liverpool in London,
33 Finsbury Square,  London EC2A 1AG
Saturday 2nd to Sunday 3rd April, 2016

Deadline for proposals: 21st February 2016
Keynote Speaker: Dr Emily Howard (RNCM; University of Liverpool)

The SMA’s annual Theory and Analysis Graduate Students (TAGS) Conference will be hosted by the University of Liverpool in London, in their Finsbury Square Campus on Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd of April, 2016. The event provides a supportive and friendly environment in which postgraduates can gain experience in presenting their work and meet fellow researchers. Participants who do not wish to give a paper are also very welcome.

Our keynote speaker, Dr Emily Howard is a senior lecturer in composition at the Royal Northern College of Music and Leverhulme Artist in Residence at the University of Liverpool, where she is also a Senior Visiting Fellow. In our TAGS 2016 conference, the SMA particularly invite papers from postgraduate students exploring the intersections between analysis and contemporary compositional processes, but  proposals are invited for 20-minute papers, themed sessions and lecture recitals addressing any analytical, critical or theoretical subject and in relation to any style of music. This includes:

•         Analysing non-Western Musics;

•         Performance as Analysis / Analysis as Performance;

•         Analysis, Philosophy, and Critical Theory;

•         Intersections between History, Theory, and Analysis;

•         Analysing Popular Music and Improvisation;

•         Music Perception and Cognition;

•         Empirical Approaches to Music

•         Analysing a-/microtonal Music;

•         Themed sessions focusing on the analysis of a particular work(s), or on specific arrangements or transcriptions are also welcomed.

For 20-minute paper proposals, abstracts of no more than 250 words should be sent by email to Rebecca Day at Please include name, affiliation, postal address, email address, and AV requirements on a separate cover sheet (Ms Word or PDF). Organisers of themed sessions should submit a brief overview together with the individual abstracts. Proposals for lecture recitals / composition performances should include full details of the proposed performance and any relevant requirements in their cover sheet.

The closing date for receipt of proposals is 21st February 2016. All those submitting proposals will be notified of the outcome by the beginning of March 2016. Delegates will be invited to register from lunchtime on Saturday 2nd April, and the conference will run until Sunday afternoon, 3rd April. For information about travel to University of Liverpool’s London campus:

If you are presenting a paper you will be eligible to apply for an SMA Student Travel Bursary to help cover the costs of travel and accommodation (B&B accommodation will be available near campus). Further details can be found here; please note that the deadline for applications for bursaries is 2 April, 2016.

Posted on 23rd January 2016 by Shay Loya in Uncategorized No comments »

Call for Participants: Music Analysis Workshop

Saturday 27th February 2016
Senate House, Univeristy of London
Deadline: 12th February 2016

The Society for Music Analysis is launching its second Music Analysis Workshop, to be held in Senate House (the central London base of Royal Holloway, University of London) on Saturday 27th February 2016 from 10am to 5.30pm. Following the success of the inaugural workshop in 2014, this event aims to not only build participants’ analytical skills through interactive introductions to selected methodologies, but to also go on to demonstrate some of the ways in which these skills might be used to construct arguments that are broadly informed by (critical) theory.

The workshop is designed to benefit graduate students of any level who might want to learn more about a particular analytic method, practice analytical skills in a friendly environment, or who might be interested to discover ways in which analysis might be used as a tool to supplement broader research questions. Challenging negative preconceptions, it aims to make both analytical methodologies and their hermeneutic applications more accessible to anyone interested in enriching their interpretations of musical works.

The event consists of two interactive workshops, lasting two hours each where the first half develops analytical skills and the second considers the wider application of these skills from a broader theoretical perspective. The workshops will be lead by Professor Julian Horton (Durham University) who will introduce recent developments in the theory of form in relation to nineteenth-century sonata forms, and Dr Kenneth Smith (The University of Liverpool), who will speak on neo-Riemannian theoretic approaches from the perspective of Deleuzian theory.

The day will be concluded by a ‘wrap-up’ session that will reflect upon the event as a whole in a summary that aims to further consider the larger questions and problems that arise when using, applying, and interpreting analysis in the current musicological climate.

Call for participants

Expressions of interest are to be sent to Rebecca Day ( by Friday 12th February 2016.

You do not have to be a member of the SMA but members will be eligible for travel bursaries. For information on membership fees see Information on bursaries can be found in

Posted on 12th January 2016 by Shay Loya in Music Analysis, SMA No comments »