Posts Tagged ‘information-officer’

Special ‘Strategy’ Newsletter

The April 2017 Newsletter is a special issue that concentrates on the SMA’s 2017 Strategy Document. It contains the document itself and an introduction from its author, the SMA’s President Julian Horton. It is available here: SMA_newsletter_April 2017

Posted on 12th April 2017 by Shay Loya in Music Analysis, SMA No comments » Tags:

Newsletter 2015

The 2015 Newsletter is available online: SMA_newsletter_2015

You can navigate its different sections through the links in the contents page.

News about SMA members and recent publications will be available in the next post-TAGS issue, and will cover the year 2015 too.

If you would like to respond to any of the items featured here in the next Newsletter, please send your response to

Despite all care taken, mistakes are not impossible; happily they are amendable, as this is an online version. Therefore, if you spot any, please get in touch with the Information Officer, Shay Loya:

Posted on 1st February 2016 by Shay Loya in Music Analysis, SMA, Uncategorized No comments » Tags:

2015 SMA Election Results

No other candidates having come forward, I am pleased to announce that Julian Horton has been re-elected as President, and that Shay Loya has been re-elected as Information Officer.

The second of our two Student Representative positions remains unfilled, and we will hold a special election for this position in 2016. If you are interested in standing for this position, please feel free to contact SMA Vice-President Kenneth Smith ( for an informal discussion.

On behalf of the Society, please can I thank our retiring Student Representative Martin Curda for all his hard work over the past two years; we wish him well for the future.

Posted on 18th December 2015 by David Bretherton in SMA No comments » Tags:

SMA Elections 2015

Call for Candidates

Candidates are invited for the following positions on the Society for Music Analysis Committee:

  • President;
  • Information Officer;
  • Student Representative.

The elected candidates will work with the rest of the SMA Committee to represent and guide our activities over the next few years.

The President shall carry out the policies of the Executive Committee and shall chair all meetings of the Society and the Executive Committee. The President shall discharge such other duties as are customarily associated with the office, including attendance at meetings of the Editorial Board of the journal Music Analysis.

The Information Officer shall prepare the Society’s Newsletter and maintain the Society’s website; prepare publicity for the Society’s events; and take such additional steps as deemed necessary by the Executive Committee to publicise the Society’s work.

There are two SMA student representatives, and one of these posts is now due for election. Student Representatives help the committee as a whole discover what sort of workshops, seminars, conferences etc. are of interest to the next generation of scholars, and take a lead role in organising our programme of student events.

Members of the Executive Committee are expected to attend committee meetings, which take place once or twice a year, usually in conjunction with SMA events. There is also an Annual General Meeting of the Society, again timed to coincide with one of our events. Travel expenses to these meetings are reimbursed.

Terms of office commence on 1 January 2016 and are provisionally for two years,* with the possibility for re-election. Additionally, to be eligible to stand for election as a Student Representative, you should anticipate being enrolled on a university course for the duration of the term of office. Interested candidates are welcome to contact the current SMA Vice-President, Kenneth Smith, for an informal chat (

Please send all nominations and seconded nominations, along with a statement of candidature, to David Bretherton ( by 12 noon on Monday, 14 December 2015. (Self-nominations are acceptable, but all nominations must be seconded.) Statements of candidature will be circulated and the email ballot will open shortly afterwards; voting will close at 12 noon on 21 December.

In the past, SMA members have enquired as to whether current office holders intend to stand for re-election, and so (without prejudice) we report that Julian Horton intends to stand for re-election as President and that Shay Loya intends to stand for re-election as Information Officer. Martin Curda will shortly be completing his studies and therefore will not stand for re-election as a Student Representative.

* The SMA is currently seeking charitable status, which may necessitate some or all elected officers to be re-confirmed in their posts once charitable status is attained; terms of office may also be altered. The Student Representative position is unlikely to be affected.

Equal Opportunities Officer

Following discussions at KeeleMAC over the summer, the SMA is keen to create an Equal Opportunities Officer. Potential candidates and other interested parties are invited to contact our Development Officer, Helen Thomas, in order to help us define the position. Helen can be contacted at


The 2015 Autumn SMA Newsletter is being delayed until January 2016, so that results of the SMA elections may be reported therein.

The SMA Committee.

Posted on 4th December 2015 by David Bretherton in SMA No comments » Tags:



The Ninth Biennial International Conference on Music Since 1900 (ICMSN) will take place at the University of Glasgow, School of Culture and Creative Arts, from Monday 7th September to Wednesday 9th September, 2015. We invite proposals for papers on any topic relating to 20th- and 21st-century music conceived in the broadest possible terms, including sound studies and inter-media arts. We welcome all methodological approaches, and particularly encourage submissions that question disciplinary boundaries and/or propose interdisciplinary perspectives.

*PLEASE NOTE: on Sept. 7, the ICMSN conference will coincide with the first ‘Workshop’ events of the RSE-funded initiative ‘Building a British Audiovisual Research Network (BARN)’, some of which will be open to conference attendees.
Proposals in the following categories will be considered:

• Papers: 20 minutes maximum, with 10 minutes for discussion. Please submit a 250-word (maximum) abstract.
• Paper sessions: 3 or 4 papers, each of 20 minutes maximum, with 10 minutes for discussion. Please submit a 250-word (maximum) summary of the session, plus a 250-word (maximum) abstract for each session participant.
• Lecture-recitals, including lectures illustrated by sound diffusions or audio-visual screenings. Please submit a 250-word (maximum) summary, plus participant CVs and recordings/scores/other details of works to be included in the event.

We will only accept one proposal of each type per applicant. Proposals should not duplicate presentations being given at other conferences or events close in time to ICMSN 2015.

Please send your proposal as a Word attachment to, indicating whether you need any AV equipment or a piano.

Successful applicants will be informed by 1 May 2015.

Programme committee: Dr Eva Moreda Rodriguez (University of Glasgow, Chair), Dr David Code (University of Glasgow), Dr Laura Hamer (Liverpool Hope University), Dr Philippa Lovatt (University of Stirling), Dr Christopher Mark (University of Surrey), Dr Mark Percival (Queen Margaret University)

Posted on 13th February 2015 by Shay Loya in CFPs, Music Analysis, Uncategorized No comments » Tags:

September 2014 Newsletter

The September 2014 Newsletter is available online:

SMA_newsletter_Sep 2014

You can navigate its different sections through the links in the contents page.

If you would like to respond to any of the items featured here in the next Newsletter, please send your response to

Despite all care taken, mistakes are not impossible; happily they are amendable, as this is an online version. Therefore, if you spot any, please get in touch with the Information Officer, Shay Loya:

Posted on 16th September 2014 by Shay Loya in Music Analysis, Reviews, SMA No comments » Tags:

TAGS 2014 Roundtable

Anne Hyland, Julian Horton and the TAGS mascot

Facing the audience, with a bottle of wine and a mascot squirrel between them, SMA President Julian Horton and conference organizer Anne Hyland began a roundtable on the ‘future of music analysis’. This took place at Royal Holloway, on the very last session of TAGS 2014, on 3rd March. Continuing some of his arguments from the keynote address of the previous day, Professor Horton stated that he believes music theory and analysis should become core subjects in music studies in the UK, and that students should also be aware of the ethical dimensions of the discipline. The problem, of course, is how we go about achieving this. The ensuing discussion focused at first on the ethics of theory and analysis, but soon turned to the more urgent issue of the survival and growth of the discipline itself in academia. The lowering of technical proficiency requirements at A-level were identified as one central problem. However, Julian argued that (as he learned in a national meeting with teachers and civil servants) raising A-level standards would diminish the number of students studying music as an academic subject at secondary schools, and therefore the number of those applying for music courses at university. Damned if we do or if we don’t, it seems.

dscf1675So the question went back to how we may raise music literacy in primary and secondary schools. After playing a simple example of invertible counterpoint on the piano, Julian turned to us with this question: why do we not teach such basic counterpoint to 12-year-olds who are perfectly capable of absorbing mathematics at a comparable level? Well, insofar as we should, the question was rhetorical. But it was both sobering and depressing to mull over the non-academic reasons for this. A point was raised about a cultural-political agenda that unfortunately identifies technical proficiency with social elitism (somehow math is exempt from the same association). And David Bretherton has argued that Music is the only A-level subject where private instrumental-vocal tuition is built-in by default, which means that most music undergraduates almost invariably come these days from better-off families, reinforcing the image of elitism. In other words, there is an expectation that private tuition will fill the gap, and this certainly applies to counterpoint, harmony and musicianship in general. The only thing that may break this vicious circle of social elitism and educational deficiency is a fundamental change in the perception of what music skills are for, which music skills should and can be acquired, and at what age.

All we need to do now is convince the government. Good luck, everyone.

Perhaps we can try and change things in our own patch first. At present there are hardly any designated jobs for analysts, so most of us get into university positions by being able to do other things. This is fine as far as getting a foothold in academia, and as Anne reminded us (and I can concur), once one is part of an institution there is some scope to expand analysis in the curriculum, slowly but surely. But growth by stealth may not be enough. Towards the end of the discussion, Horton raised the prospect of adopting here the American model of institutionalized music theory. The argument for this is that the discipline will be protected, it will create jobs, produce students, raise the overall level, create its own prestige (which hopefully will trickle down to secondary and primary education)—and so on. Putting aside how this can be actually done in practical terms, there was some skepticism from the audience (as well as Horton himself) about this idea in principle. After all, some of our colleagues in the US routinely lament the level of undergraduate literacy. So irrespective of innovation at the highest levels, it seems that the trickling down is not working terribly well on the other side of the pond. Moreover, others have noted that institutional music theory results in more formalist and conformist work that often propagates central theories rather than critiques them.

So once again we were left with no clear answers and as much as I wished for a happy ending, the meeting and conference cadenced on a troubling note. If anyone has further thoughts about any of these issues please feel free to join the conversation and respond to this blog.

Shay Loya

Posted on 10th May 2014 by Shay Loya in Music Analysis, Reviews, SMA No comments » Tags:

Call for Papers: TAGS Conference 2014

Royal Holloway, University of London
Friday 2nd to Saturday 3rd May, 2014
Deadline for proposals: 21st March 2014
Keynote Speaker: Julian Horton (Durham University)
Student travel bursaries available

The SMA’s annual Theory and Analysis Graduate Students (TAGS) Conference will be hosted by the Department of Music, Royal Holloway, University of London (RHUL) on Friday 2nd and Saturday 3rd of May, 2014. 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 will be the SMA’s new President, Professor Julian Horton (Durham University), who will give a paper entitled ‘In Defence of Musical Analysis’.

Proposals are invited from postgraduate students for 20-minute papers, themed sessions and lecture recitals addressing any analytical, critical or theoretical subject and in relation to any style of music. We also welcome submissions in the following areas:

• Analysing a-/microtonal Music;
• 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.

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 Katie Cattell at (email size limit = 5MB). 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 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 March 2014. All those submitting proposals will be notified of the outcome by the end of March 2014. Delegates will be invited to register from lunchtime on Friday 2nd May, and the conference will run until Saturday afternoon, 3rd May. Royal Holloway is located just 20 miles West of Central London, and is easily accessed by train. Informal enquiries may be sent via email to Dr Anne Hyland at

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 Wednesday, 2 April, 2014.

Posted on 8th February 2014 by Shay Loya in CFPs, SMA, Uncategorized No comments » Tags:

Karishmeh Felfeli’s recent radio documentary

“It is not every day that documentaries about music theory in education are made, discussing matters that are highly relevant to our profession and featuring people that you may well know. This is exactly what Karishmeh Felfeli has done.” I wrote this in an email circular to members, urging them (you) to tune in or listen to the podcasts after the event. As well as being a broadcaster, Karishmeh is an insider to the world of music analysis: she is, in fact, a member of the SMA and a PhD student at University College Dublin where she studies with Julian Horton. She is therefore uniquely placed to make such a documentary, which centres on Irish tertiary education but is widely applicable to other countries, not least the UK, as you will see, or rather hear.

If, like me, you are biased against programmes about music (for obvious reasons), you will be pleasantly surprised. I exchange with Karishmeh only a couple of emails and do not know her well, so please believe my disinterestedness when I say that, in the depressing landscape of current programme making, she is a force for good. This documentary is obviously for a wider audience but it compromises nothing. It turns around notions of elitism and challenges some fashionable presumptions about accessibility exposing them for what they are – a way of keeping music theory the preserve of the few. It exposes the consumerism in higher education and raises the familiar problem of undergraduate expectations and the impoverished culture of performance studies. And as for touching on technical aspects of music (a taboo), it does what it preaches and shows what ‘accessibility’ could really be like: for example, I confess to being surprised when Schenker’s motivic parallelism (!) came up. I think it was Steven Laitz from Eastman – forgive me if I misremember – who on this occasion managed to convey it with elegant simplicity, in a way sometimes programmes of particle physics manage to somehow make complex theories widely comprehensible; and it was done as part of a wider argument about literacy (this comes towards the end of part 1. There are some excellent points made by Julian Horton as well).

What I find uplifting about this programme, then, is its anti-populist democratic spirit, if I can put it that way; the idea that like general language literacy, music literacy should really spread, as it is important in itself and beyond the world of Western classical music with which it is usually associated (there are several good arguments made about that in the second part, countering the usual trendy arguments against score-centred learning). Some may say this is Bildung repackaged, the old civilizing mission of the high bourgeoisie in a new guise. Let them. Listen and make up your own minds.

Link to the two podcasts:

Posted on 8th February 2013 by Shay Loya in Sister Organizations, Uncategorized No comments » Tags:

CFP from the journal ‘Pyschomusicology’

The journal Psychomusicology: Music, Mind and Brain encourages submissions for a special issue on the topic: “Interactions between Emotion and Cognition in Music”.

This call for papers is stimulated by the growing interest in emotion and music, and by the need to more fully consider the role of cognition in emotional responses to music as well as the influences of emotional responses on cognitive processing of music.

Scholars conducting relevant research are encouraged to submit an expression of interest before 1st of March 2013, and a full research paper by the 15th of May 2013.

For more details click here.

Posted on 7th February 2013 by Shay Loya in CFPs, Sister Organizations No comments » Tags: