Society for Music Analysis Annual Conference (OxMAC23), Oxford University, 6-8 July 2023

Call for Papers:

The SMA is pleased to confirm dates for the Oxford Music Analysis Conference (OxMAC23), which will take place on Thursday 6 to Saturday 8 July 2023 at the Faculty of Music, University of Oxford.

We are pleased to announce the following keynote speakers, and provisional paper titles:

Professor Gurminder Kaur Bhogal (Wellesley College): Exploring Embodied Sounds and Timbres through Sikh Music Theory

Professor Arnold Whittall (Emeritus, King’s College London, and recipient of the SMA’s Pascall Prize):  Is it Enough?  Music since 1935

The OxMAC23 programme committee, as in previous years, invites papers and proposals for round table contributions on any aspect of theory or analysis, relating to music of any genre, geographical region, and historical period, and these will be considered on an equal basis to the themes referred to next.

For this event we particularly welcome contributions on two main themes, reflecting aspects of our keynote speakers’ interests and expertise:

Theme A: Music Literacies.
Contributions to Theme A could develop discourses around broadening pedagogical content of music theory teaching, and/or consider global approaches to thinking about music theory and analysis (of any musical practice, whether or not notated) and/or address any aspect of a report recently commissioned by the SMA (SMA, McQueen 2021), on perceptions of the role of music theory and analysis in a broad range of educational contexts in the UK.

Theme B: The Manchester School
The body of works left to us by the ‘Manchester School’ of composers (Birtwistle, Goehr, and Maxwell Davies) is ripe for re-evaluation with current analytical methodologies, as is the impact of the Manchester School on musical composition in Britain since the 1950s. This group’s standing and influence might also be explored in light of current views of contemporary ‘classical’ music composition and teaching.

Submission deadline for proposals: 10 March 2023, 23.59 GMT. 

Proposal categories
Papers (20 minutes maximum, with 10 minutes for discussion)

Paper sessions (three or four papers, each of 20 minutes maximum, with 10 minutes per paper for discussion)

Roundtable discussions (up to 5 participants, each giving a short position paper, followed by a general discussion, total running time of 90 minutes)

Recitals, lecture-recitals, and presentations illustrated by sound diffusions or audio-visual screenings (maximum duration 45 minutes, or longer with the agreement of the organisers, subject to timetabling)

Proposal guidelines
For individual papers: 250-word (maximum) abstract.

For paper sessions: 250-word (maximum) summary and up to 250 words for each session participant.

For roundtable discussions: 250-word (maximum) summary and up to 150 words for each panel participant.

For recitals, lecture-recitals, and presentations illustrated by sound diffusions or audio-visual screenings: 250-word (maximum) summary, plus participant CVs and recordings/scores/other details of works to be included in the event (please contact the organisers to discuss).

To aid the process of publishing abstracts we ask that proposals contain neither footnotes nor lists of references. In-text citations are acceptable. Proposals should not contain any diagrams or musical examples.

The conference is planned as an in-person event. Remote presentations will not be considered.
Submitting a proposal
One proposal of each type is permitted per applicant.

Proposals should be sent by email to and should include two separate MS Word documents:

  1. Anonymised abstract, with file name being short title of the proposal.
  2. Speaker biographical notes (max. 150 words for each speaker) including current affiliation, with file name being family name of presenter (or first presenter if more than one).

Funding opportunities
A number of SMA bursaries are available to help cover the costs of travel and accommodation. For further details and to check eligibility, see

Delegates can apply to our Development Fund Scheme to cover the cost of attending. For further details, see There is no deadline for this fund, but retrospective applications will not be considered

All enquiries should be sent to the organisers at

The conference is organised by the following committee members:

Dr Genevieve Arkle, University of Bristol

Dr Esther Cavett, University of Oxford (conference chair)

Dr Oliver Chandler, University of Oxford

Dr Timothy Coombes, University of Oxford

Prof. Jonathan Cross, University of Oxford

Prof. Nicole Grimes, UC Irvine

Mr Dylan Price, University of Oxford (conference administrator)

Prof. Kenneth Smith, University of Liverpool

Dr Chris Tarrant, University of Newcastle

Dr Yvonne Teo, Durham University (conference administrator)

Prof. Laura Tunbridge, University of Oxford

Dr Daniel Walden, Durham University