Conferência internacional ‘Old is New: The Presence of the Past in the Music of the Present’


Old is New: The Presence of the Past in the Music of the Present

Lisboa, 24, 25, 26 November 2016


Old is New: The Presence of the Past in the Music of the Present is a 3-day conference aiming to discuss the subject of the legacy of the past in music. We invite composers, scholars, musicians and other performers, teachers, philosophers and interested researchers, to contribute with proposals covering the whole range of questions involved in the subject.

Any creative activity must pay dedicated attention to the information transfer that occurs between different periods. One never starts from zero, no matter what the activity is, and this is also true for music. We talk about the way the past is considered in each historical moment, extracting from it as much as one can for the understanding of the present.

Starting from the point of view of composition – which also facilitates extending the discussion into the areas of performance, teaching, and analysis, for example – this conference will bring together a wide range of perspectives about how the musical past is always a subject for consideration in recent music, even when the present seems highly innovative and different from everything that came from other historical periods.

This consideration might be expressed in many different ways, from the “neo-” movements, considered in a simplistic or sophisticated way, investing in the reformulation of past methodologies, to the most innovative and eccentric trends that base their departure from the centre on the use of the past as sustenance for their praxis, such as, for example, some retro-futuristic movements.

We encourage submissions within the following areas, although other related topics are also welcome:

Conference Themes

  • How can we creatively understand information from the past in current musical composition?
  • How have new technologies altered the nature, methodology and limits of musical creation?
  • What about the state of current organology, the invention of musical instruments and sound tools, from basic elements to cutting-edge technology?
  • Music, urban culture and networks of communication, in the context of musical sociology.
  • Unconventional and DIY approaches: composition that has subverted norms, paradigms and expectations of its age.
  • Marginalised voices: stories of contemporary music with particular characteristics that have been sidelined.
  • Questions of genre/style/idiom in the recycling strategy of some contemporary music.
  • Musical analysis as a traditional tool, facing methodological integration of musical elements from the past.
  • Alternative methodological and theoretical perspectives: researches that encourage us to look at the presence of the past in a different way.
  • Tools, techniques, instruments (etc.) which have played an important role in shaping contemporary music and its evolution from the past; also those that remain sidelined or unrecognized.
  • Aesthetic and conceptual boundaries between the musical or extra-musical elements, and the idea of sound in contemporary music.

Guidelines for Submission

The deadline for proposals of papers is Saturday, March 26, 2016 midnight EST. Notification of acceptance will be emailed to applicants until May 20, 2016.

Presentations are limited to 15 minutes in length, followed by a question period of 5 minutes.

The official language of the conference is English, but proposals in Portuguese or French will also be accepted.

Standard presentation equipment will be provided including a video projector, CD/DVD player, and stereo sound system.

Paper submission

Submissions can be made by uploading a zipped folder and providing the download link, or by direct email to oinew2016 [at]

A submission should consist of a zipped folder containing:

– The paper abstract in English, French or Portuguese (300 words maximum, including 2 to 3 keywords), headed with author name(s), organization affiliation (if any), contact address, telephone, and email address, in PDF;

– A short bio (up to 150 words), in PDF;

– A list of main publications (up to 10 entries), in PDF.

The abstract should be ready for publication if the paper is accepted. A program containing the paper abstracts will be made available during the conference website and distributed at the conference.

Submissions from students and early-career postdoctoral researchers are particularly encouraged.

Important dates

Deadline for proposals: March 26, 2016

Notification of acceptance: May 20, 2016

Early Registering (with fee reduction): June 1, 2016 until September 30, 2016

Registering: October 1, 2016 until November 23, 2016

Full schedule of the conference: October 1, 2016

Conference: November 24-25-26, 2016

For any further queries, please contact us: <oinew2016 [at]>


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