Call for Contributions: “Music in Times of Crises”, Schweizer Jahrbuch für Musikwissenschaft (SJM) 2021

For the first edition of the newly digital ‘Swiss Journal of Musicology’, the editorial team is delighted to invite contributions on the theme of “Music in Times of Crisis” as well as (non-thematic) mini-articles or presentations of work-in-progress related to current projects at Swiss research institutions.

Times and situations of crisis are an integral part of human, societal, scientific and artistic experience, exceptional yet omnipresent not only in areas plagued by hunger, war or illnesses but also within societies of excess. Crises can take on many forms and are perceived and faced in many different ways. In view of the fundamental essentiality of crises, the question of their relation to music emerges. Indeed, the basic social contingency of both allow us to affirm that music and crises stand in complex mutual relations to each other.

The concept of crisis imagined here is a broad one including global and social problems in various life-situations ranging from war, religious, economic or ecological crises, pandemics or processes of upheaval. Such global, national or local crises may be examined on macro and micro levels. Furthermore, it can include personal crises that do not necessarily stem from overriding socio-political events such as creative, psychological or health crises within or between individuals. While it appears clear that individual musicians as well as whole music scenes, practices and cultures are deeply affected by the consequences of economic, social and health crises, our central question concerns the ways in which music and crisis interact, how acoustic phenomena can express crises and how these may be perceived, composed or faced through music.

‘Music’ is also discussed in a broad rather than a narrow sense here, including all consciously and unconsciously, naturally and technically created sounds. This may comprise any composed or improvised music, ‘community musics’, sound performances or indeed acoustic phenomena of any kind, whether emerging in the context of a concert, a composition, a social setting, or existing as sounds (or soundscapes) within a natural or  social setting.

The Call for Contributions is addressed to both young scholars and established researchers. Full-length articles should not exceed 40’000 char. (incl. spaces and footnotes), while shorter contributions to be published in “Times and Perspectives” should not exceed 10’000 char. (incl. spaces and footnotes). These shorter contributions may have varying formats, for example a written, audio or visual presentation of an original historical/musical source, an artist interview or a statement about current events. Articles will be submitted to peer review.

Simultaneously the editors invite young scholars to present their work in the section “Workshop-CH” with shorter contributions containing up to 10‘000 characters (incl. spaces and footnotes), posters or other digital formats. Work in progress is welcome and the focus should be on showcasing current approaches and questions emerging at Swiss research institutions. This section is not limited by the theme of the issue.

Proposal abstracts of max. 300 words (in German, Italian, French, Romansh or English) are to be submitted to info(at) by 15 March 2021. Notification of acceptance will be given in early April 2021, and the final submission of manuscripts is due on 15 July 2021.

The Swiss Journal of Musicology is an openly accessible publication platform that aims to reflect current tendencies in international and Swiss musicological research and reach readers and researchers worldwide. In addition to the traditional areas of historical musicology, contributions from the fields of anthropology, theory and artistic research are welcome. The journal invites interdisciplinary proposals, as well as musically relevant research from other fields and encourages collaborations and perspectives that bridge several disciplines. Publication formats range from ‘classical articles’ to interviews or podcasts.