Latest news

The Arnold Schoenberg Center in Vienna decided to give Avior Byron the Avenir Foundation Research Grant for a one month research trip in Vienna in order to work on two books that he is writing.  

Subscribe to

Enter your email and press the 'Subscribe' button to receive blog posts via email:


Subscribe via RSS

What is RSS?

Follow @avior on Twitter

People reading Bymusic now

We have 4 guests online

Translate this page now

Who is Behind

Avior Byron

My name is Avior Byron and I am a musicologist, blogger and composer. I write books, articles and a blog about music, performance, research, and theory. Read more at my about page

What next?

 Subscribe to the Blog

Click here to add site to your favorites

What I'm doing just now


What is THE best way to find scholarships?

The Embodiment of Authority: Perspectives on Performances

Uri Golomb called me two weeks ago and told me that he is flying to give a paper in a conference in Helsinki. I was very happy for him, but them he told me that also I am on the program. I had no idea what he was talking about. This says volumes about my memory (I have sent a proposal and forgot about it) and about my email account (did the three emails go into my spam mail or did I simply miss all of them?!).

So if you are heading to Helsinki I will be very glad to meet you!

Here is some information about the conference so that you can consider whether you want to come:


"Performance’s only life is the present. Performance cannot be saved, recorded, documented, or otherwise participate in the circulation of representation of representations [···]."

Peggy Phelan’s statement from the early 90s, slightly surprisingly reflecting Hegel’s aesthetics, emphasises the definitive "live" quality of performance as its ontology. Interestingly, both the concept of "live" and the diverse authorships around "saving", "recording", "documenting" and "representing" have recently been problematised in the versatile field of performance studies. In the current mediated world it seems to be more and more relevant to ask how far the ephemeral moment of the "present" actually reaches. How does one generate, define and redefine performance through the complex act of "documenting" - through recording, replaying, observing, theorising, writing and remembering? If the (hierarchical) difference between the "original" and the "representation" still casts a shadow on the study of performance, how, why and in whose interests does it have to be there?

The Embodiment of Authority Conference will be part of the recently formed international network of innovative discussion on the study of performance in the arts. One of the key aims is to look for common denominators, to link different trends in an area that seems to be developing into a major field of research in many countries. The social practices of performing, rehearsing, documenting and theorising, as well as the deconstruction of the creative process in performance, lie at the very heart of the conference.

For more information see

Here is the program draft of the conference:

Call for papers: Israel Musicology Society, 4-5 July, 2010

האיגוד הישראלי למוסיקולוגיה

הכנס השנתי  5-4 ביולי, 2010

קול קורא

הכנס השנתי של האיגוד הישראלי למוסיקולוגיה יתקיים בימים א’-ב’, 5-4 ביולי, באולם נבון באקדמיה למוסיקה ולמחול בירושלים ×‘קמפוס גבעת-רם

הכנס יכלול את המושבים הבאים:

1)      מוסיקה יהודית – מוקדש לזכר פרופ’ ישראל אדלר

2)      מוסיקה ישראלית אמנותית – מוקדש לזכר פרופ’ יוסף טל

3)      ניתוח מוסיקה טונלית – מוקדש לזכר ד"ר ארז רפופורט

4)      חקר הביצוע המוסיקלי

5)      חקר החינוך המוסיקלי

6)      מושבים פתוחים

להלן פירוט מסגרות ההצגה:
  1.             מושב הרצאות (Paper Session) – משך כל הרצאה לא יעלה על 20 דקות, בתוספת 10 דק’ לדיון ושאלות.
  2.             דיון קבוצתי (Panel Session)

תקצירים של הצעות (עד 250 מילים) יש לשלוח בדוא"ל אל:

ד"ר בלה ברובר-לובובסקי This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it , ד"ר רבקה אלקושי  This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it  

מועד אחרון להגשת הצעות: 5 במאי 2010.

פרס להרצאה מצטיינת של סטודנט/ית:

במטרה לעודד השתתפות של סטודנטים (עד 3 שנים מסיום הדוקטורט), מכריז האיגוד על הענקת פרס להרצאה המצטיינת בתחום המוסיקולוגיה או חקר החינוך המוסיקלי. . זהות מקבל הפרס תימסר במושב הנעילה של הכנס, ונוסח ההרצאה המצטיינת יפורסם ב"מנעד."

על סטודנטים המבקשים להציג את מועמדותם להגיש את הנוסח הסופי של הרצאתם לא יאוחר מה-15.06.2010.


תערוכת פרסומים:

גם השנה נקיים תערוכת פרסומים חדשים של חברי האיגוד – ספרים, מאמרים, פרוספקטים של ספרים שהתקבלו להוצאה וחומרים במדיה אלקטרוניים. על המעוניינים להציג את עבודתם להביאה עמם לכנס, שם תוצג בדוכן מיוחד (תהיה שמירה על המוצגים במהלך הכנס).


כל המרצים והמציגים בכנס חייבים להיות חברי האיגוד. הצטרפות לאיגוד כרוכה בתשלום דמי חבר בסך: 120 ₪ לשנה (רגיל), 90 (פנסיונר), 50 (סטודנט).



Conference on Schumann in Israel

אירוע אביב מס’ 1 מטעם האיגוד הישראלי למוסיקולוגיה
בית הספר למוסיקה ע"ש בוכמן-מהטה, אוניברסיטת תל אביב

יום ×’’, 23 בפברואר 2010, ××•×œ× קלרמונט, 19:30, אוניברסיטת תל אביב


"דמיון ופיוט, מחלה ×•×™×¦×™×¨×ª×™×•×ª ביצירתו של רוברט שומאן"

במלאת 200 שנה להולדתו

פרופ’ משה צוקרמן (אוניברסיטת תל אביב):

"פאוסט, מנפרד, קרייזלר וכל השאר"הערות על המימד הספרותי ביצירתו של שומאן
פרופ’ אליעזר ויצטום (האוניברסיטה העברית):

"ראיתי מלאכים, פגשתי שדים" — מחלה ×•×™×¦×™×¨×ª×™×•×ª אצל רוברט שומאן

פרופ’ יהואש הירשברג (האוניברסיטה העברית):

"עולם הפיוט בלידר של שומאן"; "שומאן והפסנתר הרומנטי"

מיצירות שומאן יבוצעו:

מחזור "שירי המלכה מריה סטיוארט" אופ. 135 (1852)

מבחר לידר לטקסטים של ריקרט, היינה ואחרים

"הומורסקה" לפסנתר, אופ. 20 (1839)
בביצוען של:
ברניקה גליקסמן – פסנתר

הגר שרביט (מצוֿ־סופרן), דניאל בורוביצקי (פסנתר)


כרטיסים במחיר 75 ₪ ניתן להשיג במקום החל מהשעה 18:30

לחברי האיגוד הישראלי למוסיקולוגיה, לאזרחים ותיקים ולסטודנטים 40 ₪

מנויי ביה"ס למוזיקה ×¢"ש בוכמן-מהטה – במסגרת הקונצרטים המיוחדים או 40 ₪  


האיגוד הישראלי למוסיקולוגיה מודה לכל משתתפי הערב המופיעים ללא תמורה. ×”כנסות הערב מיועדות לפעילות האקדמית של האיגוד.



Review of the Israeli Musicological Society (IMS) Annual Meeting 2009

Review of the Israeli Musicological Society (IMS) Annual Meeting 2009

The session “Music in the World of Islam” in honor of Prof. Amnon Shiloach 80th birthday was interesting. It was heart warming to see that there is an academic in the music field in Israel that is so active despite our poor situation. Shiloach has about 250 publications. I never read his research, which was described by Dr. Ronit Seter as positivistic; however, I do hope to read some of it in the future. The speakers in the session, Prof. Joseph Sadan, Prof. Sasson Somech. Dr. Avi Eylam Amzallag, showed great respect to Shiloach and gave interesting papers.
At the end of the session Shiloach thanked the speakers and the audience and spoke shortly about the mission of music. He also said that he just came of a conference in England where he was a key speaker. He was amazed to see there that no one of the speakers ever tried to speak more that the time that he or she was given. I must add that it was a pity to see that in our conference there were at least three scholars that could not find the strength to stop speaking, even when it was demanded by common sense.
I found the papers by Dr. Yifat Shoshat “Between Lessing and Haydn: Rhetorical Expressions in 18th-Century Music and Philosophy”, and Yoel Greenberg “A Stitch in Time: The Transition from the Slow Introduction to the Fast Section in Haydn’s Symphonies”, especially interesting. Greenberg realted to the research of Eithan Haimo, and I wonder what he would say if he would be preset in the room.
The “Plenary session” was both too long and too short. Dr. Bella Brover-Lubovsky (president) spoke about the annual report and RILM national committee report. Dr. Yosef Goldenberg (treasurer) gave the financial report. I spoke about the IMS Google group. Dr. Adena Portowitz (Min-Ad editor) gave the Min-ad report.
I only heard half of the paper of Oded Erez "Contemporary Voices in Israeli Popular Music: Revisiting Zionist Cultural Space”. However, it is good to see that there are still young scholars that find interest in musicology and some of its new paths. Popular music, gender, and performance studies are exciting new areas for research.
One of the most interesting parts was Prof. Jehoash Hirshberg’s talk and listening session to “In Memory of the Crystal Night in Munich: A Premiere of the Oratorio Joram by Paul Frankenburger (Ben Haim) Seventy Five Years after its Composition”. The music was facinating and Hirshberg’s review of it gave it an interesting context and interpretation.
It was nice meeting many of the people that I usually communicate with electronically. I hope that we could have more of these session during the year and that young scholars will join our musicological society. Remember, you can make a change only if you participate.

Related posts

What young people should keep in mind when deciding to do a PhD in Musicology

Israeli Musicology Society Group is now working

On fear: Schoenberg, Stravinsky and the Israeli music scene

Hans Eisler, Good listening and the isolation of composers and musicologists from public

Review of the IMS conference 2008: what there is and what there is not to read in Hebrew in Music

10 reasons why to join Musicology Research group on Linkedin


Upcoming interesting music conferences

Upcoming interesting music conferences - open your diary

Here are a few upcoming interesting music conferences I gathered from RHUL golden pages.


Theatre Noise An international conference

The Central School of Speech and Drama

University of London

Theatre Noise An international conference

Wednesday 22 - Friday 24 April 2009

Keynote presenters include:
Professor Heiner Goebbels (composer and director, managing director of the Institute for Applied Theatre Studies, Justus Liebig University, Giessen) John Collins (artistic director of the New York-based theatre company Elevator Repair Service, formerly sound designer with The Wooster Group) Theatre Noise describes the acoustic environments and auditory phenomena of theatre and performance. It is concerned, then, with that which is heard. It addresses sound design and ‘undesigned’ noises, music for performance and performance that is both ‘musical’ and ‘unmusical’, voice production and vocal utterance (speaking, shouting, singing, muttering). It proposes that theatre is that which is heard as well as that which is watched – that the theatron is a listening place as well as a seeing place.

Theatre Noise considers aurality. It asks how hearing and listening shape our experience and perception of an event. It concentrates on theatre as a subjective perceptual encounter. It addresses ways in which the noise of theatre works on our senses, and how it positions us within a visceral sphere of acoustic energy.

Theatre Noise is also interested in the inherent noise of the materials of theatre and performance: the rasping of its voices, the sounds in its environment, the interfering consciousness of ‘aural’ corporeal presence within the noisy arena of theatre as a place.

While it proposes a characteristically aural model, Theatre Noise is not confined to the auditory. It describes any atmospheric or environmental distraction, any attention-grabbing dissonance, flaw or mistake, whether sensory or imagined. It might concern any piece of residue or interference that negatively defines theatre.

The conference features examples of innovative performance practices that work in and through sound, music, voice and noise. It explores, through keynotes and paper presentations, developments in thinking and practice in sound design; music; the voice; the notion and presence of noise – all with a bearing on theatre and performance. It develops ideas and principles by way of a series of workshops. Round tables address key issues in the field. Theatre Noise also features a playback room that includes compositions and other aural contributions.

Proposals are invited that address the themes of the conference. The precise meaning of the terms ‘Theatre’ and ‘Noise’ is open to interpretation by contributors. Contributions may, for example, address areas such as:

The noise theatre of the auditory environment
Acoustic ecology
The musicality of theatre
Non-linguistic voice
Sonic arrangements and/or imperfections that help create meaning
Aural encounters that constitute ‘place’
Noise as ‘other’ – the chaotic dark material that negatively defines music, theatre, art, sound design

Proposals are invited for the following (please specify):
20-minute paper presentation
1-hour or 2-hour workshop
3-day practitioner-residency with a work-in-progress outcome
Round table
Contribution to the playback room
Proposals should be 300 words in length, with a 150-word biography of the key presenter(s). Proposals should be submitted to the conference organisers at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it by 5 December 2008.


MOZART IN PRAGUE Mozart Society of America and Society for Eighteenth-Century Music


Prauge is always a great place to visit…


9 - 13 June 2009


The Mozart Society of America and the Society for Eighteenth-Century Music invite proposals for papers and presentations to be offered at our forthcoming conference in Prague, 9-13 June 2009. We wish to explore not only Mozart and his music in the Prague setting, but also the musical culture of Bohemia and neighboring territories during the long eighteenth century. Topics may include Mozart opera in Prague, music in Bohemian convents and monasteries, musical patronage in Central Europe, Mozart’s Czech contemporaries (composers, singers, instrumentalists, impresarios), the dissemination of Mozart’s music in Central Europe during the late 18th and early 19th centuries, and important 18th-century sources and collections in the region. We welcome new perspectives on these and other topics that engage the general themes of the conference and contribute to knowledge of a rich musical culture that Mozart found particularly congenial.

Please submit an abstract of up to 500 words about your proposed topic, along with an indication of equipment necessary for your presentation, to the Program Chair: Kathryn L. Libin, This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Deadline for proposals: 1 December 2008


International Symposium on Performance Science

I wrote in the following link about several performance conferences. Here is another interesting one.


ISPS 2009
Performing Excellence

15-18 December 2009
Auckland, New Zealand

Convened by:

National Institute of Creative Arts and Industries
The University of Auckland

Centre for Performance Science
Royal College of Music, London

Following a highly successful inaugural conference in Portugal in 2007, the next International Symposium on Performance Science will take place at The University of Auckland on 15-18 December 2009.

Submissions are invited for unpublished papers, posters, and symposia on research from across the arts which explores the theme Performing Excellence.

The conference will bring together performers and researchers, artists and scientists, teachers and students for an interdisciplinary exchange. For this reason, specific research topics, fields of study, and methodological approaches have been left open intentionally. Those whose primary interests lie outside of the arts, but whose work nonetheless offers implications for the performing arts and/or for performing artists, are also encouraged to attend.

Keynote speakers:

Deidre Anderson
Chief Executive Officer of U@MQ,
Macquarie University (Australia)

Sylvie Fortin
Director of the Dance Health and Performance Center,
University of Québec at Montreal (Canada)

K. Anders Ericsson
Conradi Eminent Scholar and Professor of Psychology,
Florida State University (USA)

Lord Robert Winston
Professor of Science and Society,
Imperial College London (UK)


Submissions are invited for

- Spoken papers
- Poster presentations
- Symposia, workshops, demonstrations

Detailed instructions for submissions are available via the conference website, Submissions should be made electronically to This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it by 1 April 2009.

Graduate award paper:

The conference Organizers and Scientific Committee are keen to encourage the attendance of students, as well as established researchers and practitioners. Therefore, the ISPS 2009 Graduate Award will be offered to one graduate student to present a 30-minute keynote paper at the conference. The award will include all conference fees and accommodation.

Information on how to submit a proposal for the Graduate Award is available at the conference website. (Unsuccessful award submissions will be processed automatically as regular conference submissions.)

Review process:

Each submission will be reviewed anonymously by the Scientific Committee according to its originality, importance, clarity, and interdisciplinarity. Corresponding authors will be notified by email of the Committee’s decision by 15 May 2009.

Conference publication:

Accepted paper, poster, and symposia submissions will be published as 6-page papers in the Proceedings of ISPS 2009 (complete with ISBN), available in hardcopy at the conference and subsequently downloadable via the conference website. Details of the procedure and format for submitting published papers will be provided when authors receive notification of acceptance. Final papers for publication will be due on 1 September 2009.

Important dates:

1 March 2009    Online registration opens
1 April 2009       Submission deadline for papers, posters, and symposia
15 May 2009     Notification of submission decision
31 July 2009      End of early registration
1 Sept 2009       Deadline for final papers for the Proceedings of ISPS 2009
15 Dec 2009      Start of ISPS 2009

Additional information on the conference programme, venue, and registration costs is available on the conference website,

The official language of the conference is English.

Dr Aaron Williamon
Head of CPS

Centre for Performance Science
Royal College of Music
Prince Consort Road
London SW7 2BS
United Kingdom

Tel +44 (0)20 7591 4348
Fax +44 (0)20 7591 4381
Email This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it


Related posts:

Review: five upcoming conferences on performance

Review of the IMS conference 2008: what there is and what there is not to read in Hebrew in Music

Conference: The dramaturgy of sound in the music of Luigi Nono

Van Leer conference on Zionism and Lebensphilosophie

Information about music conferences (1)


Review: five upcoming conferences on performance

Musical performance is a research field that is gathering great momentum in recent years. You will find in this page information about five upcoming conferences on performance. The two last conferences have a call for papers. By the way, I attend the CHARM conference and give a paper at the conference on Adorno.

(1) CHARM Symposium 6: Playing with recordings

Royal Holloway, University of London, Egham, 11-13 September 2008

How do musicians use recordings and what has been their impact? In this final CHARM symposium we explore the attitudes towards recordings of performers and teachers, along with the ways in which recordings contribute to both the maintenance of musical culture and processes of style change. Do recordings prompt or inhibit style change? Have they resulted in stylistic convergence, as is often claimed? And what is the relationship between such processes and the technological or business history of recording? Might technology and business practices be seen as the principal drivers of performance style in the age of recordings? In addressing the interface between recordings and the professional practice of performance, the symposium will prepare the transition to CHARM’s successor centre from April 2009, the AHRC Research Centre for Musical Performance as Creative Practice.


The symposium will run from lunchtime on Thursday 11th through to lunchtime on Saturday 13th September. Speakers and panellists will include John Carewe, Mine Dogantan-Dack, Martin Elste, Anthony Gritten, Pekka Gronow, Peter Martland, Nick Morgan, Ian Partridge, David Patmore, and Jeremy Summerly. Further scheduling details and abstracts will be posted online very shortly.


(2) “Formulate with the greatest care”: Adorno and Performance

13-14 September 2008
Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester, UK

A conference based around readings of Adorno’s Towards a Theory of Musical Reproduction (TTMR) and its contexts, interpretations, and uses.


(3) Minimalism, Post-Opera, and Performance

10.00 - 5.00

A one-day colloquium organised in association with the Society for
Minimalist Music


(4) The Musical Body: Gesture, Representation and Ergonomics in Performance – call for papers!

The Musical Body: Gesture, Representation and Ergonomics in Performance

Institute of Musical Research, Senate House, Malet Street, London, in
association with the Open University, the University of Durham and the
Orpheus Instituut, Gent, the University of Sussex, the Royal College of
Music and the IMR Music & Science group

22-24 April 2009

The aim of this interdisciplinary conference is to bring together
researchers from widely divergent fields to share perspectives on the
physicality of performance, and its visual representation, in musics of
all kinds. From connections between musical performance and health, and
musical performance as dance, to representations of the ‘ideal’ posture
in historical treatises and the lampooning of soloists in caricature,
the conference will explore the ways in which music and the body
interact, both with ease (such as where composition or improvisation are
explicitly ergonomic) and in tension (where physical strain is etched
into a musical composition or acts as a marker of authenticity in a
performance style). Finally, it is pertinent to consider those areas in
which physical ease in performance is either obstructed (eg. via
performance anxiety) or results from the creative adaptation of standard
practices (eg. as a response to disability).

Sessions will be built around themes, with presentations grouped as far
as possible in ways that bring together a variety of historical and
generic areas of study. The following list of themes and topics is
indicative only:

· Music and health
· Iconographical representation
· History of performance style
· Organology
· The boundaries of the idiomatic and the ergonomic in composition
· Entrainment, ensembles and community
· Gesture and embodied cognition
· Stage presence and performance anxiety

A Call for Papers and Lecture-recitals will be issued in the early autumn.

Programme committee:

Katharine Ellis (IMR)
Martin Clayton (Open University)
Mieko Kanno (Durham University; Orpheus Instituut, Gent)
Nicholas Till (University of Sussex)
Aaron Williamon (Royal College of Music; IMR Music & Science group)


(5) The Performer’s Voice: An International Forum for Music Performance & Scholarship – call for papers!

29 October – 2 November 2009

Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music, National University of Singapore 

Symposium Partners:

Peabody Institute, John Hopkins University
Royal Northern College of Music 

The Performer’s Voice aims to stimulate discussion, develop ideas, and disseminate research on music performance from a range of angles. Though interdisciplinary in scope the symposium’s distinct focus derives from an uncompromising emphasis on the act of performance, the role of the performer, and the professional performer’s perspective. The program will feature plenary and parallel sessions of lecture-recitals, papers with live or recorded performance, open rehearsals, panel discussions, and workshops.  

Keynote Speaker:

Prof. Richard Taruskin (University of California, Berkeley)

Guest Panelist, ‘Asian Voices’:

Prof. Kishore Mahbubani (National University of Singapore)

Plenary Presenters:

Prof. John Rink (Royal Holloway, University of London)
Dr. Elisabeth Le Guin (University of California, Los Angeles)
Dr. Stephen Emmerson (Queensland Conservatorium, Griffith University)
Dr. Helena Gaunt (Guildhall School of Music and Drama)
Dr. Aiyun Huang (McGill University)
Dr. Thomas Hecht (Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music) 
Qian Zhou (Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music)
Qin Li Wei (Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music)  

Call for presentations & more information available at:

Symposium Convener: Dr. Anne Marshman

Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

Review of the IMS conference 2008: what there is and what there is not to read in Hebrew in Music

Please believe me when I write that it was one of the best conferences that I have attended. Due to traffic jams I missed the first hour of so of the IMS conference. I heard two papers: one by Shulamit Marom and the other by Alona Sagi. Both were very interesting. They made me think, and this is something that I cannot say about many of the papers that I heard in other conferences. Moreover, they both presented sound recordings, and this is something that is often absent from discussions about music. You probably all know the lectures that speak about music in a highly detailed manner, assuming that everybody knows about what performance you one is speaking about, and neglecting the act of listening to the recording with the audience.

Shulamit Marom made a distinction between “Mandate songs” that were written in Tel-Aviv and other that were written in the “Yeshuv” (elsewhere). David Halperin suggested that making a distinction between the two categories will not stand scrutiny in many cases. I have little knowledge about Zemer to know whether Halperin is right. I did wonder whether our contemporary thinking of Tel-Aviv as a “bubble” that is disconnected from the rest of Israel, especially in relation to the territories and the second war in Lebanon, affected the categorization that Shulamit Maron suggested to us in her research. Anyway, Shulamit Marom’s presentation was very clear and enjoyable. It is possible to see that she is a very gifted lecturer.

Alona Sagi examined the improvisation of Miles Davies in “Walkin’” during the 50s and 60s. She observed that as time passed there was a change from “vertical thinking” to “linar thinking” on the one hand, and a tendency towards “free jazz”, on the other hand. She mentioned the presence of young and experimental musicians in the 60s as something that stimulated this change. Sagi’s transcriptions were impressive and it was fun reading them while listening to the music and hearing her comments. I am using the word “fun” on purpose, since enjoying a paper is something that should be taken for granted. It was a pity that she did not manage to finish her paper due to time limit. Although she blamed it on technical issues of handing the CD, I think that a well prepared paper would predict such problems and avoid them. In the next few days I plan to write a post on “How to give a paper in conferences: useful tips”. I wondered whether there are more social and cultural issues that affected the technical change that Sagi described in the performance of Miles Davis. I enjoyed listening to this music after so many years.

After that session, there was a general meeting of the society. It was sad to see how much money was spent on the internet site of the society. Prof. Edwin Seroussi rightly argued that three years ago it was reasonable to pay such sums for buliding a website, while today websites (at least ones on the level that was presented) are constructed almost for free. I plan to write a post about the IMS website and what I see as possibilities for the future.

The second part of the conference was devoted to “what there is and what there is not to read in Hebrew in Music”. I could not stay until the end of the conference. I had to leave an hour earlier so I did not manage to hear the paper given by Prof. Judith Cohen and people that spoke thereafter. This session was simulations very interesting and disappointing. It was fascinating to see how people deeply care about the miserable situation that there are almost no books to read in Hebrew (most of them are not updated and out of print). Some of the comments were truly illuminating (I will come back to them in a moment).

The “paper” given by Gila Flamm was disappointing. It was mainly an improvisation that amounted to a presentation of “facts” by browsing through items in the National Libraries catalog. There was little information given on the nature of the books that were mentioned, and of the frequency that people read them. There was no attempt to categorize the types of readers and the various manners that people read Hebrew books on music. There was no discussion on the history of institutions approaching the library for such books. Is this information not available?

The paper given by Elisheva Rigby had few interesting points. She said that we must be able to explain to ourselves why writing about music is essential to Israeli culture if we wish to convince others. Her argument was based on the idea that any knowledge and culture are based on discourse. She mentioned the myth of the composer at the top of the creative musicians, the performers as those who could not compose, the conductors as those who could not play an instrument, and the musicologists and critics at the bottom of the hierarchy, the perfect impotents, as those who could not do anything but talk. This myth, as Rigby said, is based on the idea of “originality” that is initiated from one source. Postmodern views demonstrate how the construction of meaning is done in a social network. In other words, the hierarchy is different and every cultural agent contributes in potentially significant ways. It seems to me that the myth of the “genius composer” is, unfortunately, sustained also among many musicologists in Israel and the world. This is why performance is regarded by many as a marginal and unimportant activity in relation to composing. The composer Zippi Fleisher said in the conference something like “what can one do, it all starts with the composer, and then one performs it, and then one writes about it”. This is an old fashioned and anachronistic view of what is happening in musical culture. Beethoven would never be famous if it would not be for music critics and musicologists who wrote about him and elevated him as a Romantic icon. We would not hear Beethoven the way we do, and he would not symbolize what he does, without the words that were written on him.

In my blog there is a poll asking why there are almost no books on music in Hebrew. Many people blamed it on the academy who demands that books will be written in English. Prof. Don Haran speculated in the conference why is it possible that the French and the Italians would never think writing in a language different than their own, and we seem to find it natural to write in English. This comment was thought provoking.

Prof. Yoash Hirshberg explained how disappointing it was to find that his book on Paul Ben-Haim is not available anymore. He was especially disappointed that his publisher Am-Oved did not find it important enough to keep a few copies of the book. He compared the Israeli publisher with Oxford University Press that published one of his books in two prints and then kept an electronic copy for anyone who might be interested. There was bitterness in his voice from the attitude of Am-Oved, whom he called “a commercial publication house” and he ended his comment by saying that in the present situation he has no motivation for writing anything more in Hebrew.

As mentioned about, I could not stay for the last session. The first session of the second part, which I just described, was not well organized. The speakers were not well-prepared (in England it is considered not serious to give a paper without reading from a text that was prepared in advance). Elisheva Rigbi gave herself too much liberty in commenting on the comments of others, something that took too much time of the session.

This session, was however, successful. It was interesting for me to hear the comments that some of them I have mentioned above. One of the fascinating comments in this session and the one before, were made my Prof. Ruth Katz. She stressed again and again that we must define our goals before we take action. It is useless to speak about low attendance of members and that fact that there are almost no students who find it important to attend the IMS conference (I agree that they must be forced to attend by making their presence obligatory for finishing their studies), if the IMS in general and Min-Ad in particular do not define their goals. With goals well-defined much can be achieved with limited energy. Without it, one is lost. It was wonderful to hear that an evening is organized in honor of her 80th birthday.

The conference, it seems to me, was successful. I wounder if any practical points for action were defined during the last session. It would be useful that in future conference smaller groups will be organized in round tables so that there will be more space for interaction. In any case, it is wonderful that Elisheva Rigbi, Rivka Elkushi and others initiated and organized this conference on around this important theme.

I will be glad if anyone who attended the conference will comment on it or on what I have written above. I am especially interested in knowing what happened in the last part that I could not attend. One of the reasons that I opened this blog is to attribute to the Israeli discourse on music. My assumption is that if we want a discourse to occur we must actively contribute to it. So please take a few minutes and comment by filling the form below or by sending me your comment for publication in this forum.

Related posts:
Here it comes מה יש ומה אין לקרוא על מוסיקה בעברית
Call for papers “What there is and what there is not to read about music in Hebrew”
Response to Dr Elisheva Rigbi’s second comment: are we normal?
Why my Blog is in English: an answer to Dr. Elisheva Rigbi
We seem to fail doing the very same thing in music

See also
Article on the conference published in Achbar Ha-Ir

Do not forget to subscribe to the blog in order to receive future posts. If you need help with subscribing or commenting in this blog please contact me now.

Here it comes מה יש ומה אין לקרוא על מוסיקה בעברית

The program of the conference מה יש ומה אין לקרוא על מוסיקה בעברית? “What is and what there is not to read about music in Hebrew” was announced today. The program has some papers that seem very interesting. מושב ב’\1: מוסיקה “אחרת” seems especially interesting. Alona Sagi will speak about the improvisation of Miles Davis in the recordings of “Walkin’” and Shulamit Marom will speak about Tel-Aviv songs during the British Mandat (1920-1948). Another promising paper will be given by Asaf Sheleg titled “פוליפוניות אונטולוגיות: בין היהודי לישראלי במוסיקה הישראלית האומנותית” (Ontological polyphonies: between the Jewish and the Israeli in Israeli art music).

It is always the second part
The second part of the conference which is devoted to the burning question of Hebrew literature (scholarly, semi-scholarly and non-scholarly) is unclear. Gila Flamm will give a report of what exists in the library. This has potential to be very interesting, providing that the information will be more than descriptive. It would be very interesting to know not only what books exists but also what books are being read all the time and what books simply gather dust on the shelves. This could be valuable information that could help publishers and “decision makers” decide where to invest their money.

I wrote that the second part is unclear since the titles of the papers/discussions do not say too much about the content. What does “education” stand for? Is it only to educate the two and a half students that study music today, or are we speaking about educating the government, academy, book publishers, the rich people who donate money, and the general public?

What seems as a potential problem, is that the answer to the acute problem of almost no books in Hebrew on music, seems to be known to the conference organizers. It would be perhaps better to wait and see what comes out of the conference and research of others before one jumps into conclusion. Most important, I hope that the conference will result not only with interesting papers and conversations, but also with operative actions in order to change this miserable situation.

A tale of two women
I was once invited by Áine Heneghan to give a paper in the 2005 Dublin International Conference on Music Analysis, in Ireland. Since it was an international conference with important participants from around the world (Carl Schachter, Jonathan Dunsby, and many others), Áine was very busy (she was one of the two people that I know of, who organized the conference). I asked her “are you also giving a paper in the conference?” She answered “We decided that the organizers of the conference will not give papers in this conference so that people will no say that it has bad taste that we give papers while other people are rejected from speaking in the conference”. I felt that this is indeed an admirable behavior (a year or two before I was present in a UK conference where the organizer gave two papers!). We have much to learn from Áine Heneghan.

Related posts:
Call for papers “What there is and what there is not to read about music in Hebrew”
Response to Dr Elisheva Rigbi’s second comment: are we normal?
Why my Blog is in English: an answer to Dr. Elisheva Rigbi
We seem to fail doing the very same thing in music
Next post: Review of the IMS conference 2008: what there is and what there is not to read in Hebrew in Music

Conference: The dramaturgy of sound in the music of Luigi Nono

I always liked the music of Luigi Nono. I once took a special flight to Switzerland to hear a performance of La lontananza nostalgica utopica futura (1988-89) with Irvine Arditti as violinist.

International Symposium
to be held at the Fondazione Giorgio Cini, Venice, Italy
The Archivio Luigi Nono in Venice, in collaboration with the University of Venice is organizing an international symposium on The dramaturgy of sound in the music of Luigi Nono .

In the catalogue of Luigi Nono’s compositions only three works are normally considered as “music for the theater” because, for different reasons, these works can be associated with scenic or visual components: Intolleranza 1960, Al gran sole carico d’amore and Prometeo. Tragedia dell’ascolto. However, deeply ingrained in Nono’s entire ¦uvre, regardless of ensemble or destination, there is the search for an acoustic dramaturgy (in the classical meaning of drâma or drân); an “active” sound the implications of which embrace different dimensions relating as much to the form as to the content of the work. The use of electronic technologies and consequently the possibility of spatialization and transformation of the sound-event in real time have radicalized the dimension of “drama” in Nono’s creative horizon.

The Organization Committee is pleased to invite scholars (musicologists, philosophers, literature and theater historians) to present proposals for papers relating to the following subjects:

1) Dramaturgy of sound and listening space
2) Dramaturgy and sound action
3) Dramaturgy and text
4) Dramaturgy and the stage
5) Compositional process and sound dramaturgy

First priority will be given to proposals based on new archival research.

Presentation of the abstracts
Applications must contain the following information:
1) The thematic subject chosen
2) Method of research
3) Object of the research/ Aim pursued
4) A selective bibliography
5) A short curriculum vitae (max. 100 words; in case of two applicants, max. 150 words.
6) Present position and referral contacts

The abstracts (containing points 1-6) should not have over 3000 characters, counting the spaces.
The abstracts, written in Italian or English in rtf format, must be presented by and not later than the 1st November 2008.
They should be sent as an attachment to the following e-mail address: This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

The Organization Committee is made up of the following members of the Committee of scholars of the Fondazione Archivio Luigi Nono:

Gianmario Borio (University of Pavia)
Angela Ida De Benedictis (University of Pavia)
Marco Mazzolini (Universal Music Publishing Ricordi)
Giovanni Morelli (University of Venice)
Veniero Rizzardi (University of Venice)
Jürg Stenzl (University of Salzburg)

For further information

Claudia Vincis
Artistic Director

Fondazione Archivio Luigi Nono ONLUS
Ex Convento SS. Cosma e Damiano
Giudecca 619-621
30133 Venice, Italy
tel/fax: +39 041 5209713

Fondazione Archivio Luigi Nono ONLUS
Ex Convento SS. Cosma e Damiano
Giudecca 619-621
30133 Venezia, Italia
tel/fax: +39 0415209713
email: This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

Van Leer conference on Zionism and Lebensphilosophie

Last Wednesday I went to a conference in the Van Leer Institute in Jerusalem on Zionism and Lebensphilosophie. I was especially interested in a paper given by Philipp Theisohn from University of Tübingen called “The Body Politic of Zionism: Klages, Beitar, Schönberg”. I guess you know which keyword attracted me in the title…

The paper was very interesting, although I am not sure that I agree with all the connections Theisohn made between Schoenberg and Zabotinsky. Schoenberg’s position towards mechanical music was very ambivalent as can be seen in his article “Mechanical Musical Instruments” that can be found in his book Style and Idea.

After the lecture we saw the the film Children of the Sun by Ran Tal. It was the first time I saw the film and I must say that it was nothing less than amazing. My mother lived for two years in an Kibbutz and was three months every years there thereafter. One of the reasons that my grandmother left the kibbutz was because it was not permitted that children will sleep with their parents (the children slept together and were raised by nannies). It was shocking what the kibbutzim did in order to create what they saw as the “new man”. This film is a must for anyone interested in the history of Israel.

The music of the film was by Avi Belleli. It was very good.

Copyright Avior Byron 2023 .