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2005 ARP Conference

Information         Call For Papers         Abstracts         Program

Call For Papers 

You are cordially invited to submit proposals for paper, poster or round table presentations at the 2005 conference on The Art of Record Production. The event will be co-hosted by Music Tank, CHARM (the AHRB Research Centre for the History and Analysis of Recorded Music) and the London College of Music & Media, Thames Valley University. The conference seeks to explore the interface between the recording industry and musicology. It aims to facilitate the transfer of knowledge between academics and professionals and to study the theory and practice of record production with reference to the technical and business interests of the industry.

Towards a Musicology of Production

As musicology becomes increasingly oriented to music as a performing art, so recordings are increasingly understood as vital historical documents. But they are not the snapshots of historical performance as which they are often treated. With the development of tape, multi-tracking, and hard disc recording, the role of the producer became increasingly more important in determining the nature of the final product, seen less as the reproduction of a real performance than as the construction of a virtual one: recording has became an art form increasingly distinct from live performance. To date, however, musicology has not given serious attention to this development. The aim of this conference strand, promoted by CHARM, is to focus on the producer as a key creative figure in musical culture, classical as well as pop, and to consider the analytical, critical, and historical dimensions of a musicology of production.

Recording and Authenticity

What are the perceived types of authenticity in recording practice? How do the aesthetics of mixing relate to commercial pressures and the perception of authenticity? Do musicians, technicians and audiences have different ideas about authenticity in differing musical cultures? How important is the concept of ‘a performance' in authenticity? Why do the goal posts seem to be continually moving in the argument about what constitutes intrusive record production? Do issues of authenticity cloud the judgement of the sonic qualities of vintage recording equipment? This session invites papers from a variety of disciplines investigating any of the above questions or those that are closely related. Amongst others papers may address issues of sociology and social psychology, ethnomusicology and performance based musicology, aesthetics, production as performance and psychoacoustics.

Production Techniques and Technology

What have been the milestone changes in production techniques and technology? How much have recording technology and professional practice determined the sound of particular genres or geographical music cultures? How do creative and financial interests interact in the stimulation of product development? How have particular technological innovations had an identifiable effect on the development of recorded sound? What are the dynamics between the availability of cheap new technology and independent production trends and what are the implications for the future of production practice (home studios vs. professional facilities)?What's the relationship between formal training and the creative use of technology? How much are the ‘innovation giants' of record production merely the first person to use a particular technique on a record that became famous? This session invites papers from a variety of disciplines investigating any of the above questions or those that are closely related. Amongst others papers may address issues of historical and cultural analysis, socio-economics and the sociology of research culture, applied technology and musicology.

Recording Practice

Why are the norms of recording practice in various musical sectors so different? What goes on inside studios on a day-to-day level and how do the minutiae affect the final outcome? How do the social dynamics between musicians, sound engineers, producers and record company executives affect the recording process? How has scarcity of equipment been implemental in the development of particular generic ‘sounds'? (e.g. Jamaican reggae, South African kwaito, garage rock etc). How have different modes of technical training in different musical cultures had an impact on the recorded output? How is the fact that different musical styles and cultures vary different textual parameters (e.g. melody and harmony in classical piano music, additive rhythmic patterns in west African Yoruba percussion music, vocal timbre in the Blues) significant in the different ways that recording practice has developed? This session invites papers from a variety of disciplines investigating any of the above questions or those that are closely related. Amongst others papers may address issues of historical and cultural analysis, ethnomusicology and performance based musicology, social psychology and education / training theory.

What is the product? What is the art object?

Is the analysis of recordings a worthwhile approach in the study of performance? What are the differences in the ways we analyse recordings and scores? How has the question of the intellectual ownership of music been undermined by the changing role of the record producer? How important have the commercial media of distribution and reproduction been in the shaping of musical form? How has remix culture affected the concept of a recording being the definitive artefact in Popular Music? What differences might the Internet download system of music distribution be making to recording practice? How have the existence of multiple ‘definitive' versions in western classical music recording affected the idea of the score as the art object? How has the recording industry affected musical cultures that are based on improvisation and variation? This session invites papers from a variety of disciplines investigating any of the above questions or those that are closely related. Amongst others papers may address issues of philosophy, aesthetics, performance based musicology, copyright law, cultural and media studies, ethnomusicology, jazz and popular music studies.

Production And Perception

In which ways can the perception of meaning in a sound be altered by technology? If musicologists are to analyse the contribution of both performers and producers to the creation of a recording, what tools are available to them and how can a common descriptive language be developed? In which ways do the creative uses of technology impact on our perception of a performance? How do gestalt-grouping theories of music perception relate to audio processing techniques that alter the perceived clarity of a recording? How might theories of music as a metaphor for the embodied expression of emotions be borne out by the way certain audio treatments can emphasise or even alter the emotional content of a performance? This session invites papers from a variety of disciplines investigating any of the above questions or those that are closely related. Amongst others papers may address issues of music perception, psychoacoustics, audio product design, musicology.

Proposals for individual papers and poster presentations should not exceed 300 words.

Proposals for panels should include the names of all panel members and their individual contributions and should not exceed 1000 words.

The deadline for proposals is: 23rd May 2005