Call for Papers! IASPM Benelux International Conference - University of Antwerp, 14 – 16 May 2020: RE-peat, please!
26 september 2019
This conference hopes to bring together music specialists from within the Benelux as well as outside, in all stages of their career, including BA/MA students, to inspire debate and discussion on current ideas about all aspects of popular music in every form and guise.
According to the online Cambridge Dictionary, the prefix ‘re-’ stands for “do again” or “returning something to its original state”.
These two letters can be used in various combinations, many of which relate to core issues of pop, rock, jazz, hip-hop, dance, and many other genres.
Consider the centrality of the record, a technological tool that allows reproduction, recreation, and ultimately re-evaluation.
Without records no retro. Indeed, cover and tribute bands thrive on the very idea of revivalism, allowing us to question notions of authenticity, of the global circulation of music, of the commercialisation of nostalgia.
A different result of recording is the remix. How does remixing blur the ideological boundaries surrounding genre, gender, space, place, race, and time? Is hybridity compatible with the idea of “returning something to its original state”?
And what about revolution? The civil rights struggle, May 1968 or Black Lives Matter; popular music has often been linked to protest movements. Here, music allowed to respond and react to, perhaps even reset the social, political, and economic orders of the day. The reversal, indeed even rejection or repression of revolution can be found in the often-stultifying processes of canonisation and mythologization.
And in the end, what reward lies in popular music? Should it be valuated, evaluated, or revaluated, perhaps through music competitions or education programs? How do digital media cultures affect the uses and rewards of music for audiences? Is a public performance the ultimate reward for relentlessly studying and rehearsing? To recap, should we as scholars and practitioners hit the repeat button to “do [it] again”, deepening our understanding of the music every time around?