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Early Music Pedagogy Then and Now. From the Classical Antiquity to the Renaissance

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Organised by

Centro Studi Opera Omnia Luigi Boccherini, Lucca

Istituto Italiano di Musica Antica

Palma Choralis® Research Group

(Brescia, 9-11 December 2022)



The Centro Studi Opera Omnia Luigi Boccherini of Lucca and the Palma Choralis® Research Group are pleased to invite submissions of proposals for the symposium «Early Music Pedagogy Then and Now. From the Classical Antiquity to the Renaissance», to be held in Brescia from 9 to 11 December 2022.

In the past few decades, scholars have increasingly shown an interest in investigating historical sources in relation to music teaching, exploring new ground for an extended discussion on teaching practices of the past. Similarly, the early music education of today is fostering a fruitful dialogue within the scholarly community. Within this strand of research, a central role is played by the re-evaluation of mnemonics, the reconsideration of theoretical sources, composition and analysis of music notation as descriptive and non-prescriptive elements.

Both practitioners’ and scholars’ perspectives become crucial to rethink contents and methodology of early music pedagogy because investigating historical sources through a pedagogical lens reveals the necessary knowledge to teach a specific topic or a music skill. As recent studies suggest that recreating historical methods of improvisation is a form of reverse engineering, performance can be considered as both an embodied knowledge and a learning process through practice. Indeed, researching historical pedagogy can inform modern pedagogy and practice, just as modern pedagogy and practice can inform historical research.

The conference explores the multicultural mosaic of early music education, by pinpointing any affinity or difference in the way music was taught and learnt across Europe (Western and Eastern) and the Mediterranean area. This perspective covers Classical Antiquity, the Middle Ages and the Renaissance (until 1650) and the subject of investigation includes chant, vocal/instrumental and sacred/secular music, dance, and theatre.

The symposium is open to musicologists, performers, and music teachers and aims to reassess the role of music pedagogy as a bridge between historical research and performance practice, applying this discussion to today’s challenges of music education and reshaping modern pedagogical reflection.

The programme committee welcomes insights on a wide range of themes, including, but not restricted to:

  • The relationship between music theory and education in writings, treatises, non-musical sources
  • Notation, mnemonics and other pedagogical tools as facilitators of learning and oral transmission of music (e.g. melismas, echemata, etc.)
  • Contexts, roles and duties in educational institutions of the past
  • Learning process of dance, gestures and instrumental music and the relationship between orality and writing
  • Pedagogical systems for learning, reading and improvising music (e.g. Solmisation, Guidonian hand, etc.)
  • Specific educational resources and projects focussing or employing historical precepts applied to today’s music education and/or performance
  • Reading early music today in educational contexts: original notation vs. modern scores
  • How the education-performance-market triangle fosters/embeds the research on historical music pedagogy
  • Collective aural memory and pedagogy
  • Music pedagogy and enculturation

Programme Committee:

  • Isaac Alonso de Molina (Koninklijk Conservatorium Den Haag)
  • Elsa De Luca (CESEM – FCSH, NOVA University of Lisbon)
  • Roberto Illiano (Centro Studi Opera Omnia Luigi Boccherini)
  • Marcello Mazzetti (University of Huddersfield UK, Istituto Italiano di Musica Antica, Palma Choralis)
  • Fulvia Morabito (Centro Studi Opera Omnia Luigi Boccherini)
  • Massimiliano Sala (Centro Studi Opera Omnia Luigi Boccherini)
  • Livio Ticli (University of Huddersfield UK, Istituto Italiano di Musica Antica, Palma Choralis)

Keynote Speakers:

  • Barnabé Janin (Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Lyon)
  • Laurie Stras (University of Huddersfield, UK)

The official languages of the conference are English, French, German, Italian and Spanish. Papers selected at the conference will be published in a miscellaneous volume.

Papers are limited to twenty minutes in length, allowing time for questions and discussion. Please submit an abstract of no more than 500 words and one page of biographical information.

All proposals should be submitted by email no later than ***27 March 2022*** to <conferences@luigiboccherini.org>. With your proposal please include your name, contact details (postal address, e-mail and telephone number) and (if applicable) your affiliation.

The committee will make its final decision on the abstracts by April 2022, and contributors will be informed immediately thereafter. Further information about the programme, registration, travel and accommodation will be announced after that date.

For any additional information, please contact:

Dr. Massimiliano Sala



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