Sir Zelman School of Music – Street Music – An International Conference

Date/Time: Mon 08 Dec - Tue 09 Dec / All Day

Location: Monash University Law Chambers

Confirmed invited speakers:
Professor Bruce Johnson, Macquarie University/University of Turku/University of Glasgow
Carolyn Stevens, Monash University

For centuries, the street has been a site for making music. Itinerant musicians, street-vendors, buskers and beggars have played, sung, chanted, whistled, eavesdropped, stolen and improvised music on or near streets. Travel writers, novelists and ethnographers have attempted to capture the music of the street while the police, moral reformers, and governments have sought to control, regulate and sometimes legislate against the noise of streets arising from musical activity.

‘Street Music: An International Conference’ will be of interest not only to music scholars in the broad fields of musicology and ethnomusicology but also to scholars of literary and cultural studies, communications, urban planning and sociology covering any historical or geographical context.

Suggested topics could include (but are not limited by):
1. Definitions of the street music and parameters and paradigms such definitions suggest especially in non-Western contexts
2. Relationship between street musicians and other musicians such as theatre musicians
3. Legislation (historical) that aimed to silence street music and musicians
4. Legislation (contemporary) that aims to regulate the street musician, parades, community festivals, etc.
5. Repertory including song and vocalizations such as humming and whistling
6. Representation of the street musician and music in the visual arts
7. Role that ethnographers (past and present) have played in the capturing of street sounds
8. Child / teen musicians: training and exploitation
9. Street cries
10. Instruments used and adapted for street performance and / or improvisation
11. Endangered street music
12. Role of shopping malls and supermarkets in using and exploiting recorded sound in the street
13. Flash mobs

Abstracts of approximately 300 words should be sent to Dr Paul Watt (
by 1 June 2014.

Individual papers should be 20 minutes with ten minutes allocated for questions.
Proposals for roundtables are encouraged and should comprise a chair and three presenters who will each speak for 20 minutes. The chair of a panel may also be one of the presenters.
The Abstracts Committee will advise of acceptance of papers by 1 July.
All papers presented at the conference will be considered for publication (in a revised and expanded format, and subject to peer review) for a book with a major scholarly publisher.

Abstracts Committee: Dr Paul Watt (chair), Dr Joel Crotty, Professor Margaret Kartomi, Dr Jonathan McIntosh, Dr Adrian McNeil, Alison Rabinovici

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