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W H Squire. photo taken 1879 at Kingsbridge Town hall at his debut.

Call for papers: Musical Instruments Unwrapped

The Social History Curators’ Group and Musical Instruments Resource Network announce a joint seminar

Musical Instruments Unwrapped: Telling Social Histories Through Musical Instruments

Date and Time: Monday 12 November 2018, 09:00 - 16:30

Venue: St Cecilia’s Hall, Edinburgh, Niddry Street, Cowgate, Edinburgh, EH1 1NQ

Call for Papers

Musical instruments are complex cultural objects. Like many others which are taken out of everyday life to be shown in museums, they benefit from interpretation that offers audiences a variety of ways into understanding their diverse functions and meanings in societies.

In bringing together specialists from a variety of disciplines, including musical instruments and social history, this seminar seeks to broaden perspectives. It aims to help develop new ways of thinking about the presentation of musical instruments and how they can be active performers in a wide range of display contexts, whether or not they are able to be played.

Proposals are invited for 20-minute presentations (+10 minutes questions) that address musical instruments and interpretation issues. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Using musical instruments to research, interpret and display social history; using social history to research, interpret and display musical instruments.
  • Highlighting hidden stories to redefine and broaden context.
  • Connecting with diverse communities using related objects and collections.
  • Addressing the complex questions in determining the playability of musical instruments.
  • Factors to consider when caring for musical instruments, both playing and non-playing
  • Musical instruments and conservation parallels with other objects.
  • The role of musical instruments and of sound in multi-disciplinary displays.
  • High tech vs. low tech. Using sound effectively, whether live or recorded.
  • Talking to audiences about the art and/or science of sound production.
  • Musical instruments and under-explored connections with social history, natural history, painting, science, archaeology, textiles, the military, etc.

Please send your abstract (not exceeding 300 words) using this linked form by 17:00, Friday 15 June 2018. Acceptances will be notified by the first week in July. Note: all selected presentations are to be shared with delegates.

The conference registration fee for all delegates, including speakers, will be £40 (MIRN & SHCG members), £35 (MIRN & SHCG members retired, students or unwaged), £50 (non-members), to include a networking breakfast, lunch, refreshments and all presentations. Registration will open in July.

A subsidised place will be available to a member from both SHCG and MIRN who will submit an article on the seminar for publication online. Further details when registration opens in July.

Download Musical_Instruments_Unwrapped_Call_for_Papers.pdf...