International Musicological Conference

Modernisation in the Music of Eastern Europe (1900–1940): The Perspective of Paratactic Comparativism

Place: Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre
2014 October 16–18
Vilnius, Lithuania

Organized by: Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre

Partners: Lithuanian Composers’ Union, Jāzeps Vītols Latvian Academy of Music, Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre

Call for Papers

This conference aims to initiate a discussion about the transnational character of musical modernism, the diversity of its traditions, identities and geographies. It is focused on the processes of modernisation in the musical art of Eastern Europe (covering the territory from Warsaw to Prague and from Tallinn to Moscow), which became manifest in the local national cultures and underwent certain development around the same time as Austro-German modernism and other mainstream phenomena. The theme of the conference was inspired by the idea of cultural parataxis proposed by Susan Stanford Friedman, which suggests the new “reading” of cultural texts, avoiding the monotony of accepted views and aiming to reveal a much more complex transcultural view of how musical modernism was taking shape in its early stages. The conference invites to reveal the seminal figures whose work had stimulated the development of musical modernism; to expose the compositional ideas they had proposed; to trace the transcultural dialogues and transnational networks that would expand the geography of alternative innovations from the canonized centres (the West) to the yet uncharted territories (the Rest).

The conference is open to musicologists, composers, culturologists, art philosophers, and anthropologists whose work is related and might contribute to exploring the emergence of modernisms in these ‘other’ territories (the Rest), as well as to the trajectories of their subsequent development and spread. It also aims to encourage an extensive discussion about the critical revisions of the canonical musical modernism and modernist mainstream (The Second Vienna School), which would help broaden the perspective on this phenomenon and localize various other modernisms, putting many epicentres of modernist ideas on the map. Proposals coming from the fields of interdisciplinary studies, practices of paratactic comparativism and innovative methodological approaches will be considered a priority. The participants are invited to delineate the configuration of innovative compositional ideas in Eastern Europe from 1900 to 1940 and mark off the directions in the hybrid development of transnational and multicultural musical modernism.

Proposed topics:

  • Geomodernistic anatomy of 20th-century musical modernism: cultural and national identities;
  • Contexts, environments and networks of modernisation in the music of Eastern Europe;
  • Iconic names and leading personalities within peripheral musical modernisms (the Rest);
  • Reconstructions of the compositional process characteristic of ‘other’ modernism (material, formal procedures, techniques, individual solutions);
  • Epistemological view of the experiences and ‘inventions’ of Eastern European musical modernism;
  • Consonances and controversies between the compositional ideas of modernist metropolitan centres (the West) and peripheries (the Rest).

Scholarly Committee Members:

Professor, Dr. habil. Gražina Daunoravičienė (Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre), Chair
Assoc. Professor, Dr. Rūta Stanevičiūtė-Kelmickienė (Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre)
Assoc. Professor, Dr. Janis Kudinš (Jāzeps Vītols Latvian Academy of Music)
Professor, Dr. Mart Humal, (Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre)
Professor, Dr. habil. Małgorzata Janicka - Słysz (Academy of Music in Kraków)
Professor, Dr. Julian Johnson (Royal Holloway University of London)
Professor, Dr. habil. Levon Akopian (State Institute for Arts, Moscow)

Proposals should be prepared as follows:

The languages of the conference are English and German. You are invited to submit the proposals for plenary papers and individual papers by the 1st May 2014. An abstract (up to 500 words for 50-minute plenary paper; up to 300 words for 20-minute individual paper) and a CV (up to 150 words) shall be submitted to the conference coordinator Zita Abramavičiūtė at Information about the selected proposals will be announced at the end of June 2014. Further information on conference programme and accommodation arrangements will be announced in July 2014, on the internet site of the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre ( and on the conference website: The selected papers will be published in collaboration with the scholarly journals “Lithuanian Musicology” and „Principles of Music Composing“ (Lithuania) or in a collection of the conference proceedings. During the conference special cultural programme is anticipated.

There is no registration fee for the conference.

For more information please contact: conference secretary Zita Abramavičiūtė, E-mail: