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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Musikwissenschaft

Online Gastvorlesungsreihe im Sommersemester 2021

Die Gastvorträge finden im Sommersemester 2021 als Zoom-Sessions über Moodle statt. Sollten Sie Interesse an den Vorträgen haben, möchten wir Sie bitten, sich in die Moodle-Veranstaltung "Collegium Musicologicum" einzuschreiben. Dort erhalten Sie dann den entsprechenden Link sowie das Passwort für die jeweilige Veranstaltung. Wenn Sie sich nicht einschreiben können oder wenn Sie Fragen haben, wenden Sie sich bitte an Dr. Sydney Hutchinson: hutchins@hu-berlin.de.

The summer 2021 guest lectures will take place as online Zoom sessions. We recommend that all who are interested in the lectures sign up for the series using the Moodle site called "Collegium Musicologicum." On that site you will find the links to all Zoom sessions and you will receive the passwords from an administrator. If you are unable to sign up for a free Moodle account or if you otherwise need assistance, please write to Dr. Sydney Hutchinson at hutchins@hu-berlin.de.

  • Donnerstag, 06. Mai 2021, 18 Uhr

Mihailo Antović (University of Niš/Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)
Schemas, Primitives, Grounds: Conceptualization of Music as a Vehicle to Unlocking the Way Humans Construct Meaning

This talk presents my group’s research program on the conceptualization of music. Focusing on phenomena such as musical scales which "go upward" in some languages, yet "become smaller", "thinner" or "lighter" in others, we investigate if such differences imply that musical concepts are strongly culturally grounded, or if some underlying similarities may still be proposed. To this end, we have conducted a series of studies asking young participants to describe isolated musical elements or short musical excerpts in controlled settings (Serbian, Roma, US, musically trained and untrained, sighted and congenitally blind children), to assess the appropriateness of visual animations following simple musical percepts on rating scales (musician and non-musician university students), and to describe excerpts from programmatic musical pieces containing such elements, with or without prior prompts (non-musician adults). Results overwhelmingly suggest that participants construct musical concepts based not on strong experiential clues (e.g. familiarity with notation systems or the way the concept is called in their language) but rather on more abstract properties inferable from the percepts on an underlying semantic level, e.g. interlocked combinations of schematic elements such as MAGNITUDE, FORCE, or PATH. This in turn puts to question the all-out revival of radical relativism in both linguistics and cognitive psychology and calls for a more balanced incorporation of universal and culturally-induced factors in musical concept construction. In turn, this may have implications for methodological debates across several fields – from music cognition to cognitive semantics.

Mihailo Antović teaches cognitive linguistics in the Department of English, Faculty of Philosophy, and heads the Center for Cognitive Sciences at the University of Niš, Serbia. His main research is on connections between music and language, especially with regard to the problem of meaning. He has presented related papers and given invited talks in Austria, Bulgaria, Greece, the Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Hungary, Poland, Slovenia, Slovakia, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States. He was a Fulbright visiting scholar at Case Western Reserve University and research scholar at the University of Freiburg, and is currently Humboldt senior research fellow at Humboldt University in Berlin. His articles have appeared in numerous journals (e.g. Metaphor and Symbol, Language and Communication, Language and Literature, Cognitive Semiotics, Musicae Scientiae, Music Perception, Psychology of Music). In addition to several contributions to international edited volumes (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, John Benjamins, Oxford University Press), he has also co-edited a volume on oral poetics and cognitive science for De Gruyter. He is currently writing a monograph commissioned by Routledge entitled Multilevel Grounding: A Theory of Musical Meaning.

  • Donnerstag, 03. Juni 2021, 18 Uhr

Noriko Manabe (Temple University, Philadelphia)
The Democracy That Society Allows: Sounds of Protests in Japan and the US

Perceived attacks on the foundations of democracy in recent years have sparked large demonstrations, often numbering in the hundreds of thousands, in both Japan and the US. This paper will explore the ways in which democracy is sounded differently in street protests of two densely populated cities - Tokyo and New York - as shaped by urban geography (Parkinson), outdoor acoustics (Kang), participatory practices (Turino), and perhaps most importantly, policing. In Japan, heavy policing renders protests less visible, making Japanese protesters rely on sound to make their claims and fill urban space, through chants and music; chanting, recognized as important for building solidarity, is often led and sometimes planned in advance. In particular, the sound truck, piled high with sound equipment and carrying musicians, has enjoyed longevity in Japanese social movements due to its ability to create a wall of sound that both extends its presence in the urban landscape and envelops the protesters. The Women's March in New York, which had the privilege of being lightly policed relative to Black Lives Matter and other US protests, was a comparatively quiet protest. While less organized than Japanese protests, the leaderless atmosphere of this and other Women's Marches led to a high rate of innovation in chanting. Using a combination of humor, references to recent events, interaction with popular music, and intertextuality with historical protest culture, the chants and songs of the Resistance engaged protesters and addressed the issues in memorable fashion. Analyzing protests as an interplay between urban space, cyberspace, police, and activist-musicians, the talk considers the ways in which the sounds of street protests reflect the kind of democracy that society allows.

Noriko Manabe is associate professor of music studies at Temple University. She researches music in social movements and popular music in Japan and the Americas. Her monograph, The Revolution Will Not Be Televised: Protest Music after Fukushima (Oxford), won the John Whitney Hall Book Prize from the Association for Asian Studies, the BFE Book Prize from the British Forum for Ethnomusicology, and Honorable Mention for the Alan Merriam Prize from the Society for Ethnomusicology. Her second monograph, in progress, posits a typology of intertextuality in protest music and the patterns by which these methods are used. She has published articles and chapters on Kendrick Lamar's "Alright" (in Music Theory Online), music and chants of the Trump resistance (in Music and Politics), music addressing the atomic bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and Japanese hip hop. She is editor of 33-1/3 Japan, a book series on Japanese popular music from Bloomsbury Publishing; co-editor of the Oxford Handbook of Protest Music (with Eric Drott); and co-editor of Nuclear Music (with Jessica Schwartz). She serves as Treasurer of the American Musicological Society, as Chair of the Publication Awards Committee for the Society for Music Theory, and as a member of the Finance Committee for the Association for Asian Studies.



  • Donnerstag, 01. Juli 2021, 18 Uhr

Stephanie Probst (Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst, Wien)
Linien hören: Theorien zu Melodie und (musikalischer) Wahrnehmung um 1920

Im frühen 20. Jahrhundert widmete sich die deutschsprachige Musiktheorie zunehmend der Ausarbeitung von Theorien zur Melodie. Dabei fungierte auffällig oft die Linie als metaphorisches Sinnbild oder graphisches Darstellungsmittel um Tonhöhenverläufe nachzuzeichnen und zu Einheiten zu verbinden. Dieses Bild wirft zugleich Fragen auf, etwa nach der implizierten Übertragbarkeit zwischen auditiven und visuellen Wahrnehmungen, ihrer Zeitlichkeit und der Kognition vergänglicher Prozesse. Der Vortrag spürt diesen Querverweisen an Hand ausgewählter Beispiele unter anderem aus den Theorien von Ernst Toch und Ernst Kurth nach und verortet sie im musikalischen Geschehen ihrer Zeit. Dies lässt eine methodische Neuausrichtung von Musiktheorie an Beiträgen aus der Gestaltpsychologie und Phänomenologie nachvollziehen und erschließt Parallelen zur Abstraktion und Neudefinition der Linie in den bildenden Künsten.

Seit Anfang März 2021 hat Stephanie Probst eine Tenure-Track-Stelle in Musikwissenschaft an der Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst in Wien inne. Zuvor war sie Juniorprofessorin an der Universität zu Köln und als Postdoc an den Universitäten von Cambridge (ERC-Projekt "Sound and Materialism in the 19th Century") und Potsdam tätig. Ihre Dissertation (Harvard University, 2018) zeigt Wechselwirkungen von musiktheoretischen, künstlerischen und psychologischen Ansätzen in Theorien zur Melodie im frühen 20. Jahrhundert auf. Ein neues Projekt ist der Gegenüberstellung von manuellen und maschinellen Aufzeichnungsverfahren von Musik gewidmet, etwa auf Notenrollen für selbstspielende Klaviere, Melographen und in graphischen Analyseverfahren.


  • Donnerstag, 15. Juli 2021, 18 Uhr

Elizabeth Tolbert (Johns Hopkins University, Peabody Conservatory)
Iconicity and the Sociality of Musical Form​:
How might an evolutionary approach inform what and how music 'means'?

In this talk, I propose that musical meaning is grounded in the experience of so-called 'unmediated' vocality, and that this 'unmediatendness' is symbolically represented as iconic of ethological signals that have continuities with communicative vocality in other non-human species. Following Millikan (2004), I further propose that meaning is grounded in behavior, i.e., meaning is based on 'what to do' in a communicative context. Furthermore, the bi-directionality of human communication (Tomasello 2014), i.e., the reciprocal understanding of others' goals and intentions, it what allows for music to be understood as iconic in the first place.  Thus, the iconicity of musical form and its attendant recursion are emergent from social intelligence more generally.

Elizabeth Tolbert is Professor of Ethnomusicology at the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University, with a joint appointment in the Department of Anthropology. She is also a Research Affiliate at the Centre for Music and Science, University of Cambridge, and was a Visiting Fellow at Wolfson College, Cambridge for 2018-19. Her interdisciplinary theoretical interests and publications cover a broad range of topics, including music and evolution, feminist theory and gender, music and language ideologies, ritual, and music cognition; she has done fieldwork in Finland, Karelia, and at the Peabody Conservatory, Maryland, USA. Tolbert has received grants from the ACLS, the NEH, and Fulbright. Her service in the Society for Ethnomusicology includes SEM Council (1995-97; 2002-04), co-founder  and co-chair (with Deborah Wong) of the SEM Committee on the Status of Women (1996-1998), and she has recently served as Vice President of the Society (2016-18).