Call for Papers: Shakespeare and Music Studies

4 November, Melbourne.

Shakespeare and Music Studies: From theory into practice.

Monash University. Hosted by The Monash Shakespeare Company & The Melbourne Shakespeare Society

One-day Symposium. Call for papers:

C19th watercolour of a jester playing a pipe
Courtice Pounds as Feste in Tree’s 1901 production of Twelfth Night, viahttps://theshakespearecode.wordpress.com

When the field of Shakespeare and music studies emerged in the late-nineteenth century, it mainly concerned itself with the problems reconstructing the musical materials and practices of early modern theatre cultures. Since then, the field has evolved to encompass a vast body of methodologies and contexts, incorporating discussions of literature and history, and linking them to musical and theatre practices. As the field stands today, it is characterised by its eclecticism, even as it asserts its intrinsic value to Shakespeare studies more generally.

This symposium calls upon these diverse areas of expertise that make up the modern field to assist in identifying and developing strategies for the integration of music into productions of Shakespeare. We invite submissions from theatre and music practitioners, academics in literature, theatre, history and music studies, as well as postgraduate and undergraduate students, to contribute to this conversation. We impose no particular restrictions on paper topics, provided they are generally relevant to the field of Shakespeare and music studies. However, the following questions may act as a guide to submissions:

  • Cover of sheet music for Kiss me Kate
    Cole Porter’s take on The Taming of the Shrew

    Why should music be considered a priority in the production of Shakespeare?

  • How can an understanding of early-modern music practice be applied to modern theatre productions?
  • How can knowledge of modern musical practices be applied to the staging of Shakespeare?
  • What specific challenges do composers face when setting Shakespeare’s language to music?
  • What types of musical resources can small theatre companies employ when staging Shakespeare?
  • How can theatre directors employ music in audition, rehearsal and production processes?

NB – Since the symposium will be practice-focused, we are also interested in considering workshop sessions.

Some travel bursaries will be available for interstate or international scholars. All submitted papers will also be considered for inclusion in an edited volume.

Please submit an abstract or proposal of approximately 200 words to christian.griffiths@monash.edu by 1st May 2016.

Musical notation for "hey ho the wind and the rain".
This song is noted for appearing in both Twelfth Night and King Lear.