Philosophy of Contemporary Music


Start date: Wednesday 22 May 2024

Time: 17.00

End date: Friday 24 May 2024

Time: 13.00

Location: The auditorium, Department of Culture and Aesthetics, Manne Siegbahn Buildings, Frescativägen 24E

How might philosophy and aesthetic theory engage with contemporary music? And why does music matter to philosophy? These questions will be raised and addressed at this three-day conference organized by Forum Modernism in collaboration with Södertörn Philosophy and the Research School Critical Cultural Theory.

Musical Instruments 1915-1916 - Amadeo Souza-Cardoso
Musical Instruments 1915-1916 – Amadeo Souza-Cardoso

Gathering scholars from various disciplines, the conference asks whether something like a musical material can be said to exist today; how the concept of tradition is to be understood; and what kind of displacements that have occurred in the discourse of form. Such themes have been crucial for the constitution of musical meaning in modernist and contemporary classical music, as well as in the arts more generally. If they are no longer relevant, which concepts would be more pertinent today?

The conference is held in English. All activities take place in the auditorium at the Department of Culture and Aesthetics at Stockholm University unless otherwise specified.



Wednesday 22 May

17:00–18:00 Max Paddison: “Problematizing the Concepts of Material, Form and Musical Meaning in the Context of the Modern”

Thursday 23 May

10:00–11:00 Susanne Kogler: “Time, Space, Material: Contemporary Music and Its Media”
11:00–12:00 Marcia Sá Cavalcante Schuback: “Rhythm Is Music in Music: A Meditation”
12:00–13:00 Lunch Break
13:00–14:00 Iris Dankemeyer: “Uneasy listening: On the function of music in society today”
14:00–15:00 Edward Campbell: “From Musical Material to Music’s Materiality: From Adorno to Deleuze”
15:00–15:30 Tea/coffee
15:30–16:30 Iain Campbell: “‘All sound sources in the world’ or ‘the clutter of the unkempt forest’: Two logics of relation from the music of John Cage”

Friday 24 May

10:00–11:00 Johan Sehlberg: “Deleuze, Proust, and Music as Sensible Ideas”
11:00–12:00 Sven-Olov Wallenstein: “The Informal and the Formless”
12:00–13:00 Concluding discussion moderated by Sven-Olov Wallenstein
18:00 Book release at the Goethe Institute

Address: Bryggargatan 12A
Metro station: Hötorget or T-Centralen

The conference is free of charge and open to the public. Please register here  for coffee on the Thursday afternoon: