Musicologie Médiévale

Resources for medieval musicology and liturgy

Call for Paper (Cantus Planus Conference, 2011)



The changing face of sacred chant throughout the centuries has always presented methodological challenges for scholars: from concrete technical work on the cataloguing, evaluation, and digital presentation of sources and their repertoires to the interdisciplinary perspectives afforded by a wide range of disciplines (literary studies, liturgical studies, paleography, codicology, etc.). These methods continue to lead to important and ground-breaking discoveries. Yet, just as chant was transformed and reformed, so, too, do newer methodological approaches examining the broader cultural and historical contexts of musical production and transmission present fresh challenges for the study of cantus planus.

For our next meeting, the Chair and Advisory Board of the Study Group particularly invite proposals for presentations that explore the future of research on cantus planus in newer areas of inquiry. We propose – in addition to the more standard topics (Rome before 800, the Carolingian renewal, tropes and sequences, historiae, local traditions) – the following as examples:

Intersections of major traditions, East and West

Chant and the arts
Chant and ritual
Chant and political history
Chant and children, women, and men
Chant and private devotion
Chant in contemporary global popular culture
Teaching the theory and practice of Western plainchant in history and today
Theory and teaching of Eastern chant
Chant composition and theory after 1100
A history of chant-style(s)
Theory, practice and cataloguing of contrafacta
Chant within polyphony / Cantus firmi
Ecclesiastical and secular recitation-formulas and reading-tones
Printing and chant repertories
Later chant notations
Chant and archival research
Chant and ‘late’ reforms
Chant in Protestant and other reformed liturgies

Guidelines for proposals

Please read the guidelines for proposals carefully: proposals that do not conform to them cannot be considered.

All proposals must include:
• the author’s name,
• institutional affiliation and/or city of residence,
• full return address, especially a regularly used e-mail address,
• an indication of the type of presentation (see below types of presentation A-G),
• an indication of audio-visual needs.


for all proposals: 150-350 words. Mere indications of topic or markedly shorter or longer proposals will not be considered.

Types of presentation

The Chair and Advisory Board of the Study Group invite proposals in several categories:
A position papers,
B three-paper sessions,
C 25-min individual papers,
D 15 min individual papers with a 10 min presented response (one proposal, but two presenters – the reader of the paper and the respondent),
E reports,
F evening demonstrations, and
G posters / audiovisual presentations

A Position papers. We seek proposals for position papers on major topics. These papers will be followed by a longer discussion period. Of the ten papers to be selected, we seek one each on the following topics: ‘cantus planus in Austria’, ‘issues in chant performance’, ‘the cantus firmus’, and ‘chant seen through printed sources’. Proposals not selected will be judged as individual paper proposals (category C). Proposals for position papers should adhere to the instructions for individual papers. These ten papers will be submitted to Acta musicologica for publication.

B Three-paper sessions without respondents. For this proposal, organizers should prepare a rationale, explaining the importance of the topic and the proposed constituent papers, together with the names of the organizer, participants, and a suggested chairperson. The organizer should also include a proposal for each paper, which conforms to the guidelines for individual proposals above. Formal session proposals will be considered as a unit and as individual papers. Papers not meeting the required standard may be rejected, while the session remains otherwise intact.

C Individual papers. Proposals should represent the paper as fully as possible. A successful proposal articulates the main aspects of the argument or research findings clearly, positions the author’s contribution with respect to earlier work, and suggests the paper’s significance for the ‘Cantus Planus’ community.

D Short individual paper with a presented response. The proposal should describe the paper and the response as fully as possible, as well as the rationale for pairing them. We especially seek combinations that reveal two sides of an important debate, through specific examples or topics.

E Reports on research in progress. Papers that do not represent completed research fall in this category. Reports may last no longer than 10 minutes.

F Demonstrations. Demonstrations of technology or research methods or of longer musical examples must not take more than 15 minutes. These will be held in the evening. The demonstration and its rationale must be described as fully as possible.

G Posters / audiovisual presentations. We invite poster and audiovisual presentations on topics such as notation, topography, chant and architecture, chant and ritual, chant and popular culture and so on. The nature and content of the presentation and its contribution to scholarship should be described as fully as possible.


Due to limitations of time, individuals generally must restrict themselves to one contribution only. Contributions from the options F and G are encouraged. Paper-presentations can choose only one of the options A–E. A presentation from options A-E may be combined with option F or G, however.


Proposals in any of the five IMS languages may be submitted: English, French, German, Italian, Spanish.

Submission procedure and Deadline

Proposals must be received before 16 September 2010 12:00 MET.

All proposals must be submitted electronically as email-attachments in text-format, to

Replies will be sent to all who submit proposals by 1 November 2010. Notification of acceptance will be made by 15 December 2010.

Roman Hankeln, Chair / Barbara Haggh, Past Chair

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