Department of Musicology

Lutheran Music Culture Conference 2017

Gelobet seist du sheet music


14-16 September, 2017

Department of Musicology, Uppsala University, Sweden

Call for Papers

The year 2017 presents the perfect opportunity to study and reconsider the impact and significance of the Reformation as a watershed in Western cultural history. This specific commemoration will highlight Martin Luther as the instigating figure of a theological tradition that has thoroughly influenced the development of religious, political and cultural modernity – initially in Northern Europe and later across different parts of the globe. A forceful dedication and commitment to music, as a medium of human creativity and religious communication, is a characteristic trait of both Luther’s versatile personality and a broad cultural tradition which remains influenced by his historical achievements.

This conference, hosted by the Department of Musicology at Uppsala University, Sweden, is intended to promote a contemporary assessment of this cultural trajectory, under the aegis of the phrase “Lutheran music culture”. While the notion might seem to imply a unitary and coherent tradition, contributors are encouraged both to confirm, discuss or question its historical reality and even the fruitfulness of sketching such a notion in the first place. Nevertheless, emerging scholarly work on Luther as a theorist of human affections and aesthetics can at the very least open up new vistas to reconsider how his conspicuously high regard of music has been employed as an impetus for musical practices and creativity throughout half a millennium.

The organizers welcome proposals in any area and from disciplines that can shed light upon Lutheran music but specifically encourage proposals that in themselves, or within the coherent whole of the conference:

  • Facilitate interdisciplinary discussions where, for example, an interplay between systematic theological and aesthetic perspectives vis-à-vis historical musicology might shed new light on the reciprocity between theoretical ideals and cultural practices.
  • Interpret the wider societal significance of musical ideals, performances and education that originally developed out of liturgical and devotional contexts.
  • Operate with a broad perception of a Lutheran tradition, especially in regard to a contemporary situation of globalization and ecumenism.

We welcome proposals for

  • individual scholarly papers
  • panels or round-table sessions
  • flyer or poster presentations
  • lecture-recitals
  • musical performances

Abstracts of no more than 300 words, in English, are to be submitted no later than 15 March 2017 and sent to the address Kindly include the following details: the name of contributor(s), institutional affiliation, postal address, phone number and email address. Acceptance of proposals will be at the discretion of the organizers and conference committee, who will also advise on publishing strategies relating to the conference.

Conference committee:

  • John Butt, University of Glasgow
  • Hans Davidsson, Royal Academy of Music, Copenhagen
  • Robin Leaver, Westminster Choir College, Princeton
  • Karin Nelson, Norwegian Academy of Music
  • Thomas Schmidt, University of Manchester
  • Johann Anselm Steiger, University of Hamburg
  • Bernice Sundkvist, Åbo Akademi University
  • Ruth Tatlow, Independent scholar, Bach Network UK
  • Peter Wollny, Bach-Archiv Leipzig and University of Leipzig

Please do not hesitate to contact the organizers if there would be any further questions:

This Call for Papers is also available as a PDF: Lutheran Music Culture 2017 CfP