2024 String Band Summit – Call for Participation

The String Band Summit gathers musicians, teachers, students, and scholars engaged in string band music to explore traditions, histories, practices, instruments, and pedagogy, seeking to foster collaboration and understanding both within and among different musical cultures. After two successful years at East Tennessee State University, the third annual SBS will take place at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, Tennessee April 4–7, 2024. The event will be hosted by MTSU’s Center for Popular Music in cooperation with MTSU Center for Chinese Music and Culture, combining the resources of these two world-class music research centers with the musical riches of the Nashville region and far beyond.

The SBS brings together people who perform, teach, and study global string band musics from a variety of genre fields, and from different walks of life.  The organizers seek to support professional, intellectual, and artistic development, deepen connections among institutions where string band musics are taught and studied, and foster collaboration and understanding between researchers and string band artists, allowing participants to interact and collaborate with their peers who work in different places, traditions, and disciplines.

With the 2024 String Band Summit we seek to feature performance, teaching, and scholarship related to the rich string band practices of East Asian cultures. Proposals relating in some way to East Asian music are especially encouraged, although we welcome a broad range of proposals addressing global string band music of any culture. A selection committee of musicians and scholars will select proposals in three categories:

1) Scholarly presentations of 20 minutes in length, to be followed by 10 minutes for questions and discussion. These presentations should highlight research into the history, practice, personalities, and contexts of string band music.  Each presentation should introduce attendees to the process and product of your research, providing new insights into our understandings of how the music has worked and/or is working today.  Content presented should be relevant, innovative, and accessible.

2) Teaching presentations or workshops of 30 or 60 minutes in length, followed by 15 minutes for questions and discussion. Teaching presentations should immerse participants in the sorts of teaching environments that you create and methods you employ in your pedagogical work.  Workshops will be participatory, and should teach participants about a particular style, technique, or practice.  Content could include music history, music theory, business, sound technology, instrument maintenance, etc.   

3) Organized panels or roundtables of 75 minutes. These sessions should include 3 or 4 presenters and a moderator. Panels will include relatively short formal presentations by each panelist, while roundtables will primarily consist of discussion among the participants.   Both formats should include time and encouragement for audience input.

We invite participation from artists, performers, and practitioners, from luthiers, composers, and businesspeople, as well as from scholars and teachers of ethnomusicology, musicology, music education, music theory, dance, art history, history, cultural studies, political science, anthropology, sociology, area studies, media studies, folklore, performance studies, and other relevant disciplines. Proposals from graduate and undergraduate students are encouraged. The committee will evaluate submissions anonymously, and reserves the right to change the category of a proposal as deemed appropriate (e.g., a proposed workshop might be accepted as a scholarly presentation, if the committee feels that this is a better fit).

Each proposal should include a 250-word abstract, indicating a central argument, theme, and methodology, the relationship to other scholarly literature and/or pedagogical practice, and conclusions/outcomes. Proposals are due by October 1, 2023 submitted via this Google form: https://forms.gle/houmFBWgqhUS19C87.  The committee plans to respond to all submissions by November 6, 2023.  

The primary language of the Summit will be English; the committee is able to consider proposals that include other languages with strategies for making the session accessible to a primarily English-speaking audience.

The organizers encourage submitters to commit to in-person attendance and participation in the 2024 SBS, believing that face-to-face interaction supports the kinds of collaboration and growth that we value. We also understand that in-person participation is not feasible for everyone, and invite proposals that include a remote element.

In addition to these presentations the event will include performances, demonstrations, and other programming that is curated by the Program Committee. If you have an idea for a session that does not fit the categories listed above (or have other questions), please contact Greg Reish (greish@mtsu.edu).

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Middle Tennessee State University
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