Musicological Societies as Intermediaries between Society, Musical Life and Academia’

Utrecht, 22-24 November 2018

The founding in 1868 of the KVNM, under the name Society for Music History of the Netherlands, was closely related to a widespread need for more knowledge about the Dutch past, in this case, the musical past. At the time musicology was still in its infancy worldwide. A few German universities offered musicology courses, but a fully-fledged academic discipline as such did not yet exist. Research was done by enthusiasts and musicians who could afford to visit national and international archives and libraries.

Utrecht ca. 1932 (corner of Drift / Kromme Nieuwegracht). Photo: E.A. van Blitz & Zn. / flickr.com

In part due to efforts by the KVNM, the first Dutch chair for musicology was established in Utrecht in 1930. Though ties between the KVNM and the university have always been close, the KVNM has remained independent and has always functioned as a link between scholars, musical life and society. This role as an intermediary has also continuously had a significant international component. The KVNM is involved with organizations such as the International Musicological Society, cooperates with sister societies, and maintains relations with foreign publishers for the dissemination of Dutch musical heritage beyond the Netherlands.

The position of an intermediary is of course not unique for the Dutch situation; it is also characteristic of musicological societies in other countries. The jubilee of the KVNM as the world’s oldest musicological society forms an excellent opportunity to rally sister societies from Europe and North-America to discuss the various forms that the role of go-between and of intermediary take on, nationally and internationally, bilaterally and multilaterally.

The purpose of the congress is to stimulate international cooperation among musicological societies, embarking upon the future with new élan as intermediaries in society, musical life and scholarship. In line with this goal the congress is emphatically meant for musicologists and musicians, as well as interested music and history lovers.

Practical information

The symposium will be held in Utrecht from 22 through 24 November. The complete schedule of the symposium will be available on this site in due course.

Please send proposals for individual presentations, roundtables, panels or forum discussions, before April 23rd 2018, to secretaris [at] kvnm.nl.