SMT 2019 Call for Proposals

The forty-second Annual Meeting of the Society for Music Theory will be held in Columbus, Ohio, from Thursday, November 7, to Sunday, November 10, 2019.

The Program Committee invites proposals on any topic related to music theory, as long as the work has not been published in peer-reviewed publications (print or electronic) and has not been presented at an annual conference of the AMS, CMS, SEM, or SAM.  Proposals for posters and for presentations in innovative formats are encouraged.

All proposals will be evaluated anonymously and should exclude the author’s name and any other direct or indirect signal of authorship. References to the author’s own work must occur in the third person. “Author” tags must be removed from electronic files. (In Adobe Acrobat, go to the “File” menu, select “Properties” and delete the name from the Author box.) 

All proposals should clearly indicate whether the submission should be considered for presentation as: (1) a paper only; (2) a poster only; or (3) either a paper or poster.

Proposals will not be considered if they exceed word limits or if an individual violates the rules on multiple submissions described below, under “Participation.”

Single-Author and Joint-Author Papers

A submission for a single-author or joint-author paper must include the title and description for a presentation of twenty minutes’ duration. The description (including notes) should be no more than 500 words. Each mathematical equation may be counted as one word.

The Program Committee strongly encourages members to append supplementary materials (such as musical examples, diagrams, and selected bibliography) as necessary to substantiate an argument or demonstrate results. The supplementary materials will not be counted within the 500-word limit, but must not exceed four pages. Any supplementary text (e.g., example captions) should not appreciably add to the word count or content of the proposal.

The proposal and supplementary materials should preserve the anonymity of the author(s) as described above.

For tips on drafting a proposal, visit the website of the SMT’s Professional Development Committee:

When submitting the proposal on the web, authors will be prompted for identification and contact information, as well as a list of all required equipment (such as piano) other than the sound system and LCD projector that will be available for all presenters. Please note that the Society cannot provide Internet access for presentations.

Accepted papers will generally be allocated thirty minutes each: twenty for the paper and ten for discussion. The Committee may accept a proposed paper under the condition that it be transformed into a poster.

Interactive Poster Session

The Program Committee strongly encourages proposals for a vibrant Interactive Poster Session, which provides an opportunity for scholars to present their research in a more informal setting. Poster presenters will bring to the session a printed poster, suitable for mounting on a wall, and will stay with their posters to interact with interested individuals, by summarizing primary findings and answering questions about the research.  Presenters may optionally augment the poster presentation with sound files and/or handouts.

Proposals for posters should follow the guidelines for submission of papers but indicate the author’s preference that it be considered for the poster session.

For tips on presenting a poster, please see the guidelines from the SMT Professional Development Committee at

Special Sessions

An SMT special session is proposed as a whole, rather than as a set of individual submissions. Two formats are available; each differs from the general succession of twenty-minute talks in some way.

Integrated special session. This comprises a set of papers that are closely related in content and thoughtfully integrated and framed by a session rationale. Each paper occupies a regular thirty-minute timeslot (twenty-minute presentation plus ten-minute question period). The Committee reserves the right to consider each paper separately and to program a paper with or without the others from that proposed session. All components of an integrated special session proposal—the cover letter with the names of participants and institutional affiliation, the session rationale, and the individual paper abstracts—should be submitted by the organizer through the SMT website as a single package. The Program Committee will only see the session rationale and the individual paper abstracts.

Alternative-format special session. This comprises a set of papers organized in a non-standard way, e.g., a panel discussion, workshop, “flipped” session, “lightning talk” session, etc. Note that this can include a set of thirty-minute papers in forty-five minute time slots (the “old” SMT format). Because individual contributions typically do not fall within a standard thirty-minute timeslot, such sessions are accepted or rejected in toto. All components of an alternative-format session proposal—the cover letter with the names of participants and institutional affiliation, the session rationale, and the individual paper abstracts—should be submitted by the organizer through the SMT website as a single package. The Program Committee will only see the session rationale and the individual paper abstracts.

Special sessions of either type may be either ninety minutes or three hours in duration. Proposals for both types of special sessions must include a session rationale of no more than 500 words and individual proposals for all segments of the session. These should follow, where possible, the guidelines for paper proposals. With prior approval of the Program Committee chair, however, special session proposals may be exempted from certain of the guidelines listed above, including in some cases the rule of anonymity for participants. To discuss the possibility of exemptions, those wishing to propose such sessions must contact the Program Committee chair no later than January 1, 2019.


In an effort to be more inclusive and to foster many voices in our Society, the Program Committee has established the following Participation Guidelines:

Authors may submit only one proposal as follows:

  1. Author or joint author of a 20-minute solo paper for a regular session;
  2. Author of a 20-minute paper for an integrated special session (in this case the author’s proposal is part of the single package submitted by the organizer);
  3. Organizer of an integrated special session (the organizer may also propose a 20-minute paper for that same session);
  4. Organizer of an alternative-format special session (the organizer may also participate in the same session).

In addition, authors of an accepted paper that is 20 minutes or longer may also accept an invitation to participate in one other activity, including but not limited to participation in an alternative-format special session, chairing a session, appearing as an invited speaker or respondent on a session sponsored by one of the standing committees (CSW, Diversity, PD), participating as a member of a roundtable, performer, etc. In the case of an individual giving two presentations, one of them must be 10 minutes or less. Under no circumstances should an individual be involved in more than two proposals.

If you have a question about your participation that does not seem to be covered by the guidelines above, please contact the Chair of the Program Committee.

Submission Procedure and Deadline

The proposal submission portal is closed.

All proposal materials must be formatted together as one PDF document under 10 MB in size. (Those who have difficulties with online submission should contact Jennifer Diaz, Executive Director of SMT, at

Please make sure that you have followed all guidelines in this call. The Program Committee will not consider submissions that do not meet the guidelines.

Note that rejected proposals will remain anonymous; only the SMT Executive Director, in mailing out acceptance and rejection letters, will know the identities of the authors of these proposals.

SMT 2019 Program Committee

  • Eric McKee, Penn State University (Chair),
  • David Cohen, Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics, Frankfurt am Main
  • Jennifer Iverson, University of Chicago
  • J. Daniel Jenkins, University of South Carolina
  • Elizabeth Marvin, Eastman School of Music
  • Martin Scherzinger, New York University
  • Steven Vande Moortele, University of Toronto
  • Robert Hatten, The University of Texas at Austin (ex officio)

For clarification or further information, please contact SMT Executive Director Jennifer Diaz at