The 45th Annual Meeting of the Society for Music Theory (SMT)
Held jointly with the American Musicological Society (AMS)
and the Society for Ethnomusicology (SEM)

New Orleans, Louisiana
Thursday, November 10 to Sunday, November 13, 2022

stack of papers

The forty-fifth Annual Meeting of the Society for Music Theory (SMT) will be held jointly with the American Musicological Society (AMS) and the Society for Ethnomusicology (SEM) in New Orleans, Louisiana, from Thursday, November 10, to Sunday, November 13, 2022.

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 SMT, 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.) Any online materials, including but not limited to YouTube channels and websites, must also be anonymized. All single- and joint-authored proposals should indicate a preference for either paper or poster presentation.

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

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 20 minutes’ duration. The description (including notes) should be no more than 500 words. Each mathematical equation may be counted as one word. In addition, the online submission form will request that authors provide five relevant and specific keywords; recommended are names of composers, theorists, methodologies employed, repertoires discussed, or anything distinctive to the proposal.

Successful proposals typically include appended supplementary materials (such as musical examples, diagrams, hyperlinks, and selected bibliography) as necessary to substantiate an argument, demonstrate results, or clarify the proposal’s relationship to prior scholarship. The examples may include text annotations, and texts that are themselves analytical objects, such as quotations from treatises, archival documents, or translations are also acceptable; however, any text in the supplementary examples and captions should serve only to illuminate arguments already present in the 500-word proposal and should not introduce new examples, explanations, or evidence. Supplementary materials must not exceed four pages.

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

The Committee strongly encourages all authors to visit the website of the SMT’s Professional Development Committee for advice and successful proposal samples from prior years.

When submitting the proposal online, authors will be prompted for identification and contact information. A sound system and LCD projector will be available for all presenters. Please indicate whether or not a piano is required.  The Society cannot guarantee internet access for presentations.

Accepted papers will generally be allocated a 30-minute slot: 20 minutes for the paper and 10 minutes for discussion. The Committee may accept a proposed paper under the condition that it be transformed into a poster.

Single- or Joint-Authored Posters

The Program Committee strongly encourages proposals for a prominently featured Poster Session, which provides an opportunity for scholars to present their research in a more informal setting. Poster presenters will either bring a printed poster suitable for mounting on an easel, or present their poster digitally by connecting their laptop or tablet computer to an LED screen. Presenters will stay with their posters and interact with interested individuals, summarizing primary findings and answering questions about the research. Presenters may optionally augment the poster presentation with sound files (headphones required) and/or handouts.

A proposal for a poster should follow the guidelines for submission of papers but indicate the author’s preference that it be considered for the poster session. Furthermore, proposers should indicate whether they plan to present a printed poster, a digital poster, or if they could present in either medium. The Society cannot guarantee internet access for poster presentations. The Committee may accept a proposed poster under the condition that it be transformed into a paper.

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

SMT Special Sessions

An SMT special session is proposed as a whole, rather than as a set of individual submissions. Two formats are available.

Integrated special session. This type comprises a set of papers that are closely related in content, thoughtfully integrated, and framed by a session rationale. Each paper occupies a regular 30-minute slot (20-minute presentation plus 10-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.

The session rationale and the individual paper proposals should be submitted by the session organizer through the SMT website as a single package. The Program Committee will see only the session rationale and the individual paper proposals.

Alternative-format special session. This type 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 30-minute papers in 45-minute timeslots (the “old” SMT format). Because individual contributions typically do not fall within a standard 30-minute timeslot, such sessions are accepted or rejected in toto. All components of an alternative-format session proposal should be submitted by the session organizer through the SMT website as a single package. The Program Committee will see only the session rationale and the individual paper proposals.

Special sessions of either type may be either 90 or 180 minutes in duration. Proposals for special sessions must include a session rationale of no more than 500 words and individual proposals for all segments of the session except for respondents. 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 aspects 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 Executive Director no later than January 1, 2022.

Joint Sessions

For this special meeting, the Program Committees of the AMS, SEM, and SMT enthusiastically invite proposals for joint sessions, bringing together participants from across the societies. Joint session proposals may be for either 90 minutes or 180 minutes and should present a balance of participants from two or three societies. Joint session proposals will be considered as a unit by the program committees of the AMS, SEM, and/or SMT, and will be programmed as a joint session only if accepted by all relevant program committees. (However, a proposal for a joint session may be programmed as a solo AMS, SEM, or SMT session if one of the program committees so chooses.) Joint session proposals may be for multi-paper sessions, workshops, or roundtables. Proposals must identify the number of participants from each society.

  • Multi-paper session proposals should include a summary and individual abstracts. These proposals will be evaluated anonymously and should contain no direct or indirect signal of authorship. Joint session proposals may be comprised of either three papers (90 minutes) or six papers (180 minutes).
  • Workshop and roundtable proposals should identify participants and outline the session format.

All proposal abstracts must be 350 words or less.

Application Restrictions

Only one proposal per person per society (AMS, SEM, and/or SMT) is allowed. No one may appear on the program more than twice. An individual may participate in any of the presentation formats listed above and appear one other time on the program as a chair of a session or as a respondent.

Proposals of the same or similar content cannot be submitted by the same person to more than one of the three societies. An individual may submit different proposals to the AMS, SEM, and/or SMT but must indicate the multiple submissions on the online submission page and select (in the case of multiple acceptances) which proposal would take priority. Authors who present on an SEM or AMS session may not also present on an SMT session or a joint session. In the case of multiple acceptances, the program committees will give preference to any paper that is part of a proposed session.

In regards to proposals viewed solely by the SMT Program Committee, an individual may propose to participate in one of the following ways:

  1. Author or joint author of a 20-minute solo paper for a regular session;
  2. Author or joint author of a poster;
  3. 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);
  4. Organizer of an integrated special session (the organizer may also propose a 20-minute paper for that same session);
  5. Organizer of an alternative-format special session (the organizer may also deliver a paper of no more than 30 minutes in the same session);
  6. Author of a paper of no more than 30 minutes on an alternative-format special session;
  7. Author or joint author of a scholarly paper or a presentation of more than 10 minutes as part of a session presented by a standing committee (Committee on the Status of Women, Committee on Race and Ethnicity, Professional Development Committee, Committee on Disability and Accessibility, and Committee on LGBTQ+ Issues). The Program Committee will not evaluate papers or presentations by the individual standing committees, but the chairs shall submit complete descriptions of their sessions through the online portal by February 15, 2022.

In addition to the participation guidelines given above, authors may accept an invitation to chair a session, participate in a roundtable discussion, perform, participate as a respondent for a session, give a non-scholarly presentation as part of an alternative-format special session or standing committee session, or give a scholarly presentation of no more than 10 minutes in length in an alternative-format special session or standing committee session. Under no circumstances should an individual be involved in more than two proposals viewed by the SMT Program Committee.

Participation in SMT Interest Group meetings is outside the purview of the Program Committee and is not relevant to the rules of participation given above. Names of presenters in Interest Group meetings will not appear in the program.

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.

In cases of multiple submissions that do not follow these rules, none of the submissions will be considered. No one may appear on the New Orleans program more than twice.

Submission Procedure

Proposals (including proposals for joint sessions) must be received by 11:59 p.m. EST, 15 February 2022.

Proposals are to be submitted electronically. A link to the proposal submission site will be available in early December.

Please note that proposal submission ceases precisely at the deadline. To avoid technical problems with submission please submit at least twenty-four hours before the deadline. Proposals received after the deadline cannot be considered.

Notifications of the Program Committee's decisions will be sent in early June. 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. Those who present at the conference must be members in good standing of the Society.

SMT 2022 Program Committee

  • Mark Spicer (Hunter College and the Graduate Center, CUNY), Chair,
  • Janet Bourne (University of California, Santa Barbara)
  • Stephen Brown (Northern Arizona University)
  • Brett Clement (Ball State University)
  • Clare Sher Ling Eng (Belmont University)
  • Aaron Harcus (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill)
  • Stephen Rodgers (University of Oregon)
  • Michael Buchler (Florida State University, ex-officio)

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