Friday, May 7, 2021
Saturday, May 8, 2021
online (Hamburg University of Music and Drama)

At the conference, we will discuss ways, in which music theory proposed visions of the future music and music theory which may not have been established subsequently and yet may have been a formative power in the past (Reinhard Koselleck, Lucian Hölscher et al.).

We aim to add another perspective to the dominating view on the past from a retrospective perspective in music theory: While previous studies on the history of music theory have reflected on the relationship between music theory and the past or between music theory and the compositional practice of a present, the perspective of the future has largely been ignored. However, ideas on the future may have significant influence on the thoughts and theories about music from a particular period. In fact, music theory as a medium for reflecting on and articulating music offers a high potential for the development, legitimation and influence of (future) music.
Although it may seem to be the natural fate of the discipline of music theory to “lag behind” (Carl Dahlhaus) the compositional practice, music theorists continued to think about the future of music or the future of music theory. To address the overall question on the impact and relevance of “future” in music theory – past and present –, the conference accounts for historiographical, epistemological and pragmatic questions from different perspectives of Music Theory, Musicology, Philosophy and Cultural studies.

The conference language will be German.