In occasion of the 50th anniversary of the death of Theodor W. Adorno, there will be two conferences dedicated to a wide area of thought outlined by the philosopher. MUSIK, SCHRIFT, DIFFERENZ is organised by Justus-Liebig-University Giessen and the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna as part of the research cluster „Writing Music“, and will take place 3.–5. April 2019 in the Arnold Schönberg Center in Vienna.

The Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena, together with the Fondazione Giorgio Cini (Venice), will hold the conference THE MEDIATIONS OF MUSIC: THEODOR W. ADORNO’S CRITICAL MUSICOLOGY TODAY (Siena, 21.–23. November 2019). Adorno’s unfinished book Towards a Theory of Musical Reproduction, which is at the centre of the Vienna Symposium, will be also a key topic at the Sienna conference, coordinated by Gianmario Borio with the support of Stefano Jacoviello, Nicola Sani and Stefano Velotti. The relationship between sign and sound will be investigated along with the mediations of music that mechanical reproduction and electronic technologies have made possible. 


3 – 5 April 2019, Vienna, Arnold Schönberg Center

Wissenschaftszentrum Arnold Schönberg und die Wiener Schule at the Institut für Musikwissenschaft und Interpretationsforschung, Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst, Vienna, and Institut für Musikwissenschaft und Musikpädagogik, Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen, in cooperation with Arnold Schönberg Center, Vienna

Theodor W. Adorno’s posthumously published book Towards a Theory of Musical Reproduction contains numerous thoughts about a theory of musical notation which can be made adaptable to contemporary discourses (e.g. of writing). Taking a fresh look at the fragmentary text, Adorno’s reflections need to be reviewed, concretised and modified with regard to the following questions: What are the qualities of musical writing, where do its potentials and limitations lie? What are the characteristics of the medium of sound? And what happens when sound – being ephemeral by nature – is spatialised? What kind of processes, on the other hand, are essential to the act of music-making?

Building on new impulses from interdisciplinary research on writing, we invite scholars to reflect on Adorno’s thoughts on musical reproduction and to expand on them in a productive way.

The conference languages are German and English.

Matteo Nanni (Gießen), Nikolaus Urbanek (Wien), Julia Freund née Zupancic (Gießen)