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Meter Symposium 3

Further your contemporary thought, knowledge and teaching on meter
This two-day symposium brings together a diverse and rich group of researchers in the fields of musicology, ethnomusicology, music performance, music theory, music education, composition, conducting, music psychology and neuroscience.

This symposium is dedicated to the memory of Richard Gill AO.

Event details

Date: 24 - 25 November 2018
Venue: Music Workshop, Sydney Conservatorium of Music

Keynote speaker

Portrait photo of John Roeder

Professor John Roeder
University of British Columbia
Paper: World-music input into theories of meter

Contemporary definitions of musical meter in terms of synchronized pulses have proven productive for the analysis of Western art and popular music, as well as for experimental inquiries into music cognition of those genres.  However, they do not apply comfortably to traditional music across the world that lacks isochrony or a tight (duple or triple) pulse hierarchy, or is very slow or irregular. Yet such music is arguably metric when it involves the production and perception of equal durations, the coordination of attacks in different voices, or an embodied experience of entrainment or groove. To demonstrate, I examine an ensemble performance of Etenraku (the signature melody of Japanese gagaku court music), a bamboo flute solo by a member of a small indigenous community in Papua New Guinea, and a sung-and-drummed peyote song of the Kiowa tribe in central North America.  Each of these items involves impressive feats of temporal measurement that are not adequately modeled by pulse theory. Christopher Hasty’s idea of durational projection—part of his theory of “meter as rhythm”-- helps explain some aspects, but not others. Together they provide some of the input needed for a more general conception of meter as a spectrum of musical behaviors of which a tight isochronous pulse hierarchy could be regarded as a special case.

John Roeder (Ph.D., Yale 1984) is a Professor of Music at the University of British Columbia.  He publishes and lectures widely about rhythm, mathematical and computational models of music, contemporary art music, preservation of digital heritage, and traditional music from across the world. With Michael Tenzer he edited Analytical and Cross-Cultural Studies in World Music (Oxford, 2011). His recent work includes an essay on free rhythm in world music and analyses of compositions by Chen, Bartók, Saariaho, and Adès. His research has been honored with a Killam Research Prize and an Outstanding Publication Award from the Society for Music Theory.

Featured research project

Group paper: Teaching Mathematics with Music and Music with Mathematics

The ongoing project – Teaching Mathematics with Music and Music with Mathematics – explores how commonalities between mathematics and music can be used to facilitate understanding and improve educational outcomes in both subjects. Specifically, we use novel software applications to visualise and sonify musical-mathematical concepts; we combine these with teaching methods that draw out and amplify analogies between music, mathematics, and their visual, sonic, verbal, and numeric representations. Two pilot projects in schools – Year 9 pupils at Sydney Grammar School, and Year 7 pupils at Bankstown Girls High School – have been recently completed. The pilot data give encouraging indications that teaching mathematics and music, in combination, increases pupils’ engagement and leads to a better and more robust understanding of both subjects.

Battell Professor of the Theory of Music Richard Cohn (Yale University) (in absentia); Dr Andrew Milne (Western Sydney University/MARCS); Dr Micah Goldwater (University of Sydney); Associate Professor Tara Hamilton (Macquarie University); Mr Courtney Hilton (University of Sydney); Ms Andrea Calilhanna (Sydney Conservatorium of Music).

Chris Stover

International guest speaker:

Assistant Professor Chris Stover (Arizona State University) Beat Span: An Eventful Theory of Musical Meter.

Chris Stover is a music theorist, composer, and trombonist. His research interests include philosophies of time and process, Deleuze and Guattari studies, affect theory, gender, queer, and post-colonial theory, phenomenology, critical improvisation studies, and rhythmic and microrhythmic processes in Afro-diasporic music. He has recent publications in Music Theory Spectrum, Music Theory Online, Perspectives of New Music, Media and Culture, The Open Space Magazine, Journal of Jazz Studies, Analytical Approaches to World Music, Journal of Music Theory Pedagogy, Engaging Students, and elsewhere. He is co-editor of Rancière and Music (forthcoming with Edinburgh University Press) and special issues of Perspectives of New Music and Engaging Students Through Jazz. Between 2015 and 2016 he spent seven months in Brazil researching folkloric music as a Fulbright Teaching and Research Fellow, and he was a Fellow at the Graduate Institute for Design, Ethnography, and Social Thought at The New School for Social Research in 2016–17. He is currently working on a monograph on temporal processes in Afro-diasporic music.

Topology

Concert: Sunday 25 November 6.00 - 7.00pm

John Babbage (saxophone), Robert Davidson (double bass), Bernard Hoey (viola), Christa Powell (violin), Therese Milanovic (piano). Joined by Grant Collins (percussion), and Bill Simpson (tap dancer).

Established in 1997, Brisbane-based Topology are established leaders in musical creativity in Australia, prolific creators of new original work, expert collaborators across genres and art forms and award-winning music educators. Nominated for a 2014 ARIA Award for best classical album (Share House), Topology has a well-established reputation for their signature work. The quintet experiments with surprising combinations of music genres, theatrical staging and cross art form collaborations to create exciting, thought-provoking music experiences for audiences of all ages, backgrounds and tastes. Resident Artist at Brisbane Powerhouse, Topology has released 14 albums, produced countless evening-length works, presented an award-winning concert series, and toured extensively nationally and internationally. Topology is famous for the breadth and depth of their collaborations. Undaunted by stylistic barriers, the quintet has created stunning new work with partners in theatre (Geoffrey Rush, Neil Armfield), classical music (the Brodsky Quartet, the Southern Cross Soloists), contemporary art music (Terry Riley, Speak Percussion), dance (Expressions Dance Company, Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre), theatre (Queensland Theatre Company, Abhinaya Theatre Company) puppetry (Dead Puppet Society), contemporary jazz (Trichotomy, Loops), popular songwriting (Kate Miller-Heidke, Katie Noonan), comedy (the Kransky Sisters, Gerry Connolly), Asian music (Dheeraj Shrestha, Ubiet) and indigenous Australian music (William Barton).

  • Mr Kristian Borring (WAAPA) How do you hear It? Complex meter in contemporary jazz composition and improvisation using perception and cognitive theory
  • Dr David Bulger (Macquarie University) Symmetry operations on spaces of rhythms
  • Andrea Calilhanna (SCM Graduate research student - Musicology) and Dr Michael Webb (Music Education, SCM) Teaching Time: A Survey of Music Educators’ Approaches to Meter
  • Dr Grant Collins (Queensland Conservatorium of Music) What time is it? Investigative processes and function of contemporaneous polymeter, temporal stratification and rhythmic gymnastics for the contemporary individual performer
  • Professor Roger Dean (MARCS), co-authored by Dr Andrew Milne Tapping well-formed but complex rhythms
  • Mr Courtney Hilton (University of Sydney) Is meter a ruler or is it a bridge?: Comparing music and language brings us towards a unified theory of meter
  • Dr Stuart James (WAAPA) and Mr Lindsay Vickery (WAAPA) Temporal dissonance in Charles Ives' Putnam's Camp
  • Dr David Larkin (Musicology, SCM) Where’s the downbeat? Initial ambiguities and metrical phase-shifting in 19th-century music
  • Mr Tomas Lenc (MARCS) Neural tracking of the musical beat is enhanced by low-frequency sounds
  • Mr Kurt Mikolajczyk (SCM Graduate research student – Composition) Polytemporal possibilities using the digital piano roll: Measuring music using absolute time.

Meter Symposium 3 follows on from two very successful meter symposiums: Meter Symposium in 2016 and Meter Symposium 2 in 2017. The main purposes of the symposium are to further contemporary thought, knowledge and teaching on meter; and to provide the opportunity for the development of collaboration in the study of teaching meter.

With a focus on world and popular music, Meter Symposium 3 brings together a diverse and rich group of researchers in the fields of musicology, ethnomusicology, music performance, music theory, music education, composition, conducting, music psychology and neuroscience.

“In the last 40 years, scientists have discovered much about the human response to musical meter, and musicologists have explored significant new ways to conceptualise and systematically represent our responses to particular compositions or improvisations, in many musical traditions of the world. The annual Meter Symposium at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music is stimulating conversations among researchers and musicians, fostering new approaches to music education at all levels of the curriculum, and helping to situate Australia on the leading edge of a dynamic cross-disciplinary research field”, Battell Professor of the Theory of Music, Professor Richard Cohn, Yale University.

  • Andrea Calilhanna (Master of Music (Musicology) student)
  • Dr Alan Maddox
  • Dr Michael Webb

  • Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Musicology and Music Education Divisions
  • Western Sydney University, MARCS Institute for Brain, Behaviour and Development (co-presenter of the Keynote)
  • Musicology Society of Australia, Sydney Chapter
  • Music Teachers’ Association of NSW

Completing Meter Symposium 3 – Day 1 will contribute 3 hours and 15 minutes of NESA registered PD addressing 2.1.2, 6.2.2 & 7.4.2 from the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers towards maintaining Proficient Teacher Accreditation in NSW.

Completing Meter Symposium 3 – Day 2 will contribute 4 hours and 45 minutes of NESA registered PD addressing 2.1.2, 6.2.2 & 7.4.2 from the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers towards maintaining Proficient Teacher Accreditation in NSW.

Further updates to the program will be added closer to the Symposium.


Meter Symposium 3 has been supported by: 



NESA Registered Professional Development for maintenance of accreditation at Proficient Teacher in NSW:


Completing Meter Symposium 3 – Day 1 will contribute 3 hours and 15 minutes of NESA registered PD addressing 2.1.2, 6.2.2 & 7.4.2 from the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers towards maintaining Proficient Teacher Accreditation in NSW.

Completing Meter Symposium 3 – Day 2  will contribute 4 hours and 45 minutes of NESA registered PD addressing 2.1.2, 6.2.2 & 7.4.2 from the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers towards maintaining Proficient Teacher Accreditation in NSW.