Music at Western Norway University of Applied Sciences

Large mergers are underway across higher education institutions in western Norway. As of January 2017, my job will be with the newly formed Western Norway University of Applied Sciences, which has 5 campuses and around 16,000 students. I have been told that our music department will be the largest in western Norway - within what has become one of the nation's biggest public universities - and that we will continue to have its largest programs for music teacher education. We also continue to be affiliated with the Grieg Research School for Interdisciplinary Music Studies. I hope the new university websites will manage to keep up with all these new developments.
Here are links for more information:


Tenth International Symposium on the Sociology of Music Education

Call for Papers
The organizing committee of the 10th biennial International Symposium on the Sociology of Music Education and the Institute of Contemporary Music Performance are pleased to announce a call for papers. We welcome proposals from a broad range of perspectives, related to sociology and music education. Colleagues are invited to submit individual papers (twenty minutes, plus five minutes for discussion) or panels of three to five presenters (50 minutes, plus 10 minutes for discussion).

Abstracts should be 300-350 words in length, and should be accompanied by a 150-word biography for each presenter. Email submissions to gareth.smith@icmp.ac.uk, including full name/s and institutional affiliation/s. The closing date for submissions is 1 December 2016. All submissions will be reviewed by the organizing committee: Dr Clare Hall, Dr David Hebert, Dr Danielle Sirek and Dr Gareth Dylan Smith. All presenters will be notified of acceptance by 1 January 2017. The Symposium will be held at the ICMP’s London campus, 11-14 June 2017.

Registration, and information regarding travel, accommodation and scheduling, will be available (from spring 2017) via: http://www.icmp.ac.uk/issme2017
Action, Criticism, and Theory for Music Education will publish a special Sociology of Music Education issue in early 2018, including articles based on ISSME 2017 presentations, and guest edited by Gareth Dylan Smith and Clare Hall. Submissions should meet ACT standards (http://act.maydaygroup.org/submissions/) and will be subject to double-blind peer review. Submissions to the guest editors will be due by September 1, 2017.

Disruption and Recovery

Life can be full of difficult surprises, but the resolute accept, recover, and press on. It is a relief for my life to finally be back to normal after an incredibly complicated year, and to now be returning to various artistic and scholarly endeavors. Following the worst illness of my life (pneumonia caught in Brazil in the autumn), I had to finish resolving a complicated divorce in the spring, which in the summer was followed by the worst injury of my life: a concussion resulting in months of Post Concussive Syndrome. Displayed here is the last photo I took before the debilitating head injury: a peaceful image of wind chimes above Big Sur, California that returned many times as I was recuperating from the concussion. I am thankful to now be very healthy and focused, ready to complete all projects that were unavoidably delayed, and able to take on new projects with confidence in 2017.


Nordic Summer 2016

Spring is a time of new beginnings, and summer is nearly here.
I look forward to finally sending some fully edited manuscripts to press for publication, and to participating in several music events. 
This summer I have conference presentations in Bergen, Copenhagen, Glasgow, and Stockholm, and will visit family in the USA. I will also sing some opera arias and a duet on June 1 for an event organized by Bergen National Opera. My postgraduate students have recently completed some very interesting theses that I think will in time become publishable journal articles.
I am eager to see two more books (which have taken longer than I had hoped) published at last, and to making progress on three more books, one of which will be published in Chinese, co-authored with Jiaxing Xie at China Conservatory. There are many interesting new developments in the field of music, and so much yet to learn.

UPDATE (July 2, 2016), below is a video from the Operapub event: 


Theories and Methods for Music Research

Western Norway is uniquely beautiful, but health can really be a challenge in the cold Nordic winters! After a series of unexpected delays, I am determined to get caught up with my schedule of writing and editing very soon.

Meanwhile, there has been another encouraging book review . . .

In NOTES: Quarterly Journal of the Music Library Association, Justin Hunter describes Theory and Method in Historical Ethnomusicology as ‘a valuable resource for any music scholar interested in the past and its relationship with the present. . . . a jaunty and robust contribution to how music studies could be enhanced by a sensitivity to historical pasts. McCollum and Hebert’s lengthy discussions of the cognitive dissonance of cultural memory are particularly poignant for researchers working to connect oral histories with written sources.’

Jonathan McCollum and I also co-authored the definition for ‘Historical Ethnomusicology’ in a forthcoming encyclopedia on Sage press, and we have recently seen our very short article entitled ‘In Defence of Historical Ethnomusicology’ accepted by the journal Music and Letters, in which we manage to correct some misleading claims that were unfortunately published there by a doctoral student. We look forward to seeing further reactions to our book in the recognition that some of what we suggested is likely to stimulate a rethinking of assumptions regarding the musical past as well as both theories and methods in music research.