Call for Papers

Listening to music: people, practices and experiences

24-25 October 2015, the Royal College of Music, London, UK

The conference is held as part of the Listening Experience Database (LED) Project

The keynote speaker will be Professor Simon Frith.

How have people responded to listening to music in their everyday lives?

We have access to plenty of professional critical opinion, but what new insights are offered by an examination of the unsolicited observations and feelings of ordinary listeners – what can we learn about the effects of music, its cultural value and the manner of its consumption in a range of social, historical and geographical contexts?

The LED (Listening Experience Database) Project focuses on the building and interrogation of a large database of personal listening experiences, with the aim of establishing a more robust evidential base for the exploration of such questions.

As we come to the end of the first phase of the project, the conference is an opportunity to take stock of progress to date, to look ahead to future developments, and – crucially – to examine some of the themes and approaches to the study of music that may be supported by the mass of evidence of listening experiences that the database is accumulating.

Proposals are invited for papers of up to 20 minutes (followed by 10 minutes of discussion), and panels or roundtables of up to 60 minutes. 

We are interested in receiving proposals on a wide range of topics unrestricted by period, musical genre or culture. As a guide, you may want to consider some of the themes which already interest the project team:

  • Listening and travel
  • Wartime listening
  • Listening and gender
  • Listening and social class
  • Practitioner listening – performers and composers
  • Listening to early repertoires
  • The impact on listening of recording and other technologies

Your proposal should include:

  • the name(s) and institutional affiliation(s) of the participant(s)
  • title and abstract (250 words)
  • short biographical note(s) (100 words per participant)

The deadline for proposals is midnight on Sunday 12 April 2015.

Please email your proposal to 

Abstracts will be reviewed and notifications of acceptance sent out by the end of May 2015.

Registration will open in June 2015. All speakers apart from the keynote speaker and project team members will be required to register.

Please feel free to address any queries to the conference organizers, Dr Helen Barlow and Simon Brown, at

  • Twitter Logo
  • Facebook Logo
  • Instagram Logo
  • LinkedIn Logo
Royal College of Music, Prince Consort Road, London SW7 2BS. Tel: +44(0)20 7591 4300 Royal College of Music, Prince Consort Road, London SW7 2BS.
Tel: +44(0)20 7591 4300
  • Twitter Logo
  • Facebook Logo
  • Instagram Logo
  • LinkedIn Logo