CFP: Shakespeare and Music Studies: From theory into practice

CFP: Symposium

Shakespeare and Music Studies: From theory into practice.


Friday 4th November 2016.

Monash University, Caulfield Campus H.8.04 – 06


Hosted by

The Monash Shakespeare Company & The Melbourne Shakespeare Society


Call for papers

When the field of Shakespeare and music studies emerged in the late-nineteenth century, it mainly concerned itself with the problems reconstructing the musical materials and practices of early modern theatre cultures. Since then, the field has evolved to encompass a vast body of methodologies and contexts, incorporating discussions of literature and history, and linking them to musical and theatre practices. As the field stands today, it is characterised by its eclecticism, even as it asserts its intrinsic value to Shakespeare studies more generally.

This symposium calls upon these diverse areas of expertise that make up the modern field to assist in identifying and developing strategies for the integration of music into productions of Shakespeare. We invite submissions from theatre and music practitioners, academics in literature, theatre, history and music studies, as well as postgraduate and undergraduate students, to contribute to this conversation. We impose no particular restrictions on paper topics, provided they are generally relevant to the field of Shakespeare and music studies. However, the following questions may act as a guide to submissions:

  • Why should music be considered a priority in the production of Shakespeare?
  • How can an understanding of early-modern music practice be applied to modern theatre productions?
  • How can knowledge of modern musical practices be applied to the staging of Shakespeare?
  • What specific challenges do composers face when setting Shakespeare’s language to music?
  • What types of musical resources can small theatre companies employ when staging Shakespeare?
  • How can theatre directors employ music in audition, rehearsal and production processes?


NB – Since the symposium will be practice-focused, we are also interested in considering workshop sessions.


Please submit an abstract or proposal of approximately 200 words to by 1st May 2016. Some travel bursaries will be available for interstate or international scholars. All submitted papers will also be considered for inclusion in an edited volume.