Symposium Report

XI International Symposium Music in Society: Position and Movements of Music in Society through Artistic and Scientific Context

From October 25 to 27, 2018, the XI International Symposium Music in Society was held at the Music Academy of the University of Sarajevo, organized by the Musicological Society of FBiH. Traditionally, the symposium addressed the position of music as a cultural and sociological phenomenon from various perspectives, with 55 participants from 9 countries (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro, Slovenia, Macedonia, Great Britain, Ireland, Portugal). In 18 sessions, different musical phenomena were dissected historiographically, analytically, and critically through musicological, ethnomusicological, and works in the field of music theory and pedagogy. In addition to the scientific part, three concerts were held during the symposium: the recital “Flutrification” by flutist and composer Hanan Hadžajlić, the concert “Inter nos” featuring works by living Bosnian-Herzegovinian composers, and a concert by the Etnoakademik Ensemble, covering traditional music of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Seven musicological sessions presented thematically diverse papers. Various aspects of the lives of composers and significant figures in the world of music were discussed. The correspondence of Josip Slavenski was discussed by Melita Milin, and the network of contacts of Franjo Ksaver Kuhač was presented by Sara Reis and Stanislav Tuksar. The correspondence between Giulio Bajamonti and Josip Raffaelli was discussed by Ivana Tomić Ferić and Maja Milošević Carić.

Nobile Theater’s period of activity was described as the golden age of Zadar’s musical history by Katica Burić Ćenan, while Monika Jurić Janjik discussed the work Ragion di Stato, by Italian thinker Giovanni Botero (around 1544–1617).

Sanja Majer Bobetko wrote about Croatian music historiography from the early 20th century to 1945. Vjera Katalinić spoke about the aspirations and obstacles in the institutionalization of the national opera in Zagreb in the 1860s. Zdravko Drenjančević highlighted the presence of Slavonian traditional music in Jakov Gotovac’s opera Ero s onoga svijeta.

Leon Stefanija discussed Slovenian orchestral music between 1918 and 1945 through conceptual analysis, and Bogdan Đaković touched on the repertoire of amateur choirs in Serbia in the last three decades. Senka Hodžić considered Sarajevo’s musical infrastructure after World War II, and Ivana Nožica presented the reception of contemporary music through the Sarajevo periodical Zvuk (1967–1986). Miloš Marinković spoke about Yugoslav electroacoustic music before the 1970s and the festivals where it was performed.

The final session of the musicological part of the symposium covered three topics in the field of popular music. Aldo Foško described the emergence of gypsy jazz in Croatia, Siniša Škarica explained the relationship and influence of folk elements on the rock sound of the group Bijelo dugme, and Ognjen Tvrtković talked about the continuity of popular music in the early post-war years of socialist Yugoslavia.

Two ethnomusicological sessions included six presentations. Drago Kunej discussed the digitization and interpretation of ethnomusicological audio material in digital format, and Aleksandar Dimitrijevski explored the connection between musical tradition and modern mass media through the presence of Macedonian music folklore on the internet. Hedy Hurban described the Dervish sound costume, a garment that functions as an instrument depending on the movements of the wearer. Mirza Kovač presented private recordings from tape recordings in the private archive of Himza Polovina. Bogdan Dražeta discussed narratives about music in the contemporary urban culture of Sarajevo and Mostar, and Vesna Ivkov concluded the ethnomusicological part of the symposium by addressing the music of others in the practical teaching of Ethnomusicology at the Academy of Arts in Novi Sad.

In addition to musicological and ethnomusicological sessions, the symposium also hosted five sessions dedicated to the disciplines of music theory and pedagogy. The majority of papers examined various didactic approaches. Refik Hodžić spoke about the connection between theory and practice in teaching harmony, Valida Akšamija Tvrtković’s work focused on active learning methods in music education, and Majda Milinović emphasized the participation of children in choir competitions as a motivational factor. Danijela Zdravić Mihailović discussed the development of students’ competence through aesthetic and professional music education, Merima Čaušević’s work dealt with the preferences of students at teacher training faculties, and Ana Čorić highlighted the importance of the interdisciplinary approach of music educators in higher education. Jasna Šulentić Begić and Amir Begić explained the didactic aspects of the intercultural approach in music education.

Several topics from the field of music theory were also presented. Jelica Valjalo Kaporelo and Blaženka Juračić explained the melodic and rhythmic permutations of Gregorian chant in the work Messa da Requiem by Marina Santor (1754-1823). Miloš Zatkalik discussed fragmentation in music, Srđan Teparić analyzed the archetextuality as a factor in building the genre of musical fairy tales in the composition Neobične scene sa Homerovog groba by Ivana Stefanović, and Marko Milenković highlighted the influence of the sound structure of the text on vocal speech in the musical drama Koštana by Petar Konjović.

In addition to classical symposium sessions, panel discussions on the correlation of subjects in the field of music theory and pedagogy were organized, as well as a workshop by João C. R. Cunha on the Orff-Schulwerk approach based on group activities as a combination of rhythmic-linguistic expression, music, and movement, starting from the inherent musicality of every human being.

The central lectures of this year’s symposium were given by renowned musicologists Harry White from the University College Dublin and Razia Sultanova, a distinguished professor from the University of Cambridge. Professor White discussed the traces of Irish music within the legacy of European (French, German, and Polish) composers from the 19th century. Razia Sultanova, in her research titled Non-Russian face of Russia: music, youth, and migration in post-Soviet state, addressed the problems faced by non-Russian peoples – migrants, who are increasingly present in Russia in the 21st century. Sultanova examined how minorities in a cultural sense change the global image of Russia, how much music and their artistic practice help in adaptation, and which research approaches are most effective in a scientific sense.

Three concerts were held as part of this year’s symposium. On Wednesday, October 24, at the Academy of Performing Arts in Sarajevo (Open Stage “Obala”), the symposium opened with a recital by Hanan Hadžajlić titled Flutrification for amplified flute, bass flute, tape, and TransFlute modular systems. Flutist and composer Hanan Hadžajlić offered the audience a certain form of interdisciplinary approach to art through this concert, combining elements of music composition, instrumental interpretation, transhumanism, and the development of artificial musical intelligence. In addition to her composition, A Thousand Olateaus; Hommage a Deleuze & Guattari, Hadžajlić performed works by Panayiotis Kokoras, Dominik Karaskog, Mario Davidovsky, Ališer Sijarić, and Dino Rešidbegović.

The following evening, on Thursday, October 25, immediately after the lecture by the renowned Harry White, the Inter nos concert took place. The repertoire included works by living and artistically active Bosnian-Herzegovinian composers, including Belma Bešlić-Gal, Ivan Čavlović, Hanan Hadžajlić, Asim Horozić, Igor Karača, Živko Ključe, Dino Rešidbegović, Ališer Sijarić, and Dario Vučić.

On Friday, October 26, at the University of Sarajevo’s Main Hall, a lecture by the distinguished professor from Cambridge, Razia Sultanova, took place, followed by a concert by the Etnoakademik ensemble, which, in one hour, conveyed the aesthetics of the sound of traditional music of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Etnoakademik concert was an event that concluded a series of concerts at this year’s International Symposium Music in Society.

Over the three days of the symposium, through numerous sessions, workshops, and concerts, the place and movement of music in the artistic and scientific context, as well as its social perception, were questioned. Events like these remind us of the significance of music and attempt to eliminate the noise that often arises in communication stemming from the relationship between society and music. How present is music in society, and how much is society in music? What is the relationship between society and music? Scientific gatherings such as the Music in Society symposium are immensely important for understanding and improving its position, as well as for those involved in it, through constant questioning and seeking answers to universal questions about the existence and essence of music, which coexists and survives with all the achievements of civilization since the beginning of human existence.

Hadžić, Fatima. “XI International Symposium Music in Society: Position and Movements of Music in Society through Artistic and Scientific Context.” Journal of Music Culture Music no. 2 (2018): 71-74.