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Call for Papers - Annual Meeting of the Society for Music Theory

The thirty-eighth Annual Meeting of the Society for Music Theory will be held in St. Louis, Missouri, from Thursday, October 29 to Sunday, November 1, 2015.

General submission guidelines: Proposals on any topic related to music theory are invited. The SMT welcomes all submissions that do not represent work already published in peer-reviewed publications (print or electronic). Papers that have been read at national or international meetings in a related discipline (e.g., music perception and cognition, semiotics, popular music, etc.) will be considered. Proposals for poster sessions and for presentations in innovative formats are encouraged.

Single-author and joint author guidelines:

Submissions for papers must include:

  • A proposal of no more than 500 words (NB: foot/endnotes do count in the word limit). A maximum of four pages of supplementary materials (such as musical examples, diagrams, and selected bibliography) may be appended; these pages will not be counted within the 500-word limit, but any supplementary text (e.g., example captions) should not appreciably add to the content of the proposal. (Each mathematical equation may be counted as one word.) The proposal must include the title of the paper, but exclude the author’s name and any other identifying information. “Author” tags must be removed from electronic files. References to the author’s own work must occur in the third person.
  • Identification and contact information as requested on the submission website, including the name, postal address, e-mail address, and telephone number of the author(s), as well as the rank and institutional affiliation, if any.
  • A list of all required equipment (such as piano, CD player, or LCD projector) other than the sound system that will be available for all presenters. The Society cannot provide Internet access for presentations.
  • Please do not submit an abstract with the proposal.
  • Proposals must adhere to the above guidelines to be considered. The Program Committee reserves the right to disqualify proposals over the 500-word limit and encourages members to submit supplementary materials. Members are also encouraged to look at the webpage of the SMT’s Professional Development Committee for useful tips on submitting proposals. Accepted papers will be allocated forty-five minutes each: thirty for the paper and fifteen for the discussion.

Poster sessions: Proposals for poster sessions should follow the guidelines for submission of papers. The Committee may recommend that a paper proposal be transformed into a poster session.

Special sessions or events of unusual format: Proposals for SMT special sessions are also welcome. Such sessions are “special” in the sense that the proposed session as a whole is designed by the submitters and not by the Program Committee. Such special sessions may include analysis symposia, panel discussions, or sessions with unusual formats, such as workshops, “flipped” sessions, “lightning talk” sessions, and other types of non-traditional formats. The Committee reserves the right to consider separately each paper in a special session proposal and to program accordingly, with or without the other papers from that proposed session.

Proposals for SMT special sessions must include:

  • A session proposal of no more than 500 words.
  • An itemization of special equipment needed and/or invited speakers, support for which will depend on funds available.
  • Individual proposals for all segments of the special session. These should follow, where possible, the guidelines for paper proposals, including the preservation of authors' anonymity.
  • Proposals may be for special sessions of ninety minutes or three hours. Proposals for special sessions of unusual format may be exempted from certain of these guidelines. To discuss the possibility of such exemptions, those wishing to propose special sessions must contact the Program Committee chair (see below) no later than January 1, 2015.


  • No one may appear on the St. Louis program more than twice.
  • An individual may submit to SMT no more than one paper proposal as a sole author and no more than one paper proposal as a joint author.

Submission Procedure: Links to the online-submission page for proposals will be provided on the SMT website by mid-December 2014. Detailed information on the electronic submission procedure, including the required format for all materials, will appear on the website. Those who have difficulties with online submission should contact the Executive Director at Note that rejected proposals will remain anonymous; only the SMT Executive Director, in mailing out acceptance and rejection letters, will know the identity of the authors of these proposals.

Deadline: Proposals must be received by 5 p.m., EST, Thursday, January 15, 2015. Please take time zone differences into account! No proposals will be accepted after the 5 p.m. EST deadline. In order to avoid technical problems with submission of a proposal, the Program Committee recommends that proposals be submitted at least twenty-four hours before the deadline.

SMT 2015 Program Committee:

  • Joti Rockwell, Pomona College (Chair)
  • Poundie Burstein, City University of New York (ex officio)
  • Melanie Lowe, Vanderbilt University
  • Matthew McDonald, Northeastern University
  • Maryam Moshaver, University of Alberta
  • Jeff Perry, Louisiana State University
  • Mariane Wheeldon, University of Texas at Austin

Contacting the Program Committee Chair: For clarification or further information, please contact Joti Rockwell at

Improvisation is a human right

– Muhal Richard Abrams