We invite scholars from all music-related disciplines to contribute papers to Musicologica Austriaca. 

 This is another version of the article. The newer version contains a couple of modifications.

The Journal

[1] The Austrian Musicological Society (ÖGMw), the largest association of music scholars and respective institutions in Austria, is pleased to announce the relaunch of its official peer-reviewed journal, Musicologica Austriaca (MusAu) as an open-access online journal with the subtitle, “Journal for Austrian Music Studies”.

Published annually since 1977, MusAu may be considered as one of the leading musicological journals in Austria. Due to a generous grant from the Austrian Science Fund (FWF), the ÖGMw has been able to finance the necessary web-design and other expenditures caused by the relaunch, in order to actively enhance its international visibility. When the new website goes online in early 2015, MusAu will be an online-only, open-access publication of very high standards of scholarship.

MusAu is devoted exclusively to papers on Austrian music (on this term, see section III below) in English; the articles undergo a peer-review process to ensure excellence of research. We are very proud to have attracted a distinguished group of international scholars who joined our Editorial Board, including, among others, Karol Berger, Nicholas Cook, Cliff Eisen, Walter Frisch, Paul Hawkshaw, Hans-Joachim Hinrichsen, Elaine Sisman and Reinhard Strohm.

The new online-version of MusAu publishes research articles in English) and extensive book reviews. All contents are freely available in HTML and PDF under Creative Commons CC-BY 4.0 license.

[2] The digital world bears many opportunities to go beyond the limits of print publishing. Authors are welcome not only to provide pictures, audio or video files, but also verifiable primary material and scientific data. Since internet in the 21st century is almost without constraints regarding both the type and the amount of data, we do not want to set any limits. Rather, we would like to create a scope for possible innovations in scholarly publishing. For instance, it is possible to attach a downloadable database file, a composer’s catalogue of works or even a full Finale/Sibelius score of a newly discovered composition, possibly accompanied by a MIDI or a (public domain) MP3-recording and facsimiles of the original manuscript. An analysis may be able to refer to a full score or provide a recording illustrating the harmonic development of a piece... Contributors are asked to clear all copyright issues in advance.

Further, we have launched an innovative comment function, allowing registered readers to post their professional reply not only to an article as a whole but even to a selected section of the text (highlighting function and inline comments). We want to promote the progress of knowledge development in seeking to encourage interaction between authors and readers as well as a documented development of thoughts.

We also implemented the opportunity for authors to further update and develop a previously published their article. We are committed to high technical technical (e.g. OASPA code of conduct) and ethical (BOAI, COPE) standards. All articles are provided with an abstract, author and review information, metadata, a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) and keywords.

What is the Study of Austrian Music?

The first online issue of Musicologica Austriaca contains four sections:

  1. What is “the Study of Austrian Music”?
  2. “Volkslied” or Popular Music? A Debate.
  3. Free Contributions
  4. Book and Media Reviews

1) What is “the Study of Austrian Music”?

[3] With the relaunch of Musicologica Austriaca as an open-access online journal, the long-established journal of the Austrian Society of Musicology is now subtitled “Journal for Austrian Music Studies”. We wish to open this promising new era by opening a discussion of the very terms used in this subtitle: What is “the Study of Austrian Music”? Without anticipating the contributions and results of this discussion, let us shortly explain the premises this title is based upon.
“Austrian music” is not to be understood as an essentialist term. Though there may be (or may have been) specific styles, forms or practices of music in Austria, Austrian music was for centuries a mixed bag, the result of multiple cultural transfer processes, a short term for musical mixtures and adaptations of all kinds. Italian singers, Bohemian instrumentalists, Hungarian folk musicians or German expatriates, to name just a few, have had a marked influence on musical life in Austria. International networks of music-loving aristocrats or members of the bourgeoisie, music copyists or publishers, musicians or composers were engaged in a lively import and export of musical works, genres and practices between Austria and the rest of Europe.
Moreover, the very term “Austria” and its derivatives are loaded. The history of the geographical territory now known as the Federal Republic of Austria is complex: In essence, “Austria” designated the hereditary lands of the Habsburg family that ruled for centuries as Holy Roman Emperors. After 1804, it was a part of the multi-national Kaisertum Österreich. After the collapse of the Habsburg Empire in 1918, Austria was reduced to a small republic in Central Europe and has remained in this status to this day, with the exception of the years 1938-1945, when it was “re-unified” as “Ostmark” with the Third Reich. We cannot even start to raise the many political, nationalist, ideological and cultural issues entangled in this history. But music, for centuries regarded as an essential part of Austrian culture, obviously plays a major part in the constructions (and deconstructions) of an Austrian identity variously opposed to, affiliated or even identical with a German, Hungarian, Bohemian, Croatian, Italian etc identity.
We welcome contributions that address some of the aspects and problems of the concept and study of “Austrian music” outlined above. Especially appreciated are papers that address the following topics in a broad theoretical framework:

  • Constructions of “Austrian Music”: Historiographical and meta-historiographical reflections on ideology, method and scholarship
  • Cultural transfer processes and international networks: How Austria profited musically from the rest of the world and vice versa
  • Individual studies of performers, composers, publishers, music critics etc. who are considered to represent in some way “Austrian music”.

2) “Volkslied” or Popular Music? A Debate.

[4] The section “Volkslied” vs. Popular Music. A Debate invites short contributions on a problem of terminology that reflects bigger issues in the study of music. There is a growing uneasiness in German-speaking scholarship on how to name - and, therefore, conceptualize - musical practices and repertoires that can neither be termed art music nor pop music (if we understand this latter term to signify music using technical media for production and distribution, most often also on a commercial basis). Some scholars prefer to use the time-honoured terms of “Volksmusik” (roughly to be translated as “folk music”) and “Volkslied” (folk song), others adhere to “traditionelle Musik” (traditional music), and still others would speak of “Popularmusik” or “populäre Musik” (popular music).
This uneasiness has recently caused a quite emotional debate in the academic world and also in the media, when the Deutsches Volksliedarchiv in Freiburg/Breisgau announced its renaming as “Zentrum für Populäre Kultur und Musik” (Center for Popular Culture and Music). Some observers welcomed this as a long overdue measure and a raise in academic credibility, while others would deplore what they saw as a fashionable but hollow choice of terms. We wish to provide a forum for a scholarly debate on the following questions:

  • Is the concept of “Volksmusik” an ideological construction? Can we still use the term in research? Does “Volk” suggest an ethnically homogeneous population, and if so, how can the concept of “Volksmusik” do justice to the modern condition of constant cultural and musical transfer and fusion, partly caused by migration, exile and diaspora? Are terms like “popular music” or “traditional music” useful equivalents or even enhancements?
  • The debate is relevant to the study of Austrian music in particular:
  • Up to 1918, the study of “Volkslied” and “Volksmusik” in the Austrian Empire was anything but an objective scholarly task. Against the background of the multi-national Habsburg monarchy, the study of German, Hungarian, Czech (etc.) folk music was influenced and (some might argue) distorted due to the increasing tensions between the various peoples and ethnic groups.
  • Before and after 1918, Austria was regarded as a “country of music” not only with regard to art music, but also with regard to a supposedly inbred “musicality” of its inhabitants. Practices and repertoires designated as “Volksmusik” and “Volkslied” strongly constitute the “local identity” of Austrians from, say, Carinthia or Tyrol.
  • Austrian “Volksmusik” has also become commercialized in the mass media. Popular Austrian TV shows such as “Klingendes Österreich” or “Musikantenstadl”, as divergent as they are, promulgate new constructions of “Volksmusik” by decontextualizing and often actively transforming or inventing musical styles and repertoires. This leads to a series of question: Can we draw a distinction between folk music and popular music? Where is the transition between popular music and pop music? Is this just a question of media-generated popularity and commercialization? Or, on the other hand, are there essential differences in musical style that do not permit a transfer from one category into another?
  • [5] Is “Austrian music” ethnically homogeneous? And if not: In what sense and under which circumstances can we regard the traditional music of ethnic minorities, immigrants, exiles, displaced persons, diaspora communities (etc.) in Austria as (Austrian) “Volksmusik”?

We invite contributions in the form of short and succinct statements (ideally 10.000 to 25.000 characters). It is also possible for registered readers to comment on existing papers. Invited scholars to contribute first statements are: Nils Grosch (Salzburg), Ursula Hemetek (Wien), Ulrich Morgenstern (Wien), Thomas Nußbaumer (Innsbruck/Salzburg).

3) Free Contributions:

As said above, scholars from all music-related disciplines are invited to contribute papers on any aspect of the past, present or (probable) future of Austrian music. As outlined in the preceding points, we define Austrian music as a complex concept with fuzzy boundaries in a multicultural space. Research on music in 18th-century Bohemia may be as relevant to our journal as the cultural work of immigrant musicians from Africa.

4) Reviews:

Usually, scholars are asked by the editors to review a publication (or other kinds of media related to the theme of our journal). But contributors can also actively contact the editors, if they are interested in making a review of some book etc.

Contact Information

After successfully going through a peer-review process, papers will be published online immediately. Unless stated otherwise, there are no restrictions as to length and possible multimedia content (see second section for more information).

The editors, Dominik Šedivý and Wolfgang Fuhrmann, are looking forward to your contributions. Please address all contributions to fuhrmannwolfgang@gmail.com and dominik.sedivy@sbg.ac.at. We are also happy to answer any questions.

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18.03.2017 | Article Version 2.0

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  1. Dominik Šedivý 09.05.2015

    Since a digital text does not have numbered pages, we number screen pages (--> approx. 1200-2500 characters) at the beginning of new paragraphs. This will result in consequent division of a text and will make it easier to quote a digital paper.

  2. Dominik Šedivý 09.05.2015

    This is an inline comment. Note the highlighted text passage.

  3. Dominik Šedivý 18.03.2017 | Article Version 2.0

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