Musicology, Diplomacy, and International Networks at the Turn of the 20th Century. Discourses, Practices, Events

Urchueguía, Cristina; Napoli, Alberto; Caceres, Maria; Ottomano, Vincenzina; Körner, Axel; Wade, Bonnie; Escrivá-Llorca, Ferran; Sibille, Christiane (23 March 2017). Musicology, Diplomacy, and International Networks at the Turn of the 20th Century. Discourses, Practices, Events (Unpublished). In: International Musicological Society 20th Quinquennial Congress. Tokyo, Japan. 19.-23.03.2017.

Tokyo Brochure 2.pdf - Supplemental Material
Available under License BORIS Standard License.

Download (811kB) | Preview

The birth of musicology as a theoretical discipline coincided with the professionalization of international academic bodies, most famously in natural and social sciences, but also in the humanities. While presenting an important example of transnational exchange, such trend in academic research was directly affected by intergovernmental relations. The intersections between the beginnings of musicology as a theoretical discipline and diplomatic relations will be the object of this round table. The birth of musicology was closely related also to the formation of modern nation states in an age of increased global exchanges, with important implications for the internationalization of the musical repertoire and the music industry. World fairs and exhibitions, and international political-commercial initiatives shaped these experiences. Musicologists felt compelled to compare and put order into a previously unknown multitude of musical practices. Without overlooking the power dynamics underlying processes of canon-building, traditionally expressed with the North-South dichotomy, this round table will contemplate an extended approach to comparativism. We will introduce an East-West dialectic, conceived both as a geographical framing – including Europe, Musicology, Diplomacy, and International Networks at the Turn of the 20th Century Discourses, Practices, Events Prof. Axel Körner, Chair Prof. Bonnie C. Wade, Respondent Dr. Ferran Escrivá-Llorca Dr. María Cáceres-Piñuel Dr. Vincenzina C. Ottomano Dr. Christiane Sibille Prof. Dr. Cristina Urchueguía, Team Leader MA Alberto Napoli, Coordinator 3 Asia, America – and a “longitudinal” exchange among different but equally empowered agents, who evaded fixed hierarchies and learned or profited from one another, continuously questioning the concept of a dominating “center.” Reflecting the complexity of the subject, our panel will include varied topics and disciplinary perspectives. Considering that the transnational flow of music theory and practice serving power relations has been studied in scholarship from Europe outward, in the first presentation Wade will address the adoption of Western theory and practice as a technology for modern nation-building by the Japanese government in late 19th century. Ottomano will explore the impact of the early dissemination of Russian music in Paris, focusing on the very close relationship between music, culture and political interests in the diplomatic exchanges between France and Russia after the Alliance franco-russe (1894). Focusing on international organizations dealing with musical questions in the early 20th century, Sibille will analyze their publications and conferences showing the experts’ efforts to gain political relevance, especially by the standardization of their methodological tools. Escrivà-Llorca will then retrace the turn-of-the-century establishment of music divisions in several important European and American institutional libraries, analyzing the diplomatic and philanthropic actions of specific patrons and curators which constituted their pre-Baroque holdings. Urchueguía will present a case of direct interaction between politics and musicology, discussing the influence of the Spanish regent María Cristina in the preparation of Spanish contributions to the 1892 International Music and Theater Exhibition in Vienna. Cáceres-Piñuel will then assess the role of Guido Adler in the organization of the same event, and its influence on subsequent discourses about music, particularly those referring to ‘national idioms.’ Finally, analyzing musical events at international exhibitions in fin-de-siècle Italy, Napoli will illustrate that consequent musicological writings reflected negotiations between nationalist narratives and local cosmopolitan aspirations. Körner will lead the following discussion, as a transnational historian particularly interested in the exchange of knowledge and the role of culture in international relations.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)


06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of History and Archaeology > Institute of History
06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of Art and Cultural Studies > Institute of Musicology

Graduate School:

Graduate School of the Humanities (GSH)

UniBE Contributor:

Urchueguía, Cristina; Napoli, Alberto; Caceres, Maria; Ottomano, Vincenzina; Körner, Axel and Sibille, Christiane


900 History
700 Arts > 780 Music




Vincenzina Ottomano

Date Deposited:

22 May 2017 16:09

Last Modified:

15 Feb 2018 19:04




Actions (login required)

Edit item Edit item
Provide Feedback