Call for Articles: Populäre Lieder im langen 19. Jahrhundert – Popular Songs in the Long 19th Century

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Call for Articles: Populäre Lieder im langen 19. Jahrhundert – Popular Songs in the Long 19th Century

Yearbook Lied und Populäre Kultur / Song and Popular Culture, Center for Popular Culture and Music, Vol. 65 (2020), ed. by Knut Holtsträter and Tobias Widmaier

Deadline for proposals: 15 May 2019

While popular music of the 20th and early 21st centuries, characterized by modern mass media, has long since become a widely researched subject of various specialist disciplines, much less attention has been paid to the popular songs of the 19th century. Potentially, the mechanisms of exclusion of earlier generations of scholars might still have an effect here: folk song collectors usually only recorded songs that corresponded to a pre-conceived ideal, and at the same time fought against all supposed forms of "trash." Academic musicology was for a long time closed to study of works and genres that were regarded as artistically inferior, and in the holdings of large specialist libraries one desperately looks for editions even of high-circulation hits of the 19th century. The yearbook volume for 2020 seeks to shed light on the wide field of popular songs of the period between the French Revolution and the First World War and asks for corresponding contributions. Possible topics and approaches could be:

• Musical genres: aria di bravura, music-hall song resp. couplet, broadside ballad, male voice choirs, Lied im Volkston etc.
• Places: schools, student pub, political events, amusement parks, circuses, Varieté, Variety Show, Music Hall, Vaudeville etc.
• Song topics: time references, criticism and affirmation, patterns of actions and role models etc.
• Media of distribution: song book, postcard, newspaper supplement, hurdygurdy, phonograph roll etc.
• Reach: local/seasonal successes, „evergreens“, transnational popularization etc.
• Discourses: art vs entertainment, standardization/commercialization, moral
judgements etc.

We promote the diversity of methods; empirical research as well as historical considerations, philosophical debates and economic analysis are equally encouraged. The subjects and questions can derive from traditional song research, popular music studies, musicology, theater studies, literary studies, media studies, sociology, or other areas.

Potential contributors are asked to send abstracts of not more than 2,000 characters including spaces as well as a short academic CV by 15 May 2019.

By the end of May, you will receive feedback on the acceptance of your contribution. The contributions should cover 35,000 to 50,000 characters including spaces and should be submitted by 31 January 2020.

Please send any inquiries or abstracts to Dr. Knut Holtsträter (

We accept contributions in German or English.