Extended Deadline: CfP "The Medieval Rabab, a Bowed String Instrument with an Arabic-Islamic Past and Present"

Marina Haiduk's picture
Call for Papers
April 30, 2021
Subject Fields: 
Archaeology, Art, Art History & Visual Studies, Cultural History / Studies, Music and Music History, Research and Methodology

The Medieval Rabab, a Bowed String Instrument with an Arabic-Islamic Past and Present

Conference in Bern, University of the Arts

Friday 5 to Sunday 7 November 2021

Organised by the Bern University of the Arts (HKB), Institute Interpretation,

funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF)


Call for Papers and Posters

Since 2019, the skin-covered bowed string instruments rabab and rebec have been a subject of investigation as part of a four-year interdisciplinary SNSF research project at the Bern University of the Arts (www.hkb-interpretation.ch/projekte/rabab-rebec). The rabab and rebec both belonged among the most important bowed string instruments of the European Middle Ages and early Renaissance, while the rabab was also essential in the Arabic-Islamic region from the 9th century onwards. Furthermore, the rabāb remains a key element of Moroccan andalusi music today. During the conference, we will present the research results from the first part of our project (9th–13th centuries) and aim to contrast these with further research on the same and related topics from the fields of musicology, organology, ethnomusicology, performance practice, art history, music iconography, archaeology and cultural transfer in order to discuss them together. Selected papers will subsequently be published in book form (open access).


  • The Arabic-Islamic origins of the rabab / cultural exchange
  • Arabic and European music theory / organology
  • The rabab and its iconographic and textual sources until the 13th century
  • The string instruments in the Cantigas de Santa Maria
  • Music iconography as a method in music and art studies
  • Ethnomusicological sources on skin-covered bowed string instruments
  • The relationship between ethnomusicology and historical musicology

Papers should last 20 minutes (followed by 10 min. discussion). The official conference languages are German, English and French.

Submissions should include the title and an abstract (max. 2000 characters incl. spaces), and the name, affiliation, contact information and short CV of the speaker (max. 1000 characters incl. spaces for the CV).

Please email your abstract or proposal for a poster by 15 30 April 2021 to thilo.hirsch@hkb.bfh.ch. The confirmation of accepted papers and posters will be announced by 31 May 2021. The conference is currently planned as a face-to-face event.

Contact Info: 

Webpage: https://www.hkb-interpretation.ch/veranstaltungen/the-medieval-rabab

Submit your proposals to the head of project, Thilo Hirsch <thilo.hirsch@hkb.bfh.ch>.

For further question, please contact the project's postdoctoral researcher, Marina Haiduk <marina.haiduk@hkb.bfh.ch>.

Contact Email: