The Guidebook app provides a comprehensive set of conference materials from your smartphone or computer. Through this app you can view the SysMus17 schedule, read abstracts and proceedings for spoken and poster presentations, find local travel advice, connect with fellow SysMus17 attendees, and more.  A short introductory guide to Guidebook can be found Here.

Full schedule

Click here to download the full conference schedule. Please note that all times are given in London local time, that is, British Summer Time (BST), or UTC+1.

Academic schedule

The book of abstracts contains abstracts for all SysMus17 papers, ordered by presentation time, and including location information. All times are given in London local time, that is, British Summer Time (BST), or UTC+1.


Welcome Reception

We are delighted to invite everyone to a reception on Wednesday evening after our regular day programme to celebrate the opening of SysMus17 on the 7th floor of the Grad Centre, where there is a common space and a rooftop balcony overlooking East London!  Nibbles and drinks will be provided!

Conference Dinner

The conference dinner will take place on Thursday evening (time TBC) at the Pill Box Kitchen in Bethnal Green, a 10-15 minute walk from Queen Mary and will be catered by Hygge Smørrebrød , a small business that prepares food inspired by seasonal and locally sourced ingredients (except for Danish specialty ingredients of course!).

SysMus 10th birthday party!

To celebrate SysMus turning 10, we will head to the Performance Lab for cake, drinks, and music!

Keynote Abstracts

Music of the Hemispheres – Lauren Stewart

The ability to make sense of musical sound has been observed in every culture since the beginning of recorded history. In early infancy, it allows us to respond to the sing-song interactions from a primary caregiver and to engage in musical play. In later life it shapes our social and cultural identities and modulates our affective and emotional states. In this talk I will discuss how the ability to perceive and make sense of musical sound is remarkably sophisticated, and can, for most people, be acquired simply by being exposed to the music of one’s own culture.  We’ll also explore why some people really don’t ‘get’ music (amusia), while others get too much of it (bothersome earworms), and discuss how some unique aspects of music make it such a powerful therapeutic tool in clinical contexts.

Musical impact: An investigation of musicians’ health and wellbeing – Aaron Williamon

Few pursuits are as dynamic and enjoyable as making music. Physical and mental wellbeing can shape how musicians pursue their art and the pleasure they take from it. The results of recent research, however, suggest that pain and ill health are widespread among musicians and that healthy approaches to training and working in music are far from uniform throughout the profession. Musical Impact, a Conservatoires UK project funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, set out to generate new knowledge of the physical and mental demands of music making, to gain insight into chronic and acute health problems and their impact over time, and to examine effective strategies for health promotion. The research was divided across three core strands: (1) Fit to Perform, a longitudinal study of physical and mental fitness for performance, led by Aaron Williamon (RCM), (2) Making Music, an investigation of the physical and mental demands of practising and performing, led by Emma Redding (Trinity Laban) and (3) Better Practice, a study of health promotion in music education and the profession, led by Jane Ginsborg (RNCM). This lecture focuses on Fit to Perform and, in particular, the results of a large-scale study (n=483) of musicians’ perceptions and attitudes towards health, as well as indicators of their health-related fitness.

The results show that music students have higher levels of wellbeing and lower fatigue than comparable samples outside of music. However, they also reveal potentially harmful perceptions, attitudes and behaviours toward health. Specifically, engagement in health responsibility and stress management was low, which along with high perfectionistic strivings, limited use of coping skills, poor sleep quality, and low self-rated health, paints a troubling picture both for the music students and for those who support their training. The findings point to the need for more (and more effective) health education and promotion initiatives within music education; in particular, musicians should be better equipped with mental skills to cope with constant pressure to excel and high stress levels. In part, this calls for musicians themselves to engage in healthier lifestyles, take greater responsibility for their own health, and be aware of and act upon health information in order to achieve and sustain successful practice and performance. For that to happen, however, music educators, administrators and policy makers must play an active role in providing supportive environments where health and wellbeing is considered integral to expert music training.

Computational approaches to musicology – Elaine Chew, Daniel Müllensiefen, Marcus Pearce

Computational modelling is a crucial part of the systematic musicologist’s toolkit. It allows researchers to analyse vast datasets that could never be processed by hand, to build complex simulations of human listeners and composers, and to unlock remarkable new avenues for musical appreciation, engagement, and interaction. In this session we hear from three distinguished researchers responsible for pioneering research in different aspects of computational musicology. In the first part of the session, the three researchers will introduce their own research areas, the motivation behind their approaches, and their research outcomes. The second part of the session will comprise a panel discussion with the audience, with topics including but not limited to different philosophies of computational modelling, ways for students to develop expertise in modelling, and the future of computational musicology.

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