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Second Hand Music: Conference on Contemporary Music

Conference on December 14 and 15, 2012

№ 376/2012 from Dec 12, 2012

An international conference on contemporary music will be held on December 14 and 15, 2012, at Freie Universität Berlin. Participants at the conference "Musik aus zweiter Hand / Second Hand Music" will deal with musicians’ use of musical material by third parties in their own creative work. The lectures will be held in German and English. The conference is public; journalists are welcome to attend.

The use of existing musical material by third parties for new musical creations has increased dramatically during the past 30 years, largely due to the widespread use of personal computers and samplers beginning in 1980 and the Internet as of the middle of the 1990s. Music that is available electronically is accessible to virtually anyone and can be further processed with only basic knowledge of hardware and software. This development affects all types of music from the avant-garde to hip-hop and DJ culture.

The conference participants will explore the issue of whether there is a qualitative as well as a quantitative shift: Is contemporary music that refers to the work of third parties designed differently than that composed 100 years ago during the times of Gustav Mahler and Igor Stravinsky? Or are creative tools such as quote, analogy, adaptation, allusion, fusion, and parody merely perceived and judged differently, for example, in the context of discourses about postmodernism and intellectual property and the change in taking this type of musical appropriation for granted?

These issues will be presented in lectures using topics and examples from serious music, jazz, and popular music, with a particular focus on interfaces between these different musical milieus. The conference languages are German and English.

Time and Location

  • Friday, December 14, 2012, from 1 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. and Saturday, December 15, 2012, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Freie Universität Berlin, Silberlaube, Room KL 32/202 (entrance from K hallway, 2nd floor), Habelschwerdter Allee 45, 14195 Berlin

Further Information

Dr. Frédéric Döhl, Assessor iuris, Collaborative Research Centre 626 on Aesthetic Experience and the Dissolution of Artistic Limits, Tel.: +49 (0)30 838-57409, Email: