Registration Open: Research Students’ Conference 2023

The British Forum for Ethnomusicology (BFE) and Royal Musical Association (RMA) Research Students’ Conference will be hosted by Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne, on 10–12 January 2023.

Registration is now open.


10-12 January 2023 at Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne
Deadline for submission of Proposals: 1 October 2022


The British Forum for Ethnomusicology (BFE) and Royal Musical Association (RMA) Research Students’ Conference will be hosted by Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne, on 10–12 January 2023. This will be an in-person event to allow networking and social interaction to take place, and to foster connections across a variety of music sub-disciplines. There will also be limited opportunities to present online (up to 12 twenty-minute contributions).

The conference theme is ‘Borderlands’. Inspired by Northumbria’s geographical location and Northumbria Music’s interdisciplinary setting within a wider humanities department, we hope to encourage performance, compositions and papers that reflect on physical and conceptual border spaces of time, place, genre, and community in the broadest sense. The theme is intended only as a stimulus: there is no requirement to make research fit into the theme, and all submissions will be treated equally on their merit whether they address it or not.

Performance-related sessions will take place in the Great Hall where there is a Steinway B available. A one-manual, Italian-style harpsichord can be made available on request by prior arrangement. The conference ensemble will be Trio Northumbria (violin, viola, cello – no connection to the University, despite its name), which will play submitted compositions in a workshop. Northumbria University is home to an IKO icosahedral loudspeaker (the only one in the UK), and will shortly be taking possession of Jeremy Montagu’s personal collection of musical instruments from around the world.

The Research Students’ Conference is an excellent opportunity for postgraduate students to gain valuable experience presenting their work, whether research-led practice (performances, compositions, technology etc.) or papers, in a friendly and welcoming environment amongst peers and established academics. It caters for all areas of music research, including (although not limited to) historical musicology, ethnomusicology, music theory and analysis, electroacoustic music, composition and performance.

Alongside presentations and composers’ workshops, the conference will also feature various training workshops for postgraduate students wishing to pursue careers within and outside of academia, and opportunities to see the music collection of the Literary and Philosophical Library in Newcastle ( and the instruments of the Montagu Collection.

Keynote lectures will be delivered by the winners of the BFE early career prize and the RMA Jerome Roche prize.


Proposals for presentations are welcome from postgraduate research students (PhD or a Master’s by research) in any area of Music, including musicology, ethnomusicology, music psychology, composition, audiovisual media, performance, and/or other creative practices, and research that cuts across disciplinary boundaries.

Poster presentations are invited from research students and those pursuing a taught Master’s degree. Selected posters will be eligible for a ‘poster craze’ where there is the opportunity to talk about the research for under five minutes using only one PowerPoint (or equivalent) slide.

Proposals for practice (composition) should outline the relation of the practice to their research, as well as including links to the submitted composition (normally PDF for scores and audio).

Proposals can be submitted via this online form.

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