Meaning of Music
International Conference
Meaning of Music
Date: October 10–11, 2024
Location: Academy of Music in Gdańsk, ul. Łąkowa 1–2 / online
Language: English
The conference is addressed to: academic community, students and postgraduate students


All those interested in listening to 4 lectures and 6 papers each day of the conference via Zoom, please contact us at, preferably by October 7. We will send an email on October 8 or 9 with a link to connect.

Call for Papers download PDF

The Department of Music Theory at the Stanisław Moniuszko Academy of Music in Gdańsk, Poland, is pleased to invite submissions of proposals for the International Conference “Meaning of Music”, which will take place in person and online on October 10–11, 2024 (co-financed by the Ministry of Education and Science in the “Excellent Science” programme – DNK/SP/548966/2022).

The official language of the conference is English. In addition to one-hour lectures by keynote-speakers, we plan 20-minute papers. Please submit an abstract of about 500 words and short biographical information including your name, contact details (postal address, e-mail) and affiliation no later than 15th December 2023 to The programme committee will make its final decision on the abstracts by the end of January 2024 and contributors will be informed immediately thereafter.

Further information about the programme, registration, conference fee, and accommodation will be announced on the conference website Be sure to check back at a later date for full details.

Conference members are guaranteed the publication of abstracts on the Internet and in the programme and abstracts book, as well as a coffee bar, dinner and supper for each of the two days of the conference.


One of the most fundamental questions emerging from our relationship with music is: can music mean? Those who try to answer this represent two radically different schools called formalism and referentialism, but recently a third one has emerged that situates itself between these two. This third school owes its existence to relatively new cognitive linguistic theories such as conceptual metaphor and conceptual blending. The earlier of them (G. Lakoff and M. Johnson 1980) asserts that metaphor is not a literary, stylistic device, but one of the basic forms of thinking, whose characteristic feature is one-way mapping between mental spaces. In turn, the later theory (G. Fauconnier and M. Turner 2002) assumes that mapping between mental spaces is bidirectional, and a blended space emerges from the interaction of concepts of both input spaces. Meanings that are constructed in this way are mostly unconscious, but they are at the heart of both everyday meanings and unique human creativity.

The first musicological works dealing with the issue of meaning of music from a cognitive perspective appeared at the end of the twentieth century, and the twenty first century has shown that interest in this subject is growing. There are already several serious publications devoted to theoretical issues, such as musical concepts, cognitive musical grammar (L. Zbikowski 2002, 2017), musical metaphors (M. Spitzer 2004), as well as the theory called multilevel grounding (M. Antović 2022), not to mention numerous semantic interpretations of individual works from multimedia genres (song, opera, film music, music with video), instrumental programme music and – less often – absolute instrumental music. Despite some advancement in this work, the question of the definition of musical significance is not yet definitively resolved. The prevailing view is that the musical meaning is divided into auto- and hetero-referentiality, but according to M. Antović it includes “any situation in which elements of a cognitive system (for the most part, music) exhibit reference – that is, evoke a psychological reaction that listeners intuit as categorically different from, though likely superimposed on, the pure parsing of structure”.

The aim of the Gdańsk conference is to gather together in one place and time researchers from all over the world who are dealing with this topic, in order to present current theoretical knowledge, to date scattered across various sources, and to make semantic interpretation of individual works from all musical genres. Among the many important problems within the field, the organisers propose to highlight: embodied music cognition; the place of emotions in the construction of musical meaning; image schemas; musical vs. linguistic concepts; the role of percepts and concepts in the process of constructing musical meaning; physical, biological, social and cultural limitations; metaphors and blends concerning music; ambiguity; definition of musical meaning, but the above list may be widely developed. We are convinced that results of our international conference will contribute not only to the popularisation of the cognitive approach to musical meaning, but also to raise the general level of knowledge about human forms of mental and creative activity.

Programme Committee

Violetta Kostka
Professor of Humanities, Project Director
Academy of Music in Gdańsk
Anna Chęćka
Associate Professor
University of Gdańsk
Joanna Schiller-Rydzewska
Assistant Professor
Academy of Music in Gdańsk
Elżbieta Frołowicz
Professor, Head of Department of Music Theory
Academy of Music in Gdańsk


Mihailo Antović
Professor, Faculty of Philosophy, Head Researcher, Centre for Cognitive Sciences
University of Niš, Serbia
Mihailo Antović (PhD), full professor, teaches cognitive linguistics in the Department of English, Faculty of Philosophy, and heads the Center for Cognitive Sciences at the University of Niš. He has presented papers at more than 30 conferences, e.g. in Austria, Germany, Greece, Italy, Hungary, Poland, Slovenia, Sweden, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States. He was a Fulbright visiting scholar at Case Western Reserve University, research scholar at the University of Freiburg and Humboldt Foundation’s senior research fellow at Humboldt University, Berlin. His articles have appeared in a number of journals (including Metaphor and Symbol, Language and History, Musicae Scientiae, Language and Communication, Cognitive Semiotics, Music Perception, Language and Literature) and edited volumes published by OUP, De Gruyter, John Benjamins, Springer. His latest publication is the monograph Multilevel Grounding: A Theory of Musical Meaning (Routledge, 2022).
Anthony Brandt
Professor, Chair of Composition and Theory at the Shepherd School of Music
Rice University in Houston, USA
Professor of Composition and Theory at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music. He and neuroscientist David Eagleman co-authored The Runaway Species: How Human Creativity Remakes the World, which has been published in fourteen countries. Dr. Brandt recently composed the music for the ballet LiveWire (2022) and chamber work Diabelli 200 (2023), collaborations with neuro-engineer Jose Luis Contreras-Vidal and the University of Houston BRAIN Center in which several of the performers wear portable EEG caps: these combinations of artistic performance and scientific experiment are among the first of their kind. He is currently a co-investigator in a National Endowment for the Arts Research Lab examining the benefits of musical creativity for the elderly, as well as studies examining music’s effects on stroke recovery and surgeons’ stress. Dr. Brandt has contributed chapters to the Oxford Handbook of Music and the Brain, Oxford Handbook of Music and Language and Creative Provocations: Speculation on the Future of Creativity, Technology & Learning, and published papers in the Creativity Research Journal, Frontiers, The American Journal of Psychology, Tech Trends, and Brain Connectivity.
Juan Chattah
Associate Professor of Music Theory, Director of the Experiential Music Curriculum
Frost School of Music, University Miami, USA
Juan Chattah (PhD) is an associate professor of music theory at the Frost School of Music, University of Miami, USA. His primary research delves into music’s impact on cognitive capacities and explores musical multimedia through the lenses of semiotics and neuropsychology. In his forthcoming volume, Film Music: Cognition to Interpretation (Routledge, 2023), he adopts a holistic approach that blends cognitive psychology, musical analysis, behavioral neuroscience, and semiotics to examine the perceptual and cognitive processes that elicit musical meaning in film. Recent interdisciplinary publications include Soundtrack Design: The Impact of Music On Visual Attention and Affective Responses (2021) and The Impact of Music on Vehicular Performance (2019). Along with Ching-Hua Chuan and a large multidisciplinary research team, he is currently working on AURA, an intelligent technology ecosystem that uses biosensors and music/audio for mood regulation. In parallel, his progressive ideas on curricular innovation, presented at various national and international conferences and embedded within the co-authored CMS’s Manifesto, have inspired radical transformations in music education.
Rolf Inge Godøy
Professor of Musicology, Department of Musicology
University of Oslo, Norway
Rolf Inge Godøy is professor emeritus of music theory at the Department of Musicology, University of Oslo. His main interest is in phenomenological approaches to music theory, meaning taking our subjective experiences of music as the point of departure for music theory. This work has been expanded to include research on music-related body motion in performance and listening, using various conceptual and technological tools to explore the relationships between sound and body motion in the experience of music. In his research on music and body motion, he has been project leader for the Musical Gestures Project and the subsequent Sensing Music-Related Actions Project, both financed by the Research Council of Norway, as well as establishing the fourMs (Music, Motion, Mind, Machines) interdisciplinary research lab, also funded by the Research Council of Norway. This research endeavor later contributed to the establishment of the RITMO Centre of Excellence, of which he was a senior researcher until retirement in 2022. Also, Godøy has been active in international research cooperation, such as the European research projects ConGAS and SID.
Violetta Kostka
Professor of Humanities, Department of Music Theory
Academy of Music in Gdańsk, Poland
Violetta Kostka is Professor of Humanities in the discipline of Art Studies. Trained as musicologist at the University in Poznań, she received her PhD and habilitation degrees from the Institute of Art of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw. Currently works at the Academy of Music in Gdańsk. She won research grants from the University of Cambridge, the Polish Library in Paris, the State Committee of Scientific Research and the Ministry of Education and Science. For scientific and didactic activity she was awarded the honorary medal “Distinguished for Polish Culture”. Her research achievements include books on Tadeusz Kassern’s and Paweł Szymański’s music and about 100 articles among others in Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart and „Tempo. A Quarterly Review of Modern Music”. She is the co-editor of the book Intertextuality in Music: Dialogic Composition published by Routledge. In addition to attending conferences in the USA and many countries in Europe, she has given her own lectures in Poland and abroad and organised two conferences in Gdańsk. Her current research interests oscillate around music cognition, musical meaning, music creativity, intertextuality in music, music in multimedia and different problems of music of the twentieth century and twenty-first century.
Michael Spitzer
Professor of Music, Department of Music
University of Liverpool, United Kingdom
Michael Spitzer is Professor of Music at the University of Liverpool. He was educated at Merton College Oxford and Southampton University, and taught for twenty years at Durham University. He has written more than fifty articles and four monographs: Metaphor and Musical Thought (Chicago, 2004); Music as Philosophy: Adorno and Beethoven’s Late Style (Indiana, 2006); A History of Emotion in Western Music: A Thousand Years From Chant to Pop (Oxford, 2020); and The Musical Human: A History of Life on Earth (Bloomsbury, 2021). A History of Emotion was named a 2021 CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title by the American Association of College and Research Libraries. The Musical Human has been translated into thirteen languages and counting (including Chinese and Ukrainian), has an audiobook read by Daniel Levitin, and was a BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week read by Simon McBurney.
Danae Stefanou
Associate Professor, School of Music Studies
Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece
Danae Stefanou is Associate Professor at the School of Music Studies, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AUTH). Her work is situated at the intersection of musicology, sound studies and critical practices, with a special focus on experimental and improvised music, sound arts, and artistic research methods. She has contributed chapters to the Cambridge Companion to Film Music (CUP, 2016), Made in Greece: Studies in Greek Popular Music (Routledge, 2018), Contemporary Popular Music Studies (Springer, 2019) and Music and Landscape / Soundscape and Sonic Arts (Universal Edition, 2019), and co-edited a special issue on Creative Conceptual Blending in Music for Musicae Scientiae (2018). Active as a performer since the 1990s and a member of Athens-based intermedia duo acte vide since 2006, she is the founder & director of AUTH’s Experimental & Improvised Music Ensembles and has performed, composed, and curated hundreds of independent actions & events in public spaces, DIY venues, arts institutions & educational establishments, under commissions from the Greek State Museum of Contemporary Art, Megaron Concert Hall, Goethe Institut Athen, Institut Francais d'Athenes, Arts Council Ireland, Onassis Stegi and SNFCC among other organizations. During the past few years, she has also developed original text scores, sonic fiction writings, performance-workshops, installations and collaborative methodologies for several interdisciplinary arts-based research projects, knowledge exchange frameworks and transnational co-operation networks, including Music 4 Change (Erasmus+ KA220, 2022-2024), Multimodal Community Composition Project Athens (Sounds Now – Creative Europe, 2020-2023), Transmissions Residency Exchange (EEA/Norway 2019-2022), and Sounding Paths residency (Interfaces Network - Creative Europe, 2016-2019).
Lawrence Zbikowski
Professor of Music and the Humanities, Chair of the Department of Music
University of Chicago, USA
Lawrence M. Zbikowski is the Addie Clark Harding Professor of Music and the Humanities and chair of the Department of Music at the University of Chicago, where he has taught since 1993. His research focuses on the way musical understanding is shaped by humans’ cognitive capacities, articulated through studies of musical grammar, language-music relations, connections between music and movement, and musical analyses. This research has been brought together in Conceptualizing Music: Cognitive Structure, Theory, and Analysis (2002), which explores the cognitive bases of musical thought, and Foundations of Musical Grammar (2017), which describes how humans’ unique ability to correlate sounds with dynamic processes provides the basis for the construction of meaningful musical utterances. Recent and forthcoming publications focus on relationships between analogy and metaphor in our understanding of music, explore design principles for the musical heroic, engage with translations between music and dance, and reflect on Eduard Hanslick’s ideas about music and emotion.


Prof. Hallgjerd Aksnes, University of Oslo

Hallgjerd Aksnes, Professor at the Department of Musicology, University of Oslo, specializes in music cognition, with a special focus on cognitive semantics; Norwegian music history, with a special focus on 20th century composers; and music health research, with a special focus on Guided Imagery and Music. As a PhD exchange student she studied with the music theorists Marion Guck and Lawrence Zbikowski and the philosopher Mark Johnson, and she was Visiting Researcher at the 1996 Berkeley Summer Research Seminars led by the cognitive linguist George Lakoff. During the period 2008-2013 Aksnes led a five year Norwegian Research Council project titled “Music, Motion, and Emotion: Theoretical and Psychological Implications of Musical Embodiment”.

Dr Ashok Kumar Arya, Assist. Prof. at Kumaun University, Nainital, Uttarakhand India

Dr Ashok Kumar Arya, Assist. Prof. at the department of music at Kumaun University, situated in Nainital, Uttarakhand, India. He specializes in Hindustani percussion with a focus on the art of tabla. As a member of the Department of Music Ashok Kumar has made a significant contribution to both academia and research. With a decade-long commitment to Kumaun University, his expertise and dedication in the realm of Hindustani percussion makes him a respected figure within the academic community.

Dr Rachel Becker, Assist. Prof. at Boise State University (Idaho)

Dr. Rachel Becker is Assistant Professor of Musicology and Oboe at Boise State University, USA. Rachel’s research focuses on issues of genre, virtuosity, gender, popularity, and the development of woodwind instruments. She explores social and cultural influences on woodwind opera fantasias, including their reception history and the emotional responses they have evoked contemporaneously and today. Rachel remains active as a performing oboist. Her first book, Valuing Nineteenth-Century Italian Opera Fantasias for Woodwind Instruments, was published by Routledge in March 2024.

Dr Jean Beers, Assoc. Prof. at Music and Arts University of the City of Vienna

Jean Beers, was awarded a PhD from the Russell Group University King’s College London. Both a concert pianist and composer, as well as professor of Artistic Research, questions and removes boundaries and binaries in her artistic, pedagogical and research endeavors. As Head of Programme for Keyboard, Conducting and Composition at the Music and Arts University of the City of Vienna, Beers has spearheaded and curated concert and lectures series, as well as publishing in academia and performing internationally. Her book “Creating Ambiguity in Music” was published in 2018.

Ligia Borges Silva, PhD cand. at University of Coimbra; Luis Castro, composer, Oporto; Carlo Giovani, graphic designer, Oporto

Lígia Borges Silva is a PhD candidate at the University of Coimbra, in the Artistic Studies course, where she studies the relationship between musical time and subjective time. After years dedicated to musical performance and education, she now works as a fulltime researcher on music and time, under a grant provided by the Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia. Her recent article, published by a psychological journal, explores the influence of tonality, tempo, and listeners’ expertise on time perception.

Luís Castro is a composer, teacher, researcher, and multi-instrumentalist musician, who specializes in voice and improvisation. Having a master’s degree in music education (jazz), he currently teaches vocal and instrumental practice in some Portugal institutions. As a researcher, he has focused on the role of improvisation in music learning.

Carlo Giovani is a graphic designer, illustrator, visual artist, and book author. Graduated from the Federal University of Santa Maria in Brazil, he has constantly researched different techniques and styles, combining them, in search of unusual and creative illustrations. Since 2003, the artist received more than 20 relevant international awards and nominations, and published 15 books in different countries.

Olga Borzyszkowska, MA, currently student at Chopin University of Music in Warsaw

Olga Borzyszkowska graduated with a bachelor’s degree in music theory from the Stanisław Moniuszko Academy of Music in Gdańsk in 2021. In 2023, she received a master’s degree at the Chopin University of Music. Olga is also a graduate of the Postgraduate Studies “Music Manager” and a current student of baroque cello. She teaches theoretical subjects at the Witold Lutosławski Social Music School of the 1st and 2nd degree in Warsaw.

Dr Renate Bräuninger, Independent Scholar, Berlin

Dr. Renate Bräuninger. Her main research field is the relationship between music and the moving image but she also touches at questions of the archive, notation and approaches to interpretation and meaning gaining processes. She studied dance and performance studies as well as musicology at the Ludwigs Maximilians Universität Munich (M.A.), the New York University, Dance Theatre Workshop, New York and Middlesex University London (PhD). She has taught at numerous German and British universities. Currently, works as free-lance lecturer and dramaturge.

Dr Paulo F. de Castro, Assoc. Prof. at University “Nova” of Lisbon

Paulo F. de Castro studied musicology in Strasbourg, France and the UK, and obtained his PhD at Royal Holloway, University of London. He has written musicological essays on the history and aesthetics of 19th- and 20th-century music in Portugal, France and Russia. Paulo is Associate Professor and Head of the Musicology Department at the Universidade Nova, Lisbon, and President of the CESEM Research Centre, with special interests in theories of musical meaning, intertextuality and the ideologies of modernism, on which he has lectured in many European countries, Russia, North America and Brazil. Paulo is co-editor, with Violetta Kostka and William E. Everett, of Intertextuality in Music: Dialogic Composition (Routledge, 2021).

Dr hab. Anna Chęćka, Assoc. Prof. at Gdańsk University; Anna Prus, student of Medical University of Gdańsk and Gdańsk University

Anna Chęćka is a pianist and philosopher, associate professor at the Institute of Philosophy, University of Gdańsk, head of the Chair of Aesthetics and Philosophy of Culture. She has published four books in Polish: Critical Dissonances. Evaluating Performances of Musical Work (2008), Ear and Mind. Sketches of Musical Experience (2012), A as in Apollo: A Biography of Alfred Cortot (2019), Ear for metaphysics (2020), the last translated into English (2021). In 2020, she founded the interdisciplinary research team Neurobiology of Music Study Group.

Anna Prus is a Polish student of medicine at the Medical University of Gdansk, where she has been a student representative for three years, and a student of Individual Interfaculty Studies at the University of Gdansk. She is a researcher in the Neurobiology of Music Study Group, and is interested in neurophilosophy, bioethics and philosophy of technology.

Dr Barbara Dobretsberger, Assoc. Prof. at Mozarteum University Salzburg

Barbara Dobretsberger, Dr. phil., studied at the Mozarteum University Salzburg (piano pedagogy) and the Universities of Salzburg and Vienna (German philology and musicology); in 2003 received habilitation with a thesis on Pierre Boulez. Currently teaches as a professor of musicology, form theory and music analysis at the Mozarteum University. Her relevant publications include two textbooks on instrumental and vocal forms, her research focuses on the relationship between text and music, the meaning of music and the relevance of this outcome to the artistic interpretation. She regularly travels to Europe, Asia and Africa as a guest professor and lecturer.

Prof. Francesco Finocchiaro, G. Rossini Conservatoire Pesaro, habilitated Privatdozent at University of Innsbruck

Francesco Finocchiaro is a Full Professor of Music History at the G. Rossini Conservatoire Pesaro and habilitated Privatdozent at the University of Innsbruck. He has taught and conducted research in Milan, Bologna, Catania, Florence, Padua, Pescara, Vienna, Berlin, Bayreuth, and New York. His main areas of research include metaphorology, semiotics, media theory, and the relationship between composition, theory, and aesthetics in twentieth-century music. He edited the Italian edition of Arnold Schönberg's treatise Der musikalische Gedanke (2011), L'industria della persuasione. Musica e media nella politica culturale del fascismo (2022), and co-edited two other books. Among his achievements is over 50 published essays.

Vicky Fisher, PhD cand. at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam; Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, Nijmegen

Vicky Fisher is a dancer, teacher, participatory dance practitioner, and embodiment researcher. Her PhD research, at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, investigates the role of dance-informed embodied practices in sense-making. Her research integrates a wide range of interconnected disciplines including dance, cognitive psychology, multimodal linguistics, education theory and embodied cognition. Vicky has taught dance theory and practice for over twenty-five years and currently is the co-director of the participatory programme for Reframing HERstory Art Foundation and teaches with the WijZijn Dance collective.

Marianthi Fotopoulou, PhD cand. at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki

Marianthi Fotopoulou is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Music Studies of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and a violin instructor. Her Ph.D. dissertation pertains to “The transformation of performance of classical music: the case of Giuseppe Verdi’s Messa da Requiem (1874)” and is funded by the Hellenic Foundation for Research and Innovation. Her field of research includes Systematic and Historical Musicology, Performance studies and Audiovisual studies. She is the author of a few articles.

Gabriele Giacosa, PhD cand. at University of Cologne

Gabriele Giacosa is a PhD candidate at the University of Cologne, and a collegiate member of the a.r.t.e.s. Graduate School. He is working on a transdisciplinary project at the intersection of systematic musicology, phenomenology, and cognitive semiotics, under the supervision of Prof. Uwe Seifert (University of Cologne), Prof. Jordan Zlatev (Lund University), and Prof. Shigeru Taguchi (Hokkaido University). Gabriele holds a R.MA in Musicology from Utrecht University and a BA in DAMS (Music) from the University of Turin. His research interests span from the philosophy of music and aesthetics to cognitive science, with a focus on music, language and meaning.

Prof. Ryszard D. Golianek, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań

Ryszard Daniel Golianek, Polish musicologist, professor at the Institute of Musicology of Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań and at the Department of Music Theory of Grażyna and Kiejstut Bacewicz University of Music in Łódź. His main professional interests are the history of music of the nineteenth century and opera.

Dr Hubert Ignatowicz, Roehampton University in London

Dr Hubert Ignatowicz completed his PhD in 2023 at Roehampton University. His thesis was The role of music in church communities: a case of a Polish church community in London. He is currently a lecturer at New City College in London where he teaches English for Speakers of Other Languages. He has regularly used music as means of cultural integration during his sessions with immigrants. His expertise includes work with adult migrants including students from Bangladesh, Somalia, South and Latin America as well as Africa and Eastern Europe.

Dr Šárka Havlíčková Kysová, Assoc. Prof. at Masaryk University in Brno

Šárka Havlíčková Kysová, Ph.D. is associate professor at the Department of Theatre Studies, Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic. She studied Theory and History of Theatre and Czech Language and Literature at Masaryk University. In her research and lecturing activities, she focuses on the theory of theatre (especially from the perspective of cognitive studies) and history and theory of staging of opera.

Stacy Jarvis, PhD cand. at University of Birmingham

Stacy Jarvis is a professional violin performer and international competition winner based in Manchester, United Kingdom. Presently, she is pursuing her doctoral studies at the University of Birmingham. Stacy's primary area of research is semiotics and intertextuality, particularly as applied to the operatic works of Tchaikovsky. She is currently analysing night motifs in Frederic Chopin’s and John Field’s nocturnes. Since September 2022 Stacy is a regular speaker at conferences; in 2023 she won the best presentation award at the International Conference of Musicology and Music Theory in the UK.

Caleb Labbe Phelan, PhD cand. at University of Toronto; Dr Irida Altman, ETH Zurich

Caleb Labbe Phelan is a PhD candidate in musicology at the University of Toronto Faculty of Music and is a Junior Fellow of Victoria College at the University of Toronto. He also holds a MMus in Musicology from the University of Glasgow, and is an active pianist based in Toronto. His dissertation research examines the intersections between Romantic and early modern keyboard music, literature, and philosophy, with a particular focus on virtuosity, aesthetics, and translation. His research is supported by a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Doctoral Fellowship.

Irida Altman is a doctoral student at ETH Zürich, researching in the intersection of philosophy, literature, and mathematics. She studied mathematics at MIT, Cambridge, and Warwick, and holds a doctorate in low-dimensional topology. Her current doctoral project, titled ’Textuality and Mathematics: A Hermeneutics’, is developing a theory of interpretation in the poststructural tradition based around translation between systems of presentation. She is interested in reading mathematics through music, and in understanding music through translation. She is also interested in novel approaches to performativity within and beyond conventionally performative situations.

Dr Malwina Marciniak, Academy of Music, Bydgoszcz

Malwina Marciniak – graduate of the Feliks Nowowiejski Academy of Music in Bydgoszcz, where she studied piano, music theory and composition. Completed her post-graduate music theory curriculum at the Academy with a doctoral dissertation on 21st-century Polish piano concertos in the context of genre transformations and musical narratives theory. Multiple-time winner of international piano competitions; performed at assorted venues in Poland and abroad. Author of a number of scholarly articles in reviewed music periodicals; speaker at national and international scientific conferences.

Dr Ângelo Martingo, Assoc. Prof. at University of Minho

Ângelo Martingo is Associate Professor at University of Minho (Portugal), lecturing Sociology of Music, Cultural Policy and Performance Studies Research. His research interests focus on the cognition, sociology and aesthetics of music performance and communication. He has published, as author, editor or co-editor the following books: Performance – Theory and Practice (2007), Contexts of Modernity – A survey to Portuguese composers (2011), Reason, Cognition and Expression in Music Practices (2018), Musica Instrumentalis (2019) and Musica Humana (2020).

Agata Meissner, PhD cand. at Mozarteum University Salzburg

Agata Meissner graduated from Frideric Chopin Music University in harpsichord and Musicology at Warsaw University (2013), and finished her postgraduate studies at Academy of Music in Cracow in harpsichord (2021). Since 2020 she has worked as a harpsichordist at University Mozarteum in Salzburg. In 2020 she started her PhD studies, during which she is researching on the keyboard music in Austria in 17th and 18th century. She performed solo and chamber music in Poland, Austria, Croatia, Germany, Italy, Hungary, Slovakia and the UK. As a researcher Agata Meissner is interested in early music era and in culture of those times.

Dr Cristina Pascu, researcher at National Academy of Music in Cluj Napoca

Cristina Pascu, a university researcher, a Ph.D. holder, a journalist, currently serves as a musicologist and spokesperson for the National Academy of Music in Cluj-Napoca, Romania. She earned her degrees in Psychology from Babeș-Bolyai University, followed by dual degrees in Musicology and Piano at the National Academy of Music. Throughout her career Cristina Pascu conducted research internships at the University of Cambridge and Hochschule für Musik Freiburg. Among others she was awarded the 'Atlas' scholarship by the French Government (2022).

Prof. Birger Petersen, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz

Birger Petersen is Professor of Music Theory at the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz. His work focuses on the history of music theory from the 16th to the 20th century, organ music and organ landscapes of the 19th and 20th centuries and contemporary music. In 2021, he was awarded the Academy Prize of the State of Rhineland-Palatinate for special merits in research and teaching. Recent publications: Die Musik des 17. und 18. Jahrhunderts (2020); Elsa Barraine und die Résistance in Frankreich (2021); Glenn Gould. Auf der Suche nach Perfektion (2024, in prep.); Josef Gabriel Rheinberger. Als München leuchtete (2024, in prep.).

Dr Ivana Petković Lozo, Assist. Prof. at University of Arts in Belgrade

Dr Ivana Petković Lozo is a musicologist, an assist. professor at the Department of Musicology of the Faculty of Music at the University of Arts in Belgrade. Her fields of scholarly interest include European fin de siècle music, relations between music and painting as well as music and literature, the philosophy of art, and aesthetics of music. She is the author of two books: The Late Oeuvre of Claude Debussy: “Truths” about the French Myth (Belgrade 2011) and Stevan Mokranjac in the Writings of “Others” (with Olga Otašević, Belgrade 2014) and research papers. She is a member of the Serbian Musicological Society and the International Musicological Society.

Dr hab. Piotr Podlipniak, Assoc. Prof. at Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań

Piotr Podlipniak is a professor at the Department of Musicology of Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Poland. His main areas of interest are the cognitive basis of music, biological sources of human musicality, musical universals, vocal communication, music and emotions, musical semiotics, the origin of music and language, the evolution of preconceptual and conceptual meaning, music perception, and methodology of musicology. In his musicological research, he refers to such academic disciplines as cognitive science, evolutionary biology, ethology, evolutionary psychology, cognitive psychology, and comparative anthropology. He is an editor-in-chief of the journal “Interdisciplinary Studies in Musicology”.

Prof. Tijana Popović Mladjenović, University of Arts in Belgrade

Tijana Popović Mladjenović is Professor of Musicology at the Faculty of Music, at the University of Arts in Belgrade. Her main research interests include fin de siècle music, poetics of music of the 20th and 21st centuries, aesthetics and philosophy of music, issues of musical thinking and musical time, as well as the relationship between music and other arts. She is a member of the Academia Europaea, as well as the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development of the Republic of Serbia. As a visiting professor, she has taught in Jerusalem, Vilnius, Ljubljana, Sarajevo and Cetinje. She has authored five books, published more than 130 research papers and co-edited more than 30 collective and individual monographs.

Bruce Ramell, freelance researcher, Haddenham

Bruce Ramell studied music as a mature student after working for some years in high temperature technology, and gained a Master’s Degree in Historical Musicology at Goldsmiths College, University of London. He then taught music and mathematics at GCSE and A-Level and latterly became a preparatory school headmaster. He composes, plays the sackbut and conducted an à cappella choir for 25 years. He is now retired and continues to study. One of his main philosophical interests is how we can formulate a philosophy of depth in the arts.

Dr Kamilė Rupeicaitė, senior researcher at Lithuanian Culture Research Institute, Assoc. Prof. at Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre, Vilnius

Dr. Kamilė Rupeikaitė is a senior researcher at the Lithuanian Culture Research Institute and Associate professor of music history at the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre. Rupeikaitė has participated in international conferences in Lithuania, Israel, Finland, Germany, Slovenia, Estonia, Poland and elsewhere, has published articles in peer-reviewed Lithuanian and foreign publications. Her research interests include musical instruments in the Bible, multicultural contexts of music, musical culture of Lithuanian Jews. Rupeikaitė is the author of the monograph on Lithuanian composer Anatolijus Šenderovas (2020, in Lithuanian).

Alison Stevens, PhD cand. at University of Edinburgh

Alison Stevens is a PhD student at the University of Edinburgh. She has a master’s degree in music theory from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where she studied the role of dance in mid-to-late eighteenth-century European experience of meter. While studying there she learned English change ringing at the nearby Smith College bell tower, and this practice has become the focus of her PhD work and her presentation today.

Dr Kalliopi Stigka, High School of Neo Faliro-Piraeus; Joannis Kourtis, composer, Montpellier

Kalliopi Stigka, PhD, studied piano and musicology in Greece and France. For her research, she was honored with a prize and a grant from the Gazi-Triantafyllopoulos Foundation in 2002. Since 2010 she has been qualified as ‘Maître de Conférences’ by the French National Council of Universities. She is also a Graduate of the Department of Political Science and History of Panteion University (Bachelor 2021). Her research interests lie in the fields of sociology of music and of history of Greek contemporary popular music.

Ioannis Kourtis, studied composition at Ionian University and later at Paul Valery University in Montpellier. He wrote many works for orchestra and chamber ensembles and composed music for five feature films and several short films and documentaries. Since February 2010 he has been an alumnus of the Berlinale talent campus. In 2012 he was chosen to compose the music for the Cypriot EU presidency. In 2013 he composed the soundtrack for the film “Imbabazi – The pardon”, which was selected and presented at many film festivals worldwide.

Márton G. Szives, Hungarian Academy of Arts, Budapest

Márton Gábor Szives is a percussionist and researcher who creates performative concerts throughout Europe. He is constantly working with foreign and Hungarian composers to develop new performances to enthral the audience and improve European new music literature. With new works dedicated to him each year, he has been invited to the stage from Romania to Florida. Even in his junior years at university, he was awarded the Pro Arte Gold Medal and the New National Excellence Program three times for his research. In 2023, he received the scholarship of the Hungarian Academy of Arts.

Dr M. Belén Vargas, lecturer at University of Granada

Dr M. Belen Vargas is Lecturer in History and Sciences of Music at University of Granada. She has focused on the study of music in 19th century Spain press. She is author of several books, articles and chapters in monographs devoted to criticism, advertising and music trade, sheet music supplements, iconography in illustrated and women magazines, and a methodology proposal for the music research in the press. She has carried out research stays in London and Edinburgh in recent years and now belongs in a project at University of Granada on epistolary collection of Manuel de Falla and the international projection of his musical work.

Marko Vesić, PhD cand. at University of Arts in Belgrade

Marko Vesić is a contemporary artist and researcher from Belgrade, who creates in the field of experimental and applied music, poetry and post-conceptual artistic practices. Next to creativity, he directed his interests towards the questions of applied aesthetics and philosophy of science. He was a participant of a several academic programs, conferences, projects and masterclasses in country and abroad, and won some awards for his musical and essayistic output. Currently he is a PhD candidate in composition at the Faculty of musical arts in Belgrade.

Zuzana Vojnovič, PhD cand. at Charles University in Prague

Mgr. Zuzana Vojnovič is a doctoral student in the Music Education Department at Charles University in Prague. The title of her thesis is Pianist’s Intuition While Studying Compositions. In 2021 she completed her master’s degree at Charles University and after it she attended some courses at the Methodology Centre of the Janáček Academy of Performing Arts, and made necessary consultations with music experts concerning her doctoral thesis.

Dr Petros Vouvaris, Assist. Prof. at University of Macedonia in Thessaloniki

Petros Vouvaris is an Assistant Professor in Music Form and Analysis at the Department of Music Science and Art, University of Macedonia, Greece. He holds a doctoral degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA, a master’s degree from the University of North Carolina-Greensboro, USA, and a bachelor’s degree from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece. He is the author of the book Introduction to Formal Analysis of Tonal Music (2015 [in Greek]) and co-editor of the collective volume Perspectives on Greek Musical Modernism (Routledge, forthcoming). He is an active performer and has given piano solo and chamber music recitals both in Greece and the USA.

Dr Riccardo D. Wanke, University of Coimbra

Riccardo Wanke, author of the book “Sound in The Ecstatic-Materialist Perspective on Experimental Music” by Routledge (2021), is an experienced multidisciplinary researcher, having conducted his doctoral and post-doctoral research in both the humanities (historical musicology, 2013-2019) and the natural sciences (chemistry, 2006-2010). He has authored (and co-authored) contributions in musicology and music theory, and central of his research is the bridge between cognitive psychology and musicology. As a composer and performer, he explores the electronic manipulation of sound, having performed live worldwide and published music for international labels.

Prof. Miloš Zatkalik, University of Arts in Belgrade

Miloš Zatkalik, a composer and music theorist, is Professor at the University of Arts in Belgrade. For several years he was a Visiting Professor at universities in Novi Sad, Kragujevac and Banja Luka (Bosnia and Herzegovina). He lectured by invitation at universities in Canada, Norway, Germany, the USA, Slovenia and Australia. Zatkalik’s research interests include analysis of 20th-century music; musical teleology; relationships between music and other arts. Recent publications include a book on post-tonal prolongation.

Abstracts Book download PDF

Conference Programme

Thursday, 10.10.2024, Yellow building
Room 213
Room 213
Introductory words
  • prof. dr hab. Ryszard Minkiewicz – rector
  • prof. dr hab. Violetta Kostka – project director
Room 213
Session 1, Chair – Rolf I. Godøy
  • Lawrence M. Zbikowski, Musical meaning and analogy
  • Mihailo Antović, From form to reference: Multilevel-grounded semantics of music
Room 213
Session 2, Chair – Lawrence M. Zbikowski
  • Violetta Kostka, The meanings of Paweł Szymański’s overtly intertextual works in the light of Conceptual Blending Theory
  • Anthony Brandt, Composing meaning
Room 213
Session 3, Chair – Mihailo Antović
  • Hallgjerd Aksnes, The Enactment of Musical Meaning: Perspectives from Mark Johnson’s Neuropragmatism
  • Petros Vouvaris, Revisiting Schubert’s musical orgasms
  • Renate Bräuninger, How is meaning generated in a multimedia performance genre like dance?
Room 314
Session 4, Chair – Ryszard D. Golianek
  • Marianthi Fotopoulou, From the music score to music video: A choreographed performance of Mors stupebit from Giuseppe Verdi’s Messa da Requiem (1874) by Christian Spuck
  • Kalliopi Stigka, Joannis Kourtis, From Dreams of Memory (2011) to Imbabazi – The Pardon (2013): An intimate dialogue between words, images, sounds and History
  • Márton G. Szives, Visual art-concerts – artistic research
Room 220
Session 5, Chair – Paulo F. de Castro
  • Ashok Kumar Arya, Meaning of Music in the Indian Context
  • Hubert Ignatowicz, The role of music in church communities: A case of a Polish church community in London
  • Alison Stevens, Meaning in Participatory Music: A Bellringing Protest
Room 213
Session 6, Chair – Anthony Brandt
  • Ligia Borges Silva, Luis Castro, Carlo Giovani, Singing images and drawing music with Cantaroler, a book designed to foster children’s imagination and artistic expression [online]
  • Riccardo D. Wanke, Explaining the perceptual experience of sound-based music through image schema [online]
  • Gabriele Giacosa, Moving mirrors: A phenomenological analysis of Spiegel im Spiegel [online]
Room 314
Session 7, Chair – Hallgjerd Aksnes
  • Ryszard D. Golianek, Musical disguise in Mozart’s comic operas
  • Sarka Havličkova Kysová, Multilevel Grounding Theory as Analytical Approach to Operatic Production: Theatre Studies Perspective
  • Barbara Dobretsberger, Mozart, the couple therapist? Listening to music while reading between the lines
Room 220
Session 8, Chair – Francesco Finocchiaro
  • Jean Beers, Ambiguity in music: Musical meaning deconstructed and reinterpreted
  • Miloš Zatkalik, Form and Meaning by Berislav Popovic: With Luhmann, Deleuze, and Husserl waiting for their turn
  • Malwina Marciniak, K. Penderecki’s Piano Concerto “Resurrection” in a Narratological Perspective
Passage to the concert hall in Yellow building
Recital, Mikołaj Sikała, piano
Friday, 11.10.2024, Yellow building
Room 213
Session 9, Chair – Violetta Kostka
  • Rolf I. Godøy, Motormimetic cognition of sound-motion objects in music
  • Michael Spitzer, An Appraisal Theory of Musical Emotion
Room 213
Session 10, Chair – Michael Spitzer
  • Danae Stefanou, Meaning, listening, silencing
  • Juan Chattah, Sound, Sign, and Cinema: How Film Music Shapes Cinematic Signification
Room 213
Session 11, Chair – Danae Stefanou
  • Vicky Fisher, Cross-Modal Meaning-Making Within Embodied Transformation of Musical Features in Sign Language Interpretations of Songs [online]
  • M. Belén Vargas, Musical metaphor as a vehicle of political satire in the Spanish press (1833–74) [online]
  • Anna Chęćka, Anna Prus, Embodied Cognition and Creating Meaning in Musical Performance: Epistemic Criticism of Artificial Intelligence-based Musicianship [online]
Room 314
Session 12, Chair – Ivana Petković Lozo
  • Birger Petersen, “Figure” and “Meaning” in the Vocal Music of Dietrich Buxtehude
  • Ângelo Martingo, Communication as shared meaning: rationality, expression, and music structure
  • Olga Borzyszkowska, The piece of music as a world: On the specific experience of space in the light of the cognitive metaphor theory
  • Zuzana Vojnovič, Pianist’s Intuition While Studying Compositions (15’)
Room 220
Session 13, Chair – Michael Spitzer
  • Francesco Finocchiaro, “Organic music” versus “mechanical music”: A metaphorical antithesis in the musical debate between the two World Wars
  • Agata Meissner, Metaphors and the performance practice: Can the metaphorical approach to music meaning be applied to practical music making and music teaching?
  • Cristina Pascu, Metaphorical Imagery in Piano Lessons: A Cognitive Perspective on Alfred Cortot’s Pedagogical Legacy
  • Bruce Ramell, Music, number and meaning: An attempt at a new approach to musical grammar (15’)
Room 213
Session 14, Chair – Juan Chattah
  • Rachel Becker, Ecphratic Signification in Instrumental Music [online]
  • Marko Vesić, “Mental theater” as a new paradigm of intra-musical epistemology: Fundamental problems of “scientific” approach in music theory […] [online]
  • Kamilė Rupeicaitė, Performance as the meaning of the work: Anatolijus Senderovas’ (1945–2019) philosophy of music [online]
Room 314
Session 15, Chair – Anna Chęćka
  • Piotr Podlipniak, Musical meaning as a remnant of cross-domain interactions in the coevolution of music and language
  • Stacy Jarvis, The migratory intonation as a semantic structure and its transformation within the context of a musical theme
  • Caleb Labbe Phelan, Irida Altman, Locating Musical Meaning in Performance: An Approach Through Translation Theory
Room 220
Session 16, Chair – Birger Petersen
  • Paulo F. de Castro, Leonard Ratner’s concept of the musical topic: Towards a critical-historical approach
  • Ivana Petković Lozo, A Journey from the Periphery to the Center of the Meaning of/in Music: Claude Debussy’s Nocturnes
  • Tijana Popović Mladjenović, The hermeneutic fragment on the meaning of the musical work
Room 213
Closing comments

Conference Venue

Campus, Building A
Campus, Building B
Campus, Concert hall (A)
Campus, Concert hall (B)
Campus, Prof. Paweł Podejko Auditorium (B)
Gdańsk, Long Waterfront
Gdańsk, Neptune’s Fountain and Artus Court
Gdańsk, Mariacka Street
Gdańsk, Museum of the Second World War
Gdańsk, European Solidarity Centre and Monument


We recommend staying at the Dom Muzyka hotel located on the campus of the Academy of Music in Gdańsk just next to the Conference venue. To book your room at the Dom Muzyka hotel please contact the hotel directly.

Dom Muzyka
ul. Łąkowa 1–2
80-743 Gdańsk
(+48 58) 326 06 00


Academy of Music in Gdańsk
ul. Łąkowa 1–2
80-743 Gdańsk

Sponsors and Partners

The conference is co-financed by the Ministry of Education and Science in the “Excellent Science” programme – DNK/SP/548966/2022.