Texas Tech University

Cash Prizes and Bragging Rights for Music Theory Presentations!

Karina L. D.

November 2, 2023

Image of TTU students representing the Texas Society for Music Theory 2023

The Texas Society for Music Theory is looking for student submissions for the annual TSMT conference in February. The TSMT gathers yearly to present current and ongoing research to fellow music theorists and teachers.

What makes this year's conference different, however, is that this is the first year that submissions are being accepted for a special series of undergraduate student research lightning talks. Our very own Dr. David Forrest, Associate Director for Academic Studies and Associate Professor of Music Theory, is the current president of TSMT and encourages both graduate and undergraduate students to submit papers for presentation. The call reads

The Texas Society for Music Theory will hold its 46th annual meeting on February 23-24, 2024, on the campus of the University of Texas at Arlington, with Amy Hatch serving as local arrangements coordinator. Megan Lavengood, Associate Professor and Area Director of Music Theory at George Mason University, will deliver the keynote address. Stacey Davis, Tim Chenette, and Stan Kleppinger will lead a plenary pedagogy session on Aural Skills instruction. The conference will be held in a hybrid in-person/online format. Presenters are asked to travel to Arlington. Those not presenting may participate in person or virtually. 

The Society invites the submission of proposals on any aspect of music theory or music theory-related interdisciplinary research topics. Proposals may be formatted as 20-minute scholarly papers, posters, panel discussions, or special sessions. The Society particularly invites submissions from undergraduate students for a special, undergraduate-only session of 10-minute lightning-talks. This session aims to encourage and promote new scholars in the field. Additionally, one Friday-morning session at the conference will be streamed for free to high school and college music theory classes; for this session, the society encourages proposals appropriate for that audience. 

To submit a proposal, please prepare three separate PDF files:

1.     Anonymous proposal of no more than 500 words and supplementary materials of no more than 2 pages (may include diagrams, examples, works cited, bibliography, etc.). Please include the proposal title. Title words do not count against the word limit.

2.     Abstract of 100-150 words.

3.     Author bio(s), no more than 50 words per author.

The submitting author is responsible for making sure that the proposal and abstract contain no identifying information in the documents or metadata. Proposals are being accepted here. Only complete submissions uploaded to the above address by November 27, 2023 will be considered. Questions about submitting a proposal may be addressed to David Forrest at david.forrest@ttu.edu.                           

This year, TSMT is offering two student awards: (1) an award for the best undergraduate presentation and (2) the Colvin Award for best overall student presentation. The recipient of the undergraduate presentation award will receive $100. The recipient of the 2024 Colvin Award will receive $250 and an invitation to serve on the 2025 Program Committee.

Only students who plan to travel to the conference should apply to present.  If money is of concern, TTU has scholarship funding available for undergraduate students through the School of Music—the TrUE Scholars Program—that can help to cover the cost of travel. Graduate students seeking monetary assistance can request funding through the School of Music, the Graduate School, and the Talkington College of Visual and Performing Arts. Information about these sources can be found at the School of Music Graduate Student Travel Information webpage.

For students on the fence about submitting a paper, Dr. Forrest suggests considering how well a presentation at a conference like this would look on a resume for grad schools or future jobs. He also reminds students that presenting research at meetings of this kind is an opportunity to represent Texas Tech at a major conference.   To learn more, please contact Dr. Forrest or visit Texas Society for Music Theory.