6th-8th November 2024

University of Groningen, The Netherlands

Music4Change International Research School

Sustainable Cities and Cultures of Music

Music4Change invites papers, panels and workshops for the 2024 International Research School on the theme of Sustainable Cities and Cultures of Music to be held on 6th-8th November at the University of Groningen. During these three days we will explore new ways of researching cities in relation to sustainability within the realm of music in a variety of formats, including through workshops, sound walks, interactive performances, and papers. While cities prove essential entities for the development, cultivation, and transformation of musical cultures, institutions and practices, urban music-making also involves unprecedented challenges in the face of multiple global economic, environmental, and political crises. This research school seeks to explore the changing organization of musical values, activities, and preferences taking place within them. Further we seek to expand upon new and (re-)emergent musical practices to investigate more sustainable alternatives for live music performance spaces, and for media and preservation strategies, educational models, and health systems that encourage the proliferation of musical communities within and across livable, inclusive, and sustainable cities. During this international research school, we come together to explore research and innovations in the formation of sustainable musical cultures and communities, and to critically explore musical and sonic pathways towards more sustainable cities.

Themes relevant for this school may include:

  • Music and (post-)urban ecologies
  • Music media and sustainable production and reception platform
  • Music festivals and sustainable practices
  • Sustainable creativity, sonic fictions and the urban imaginary
  • Urban displacement, gentrification and responses to cultural / musical extractivism
  • Living archives and other forms of preserving critical musical practices of threatened musical communities and genres
  • Educational models which encourage environmentally, economically and/or socially sustainable music-making
  • Sustainable research methods & infrastructures for music & sound-based disciplines
  • Sustainable industrial and economic models for musicians and musical institutions
  • Sustainable music practices for health and care
  • Forms of urban engagement which draw attention to sustainability goals and issues
  • Acoustic sustainability, citizenship and DIY approaches to sustainability
  • Inclusive listening practices in urban settings
  • Sound mapping of cities in relation to ecology and biodiversity
  • Re-thinking music cities and communities in relation to mobility, nomadism and de-urbanization

Submitting an Abstract

Deadline for Abstracts is 1st May 2024

Abstracts should be maximum of 250 words and should include 4-6 keywords.

All abstracts will be reviewed by the course committee. Applicants will be notified if their abstract has been accepted no later than 30th June 2024

Abstract Submission


  • Deadline for Abstracts: 1st May 2024
  • Registration: Opens 15th August 2024

The event is free for all participants.

Ways to Participate

The Summer School is organised as a blended learning course which will be offered as an in-person event with opportunities for synchronous and asynchronous digital participation.

There are several ways to participate in the course.

Course Theme: We welcome abstracts on the course theme from researchers from any field, and also those outside of the academy such as musicians, activists, community workers, funders and policy makers.

Spotlight Sessions: Ph.D candidates, at any stage of their doctoral work, and early career researchers can present their own project (regardless of theme) and receive feedback from peers and senior researchers.

Peer Mentorship Hub: The Hub is an initiative which connects PhD candidates and early career researchers working in relevant fields to exchange knowledge, build networks and develop mutually beneficial support. Those who sign up for the Hub will have the opportunity to take part in pre and post course digital meetings, as well as activities during the Research School.

Presentation Guidelines

The format of presentations at the course is flexible. In addition to the oral/powerpoint presentations we welcome performances, multimedia presentations, panel discussions, and workshops. If you have any questions please contact Morten Norheim.

Oral Presentations:

Oral presentations will be 20 mins talk plus 20 mins for questions.


Performance presentations can be in the form of a lecture recital or performance with reflection, and should be a maximum 25 mins plus 20 mins for questions.

Prerecorded Presentations:

Oral or performance presentations can be pre recorded and submitted as a video.  These should be a maximum of 25 mins. Prerecorded  presentations will be available to view before the event and the full 40 mins of the session will be used for feedback and questions.

Prerecorded presentations must be submitted by 15th October 2024

ECTS Credit Points

Ph.D. candidates can gain 3 ECTS credit points for participation in this course and have the option of presenting on the main theme of the course OR on their own research project and should participate in the Peer Mentorship Hub. Candidate presentations will receive feedback from senior researchers and peers.

If you wish to apply for ECTS credit you must register to do this before the course.  Please contact Morten Norheim for further details.