15th International Congress on Musical Signification

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The new dates will be announced in October

ICMS 15, organized by Joan Grimalt and Eero Tarasti, will take place at the Escola Superior de Música de Catalunya in Barcelona, from the 4th to the 8th of September 2020

Performance and musical signification

The preferent topic of ICMS n. 15 will be the links between music signification and performance. In other words: how vocal or instrumental performance can be connected to expressive strategies, topoi, narrative analyses, etc.

How can an expressive analysis (including a topical, thymic and narrative approach) help the performer to a better understanding of the piece and its interpretation? Can it provide a criterium to compare different interpretations of the same musical piece?

In music conservatories or music schools all over the world, where the instrument is still at the curriculum’s core, an analysis including expressive values should be encouraged. The incorporation of musical signification in pedagogy would help interpreters and teachers to find valuable musicological tools to complete intuitive performing approaches.

Beyond papers relating performance and musical signification, those dealing with any other issues concerning musical signification are also welcome.


The International Congress on Musical Signification (ICMS) is a biannual meeting on recent developments and trends in the studies of musical signification. It is the major platform of the research project of Musical Signification, launched in Paris in 1984, and subsequently directed for 34 years so far by Eero Tarasti at the University of Helsinki.

Following ICMS 14 in Cluj-Napoca (Romania), ICMS 15 will be held in vibrant Barcelona, capital city of Catalonia, generously hosted by its Conservatory, the Escola superior de música de Catalunya (ESMUC) and under the auspices of the International Association for Semiotic Studies (IASS), the International Semiotics Institute (ISI) and the Academy of Cultural Heritages (ACH).

*Registration cancellations received in writing at the 15ICMS Congress Secretariat’s address by Friday, July 31, 2020 will be accepted and all fees refunded. Cancellations received after Friday, July 31, 2020 will not be refunded.


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