Call for papers at the international symposium “78 rpm at home: Local perspectives on the early recording industry”

We are happy to announce an international symposium that will be organized within our project in March 2023!

The symposium titled 78 rpm at home: Local perspectives on the early recording industry will be held from March 9th to 11th, 2023 onsite, at the Institute of Ethnology and Folklore Research in Zagreb (Croatia), and online, via the Zoom platform.

All instructions for registration can be found at the following link: 78rpm at home – CALL FOR PAPERS

This international symposium seeks to examine the production, circulation and consumption of music under the aegis of music industries in specific social, cultural and political settings. It is informed by an ongoing project on the workings and impact of three Zagreb-based record companies, active during the era of electrically recorded 78 rpm shellac records, on the local music culture of that and subsequent periods. Apart from the “big five” concept of the recording industry as a globalizing force, attuned to the “West and the rest” matrix, the symposium aims to elucidate other directions of musical flow, thus probing a rhizomatic concept of the recording industry in culture.

Equally welcome are proposals for individual papers and pre-organized panels (consisting of 3 or 4 papers, or up to 3 papers and a discussant).

An abstract of 150-250 words by each individual presenter, or by the panel organizer and each participant in the panel, should be sent to by September 30th, 2022 with the title “78 rpm at home”, and should include the name and affiliation of the presenter(s).

The language of the symposium will be English. It is, however, possible that a limited number of sessions will be held in Croatian.

Programme committee: Naila Ceribašić (chair), Drago Kunej, Daniel Leech-Wilkinson, Risto Pekka Pennanen, Ivana Vesić, Jelka Vukobratović, Peter Tschmuck



The major symposium theme relates to the working of local companies in the era of 78 rpm records, including their relationship with multinational companies. Participants are invited to address different musics, musicians, audiences, and market niches, in particular in South-Eastern, Central and Eastern Europe, but also in other regions of the world.

The second theme pertains to the uses of historical commercial recordings in subsequent periods. Papers dealing with the musical transmission, revival, intertextuality, social life of gramophone records, and curation of historical recordings are equally welcome.

The third theme refers to ethnomusicological perspectives in the study of historical commercial recordings: what challenges do they pose to this distinctly fieldwork-based discipline, as well as what benefits ethnomusicology can bring to interdisciplinary research into recorded music.

The range of specific cases may include but is not limited to: local branches of multinational companies, and nationally-based record companies; organization of production processes and professions involved; relation of record companies to other pillars of musical infrastructure (radio, film, festivals, concerts, sheet music publishing, print media, musical associations, copyright protection); technological, political and economic circumstances of their operation; their role in identity formation, nation building, and cultural geopolitics; intercultural, intra- and inter-regional, and international traffic in recorded music; musics, musicians, and communities included and excluded from the recording catalogues; musical canon formation; collaborations beyond established musical categories; domestication of international repertoires, musical hybridity, and new repertoires, genres and styles incited by radio and recording industry; places, spaces and manners of using recorded music; historical recordings and historically-informed performance; historical recordings and musicking in the digital environment, and/or beyond the dichotomy of live and recorded music; communities of aficionados and do-it-yourself curators and archivists of historical recordings; ethnographic and collaborative methodologies in the curation of historical recordings; the issues of intellectual property rights and related rights, ethics of equality, social inclusion, human rights and sustainability in the uses of historical recordings.