Dialogues on Songwriting: Creativity, Methods and Contexts

Call for papers: 15 September 2023.

Composing music, writing songs, producing tracks, or just simply making music?

Whatever labels we choose, they contain cultural and historical references to different processes of fostering new music. In this way, choosing a label for the process will also indicate what kind of process one refers to, that is, how the music is made and what kind of music it is. Music composition, for instance, would often connote classical music composed at the piano and represented by music notation. Producing a track would imply some form of computerbased recording process, generically situated somewhere within the realm of electronic popular music.


Both of these labels, however, refer back to one single agent: the composer or the producer. When songwriting has been chosen as a label for the upcoming symposium, it is for three main reasons. First, it is inclusive towards the importance of vocal melody and lyrics as part of the music. Second, songwriting can also be collaborative, and thus it opens up for discussing various forms of collaborative creative processes. Third, it intersects and is in dialogue as a whole and in particular with listener and audiences, but also with the general technological development. In this context it is of interest to look at the coming AI revolution and what it entails for songwriters and the process of songwriting.


What processes, then, can the term songwriting contain in contemporary popular music? How has the process of making music developed through the history of recorded music? In what ways do contemporary songwriters operate according to, or opposed to existing definitions of the term?

Welcoming various perspectives from academic as well artistic research, the research group Songwriting and Production has the pleasure of inviting scholars, songwriters, producers, and PhD candidates in higher music education for a two-day symposium at the University of Agder, Norway, for presentations and panel discussions on these and other related questions.


Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Methods of songwriting
  • The inner voice of songwriting
  • Songwriting and production
  • Belonging/ownership
  • The history of songwriting
  • Collaborative songwriting
  • The gendered voice of songwriting
  • The racial voice of songwriting
  • Songwriting and mental and physical health
  • Songwriting and AI


We welcome abstracts of maximum 350 words for individual presentations of 20 minutes. Presentations can take the form of a research paper, an artistic performance, or a combination of the two.


Submission deadline: 15 September 2023.

The symposium will be arranged 9nt-10th November 2023 at the University of Agder, Kristiansand.


Contact Person:
Torun Berg Eriksen 
Associate Professor