Mu­sic and Sci­ence Du­ring the 1620s

07.-10.10.2021, Piteå, Sweden

Deadline: 15.08.2021

The Conservatory of Music in Piteå, Sweden (Luleå University of Technology) presents an interdisciplinary festival and conference Music and Science during the 1620s (7-10 October 2021) in conjunction with the 400th anniversary of Piteå’s founding. 

The festival's goal is to explore the connection between music and science during the 1620s as well as to consider the state of the relationship between these fields today and in the future. Despite the Thirty Years War, music written in the new baroque style flourished across Europe during the 1620s. In the history of organ/keyboard music, the 1620s are perhaps the most important decade of all-time, with landmark publications from countries across Europe. The decade is also an important era in the history of science with publications by, among others, Johannes Kepler, Francis Bacon, Galileo Galilei, and Robert Fludd.

Much of the new music from this period was instrumental and can be related to then new scientific instruments including the microscope. Developments in music influenced science and science in turn influenced music. With instrumental music as a starting point, Piteå's founding is placed in a larger European-cultural context. The Norrbotten region’s unique resources, which include the artistic research environment of the Conservatory of Music in Piteå, Studio Acusticum and the University Organ, as well as the baroque organ in Norrfjärden church are important parts of the festival.

Concerts and Lectures

The opening concert features baroque ensemble music from across Europe featuring Emma Rönnlund (voice), Lars Sjöstedt (keyboards), Nora Roll (gamba) and Musikhögskolan i Piteå’s Chamber Choir under the direction of Erik Westberg. Additional concerts include a solo lute concert with Jonas Nordberg, one of Sweden's leading lutenists; as well as keyboard concerts with Léon Berben (Germany) and Gary Verkade (Piteå). 

Keynote speakers are musicologist Rebecca Cypess (Rutgers University, USA) and science historian H.F. Cohen (Utrecht). Additional guest speakers include Sverker Jullander (LTU), Mattias Lundberg (Uppsala), Staffan Lundberg (LTU-retired), and Aaron Sunstein (LTU). 

Practical information

The conference is presented as a hybrid event with participants welcome both on site and via zoom.

Further information, including a preliminary schedule and a link to registration is available here:

Call for papers

We invite proposals for 30 minute paper presentations (historical, analytical, etc.) or lecture recitals on any topic related to music during the 1620s or the relationship of music and science during the same period. We will also consider papers addressing more generally the relationship of music and science. Papers can be presented either in person or online. Papers may be presented in English, Swedish, Norwegian, or Danish. 

Submissions should be sent as a single .pdf file to and include the following information:

·Name and Contact Information

·Title and Proposal Type (paper or lecture recital)

·Abstract of approximately 300 words

·Two pages of additional materials if applicable (graphics, bibliography)

The deadline for proposals is August 15, 2021. Participants will be informed if their paper has been accepted by September 1, 2021. 


Aaron Sunstein, Phd, DM
Musikhögskolan i Piteå
Luleå Tekniska Universitet