Tunes and Tales

Final Tunes and Tales event

We are pleased to announce the symposium Transmission of Tunes and Tales, which will take place in Amsterdam, May 12 and 13, 2016. In this symposium, we aim to focus on understanding and modelling the cultural transmission of stories and songs. Topics include the (computational) modelling of narrative contents of stories, the identity and stability of melodies in oral transmission, relationships between melody and text in singing and chanting, and so on. The symposium will demarcate the conclusion of the Tunes & Tales project, which was carried out at the Meertens Institute, Amsterdam, as part of the eHumanities Group of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences from 2012-2016.

Next to keynote lectures by Victoria Williamson (University of Sheffield), Philip Bohlman (University of Chicago) and Jamie Tehrani (Durham University) on various aspects of cultural transmission, we will organize a poster session. We invite poster contributions from Dutch and international researchers related to the theme of the conference, which may address, but are not restricted to, the following topics:

– modelling of oral variation
– variation of melodies, poetry or narratives
– melodic motifs
– narrative motifs
– relationship between melody and lyrics
– memory for melodies
– memory for narratives
– social context of narratives and songs
– cognitive aspects of cultural transmission
– computational folkloristics
– computational ethnomusicology
– retrieval systems for narratives and music
– research methodology

Please, send in your abstract (max. 300 words) by email (, including your name, affiliation, and title of the poster. The deadline for submission is March 31st 2016.

We look forward to an intensive exchange of ideas. For further information and updates, please visit the symposium website;

Organizing committee:
Folgert Karsdorp (Meertens Institute)
Berit Janssen (Meertens Institute)
Peter van Kranenburg (Meertens Institute)