The Film and Multimedia Interest Group strives to create a scholarly space to stimulate and disseminate research on music (broadly understood to include sound) within film, games, and multimedia, employing well-established music analytical methodologies, as well as newly developed analytical frameworks. By extension, this group will seek to facilitate dialogue and collaboration with other interest groups within the Society for Music Theory and researchers working in cognition, musicology, and allied fields.

CFP: All Ears: Music and Sound in and Beyond Disney Theme Parks

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      William Ayers

      Call for Presentations
      All Ears: Music and Sound in and Beyond Disney Theme Parks
      University of Central Florida, June 20–21, 2024

      When Walt Disney created Disneyland, his ambition was to revolutionise the amusement park as a form of entertainment. His design philosophy of the theme park was one of a multisensory entertainment experience, built on ‘imagineering’ that placed equal weight on creative artistry and technical innovation. Visitors have been flocking to Disney’s theme parks, and those that have emulated his approach, for nearly 70 years. Throughout that time, sound and music have been crucial parts of the theme park visitor experience.

      Guests watch parades scored with dynamic audio, ride attractions with unique soundtracks, visit musical theatre shows, and enjoy the fantastic soundscape of the park through ambient music. Park imagineers use careful acoustic design to influence guest behaviour, and managers provide opportunities for schools to stage musical performances in the parks. Music and sound are woven through the theme park experience, though (some notable exceptions aside) relatively little scholarly research has attended directly to music and sound in theme parks.

      This two-day conference invites paper proposals for research talks and demonstrations on music and sound in and beyond Disney theme parks.

      The conference will include a keynote address from Ron Fish (, composer and sound designer for many theme park projects including extensive work for Walt Disney Imagineering.

      We accept proposals from academic researchers, industry professionals, or anyone with experience, knowledge and insight to share. Research topics might include (but are certainly not limited to):

      • Historical antecedents and models of theme parks,
      • Analytical and conceptual approaches to music in theme parks,
      • Cultural and social issues of theme park sound and music,
      • Adaptation across media to/from the theme park,
      • Theme park sound as a way to understand other media and contexts,
      • Sonic technologies and acoustics,
      • Audio and guest behaviour.

      While we situate Disney parks as the touchstone for the theme park experience, we equally invite investigations and discussions that deal with other parks.

      We encourage colleagues from any academic or professional background to participate and propose talks. We encourage proposals for 20-minute talks, but we welcome proposals for other formats and demonstrations, too (please email the organisers to discuss the options).

      This is an in-person conference, with the option to watch the conference remotely. In addition, we aim to provide an online asynchronous digital provision to host papers by speakers who cannot attend in person. You may choose to propose a talk to be presented in-person, or as a video presentation to be hosted online.

      Please submit your paper proposal (c.250 words) with a short provisional list of literature by email to by January 5, 2024. We aim to communicate the programme decisions by February 2, 2024. If you require more information, please email the organizers.

      William Ayers (University of Central Florida)
      Tim Summers (Royal Holloway University of London)

      Programme Committee:
      Carissa Baker (University of Central Florida)
      Jason Brame (Walt Disney World)
      Elizabeth Randell Upton (University of California Los Angeles)
      Dan White (University of Huddersfield)

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