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JUNE 4-6, 2021


The American Musical Instrument Society is delighted to offer its first ever virtual conference, allowing musical instrument fans from around the globe to come together for 3 days of musical fun!

The 2021 AMIS conference will be hosted via Zoom, and will offer paper presentations, panel discussions, working group meetings, and behind-the-scenes tours of a variety of public and private musical instrument collections. You'll also get the AMIS awards ceremony (including 2020) and our general business meeting, should those tickle your musical fancy. 

The conference will take place from 9:30AM EDT (Eastern Daylight Time) on June 4th, to 6:00PM EDT on June 6th. There will be no concurrent sessions or overlapping events.


All times are in Eastern Daylight Time, UTC−04:00. Paper abstracts will be posted when available. 

June 4, 2021

9:30am-Welcome and Digital Meeting Orientation

m: Paper session 1: Museums & Exhibits as Research

Moderator: Bradley Strauchen-Scherer
Heike Fricke, The Research Center Digital Organology at the Musical Instruments Museum at the University of Leipzig
Massimiliano Guido, In the Process of Becoming: The Musical Instrument Collection at Pavia University as a Museum Gallery, a Project Incubator, and a Conservation Workshop

11:15am-12:15pm: Paper session 2: Instrument Builders & Inventors 

Moderator: Bradley Strauchen-Scherer

Emanuele Marconi, Léon Leblanc 1900–2000: A Man, a Century

Rachael Durkin, The Ingenious Mr. Charles Clagget: Inventor and “Harmonizer” of Musical Instruments

12:30pm-1:30pm: AMIS Working Group Meetings

Ethnomusicology: moderator & tech host, Jayme Kurland

Banjo, Mandolin, Guitar: moderator, Daniel Wheeldon; tech host, Cullen Strawn

Open discussion rooms

Woodwinds: moderator, Janet Page; tech host, Geoffrey Burgess

Brass: moderator, Stewart Carter; tech host, Byron Pillow

Keyboards: moderator, Tom Strange; tech host, Aurelia Hartenberger

Bowed strings: moderator, Allison Alcorn; tech host, Aileen Marcantonio

2:00pm-3:00pm: Paper session 3: Technology & Musical instruments I

Moderator: Jayson Dobney
Julin Lee, Sounds of Futuristic Nostalgia: The Cultural Legacy of Blade Runner (1982) and the Yamaha CS-80 Synthesizer

James Mooney, Tape Recorder, Digital Computer, Studio: Reinventing Musical Instrumentality in the Mid-Twentieth Century

3:15pm-4:15pm: 2020 AMIS Awards Ceremony

4:30pm-5:30pm: Paper session 4: Technology & Musical Instruments II

Moderator: Jayson Dobney
Roderic Knight, Elisha Gray’s Musical Telegraph

Rick Meyers, Century-Old Electromechanical Secrets Revealed! “Isis” the Zither-Playing Automaton

June 5, 2021

10:00am-11:30am: Paper session 5: Keyboard Instruments

Moderator: Tom Strange
Laurence Libin, Three Spinets From David Tannenberg’s Workshop 

Frank Hollinga, Reconstructing the 1720 Cristofori Piano

Devanney Haruta, Destruction and Deconstruction in Philip Corner’s Piano Activities (1962)

11:45am-12:45pm: 2021 AMIS Awards Ceremony

1:30pm-2:30pm: Paper session 6: Harps

Moderator: Jayme Kurland

Fanny Guillaume-Castel, The Pedal Harp Trade in Paris at the End of the Eighteenth Century: Luxury and Aristocratic Purchases

Kathryn Hockenbury and Stephen Rees, The Triple Harps of Bassett Jones (1809–1869): An Iconic Welsh Instrument and Its Revivals

2:45pm-3:45pm: Paper session 7: Instrument Making & Performance

Moderator: Jayme Kurland
Colin Harte, The Lambeg Drum in Northern Ireland: Drum Making and Performance

Erasmo Estrada, The rabecas of Airon Galindo, Pernambuco, Brazil

4:00pm-5:00pm: Paper session 8: Keys & Grills

Moderator: Jayme Kurland
Robert Apple, The Keyed Trumpet and the Fathers of the Viennese Waltz (1826–1832)

Arianna Rigamonti, Musical Grills: Metal Gridirons to Grill Fish and Play Music in Sixteenth- and Seventeenth-Century Europe

June 6, 2021

10:00am-11:30am: Round Table: Instruments in Quarantine: Museums & Their Musical Instrument Collections During the Pandemic

Moderator: Carolyn Bryant

Presenters: Mimi Waitzman (Horniman Museum, London), Bobby Giglio (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston), Cleveland Johnson (Morris Museum, Morristown, NJ), Jason Hanley (Rock & Roll Hall of Fame), Katherine Palmer (Musical Instrument Museum, Phoenix)

12:00pm-1:00pm: AMIS General Business Meeting

1:15pm-2:15pm: Paper session 9: Woodwind Instruments & 3D Technology

Moderator: Allison Alcorn

Donna Agrell, Áurea Domínguez, Giovanni Battista Graziadio, Zoë Matthews, and Letizia Viola, Out of the Bass Register: Expanding the Realms of Small-Sized Bassoons from the 18th and 19th Centuries

Jay Loomis, Echoes of a Newly Audible Past: Replicating, Repatriating, and Resocializing Native Flutes in North America

2:30pm-3:30pm: Paper session 10: Bowed Strings

Moderator: Allison Alcorn

CANCELLED - Alicja Knast, Bowed Instruments Made in Polish-Speaking Lands Between 1550 and 1750: Attribution and Historiography in European Perspective

Geerten Verberkmoes, The Workbench as Nexus for Multifaceted Organological Research

3:45pm-4:45pm: Paper session 11: Plucked Strings

Moderator: Janet K. Page
L. Roman Duffner, Strap the Guitar to the Player: A Socio-Technical Analysis of the Guitar Strap

Esteban Mariño Garza, Understanding the Transformation of the Cittern in Sixteenth-Century Europe

5:00pm-6:00pm: Paper session 12: Woodwinds

Moderator: Janet K. Page
Rachel Becker, The Long-Lasting Implications of Nineteenth-Century Woodwind Characteristics

Samantha Owens, “In Amsterdam, a Chalumeau”: The Musical Instrument Collection of John Sigismond Cousser (1660–1727)

Virtual CONCERTS & Collections TouRS

Registering for the 2021 AMIS Virtual Conference will also grant you an exclusive look at four behind-the-scenes tours of public and private musical instrument collections from around the world! 


Lecture-recital: “The Salonnieres of Spanish Origin,” From the Bartolomeo Cristofori Academy in Florence (Italy). Presenter: Patricia Garcia Gil

Sensational Sigal from Afar: A Virtual Tour Exploring the Evolution of the Sigal Music Museum. Presenters: Thomas Strange and Alexandra Cade

A Virtual Tour of the Motown Museum. Presenters: Hannah Grantham, David Ellis, Hannah Thoms

A Virtual Introduction to the New Royal College of Music Museum. Presenter: Gabriele Rossi Rognoni

A Forest of Harps: Virtual Tour and Demonstration of the Harps in the Museum and Archive for Harp History. Presenter: Nancy Thym

Registration Info

Conference attendees are required to register to receive access to the conference stream and supplementary materials. After registration, attendees will receive a follow-up email with information on how to access the conference page, program, and supplementary features including the exclusive tours.


$25 general admission

$0 for current students and conference presenters

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Like what we do? Consider supporting AMIS and help fulfill our mission with a donation today!


Have questions about this conference? Please reach out to us today and we are happy to help! 



Registered attendees - you can access the conference landing page, program, and featured events here!


The 2021 AMIS meeting will be held virtually on June 4–6 2021. 

Call for papers

Proposals, due on March 15, 2021, are invited for presentations of twenty-minute length plus twenty minutes discussion, and group discussions or panels (40 minutes to 90 minutes). While we welcome traditional papers, we especially encourage round-table discussions, instrument demonstrations, gallery/collection tours, work-in-progress demonstrations, and other presentations suited to a virtual conference. 


Proposals will include an abstract of not more than 300 words, a 75-word biography of each presenter, and an e-mail address for a response, which will be forthcoming by April 1. 


We expect all presentations except round tables and panels to be submitted as pre-recorded video; the question periods will be live. There will be opportunities for all presenters and attendees to attend pre-conference orientation sessions. Videos, virtual handouts, and other material will be submitted by May 8.

Send proposals as e-mail attachments (pdf preferred) to Aileen Marcantonio:


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