School of Music, University of Victoria

Sound Genres:

Exploring Sound as Foundational Practice

We acknowledge with respect the Lekwungen peoples on whose traditional territory the University of Victoria stands, and the Songhees, Esquimalt and W̱SÁNEĆ peoples whose historical relationships with the land continue to this day.


Sound Genres: Exploring Sound as Foundational Practice will be a two-day symposium hosted by the University of Victoria from May 26-28, 2023 exploring electronically mediated sound and music genres in both academic settings (sound art, soundscape, electroacoustic etc.) and popular contexts (EDM, ambient, techno etc.). Artists, musicologists, anthropologists, and other participants from across Canada will convene to share their artistic and scholarly work with a focus on how these diverse sound genres intersect and how they may be critically engaged to revise curriculums in higher education both inside and outside of music departments. We expect discussions to focus on the complicated relationship between “sound” and “music” on the one hand, and the tension between increasing globalized sound genres and the culturally-specific meanings felt by listeners and practitioners on the other.


Sound Genres was conceived by Drs. Anthony Tan, Taylor Brook, and Joseph Salem at the University of Victoria, but the symposium itself is a reflection of its many participants and contributors. 

See our regularly updated list of organizers, participants, and presenters here.



Our symposium is multimedia at its best. All of our events stress social connections between real people, but as artists, scholars, and practitioners, we also embrace the irony that some of our most intimate, personal, and physiological experiences are those mediated by creative artistic practices. For this reason, our symposium includes sound installations, a sound walk, an evening practicum performance, a curated, ears-on library exhibit, and practical demonstrations of sonic applications in the classroom. 

View symposium calendar and session descriptions


Mentorship and professional development

The creative and pedagogical themes of Sound Genres make ample space for student interaction and participation on multiple levels. Graduate and undergraduate students are involved in event planning, logistics, organization, and daily sessions. Our call for papers specifically emphasizes our desire to engage and promote graduate student participation in our sessions. This includes funding assistance for invited participants in need.


Inclusivity and Social Benefits

Although Sound Genres is a multifaceted symposium with high-level institutional goals, our mission is to stimulate real-world outcomes for students and practitioners alike. Primary among these is a concern for breaking down barriers of all types for the creative use of sound by students as part of their coursework, regardless of their area of study. We are also deeply concerned with overcoming false generic distinctions between a myriad of practices to bring together scholars, artists, and others in discussion and appreciation of sound genres. We have worked hard to ensure our symposium will embrace a mixture – in style, mission, age, and affiliation – of ideas connected to a diversity of people and practices.


Sound Genres is supported in part by funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC).