Join/Renew | Contact Us | Print Page | Sign In
AMS Study Groups
Share |

The AMS welcomes Study Groups (SGs) for the vital role that they play in keeping Society members involved with research and in fostering scholarly dialogue among members. SGs are autonomous organizations within the Society, free to determine their activities and the content of their meetings.

SGs should be organized in research areas that have a significant body of scholarly research. Currently, the AMS supports the following thirteen SGs:


The AMS provides the following to each SG:

  • At least one programmatic session slot at the Society's annual meeting each year (three hours maximum); additional time dependent on space availability.
  • Web site hosting
  • Bookkeeping/banking needs
  • The opportunity to apply for funding toward a guest speaker at the annual meeting (deadline early December each year)

Responsibilities of SGs

1. Study groups will present an annual report to the Board of Directors by 1 February each year (a template for this is provided). It will include participation information (numbers, report of changes over time) and a description of activities over the previous year (not to exceed 400 words). The description will also include Annual Meeting activities and attendance numbers. It may include other information (e.g. web site, email discussion list, e-journal, other meetings, etc.) as appropriate.

2. SGs will publicize organizational and contact information, as well as information on how interested AMS members may join.

3. SG chairs will inform the Executive Director of the group's needs for the Annual Meeting by 15 May each year. The following information is required:

  • first and second choice of meeting dates/times
  • number of attendees
  • room set-up (lecture, conference style, head table etc.)
  • audiovisual needs
  • Session title
  • Session participants (name, institutional affiliation or city of residence) and their presentation titles
  • Material to be included in the Annual Meeting Program and Abstracts Book
  • Please note that the AMS will try, but cannot guarantee, to meet all needs.

4. The chair (or other representative, if the chair is unavailable) of each SG will attend a meeting of all SG chairs at the Annual Meeting each year.

5. Activities such as presentations, awards, etc., will specifically identify "the ___ SG of the American Musicological Society," in order to avoid confusion with AMS awards and presentations selected by the AMS Program Committee.

6. Study Group leadership must be members of the AMS in good standing. Study Group members are strongly encouraged to maintain AMS membership in good standing.

Best Practices

SGs should:

  1. Hold a public meeting at each Society Annual Meeting.
  2. Maintain active discussions among members via an e-mail list, Facebook page, etc.
  3. Post information about the group and its activities on the internet, and ensure that the information is easily accessible to all AMS members.
  4. Submit news and reports to the editor of the AMS Newsletter.
  5. Hold elections for chair periodically, typically every two to four years. A varied succession of people should accept the responsibility of chairing.

SGs may:

  1. Use their allotted time at the Annual Meeting as a venue for scholarly presentations.
  2. Propose a session to the Program Committee. Proposals should be developed collaboratively within the group.
  3. Create bibliographies or other resources for the use of their members and to the Society as a whole.
  4. Recognize outstanding work in the subdiscipline. (Monetary prizes may not be established without permission of the AMS Board of Directors.)


To organize a new SG:

Groups of members that share common research interests and wish to be recognized as AMS SGs must apply to the Board of Directors. An application should include

  • a statement of rationale
  • information regarding the group’s activities prior to making the formal application
  • the names of two or more primary organizers
  • a list of active members
  • a bibliography.

The rationale should be persuasive in terms of the need for an ongoing study group for the subject. All primary organizers of study groups sponsored by our Society must be AMS members. There should be at least ten active participants and a broad and diverse membership in terms of career stage and institutional representation.

In order to ensure a strong proposal demonstrating an interest in and need for an ongoing study group, it is strongly advised that those interested in organizing a new SG hold two or more Alternative Format Sessions or Evening Panels at Annual Meetings prior to submitting the application. They should submit proposals to the Program Committee in January, following the guidelines that appear in each August issue of the AMS Newsletter.

Study Group applications should be sent as e-mail attachments to the office of the AMS. The Board of Directors will consider applications at their semiannual meetings.