Saturday, October 27, 2012

CFP: Winter 2013 Meeting at Tufts University: Feb. 2, 2013

The Winter 2013 meeting of the New England Chapter of the American Musicological Society will be held on Saturday, 2 February 2013 at Tufts University in Medford, MA.

The Program Committee invites abstracts of up to 300 words for papers and roundtable sessions. Submissions in the area of digital musicology are of particular interest, but proposals on all musicological topics are welcome. Abstracts should be submitted by Monday, 26 November 2012 via email to jsholes at or by mail to Jacquelyn Sholes, AMS-NE Program Chair, Department of Musicology & Ethnomusicology, School of Music, College of Fine Arts, Boston University, 855 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215.

Presenters must be members of the American Musicological Society
. Those who are not currently dues-paying members of the New England Chapter will be asked to kindly remit the modest Chapter dues ($10).

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Who Was F. Scott Fitzgerald's Daisy? A new e-book

Chapter member Andrea Olmstead writes about her new e-book that investigates "Daisy"-- the leading lady of F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby)  and her real-life counterpart, Margaret Terry Chanler (nicknamed "Daisy" in real life).  Chanler is a historical figure of musical significance. Andrea shares the musicological connections of her new book below:
Who Was F. Scott Fitzgerald's Daisy
A new e- book by Andrea Olmstead

Sometimes it helps to be a musicologist! You can catch things that scholars in other fields miss.

In writing my
Roger Sessions; A Biography I came across mention of composer Theodore Chanler's mother, Margaret Terry Chanler (1862-1952), described in a letter by Sessions' mother as "a great linguist, pianist, and reader." I knew that Fitzgerald and Sessions were born only months apart in 1896; Monday, September 24, is Fitzgerald's birthday.

I also already knew that Theodore, known as "Teddy," was a friend of F. Scott Fitzgerald's. Fitzgerald referred to Teddy's mother in his letters as "Mrs. Winthrop Chanler" in part because she was literally old enough to be his mother. All of Fitzgerald's scholars left it there; they did not know she was called "Daisy."

I even found a previously unpublished Fitzgerald letter to Teddy and reproduce it here.

A thwarted professional pianist--because she was a 19th-century woman--she made a point to go to premieres and get to know composers. The musicians she knew included Strauss, Mahler, Toscanini, Loeffler, Fairchild, Poulenc, Nadia Boulanger (a great friend) and Stravinsky. She played four-hand music at her Paris home weekly with Poulenc.

Henry James called her the most intellectual woman in America and Fitzgerald himself described her as "brilliant." I show in this book her direct influence on four characters in three of Fitzgerald's novels.

Her book,
Memory Makes Music, is a great read. Her daughter married Edward Pickman who gave Pickman Hall to the Longy School of Music of Bard College.

The e-book is available as a free download through tomorrow, Monday, October 1st (normally priced at $3.99) at Smashwords:
The coupon code is EZ47B

You can join the Smashwords site for free (email and password), from the book page, click "Add to Cart", enter coupon code and click "Update" and check out. Be sure to choose the correct format for your e-book or computer needs and click download.  

For more information, please contact Andrea Olmstead at andrea dot olmstead at gmail dot com

If you are a chapter member of the AMS-NE, we hope you will submit music-related posts for this blog. Posts may be edited for length and content, and are not guaranteed to be published. Publication is at the discretion of the blog editor. If you have a submission, please send it to Rebecca Marchand at rmarchand at bostonconservatory dot edu.

Fall Chapter Meeting a Success

With over 35 members in attendance, the Fall chapter meeting at College of the Holy Cross was a success. The papers covered a wide variety of topics including Haydn, opéra comique, chant, Schubert, Mahler, Busoni and Coltrane. Many thanks to Jessica Waldoff and Daniel DiCenso for their hospitality and organization.

The following announcements were made at the business meeting:

  • The chapter has now expanded its online presence to include the website, the blog, and the Facebook group. While the Google Groups continues to function as a mailing list, this may be switched over to a different way to maintain a mailing list that does not require subscription to the group. Important announcements (CFPs, meeting info, etc...) will be posted in all fora.

  • Our Chapter Rep to the AMS, Michael Baumgartner, would like to hear from chapter members in regard to issues they feel might be brought to the AMS Council. In particular, he welcomes feedback regarding the proposed change to the AMS by-laws. For more information:  Please e-mail Michael at mbgart1 at gmail dot com with your thoughts.

  • There is now a membership form to accompany payment of chapter dues ($10 for the year). Dues are collected per the fiscal year, which runs from July 1 to June 30. We hope to have the form available for download so that dues may be sent in by mail. In the meantime, forms will be available upon registration on-site at chapter meetings.
  • A draft of Chapter by-laws will be sent out in the coming months for feedback and approval by the chapter membership.
  • We are looking for hosts for 2013-14. Hosts provide a venue, A/V needs, and refreshments (morning and afternoon) for the meeting. If you are interested, please contact Rebecca Marchand at rmarchand at bostonconservatory dot edu 
The next chapter meeting will be held at Tufts University on Saturday, February 2nd. 

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Fall Chapter Meeting, September 29, 2012 (College of the Holy Cross)

AMS-NE Chapter Meeting
Saturday, September 29, 2012
College of the Holy Cross (Worcester, MA)

Erin Jerome, "Haydn’s L’incontro improvviso: Deceitful Dervishes, Greedy Servants, and the Meta-Performance of Alla Turca Style"

Haydn’s L’incontro improvviso (1775), a reworking of Gluck’s La Rencontre imprévue (1764), was composed as part of the festivities surrounding the four-day visit to Eszterháza of Archduke Ferdinand, Habsburg governor of Milan, and his wife, Maria Beatrice d’Este.  With its overture in "Turkish" style, Egyptian setting, and standard bduction plot, the opera was in keeping with the exotic theme characterizing the courtly spectacles for the royal visit.  “Castagno, castagna,” a patently orientalized begging song that the scheming Calender performs for the slave Osmin, among other unsuspecting victims, has often been cited as a textbook example of alla turca style.

The seeming simplicity of this aria, however, masks an underlying contextual complexity that is itself a commentary on both the trend of exoticism as well as the very act of performance.  “Castagno, castagna” is a multi-layered performance and therefore must be read within the context of performance.  In fact, the performer in question here is an imposter—the Calender is a fraudulent mendicant dervish of dubious moral standing.  The aria may therefore be considered meta-performative:  the Calender is actually performing a song for another character, and Haydn gives the work an air of artificiality that distances it from the rest of the opera’s music.  To consider it simply as conforming to the imitative aesthetics of the eighteenth century—as simply employing the topic of the Turkish as a coloristic gesture—is to overlook the depth of Haydn’s characterization.

Julia Doe, "How Opéra-Comique Became French, or, Untangling the Origins of Revolutionary Opera"

Under the Old Regime, “national opera” in France was synonymous with tragédie lyrique. Success in Paris meant success at the Opéra, and the competing genre of opéra-comique went largely unacknowledged—dismissed as frivolous in aristocratic circles and ignored in the frequent literary debates over national musical style. By the end of the Revolutionary decade, however, this situation had essentially reversed. The most prominent composers in France now worked for the Comédie-Italienne and the Théâtre Feydeau, and opéra-comique emerged as a locus of national pride and debate. The accepted explanation for this shift may seem self-evident: during the Revolution, audiences rejected the elite realm of classical tragedy and embraced the more “popular” opéra-comique as a legitimate, national art. This narrative places an abrupt stylistic break in 1789, emphasizing how opéra-comique became spectacular and patriotic in response to the new social order. 

This paper sheds new light on opéra-comique’s rise to national genre and, in turn, on the origins of Revolutionary opera in France. Using neglected archival evidence from the Bibliothèque-Musée de l’Opéra in Paris, I demonstrate how many of the key traits of Revolutionary opera evolved well before the storming of the Bastille—responses not to political events, but to the practical exigencies of theatrical administration. In 1783 the Comédie-Italienne, home of opéra-comique, moved to a large and luxurious new theater, which enabled it to produce (and finance) works of truly expansive scale. The directors of the troupe, now emboldened to take on their competitors at the Opéra, encouraged composers to select heroic, historical subjects. Not only did such patriotic tales inspire fantastic scenery and effects, but they also enhanced the prestige of opéra-comique, which grew increasingly serious and nationalistic throughout the 1780s. This research challenges the traditional understanding of the theater of the Revolution, underscoring the surprising continuities between Revolutionary opera and the practices of the Old Regime. 

Daniel DiCenso, "More Roman than “Gregorian,” More Frankish than “Old Roman”"

In the long-standing debate about the relationship between “Gregorian” (Roman-Frankish) chant and any “Roman” or “Old Roman” precursor, it has been taken for granted that no early Italian sources survive. At the 2010 meeting of the American Musicological Society, I revealed that, in fact, a nearly complete Italian source of chant dating to ca. 850 does survive in Monza, Biblioteca Capitolare, f.-1/101. Though questions remain about whether this manuscript originated in Monza or Bergamo, as a mid-ninth-century, Italian source of the Gregorian repertory, there is no question that the Monza manuscript stands as a kind of “missing link.” But what does it tell us? 

My first work on Monza f.-1/101 focused on dating and authenticating the origins of manuscript, tracing the historiography by which the manuscript came to be overlooked, and producing a transcription. With this now complete, I have turned my attention to studying the contents of the Monza manuscript in comparison to the early northern sources of Gregorian chant and later sources of Roman chant. Indeed, the Monza manuscript tells a fascinating story: the chants it contains are both more Roman than the early Frankish sources while also being more Frankish than the late-surviving “Old Roman” sources. Based on new findings, this paper will reveal what the contents of the Monza manuscript suggest about the state of transmission in the mid-ninth century and whether, at least in northern Italy, transmission seems to have been characterized more by a process of Roman export, Frankish invention and/or Roman-Frankish combination. 

Daniel Libin, "Schubert’s Gretchen Songs and the Eternal Feminine"

Schubert’s four Gretchen works from Goethe’s Faust: Part I, form a virtual highlight reel of the character’s solo moments in the drama. With the exception of the a capella, “Chor der Engel” (D440, June 1816), all of the music Schubert composed for Faust uses one of her texts. It is fair to say that in song composition, Gretchen inspired Schubert above all other characters in the tragedy. Schubert’s Gretchen pieces—three songs and one dramatic scene—date from his early years as a composer and are concentrated within a three-year span: “Gretchen am Spinnrade” (D118, 19 October 1814), “Szene aus Goethes Faust” (D126, 12 December 1814), “Der König in Thule,” (D367, early 1816), and “Gretchens Bitte” (“Ach neige”) (D564, May 1817). During these same years, Schubert was also composing songs and hymns related to the Virgin Mary, including five of his seven settings of the Salve regina, his two settings of the Stabat mater, and his only Magnificat. The simultaneity of his “Gretchen” and “Marian” phases advances the notion that a thematic duality had manifested in Schubert’s psyche, and that the plights of the Holy Mother and Gretchen were related aspects of Schubert’s early musical expression. These two figures, representing distinct feminine archetypes, confront each other in the last song Schubert composed from Faust, “Gretchens Bitte.” This paper considers how the three songs’ various formal designs reflect Gretchen’s dramatic progression, and suggests how aspects of Schubert’s biography reveal his own preoccupation with the feminine ideal—one that may contribute to our understanding of Goethe’s drama and his concept of the “Eternal Feminine.” 

 Caroline Kita, "Myth and Meta-Drama: Mahler’s Eighth Symphony"

Since its highly successful premiere on 12 September 1910 in Munich, Gustav Mahler's Eighth Symphony, coined the "Symphony of a Thousand," has inspired a cult-like fascination. Mahler's decision to pair the Latin hymn Veni Creator Spiritus with the final scene from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's Faust II in this vocal-symphonic masterpiece has sparked questions as to the larger philosophical connections that the composer drew between the religious text and the secular drama. It has been suggested that one source of Mahler's interest in Faust was his friend, Siegfried Lipiner (1856-1911), a poet, philosopher, and cultural critic who played a significant role in the development of the composer's Weltanschauung. Lipiner's dissertation on Faust, written in 1894, has been lost; however, this paper turns to other sources, including Lipiner's critical writings on Faust dating from the early 1880s, to draw connections between Mahler's symphony and Lipiner's larger cultural agenda. Lipiner's fascination for myth and meta-drama, and the role of music in creating this ideal art-form, had a strong resonance with Mahler's epic vision for his symphony, a work which the composer referred to as "das Größte, was ich bis jetzt gemacht" (GMB 335). Thus, this paper presents new perspectives on the vision behind Mahler's Eighth Symphony by discussing the music and texts in the context of the composer's intellectual friendship with Lipiner, and the popular trend toward mythically inspired dramatic-works in fin-de-siècle Vienna.

Erinn Knyt, "Ferruccio Busoni and the New England Conservatory: Pedagogue in the Making"

Although students have left memoirs describing private lessons and master classes with Ferruccio Busoni (1866-1924), little is known about how Busoni taught in his early years at the Helsinki Music Institute (1888-1890), the Moscow Conservatory (1890-1891), and the New England Conservatory (1891-1892). Particularly unexplored is Busoni’s time at the New England Conservatory. This can be explained, in part, by a paucity of source material and lack of published or private accounts of his teaching there. Regular grade books were only maintained beginning in 1908. Additionally, there are few letters from Busoni describing his time at the Conservatory. 

Based on information from the New England Conservatory Calendar of 1891-1892, class cards, concert programs, articles published in the Conservatory’s monthly magazine, the Boston Musical Herald, in conjunction with letters written by Busoni, this article contributes new knowledge about Busoni’s time at the New England Conservatory, including information about work conditions, names of students, and teaching methods. It also documents how this time was pivotal in Busoni’s development as a pedagogue through an analysis of contemporaneous pedagogical editorial projects. In the process, the paper reveals details about musical life and music education in America at the turn of the 20th century.

 Brian Levy, "Form, Interaction, and Implication in the Classic Quartet of John Coltrane"

The few existing analyses of John Coltrane’s music seek out motivic connections and other symbols of unity, indebted to a particular analytical model from Classical music. These analyses invariably focus on the solo apart from the interactive context within which it takes shape. Contrary to these trends in jazz scholarship, the following paper offers an alternative view of form that corresponds to how the music is conceived, focusing on its interactive nature. Original transcriptions demonstrate how Coltrane and the members of his Classic Quartet create a rhetoric of tension and release through implied rhythmic and harmonic layers that are superimposed on predetermined conventional substructures. Historical examples that correspond to this view of form are also examined in order to reveal a precedent for what occurs in Coltrane’s music more complexly. Unlike the examples of rhythmic opposition in pre-Coltrane jazz, wherein a single, repeated rhythm, a riff, is played in opposition to a clearly articulated meter, in Coltrane’s Classic Quartet, drummer Elvin Jones and pianist McCoy Tyner play highly syncopated rhythms obscuring both the metric demarcations of the substructure and the metrical boundaries of the implied meter. Likewise in the harmonic dimension, on a modal or conventional harmonic substructure Coltrane and Tyner superimpose harmonic progressions and cycles based on third-relations. Because the substructures, harmonic and metric, are attenuated so emphatically, in order to experience the drama and interaction in a way consistent with how the music is conceived, the listener must intuit and retain the substructures as a measure against the layers of implied dissonant rhythmic and harmonic structures. 


Sunday, September 23, 2012

Chapter Meeting: College of the Holy Cross, September 29, 2012

Our next chapter meeting will take place at College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA in the Brooks Concert Hall.

Campus Map

Accessibility Note:  The walk from parking area to the Brooks Music Center involves a healthy number of stairs. If waking stairs presents a problem for any meeting attendee, campus security can arrange a ride from the parking area to conference site. The meeting site itself is completely accessible. Please call Campus Security at: (508) 793-2224

Below is schedule and list of papers.
We hope to see you there!

9:45-10:15 Refreshments and Registration Morning Session

10:15 Welcome

10:20 Haydn’s L’incontro improvviso: Deceitful Dervishes, Greedy Servants, and the Meta-
Performance of Alla Turca Style

Erin Jerome (Brandeis University)

11:00 How Opéra-Comique Became French, or, Untangling the Origins of Revolutionary Opera
Julia I. Doe (Yale University)

11:40 More Roman than “Gregorian,” More Frankish than “Old Roman”: What a Newly
Rediscovered Italian Source Reveals about the Roman and Frankish Character of Chant Transmission in the Mid-Ninth Century

Daniel DiCenso (College of the Holy Cross)

12:20-1:45 Lunch Break

1:45-2:00 Business Meeting

Afternoon Session

2:00 Schubert’s Gretchen Songs and the Eternal Feminine
Daniel Libin (Rutgers University)

2:40 Myth and Meta-Drama: Mahler’s Eighth Symphony
Caroline Kita (College of the Holy Cross)

3:20 Ferruccio Busoni and the New England Conservatory: Pedagogue in the Making
Erinn Knyt (University of Massachusetts Amherst)

4:00 Form, Interaction, and Implication in the Classic Quartet of John Coltrane
Brian Levy (New England Conservatory)

4:40 Refreshments

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Spring Chapter Meeting, April 14, 2012 (Mt. Holyoke)

AMS-NE Chapter Meeting
Saturday, April 14, 2012
Mt. Holyoke College

Monica Chieffo, "Maria’s Veils, Salome’s Machinery: The Dance Scene in Metropolis and Salome"

Fritz Lang’s Metropolis (1927) has been judged by critics and scholars as a hallmark in the history of cinema and as the site of contentious statements about modernity, such as the aestheticization of technology and overtly formulaic gender roles. At the center of this discourse is the figure of the female robot Maria. In his influential analysis of the film, Andreas Huyssen notes how the perspective of the camera lens coincides with the male gaze, suggesting that the robot is constructed and subsequently animated by male vision throughout the film narrative. The film’s five-minute dance sequence—wherein the robot Maria emerges from an ornate urn to dance for a room full of male dinner guests—is reduced therefore to an instance of male vision. Huyssen leaves out completely any discussion of the score by Gottfried Huppertz, with whom Lang worked very closely. The film’s recent restoration and the release on DVD of the uncut version synchronized to Huppertz’s score allows for a comprehensive interpretation that takes into account both the image and sound as sources of meaning.
In this paper, I will give particular attention to how music—in addition to visual grammar—regulates and contains dance as a more complex theatrical event. Through Huppertz’s music this scene is both a spectacle of technology by cinematic means, and an aesthetic object. Music in particular is the medium that makes the dance present, but that also represents dance. If traditional interpretations have tended to reduce Lang’s imaginative sequence to the instance in which woman is generated visually by male desire, here I argue that the insertion of the dance is also a tactic that relies on a certain familiarity with operatic tradition and conventions of dance scenes such as the Dance of the Seven Veils from Strauss’s Salome.

Jacquelyn Sholes, "A “Cremation Cantata”?: Contextualizing the Dramatic Conclusion of the Brahms-Wesendonck Correspondence"

Mathilde Wesendonck is best known to historians for her romantic entanglement with and artistic influence on Wagner in the 1850s. What is less commonly realized is that, once her relationship with Wagner had cooled, Mathilde not only became an admirer and personal acquaintance of Brahms, but also began a correspondence with him that was to last for several years (1867-74), during which she attempted to foster their relationship on both personal and artistic levels. A little-known oddity is the poetic text she composed and sent to Brahms in 1874 in the hope that he would set it to music as a work for chorus and soloists. The remarkable subject matter of her poetry: cremation.
The practice of modern cremation, demonstrated the year before at the Viennese Exposition of 1873, had begun to attract much attention among the medical community and the press in both Europe and North America, but was new, controversial, and generally unavailable. In appealing to Brahms to write a work on the subject, it was Mathilde’s earnest intention to encourage the movement’s growth. Upon receiving her ode to cremation, Brahms, much amused, immediately forwarded it to his friend Theodor Billroth, who likewise derived from it much unintended humor. Word of the would-be “cremation cantata” soon spread to other friends, including art historian Wilhelm Lübke and Julius and Clara Stockhausen.
Little (mostly in German) has been written about this awkward moment in music history. This paper surveys Mathilde’s texts and the relevant correspondence in English translation (previously unavailable), explains her literary and other references, situates these materials within the context of Brahms’s relationship to Mathilde Wesendonck, and contextualizes them with regard to the significance of the year 1874 for the poetry’s unconventional topic.

 Joel Schwindt, Monteverdi’s Orfeo (1607): Pulchritude through proportion, and why it mattered to the Accademia degli Invaghiti

This paper examines Monteverdi’s creation of aesthetic pulchritude in Orfeo through the proportional distribution of tacti around corresponding events that emphasize the play’s moral message. Although the primacy of moral instruction over the play’s more dramatic events opposes our modern theatrical sensibilities, it is in keeping with the maxim, “docere, movere, delectare” (teach, move, delight), which taught artists of the period to give priority to moral edification. Orfeo’s structural design aligns with poet Torquato Tasso’s prescription for the creation of beauty through the “proportional arrangement of corresponding parts”; this principle informs Tasso’s epic poem, Gerusalemme Liberata (1581), yielding a structural design analogous to Orfeo’s. Such prescriptions were likely meaningful to the Invaghiti, whose motto was “Nihil pulcherius” (Nothing more beautiful), and whose “stewardship of the art of poetry” (according to a member of the academy) was demonstrated by the Scipione Gonzaga’s active role in the publication of Tasso’s epic. These shared constructions, based on common artistic philosophies, offer new insight on the possible impact of the Invaghiti’s aesthetic proclivities on Orfeo’s structural design, as well as a unique illustration of the close connection between these artistic media during this period.Orfeo’s key events emphasize the text’s moral warning against the abandonment of hope to despair. Monteverdi underscores these contrasting emotional states through his association of hope with G-Mollis, and despair with A-Durus, juxtaposing the two modes around these events. The first act, for example, is equally divided around Orpheus’s first words (“Rosa del ciel,” set in G-Mollis), in which he expresses his hope for happiness in his betrothal to Eurydice; this recitation is preceded by a recollection of his earlier despair, set in A-Durus. The entire score is precisely centered on the Dantean allusion, “Abandon all hope, you that enter,” uttered twice by none other than the allegorical character Hope, first over G-Mollis, then A-Durus. Hope then abandons Orpheus, creating a powerful representation of the "abandonment of hope" to despair.

Lester Zhuging Hu, "Towards Modal Coherence: “Modal Chromaticism” in Gesualdo’s two “O vos omnes” settings"

In 1611 Carlo Gesualdo (ca. 1560-1613) published his last volume of sacred compositions, the Tenebrae Responsoria for Holy Week. As Glenn Watkins pointed out four decades ago, the six-voice setting of Lamentations 1:12 “O vos omnes” in this publication appears to be a revision of Gesualdo’s previous five-voice setting of an almost identical text published in Sacrae Cantiones in 1603. In this paper, I examine Gesualdo’s revisionary process, and consider its implications for the development of Gesualdo’s sacred style and for our conception of sixteenth-century modal theory and chromaticism.
Scholarly literature has to date not provided a satisfactory historically informed analytical framework for understanding Gesualdo’s sacred compositions. Current methods for analyzing sixteenth-century chromaticism, such as Kyle Adams “new theory” of “tonal systems,” are accurate “objectively,” but do not shed light on the approach of sixteenth-century theorists and composers. A close reading of Gioseffo Zarlino’s historic treatise Le Istitutioni harmoniche leads me to propose the notion of “modal chromaticism,” a term that I use to unite the practice of late-Renaissance chromaticism with the modes. “Modal chromaticism” takes a work’s cadential “forma” as fundamental to its modal identity, regards chromaticism as “local” events over cadences and chordal sonorities, and considers how this “local” chromaticism interacts with the “global” modality of the piece. My analysis of Gesualdo’s revisionary process of “O vos omnes” shows that his 1611 setting retains most of the “local” chromaticism of his 1603 setting, but renders it more compliant with and supportive of its “global” modality. It shows the interrelation rather than the contradiction of modality and chromaticism in Gesualdo’s music, and suggests that in the final decade of his life—marred with myths of his madness and sadomasochism— Gesualdo adopted a model of rational modal coherence in his sacred music.

Heather de Savage, "Hidden Lessons: Tonal Structure and Personal Faith in Heinrich Schütz's Motet “Gedenke deinem Knechte an dein Wort”, SWV 485"

The music of Heinrich Schütz, like that of Monteverdi, has long been recognized as forming a bridge between Renaissance and Baroque practices, with traditional devices such as the use of a modal harmonic framework carrying over from the era of Josquin into that of J.S. Bach. As Eva Linfield has observed, Schütz’s incorporation of the functional modal degrees as cadential points is particularly notable in his motets or motet-style works, his choice of mode influenced by the mood of the text. I argue that Schütz’s interest in pitch-based musical architecture can also be traced at a deeper level, and that the composer systematically employed linear elements as predetermining factors in the underlying harmonic structure of certain works. Furthermore, this architecture is closely related to individual words or phrases of the text, and reflects the composer’s well-documented interest in thoughtfully personal text-setting throughout his exceptionally long career.
Among Schütz’s large-scale works that present different approaches to embedding linear elements within a harmonic structure, the most intricate of all is “Gedenke deinem Knechte an dein Wort”, from the composer’s final work, the Schwanengesang (1671), and the text of which, centered on the concept of laws and statutes, was clearly of unusual significance for the composer, as he wished a verse from it to form the core of his funeral sermon. The setting incorporates the complete psalm tone 8 as the melodic and structural basis of the piece, with cadential points that present not only certain functional degrees of the mode, but actually retain the linear content of the psalm tone through harmonic prolongation. While his works often exhibit other creative priorities, the compelling tonal and theological narrative of this motet, combined with evidence of proportional design and possible number symbolism, accord it a special place at the heart of Schütz’s final work.

 **There was a scheduled sixth paper that was not delivered**

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Winter Chapter Meeting, February 4, 2012 (MIT)

AMS-NE Chapter Meeting
Saturday, February 4, 2012
Massachusetts Institute of Technology


MORNING SESSION A (Killian Hall):  

Part 1: Analysis and Interpretation of Classical Music

Alex Ludwig, "Is Haydn Too Funny for Hepokoski and Darcy? Examining Haydn's Presence in H & D's Sonata Theory"

In their massive book Elements of Sonata Theory, James Hepokoski and Warren Darcy on multiple occasions allude to –– or explicitly detail –– Joseph Haydn’s well-known proclivity towards the use of humor and wit. In doing so, they portray his compositional practice as falling outside of normal conventions, as in this discussion of recapitulatory material: “Thus Haydn provided his audience with a witty work cleverly suspended in the force fields of at least three formal categories (277).” At times, the reader can almost visualize Hepokoski and Darcy throwing their hands up in desperation at Haydn’s “startlingly original musical language (16).” By constantly (dis)qualifying Haydn’s music as witty or humorous, at the expense of other musical descriptions, Hepokoski and Darcy succeed only in marginalizing both Haydn and his music.
One explicit example of this marginalization is the way in which Hepokoski and Darcy divide all sonata-form expositions into one of two types: (1) two-part or (2) continuous. Unfortunately, this binary opposition not only privileges the first group at the expense of the second, but also mandates that works exhibiting traits of both expositional types, such as the three-part exposition, are categorized in a false manner. Hepokoski and Darcy’s discussion of this expositional oddity, which concerns what they call the bait-and-switch tactic, frequently returns to Haydn’s strategy of humor and wit. In this paper, I will demonstrate how Hepokoski and Darcy’s marginalization of Haydn and his music occurs in both the small- and large-scale. Whether they discount an expositional type favored by Haydn or continually cite his “Haydnesque temperament (233),” Hepokoski and Darcy show a systematic bias against Haydn and his music.

Mark Ferraguto, "Of Russian Themes and Rescue Fantasies: New Light on Beethoven's Third 'Razumovsky' String Quartets" 

“Has it yet been determined whether the theme of the Romanze in the third Razumovsky Quartet, A Minor, Op. 59, is really Russian or was invented by Beethoven?” So wondered Carl Czerny, inaugurating an unsolved mystery. As is well known, Beethoven included Russian folksongs from the Lvov-Pratsch Collection (1790) in his first two op. 59 quartets, marking their appearances “thème russe.” However, no such marking exists in op. 59, no. 3. While the opening theme of the Andante, with its augmented seconds and plucked dominant pedal tones, has sounded exotic to some listeners, its melody has little in common with the folksongs in Lvov-Pratsch. Scholars and critics alike have taken the Andante to represent Beethoven’s abstract impression of Russian music, rather than authentic Russian folksong.
In view of Beethoven’s learned treatments of the Russian themes in op. 59, nos. 1 and 2, it becomes possible to shed new light on Czerny’s question. I argue that Beethoven turned not to Lvov-Pratsch but to a German source for the Russian theme in op. 59, no. 3. In July 1804, the Leipzig journal Allgemeine Musikalische Zeitung printed an article on Russian music featuring an arrangement of the Russian folksong “Ty wospoi, wospoi, mlad Shaworontschek” (Singe, sing’ein Lied). Through a process of abstraction, concatenation, and metrical displacement, I will suggest, Beethoven conceals the Russian folksong from the journal within a melody of his own design.
Beethoven may have been especially drawn to “Singe, sing’ein Lied” because of its text. The seventeen-stanza poem, printed in German, concerns an imprisoned rogue who is rescued by his beloved. The heroine’s rescue of the male prisoner recalls the central theme of Leonore/Fidelio, a work that was underway when the AmZ article appeared. Beethoven’s own rescue fantasies, in turn, offer an intriguing way of reconsidering the Andante.

Part 2: Music for a Lunar Fantasy

Martin Marks, "Music for a Trip to the Moon: An Obscure English Score for a Famous French Fantasy"

Although the career and music of the English composer and pianist Ezra Read (1862-1922) has been mostly forgotten, at least one work he composed merits our attention: an eight-page print of piano music titled A Trip to the Moon: Comic Descriptive Fantasia (bearing the imprint of “London Music Publishing Stores”). A copy is housed in the British Library, where I happened to come across it (quite by chance about six years ago) within a bound volume of miscellaneous piano pieces from 1903. (Though the music has no publication date, the score bears a library stamp dated April 2, 1903.) On the front cover is printed a “Synopsis” containing a list of the score’s 24 different segment headings. These precisely describe the scene content of the imaginative and hugely successful film Voyage dans la lune, made by Georges Méliès that year. (It was released in England and the U.S.A. as A Trip to the Moon, though a precise translation would be “Journey into the Moon”; the latter better describes the plot, which blends bits of tales by Verne and Wells into a satirical mélange.)
Read’s score is a pioneering example of early British cinema music. In my paper I will first address the uncertainties of the score’s origins and raison d’être. Then I will focus on the degree to which the music fits the film (temporally, affectively, narratively), and the problems it poses for a performer today. To demonstrate my own solutions to some of these problems, I would like to have the presentation conclude with a live performance of the complete score, played to the projected film.

MORNING SESSION B  (Room 4-160) :

Part 1: Late Medieval and Early Renaissance Topics 

Spiro Antonopoulos, "The Kratemata of Manuel Crysaphes and the Composition as Artistic Work in Late Medieval Music"
Manuscripts of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries witness to a remarkable expansion of musical practices in the Eastern Mediterranean, expressed first in the work of the 13th-14th century maestros Xenos Korones and John Koukouzeles, and brought to fruition by the fifteenth century court musician, Manuel Chrysaphes. The components of this musical enrichment are primarily observed in the highly-personalized idiom of kalophonic (lit: ‘beautiful-sounding’) chant, a genre characterized by increased vocal embellishment and a loosening of traditional principles of modal homogeneity. Kalophonic works of these Late Palaiologan masters employed text-troping and the addition of nonsense syllables – terirem, tororo, and nenano, as a method of artistic expression, whether to rearticulate a musical idea, meditate on a particular phrase, or simply to extend liturgical action for practical reasons.  The organic outgrowth of the so-called teretismata and nenanismata was the kratema (pl. kratemata), a through-composed, independent work, which by the seventeenth century began to command its own dedicated musical codex, the Kratematarion. Though largely neglected by early twentieth century scholars of Byzantine chant, the kratemata have garnered much scholarly attention in recent years by musicologists such as Luigi Abruzzo and Gregory Anastasiou, to name a few.
In this paper, I wish to examine the Kratema from the perspective of one singularly important musical personality, the aforementioned scribe, cantor, and theoretician, Manuel Chrysaphes.  I argue that Chrysaphes’ theoretical Treatise, On the Theory of the Art of Chanting, articulates a strong conception of the composition as an artistic work, and moreover, that Chrysaphes presents the consummate musician as one which functions in large part as a composer – concepts relatively foreign even to early theoretical treatises of Western ecclesiastical music. These compositions were almost always ascribed to an individual creator, they were often given creative and exotic names (e.g., “Persian”, “Trumpet”, “Difficult”), and they employ a variety of compositional devices not seen in other genres. Reconciling the manuscript evidence related to this body of compositions with the theoretical treatise of Chrysaphes, we gain critical insight into not only the musical works themselves, but also the philosophy of a prominent Byzantine ecclesiastical musician. Although orality and some degree of extemporized performance persisted as fundamental components within the tradition of Byzantine psalmody, Chrysaphes’ treatise seems to shift the emphasis, as he declares the pre-eminence of the composer as authoritative creator and the composition as autonomous work.

Ronald Broude, "The Two Worlds of Johannes Tinctoris, Or Res facta Revisited"

Johannes Tinctoris, author of twelve extant theoretical works, is usually seen as a man of scriptura, the written word. But cantare supra librum, a practice he describes in Liber de arte contrapuncti, has much in common with oral traditions. With cantare supra librum, a singer reading a written-out cantus prius factus devises ex tempore—a line that obeys the rules of counterpoint. As with oral repertoires, performer and creator are the same person; creation takes place at performance speed; and creation is governed by “constraints”—i.e., generally accepted rules.
Tinctoris’s distinction between cantare supra librum and res facta (which Tinctoris defines as cantus compositus) is central to his thinking. Most musicologists assume the difference between the two to be that res facta is written out while cantare supra librum is not. Dissenting from this view is Margaret Bent, who argues that the distinction is between performances that do or do not meet the condition that each voice obey the rules of counterpoint with respect to all the others.
This paper will extend Bent’s argument, maintaining that orality is key to Tinctoris’ thinking and that for Tinctoris the important distinction is between performing from a text and devising a contrapuntal line during performance. A careful parsing of relevant passages will show that by identifying res facta with a text we are imposing a modern view of the “work” on music for which the “work concept” did not exist. Significantly, Tinctoris uses “compositus” not in the modern sense of writing out a composition but in the Humanist rhetorician’s sense of being well organized. Tinctoris belongs to both the textual and the oral worlds, and he writes at a moment when an influential oral practice was being assimilated into the written tradition. 

Part 2: Early Italian Opera 

Reba Wissner, "La putta che canta: An Examination of the Eponymous Role in Francesco Cavalli's Elena"

What we know--or think that we know--about Helen of Troy is turned on its head in Francesco Cavalli’s 1659 Venetian opera, Elena. The opera’s libretto by both Giovanni Faustini and Nicolò Minato uses the trope of the adulteress Helen, but in a highly comedic manner, exploiting the various ways in which her “wandering ways” could be portrayed. Similarly “impure females” emerge when women appeared on the Venetian stages, as they were almost always suspected of being courtesans. Indeed, some times those suspicions held true. One such instance occurred during the original run of Elena. The title role of the opera was played by a famous Venetian courtesan of the day, Lucietta Gamba da Vidman, who was often referred to in Venice as “La putta che canta,” or “the whore that sings.” Curiously, not only is Elena the only opera in which Gamba was known to sing, but she is also the only courtesan known to sing the title role of a Venetian opera.
While some readings of the opera support the casting of Gamba as portraying Helen as a lascivious female, this paper explores the likelihood that the casting was meant to reverse this depiction. As a result, the opera makes Elena’s sexual prowess purely satirical, especially since it was performed during Carnival where stories were purposely reversed and altered, thus amplifying the comedy of the work. By examining what it meant to be a courtesan and the social implications of this occupation, I hope to show an alternate reading of the role of Helen in the opera.

Zoey Cochran, "A lieto fine for Neapolitans? Multilingualism and Characterization in Pergolesi's Lo frate 'nnamorato"

This paper provides a new political interpretation of Lo Frate ‘nnamorato (1732) by Pergolesi and Federico through an investigation of the opera’s multilingualism. Previous research on early eighteenth-century Neapolitan commedeja pe ‘mmuseca and its gradual inclusion of the Tuscan dialect has generally been based on the mistaken premise that Neapolitan is the language of the people and Tuscan, that of the aristocracy. This has led to the theorization of a dichotomy between Tuscan serious characters and Neapolitan comic ones (Capone, 2007; Jori, 2001; Strohm, 1979; Zanetti, 1978). However, Neapolitan was spoken by all Neapolitans, whereas Tuscan was the language of foreigners and the Austrian ruling power (Borelli, 1983; De Mauro, 2002). Dialect was therefore not merely the mark of comic characters, but it also created a regional characterization with underlying political and nationalistic implications. In Lo Frate ‘nnamorato, the serious characters are equally divided between Tuscan-speaking Romans and Neapolitan-speaking Neapolitans. An analysis of these characters’ music, and specifically that of the Neapolitan Ascanio and the Roman Nena, will enable us to uncover some of these political implications. Nena sings stereotypically serious texts, in a virtuoso seria style, while Ascanio expresses his serious feelings with simple and expressive music. For example, Nena’s aria “Va solcando un mar d’amore” uses a typical nautical metaphor and is accompanied by an obbligato flute. In comparison, Pergolesi ignored the da capo form suggested by the librettist in Ascanio’s “Addo vao, addo stongo?” beginning instead with a recitativo accompagnato. Furthermore, in their trio, Nena and her sister’s long virtuoso phrases contrast with Ascanio’s brief answers. Compared to the young man’s expressiveness, Nena’s opera seria style sounds artificial, almost ridiculous. The opera’s outcome, in which the only couple to marry is the Neapolitan one, reinforces the subtle Neapolitan superiority implied by this musical characterization.

AFTERNOON SESSION A (Killian Hall): Music in North American Cultural Negotiations

Thomas Kernan, "'Farewell Father, Friend and Guardian': The Initial Musical Memorialization of Abraham Lincoln" 

Before masons had laid the first stones of the Abraham Lincoln monuments and commemorative structures that would eventually dot American cities, composers and performers set out in many and varied venues to musically memorialize the late president. From the April 1865 assassination through the closing months of that year, music comprised an essential element in the extended national mourning. The collections of the Library of Congress, New York Public Library, and Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library include a diverse body of these musical memorials. They were created by trained composers, such as John Knowles Paine and Richard Storrs Willis, as well as the average citizens of Rockton, Illinois; Portsmouth, New Hampshire; and elsewhere. These works were intended for public performance, as was the case with the Nicholas Lebrun’s march for Lincoln’s internment at Oak Ridge Cemetery, but also for commemorations at home, as seen in the piano music of W. J. Robjohn and Mrs. Effie A. Parkhurst. Publishers even reissued beloved opera excerpts under new titles, most notably Gaetano Donizetti’s “Marche funèbre” from Dom Sébastien, which became Funeral March to the Memory of Abraham Lincoln.
These musical works provide insight into the intersection of American musical culture and national events, and the way we use the former to memorialize the latter. I employ a portion of the ninety-eight Lincoln compositions published in 1865 and the extravagant funeral performances as case studies of this activity. Building on Alexander Rehding and James Schmidt’s recent scholarship on the topics of musical monumentality and memorialization, I argue that these compositions and performances provided temporary means of commemoration, while also introducing narratives and themes that composers of subsequent generations explored.

Cassandra Hartford, "Anthropology and Appropriation in Gershwin and Heyward's Porgy and Bess"

From its premiere in 1935, Porgy and Bess's "authenticity" has been at issue. Critic Virgil Thomson dismissed the opera as "fake folklore," while cast member and composer J. Rosamond Johnson defended it as "at least 80%...Negroid." In these debates, the composer's two-month Folly Island stay is crucial. For some, it represents an attempt at a meaningful engagement with the culture of the Gullah, the community portrayed in the opera. For others, it represents an uncomfortable mixture of appropriation and fabrication, a view of "black" culture that is shaped by Gershwin's and Heyward's own primitivist misconceptions. In this talk, my primary interest is not the authenticity of the work or its idioms, but rather how discourses of "authenticity" surfaced, how they were manifested in the composer's and librettist's accounts of their "anthropological" experience, and how such ideas related to a broader discourse about race, representation, and the American folk. First, I situate the work in a transnational discourse connecting "authenticity" and first-hand experience that helped to promote international modernist works. Second, I demonstrate that the opera built on a growing American interest in "folklore" and anthropology, as both of those fields of study gained unprecedented popular attention. Finally, I show that Gershwin's description of the work as a "folk opera" realizes a conception of folk-influenced art developed by his cousin, the folklorist Benjamin Botkin. I thus show that the concern with authenticity in Porgy and Bess is inseparable from the opera's multiple contexts.

 Lucille Mok: When Jazz goes North: Oscar Peterson and Possibilities of Northern Jazz

Often studied in the context of African American urban communities, jazz is rarely considered in the context of northern landscape. Jazz scholarship has, moreover, focused on the collaborative nature of jazz performance, a feature that is fundamentally at odds with the most prominent theme of northern art - solitude. Yet a community of jazz musicians has emerged from the northern countries of Finland, Norway, and Canada, composing and performing music implicitly and explicitly inspired by the north. Some of these musicians explore their northern identities while playing to mainstream jazz audiences. Among the first was the Canadian jazz musician Oscar Peterson who, in spite of his success in the United States, might also be considered a northern jazz musician. 

Born in Montréal, Peterson was a proud Canadian throughout his life and expressed a connection with ideas of north through performance and composition. In this paper I analyse a selection of Peterson’s works - his solo recordings on the Musik Produktion Schwarzwald [MPS] label and his compositions Canadiana Suite (1965) and “Anthem To a New Land” (2000), a tribute to the then-new Canadian territory Nunavut - to initiate dialogue between jazz scholarship and northern studies. I draw upon material from the Oscar Peterson collection at Library and Archives Canada to examine his work through the lens of such scholars as Sherrill Grace, Jody Berland, and Margaret Atwood on the concept of north in visual art and literature. In my discussion, I draw on the themes that emerge from their studies of artistic concepts of north - solitude, landscape, and space -  and, offer examples and analysis from Peterson’s oeuvre. To consider Peterson as a northern artist responds to Grace’s call for a broader understanding of art’s transformational role in the changing concepts of north, exposes the contradictions of northern jazz and its possibilities. 


Hannah Lewis, "'A World of Dreams':  The Musical Fantasy of René Clair's Early Sound System"

With the development of synchronized sound film technology in the late 1920s, cinema was irrevocably altered. Yet, while the transition from silent to sound film was swift, it was not initially systematic; film directors responded to transforming technologies in widely divergent ways, reflecting the controversy surrounding new technology, mediation, and the medium’s unique capabilities as distinguished from live theatrical forms. Within this heated aesthetic debate, music became a powerful interventional force for many directors. In this paper, I discuss French director René Clair’s work in relation to the debate on sound film. Clair was outspoken in his initial opposition toward the new technology, and his ambivalence about the coming of sound is reflected in three films from 1930 and 1931Sous les toits de Paris, Le Million, and À nous la liberté—all of which incorporate music in unusual and provocative ways. I focus on his second film of the three, Le Million, as a way of examining Clair’s unique solutions to new problems during this period of technological transition. Through an analysis of previously unexamined archival and primary source materials, I discuss the context of the film’s development, and the working relationship between Clair and the composers of the soundtrack: Armand Bernard, Georges Van Parys, and Philippe Parès. Additionally, I closely analyze Clair’s writings from the period, alongside scenes from Le Million, to demonstrate the methods that Clair used to put his philosophies into practice, paying particular attention to the film’s complex relationship to live musical-theatrical forms. Through a historical and theoretical discussion of Le Million, I demonstrate how Clair’s films from this period, rather than being historical anomalies, challenge some of our long-held assumptions about the role of music in cinema, providing an alternative model for our understanding of the sound-image relationship in film.

Victor Coelho, "Through the Lens, Darkly: Peter Whitehead and the Rolling Stones"

For fifty years, the Rolling Stones have symbolized the elemental and subversive side of rock, but it is the manner in which the group has been interpreted by filmmakers—more than their recordings—that has drawn the familiar sketch of the Stones as licentious Romantics, scarred cultural critics, and poetic, but road-weary, troubadours. Many filmmakers have reified these images, including Godard, Lindsey-Hogg, Woodhead, the Maysles, Frank, Ashby, Puicouyoul, and, Scorsese. And while their work spans the history of the group, the official image remains the earliest one, succeeding representations being variations on a master narrative: an exilic, protean quality derived from the migratory aspects of the blues; a revolutionary stance that is neither political nor constituent; a sharp intuition about the uncharted sexual and gender boundaries of the day; and a deep–seated subversion powered by their identification with the raw music of American blues and country.
As the first filmmaker of the Stones from 1965 to 1973, Peter Whitehead is responsible for embedding these themes deeply and durably, creating the foundational image of the band. Whitehead used the group to provide a commentary of a destabilized modern culture in Britain emerging in the 1960s, which he extended through other cinema verité projects involving Allan Ginsberg, Jimi Hendrix, and Syd Barrett. Using unpublished correspondence between Whitehead, Mick Jagger, and the Stones’ manager Andrew Loog Oldham, I will examine the history of the first film of the Stones, Whitehead’s Charlie is My Darling, chronicling the group’s tour to Ireland in 1965. The documents provide an insider’s tale of music mediated by the new commercialism of pop culture, of Whitehead’s idealized notion of pop music confronting the reality of its economics, and above all, Whitehead’s interest in the power of cinema verité as the means to capture a rapidly emerging rock aesthetic.

William Cheng, "Queering Disability/Disabling Queerness: The Carnivalesque Politics of R.Kelly's Global Closet"

A pimp with a stutter, a blind prostitute, a little-person stripper, and two pairs of same-sex lovers constitute only a few of numerous African-American characters portrayed as social deviants in R. Kelly’s Trapped in the Closet (2007). This through-sung comic hip-hopera – produced as a series of twenty-two music videos (with more episodes potentially forthcoming) – is set in modern-day Chicago and features a cast of individuals who become entangled in a scandalous tale of sex, crime, violence, and the specter of HIV/AIDs. R. Kelly stated in the DVD’s commentary his desire to represent through this magnum opus a “global closet […] the idea that struggle or drama has no color, that it doesn’t point the finger at anyone, but yes, points the finger at everyone.” Trapped in the Closet overtly fetishizes sameness, collapsing discourses of marginality and justifying its far-reaching political incorrectness via an illusion of fair-play qua indiscriminate discrimination.
In this article, I examine the identity politics of this hip-hopera’s Bakhtinian carnivalesque melting pot through the combined lens of queer and disability theories. I focus primarily on how the opera casts homosexuality – notably the oft-sensationalized “Down-Low” practices of same-sex black couples – as not only a manifestation of social pathology but also an alleged cause of contagious disease, intra-racial violence, and moral degradation in African-American urban communities. I further demonstrate that the hip-hopera’s stigmaphobic ideologies are strategically concealed by the sheer outrageousness of the satirical narrative, disorienting music-video techniques (e.g. rapid cuts and partial frames), and the a(n)estheticizing effects of the minimalist two-chord harmonic progression. I conclude by reflexively interrogating the critical advantages as well as pitfalls situated at the deceptively facile intersection between various scholars’ recent attempts to bridge the respective ideologies, methodologies, and activist agendas of queer and disability studies.