Monday, September 21, 2015

Fall Chapter Meeting: Saturday, October 3, 2015 (Amherst College)

PLEASE NOTE: This program has been revised with new times to reflect a last-minute change (9/30/15)

AMS-NE Fall Chapter Meeting
October 3, 2015
Amherst College
Arms Music Center, Room 3
Free Weekend Parking Available in lots

9:45-10:15 Refreshments and Registration (Chapter Dues $10: exact change appreciated)

Morning Session
10:15   Welcome 

10:20  Arnold Dolmetsch against Antiquarianism: The Development and Endurance of Period Instrument Revival Ideologies

Maia Perez (Boston University)
Arnold Dolmetsch cut a fascinating figure in the eyes of his contemporaries: the eccentric but devoted leader of one of the first major early music revivals of the 20th century, essential to its success, and the primary force behind its dissemination. But as the century continued, his amateurism and his unshaken belief in the musical authority of a semi-mystical “performer’s insight” prevented most musicologists (and even his own students, such as Robert Donington) from critically engaging with his ideas. Lauded as an early pioneer, he was simultaneously dismissed as a serious influence on mid-20th-century early music revivals.
    Yet Dolmetsch’s ideologies survived as surely as his insistence on using period instruments did--and understanding how they developed brings new insights into the oft-debated roles “authenticity” and authority have played in early music. Through close examination of Dolmetsch’s reception in the late 1890s and early 1900s, we can see how Dolmetsch and his supporters’ struggle against continual criticisms of “antiquarianism” led to the development of an explicitly living revival. Dolmetsch’s personal vibrancy became a valuable tool, and his insistence on the importance of performer “insight” became a way to keep early music engaged with the present moment. I argue these solutions to the problem of antiquarianism continued to influence the performers and scholars of later early music revivals, complicating the idea of the revival’s derivation from modernist authoritarianism, and questioning the totality of “authenticity’s” authority over the performer. 

Maia Williams Perez is a second-year M. Mus. student in Historical Musicology at Boston University. She holds a B. Mus. in Oboe Performance from Lawrence University, where she wrote an honors thesis on the Period Instrument Revival’s intersection with modernism. At Boston University, Maia will be continuing this work in her master’s thesis, which will focus on the role of instruments and instrument-makers in the early music revivals of the 20th century. Her other research interests include 18th century music in France, early modernisms, and musical and literary collaborations.

11:00   The Godfather: Georg Philipp Telemann, Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, and the Family Business

Ellen Exner (New England Conservatory / University of South Carolina)
In 1714, Johann Sebastian Bach and his wife Maria Barbara chose Georg Philipp Telemann as a godparent for their newborn son, Carl Philipp Emanuel. Most scholars agree that the choice of Telemann was somehow meaningful to Sebastian Bach and that the connection was probably useful to Emanuel as his career unfolded. The extent of Telemann’s personal relationship with the Bach family nevertheless remains a matter of debate. The great Bach scholar Hans-Joachim Schulze, for example, doubts whether Sebastian Bach and Telemann enjoyed any kind of real friendship. In his opinion, irrefutable proof of particular affection among these towering figures of the eighteenth century remains elusive and basic questions remain unanswered: we do not know, for example, whether Telemann was even present at Emanuel’s baptism. Schulze asserts that he was not. The weight of circumstantial evidence however (some of which was unknown to Schulze) strongly suggests that he was.  

This paper challenges what we have long understood about the relationship between the Bach family and Telemann and introduces a new dimension to the narrative: the findings of an exhaustive study into the social meanings of baptism in eighteenth-century Leipzig.[1] On the strength of this study and information new to Bach research, Schulze’s conclusions must be revised and the biographies of three eminent composers reconsidered­—particularly Emanuel Bach’s.

[1] T. Schmotz, “Die Taufpatenschaften der Leipziger Professorenfamilien im 17. und 18. Jahrhundert”, in Stadtgeschichte: Mitteilungen des Leipziger Geschichtsvereins Jahrbuch 2008, Hrsg. Markus Cottin, Detlef Dörring, und Catharin Friedrich (Sax-Verlag, 2008), 37-54. 

Ellen Exner is a specialist in music of the eighteenth century, specifically music of the Bach family. After receiving undergraduate degrees from the University of Massachusetts/Amherst in Music History as well as Russian Language and Literature, Exner went on to receive an MA from Smith College and then a PhD in Historical Musicology from Harvard University. Her current book project re-examines the eighteenth-century roots of Mendelssohn’s famous 1829 Berlin performance of J. S. Bach’s St. Matthew Passion.
Exner is actively engaged with baroque repertory as both a scholar and a performer on historical oboes. She has published two critical editions of music by J. S. Bach’s student Gottfried August Homilius with Carus-Verlag (Stuttgart) and is finishing commissioned work on Emanuel Bach’s 1779 Passion according to St. Luke for the Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach: Complete Works Edition. Her writings also appear in the journal Eighteenth-Century Music, the New Grove Dictionary of American Music, and in German-language publications dedicated to the most recent scholarship on Georg Philipp Telemann and his contemporaries. Exner is a member by invitation of the Editorial Board of the American Bach Society and serves as Editor of its official newsletter, Bach Notes. She has taught courses on baroque music as well as the history of art song by invitation at Boston University, Harvard University, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She joins the full-time faculty at New England Conservatory in Fall 2015 following three years as Assistant Professor of Music History at the University of South Carolina School of Music.

11:40-1:40   Lunch Break

1:40-2:00     Business Meeting

Afternoon Session   

2:00     Symphonies for Sale: How Composers and Publishers Negotiated the Style of Concert Music in the Long Nineteenth Century

Derek Strykowski (Brandeis University)

During the long nineteenth century, the sale of published sheet music became a primary source of income for many European concert composers, but the artistic impact of this business on the style of their music is rarely acknowledged in the literature. Encouraged by strong commercial demand, sheet music publishers maintained a vast international retail network throughout the century. These publishers were intermediaries of the musical marketplace who engaged in economic competition for both content and customers. Standing to profit not only from the sale of conducting scores and parts but also from the sale of piano arrangements for two and four hands, publishers sought to establish professional relationships with whomever the most popular—or promising—composers of concert music might be.
Concert composers likewise found themselves in economic competition as the financial importance of this revenue drove many to pursue the most prestigious publishers even as publishers pursued the most prestigious composers. Records of correspondence between composers and their publishers drawn from throughout the period reveal the degree to which these composers possessed not only a keen business acumen but also, crucially, an understanding of how the style of their music could be made to accommodate the tastes of both the publishers and the buying public.
Business negotiations, personal communications, and other historical documents illuminate an often collaborative relationship forged between composers and publishers in which the demands of the musical marketplace tempered composers’ personal styles, and even the genres in which they chose to work, as much as those styles and genres gave shape to that market in the first place. These findings reveal that the business of music publishing influenced not only the livelihood but, through it, the artistry and style of the foremost composers of nineteenth-century concert music.

Derek R. Strykowski holds an M.F.A. in historical musicology from Brandeis University, where he is now a Mildred and Herbert Lee graduate fellow in the department of music. His doctoral research investigates matters of stylistic development and artistic analysis through a combination of qualitative and quantitative techniques. An article on Alban Berg is forthcoming from the Journal of Musicological Research.

2:40    Processes of Spectralization: From Josquin’s Missa L’homme armé super voces musicales to Haas’s Trio ex Uno 

Mike Ford (Rutgers University)

It is commonly known that Austrian composer Georg Friedrich Haas applies spectral techniques to pre-existent sound, creating new music from the acoustical fingerprints of his source material. He deconstructs these sounds into collections of partials and uses them as compositional or conceptual tools. Despite the increasing familiarity with Haas’s music, his precise spectral methods have never been closely examined; these bear important implications for an understanding of his work and that of other contemporary composers.
While many assume that spectralization relies exclusively on a novel treatment of timbre, my study demonstrates that Haas applies his distinctive method to numerous other components of music as well. His techniques include the use of the natural harmonic spectrum and altered versions thereof, polyspectrality, and processes as organizing principles. In this paper, I shed new light on Haas’s methods through an analysis of Tria ex Uno (2001), which paraphrases a piece published half a millennium earlier: the Agnus Dei II from Josquin des Prez’s Missa “L’homme armé” super voces musicales (1502), which, in addition to the cantus firmus technique, employs paraphrasing techniques itself. Haas presents Josquin’s work in its original form in Tria ex Uno I and re-orchestrates it in Tria ex Uno II, where various instrumental timbres are emphasized. Josquin’s composition is further reworked in Tria ex Uno III, which shapes the original material through spectralization. I illustrate the transformation from the Agnus Dei II to Tria ex Uno by analysing Haas’s specific spectral paradigms and techniques. My research provides a means to understand the spectral treatment of existing music within the discourse on musical borrowing; additionally, my discussion of the techniques employed in Tria ex Uno proves useful to analyses of other music by spectral composers.
Mike Ford is a student in the MA/PhD program in musicology at Rutgers University. His main research interests include: 20th and 21st century music, chamber music, philosophy of music, psychoanalysis, and semiotics. Mike also enjoys writing about musical borrowing and the contemporary treatment of existing music. In 2012 he completed his BMus in orchestral conducting at the University of Pretoria and has since been actively involved in the musicological circles of both South Africa and the United States. Mike is currently serving as secretary for the Rutgers University Musicological Society. 

3:10     Bob Dorough’s Settings of Langston Hughes’s Poems in Lawrence Lipton’s Jazz Canto: A Musical-Literary Exchange

Melissa Goldsmith (Westfield State University)

Lawrence Lipton (1898-1976) was best known for The Holy Barbarians (1959), a book on the Venice (Los Angeles) beats. He also worked fervently behind the scene to advance the area’s jazz poetry, including editing contemporary colleagues’ jazz poems (adding performance indications) and performing them in public music venues like the Venice West Café. By rekindling his friendship with Kenneth Rexroth (1905-82), Lipton also kept abreast of jazz poetry in San Francisco, while sharing information about his own jazz poetry, performance practices, and local poets and musicians. In the 1920s, both heard Langston Hughes (1902-67) read his poems with musical accompaniment while in Chicago. Rexroth viewed Hughes as a major influence on his jazz poetry, whereas Lipton regarded Hughes as creator of the “talking blues,” jazz poetry’s ancestor.
In 1958 Lipton conceived and organized an LP anthology he titled Jazz Canto, produced by World Pacific Records. Intended as the first volume of a jazz poetry recording series, it featured poems by Walt Whitman, Dylan Thomas, William Carlos Williams, Philip Whalen, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Lipton, and Hughes. For the first time this paper traces the documented history of this project, especially the exchange on poetry and music between Hughes and Lipton in unpublished letters unearthed in special collections at the University of California, Los Angeles and the University of Southern California. Having heard informal rehearsals of Lipton’s jazz poetry experiments at his Venice home, Hughes encouraged Lipton’s project and gave permission for three poems, the most by any one poet on the album, from “The Dream Keeper” and Other Poems (1932). Hughes’ poems were selected by Lipton, based on suggestions by jazz composer Bob Dorough (b. 1923), who performed them on the album. Lipton’s thoughts on Dorough’s settings are expressed in his drafts of the album’s liner notes and his letters to Hughes.

Melissa Goldsmith is a visiting lecturer in the music department at Westfield State University as well as a composer and sound engineer for her company Dapper Kitty Records. She specializes in popular music, film music, and jazz poetry. Her current academic projects include an encyclopedia on films that focus on musicians and a global hip hop encyclopedia.

3:40     Refreshments