Panel #5: New Music
Panel #6: Working and Volunteering outside Academic Environments
Panel #7: Public Musicology Projects by Westminster Undergraduate Classes
Panel #8: Keynote Address by Susan Key
Panel #9: A Gentle Persuasion: Jane Austen’s Music in the Public Arena
Panel #10: New Media and Public Musicology
Panel #11: Evening Concert
Thomas Patteson (Curtis Institute of Music and Bowerbird): “Public Musicology and New Music”
“New music”—the concept itself is problematic, as indicated by its various and equally vague equivalents such as “modern,” “contemporary,” and “experimental.” The diffuse repertoire encompassed by these terms is often perceived as difficult, cerebral, forebidding, elitist, or pretentious—in short, as wilfully resistant to public acceptance. Attempts to counter such charges with conceptual clarifications and historical excurses in many cases only prove the point, producing a halo of explanatory verbiage that often further beclouds the situation, as witnessed by phenomena such as The Contemporary Classical Composer’s Bullshit Generator (http://www.dominicirving.com/cccbsg/).
This talk will address the current state of the relationship between “new music” and publicly-oriented musicology and pose a handful of questions that may point toward productive lines of thought and practice. How has musicology contributed to the embattled state of new music, and how might musical scholarship and curatorial work intervene to aid in its dissemination, enjoyment, and understanding? How do we move beyond tropes of the “new,” “cutting edge,” “revolutionary,” etc., which have arguably become as hollow as their counterparts, the “great,” “traditional,” and “time-tested”? How can we begin to formalize the cultural value of “new music” (whatever that may mean) in a manner consistent with the nature of what Anthony Giddens has called our “post-traditional” society? Above all, how do we foster a curatorial practice that is itself as radically creative and questioning as the music it purveys? Although these inquiries are especially acute for advocates of new music, they may be relevant to other fields of cultural production as well. Indeed, at a time when the inherent value of any given form of art can no longer be taken for granted, such basic questions of cultural framing and presentation may be of increasingly universal importance.
About Thomas: Thomas Patteson is a musicologist and curator who specializes in the classical, experimental, and electronic traditions of twentieth-century music. He teaches music history at the Curtis Institute and is an assistant curator at Bowerbird, a Philadelphia-based nonprofit organization that presents contemporary music, film, and dance. His first book, Instruments for New Music: Sound Technology and Modernism in the Weimar Republic, is under contract with University of California Press. Other projects of his include the music blog Acousmata (www.acousmata.com) and the Museum of Imaginary Musical Instruments (www.imaginaryinstruments.org).
Rebecca Jemian (University of Louisville): “Shifting Balances of Message, Audience and Situation”
I engage in public musicology through my research around the University of Louisville’s Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition, an annual award given to a composer for a large-scale work premiered in the previous five years. (Some winners of the award are John Adams, Pierre Boulez, and John Corigliano.) Part of my work promotes a familiarity with that year’s winning piece and its composer’s style among UofL music students and members of the Louisville community. The winning piece is one of about 125-175 annual submissions, and all the submissions become part of the Music Library’s collection at the University of Louisville. This ever-growing archive now holds well over 3000 pieces, many of which are not held in other libraries. Part of my work is to make this collection better known among scholars and the Louisville community; to that end, I’m co-hosting a conference in Spring 2015. I’m a music theorist with interest in studying the ever-moving wall of contemporary music. Part of my work is to share my scholarship with other music theorists. Thus, my public musicology slides on a continuum depending on my audience, and I bring the full range of my professional training and interests to bear.
Public musicology requires original, professional work created by someone with trained expertise. The results are tailored for the audience: for instance, my message to undergraduates is one of repertoire building in the context of music of the 21st century; my message to laypeople generates excitement about creativity and offers ways to hear contemporary music; to scholars, I present details of the workings of a piece. Effective public musicology is achieved through adjusting the balance of message, audience, and situation. A deliberate awareness and shaping of one’s public musicology enriches one’s study, expands one’s reach, and extends one’s message.
About Rebecca: Rebecca Jemian is Assistant Professor of Music Theory at the University of Louisville. She holds a Ph.D. in Music Theory from Indiana University, a M.M. in Music Theory from the University of Texas at Austin, and a B.M. in Bassoon Performance from the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University. She was on the faculty at Ithaca College before returning to Louisville.
Durrell Bowman (Public Musicologist and IT Consultant): “The Untapped Doctoral Majority of Potential Public Musicologists”
Musicology has occasionally wondered if it should engage with the public. In 2012, the President of the AMS got quite excited merely by recounting that one or another local newspaper music critic had mentioned our national conference once every couple of decades. The AMS’s YouTube channel usually gets no more than a few hundred views of items in its “What I Do” series. We have got to be able to do much better.
In musicology (and generally in the humanities), 80% of Ph.D.s never end up in continuing, full-time academic positions. Some of them become school bus drivers, yoga experts, courier company employees, and welfare recipients. Musicology has never fostered an environment that prepares people for any kind of meaningful work other than in academia. It should.
In converting my own dissertation into a public book (published in late 2014), I removed all of its academic jargon, hundreds of footnotes, and numerous overly-technical discussions—including tables and musical notation. I also reorganized its five chapters averaging more than fifty pages each into the first eight of nine chapters averaging seventeen pages each. According to the series editor, my book: “effectively navigat[es] that difficult space between academia and general readership.”
Musicology should aspire to produce music experts who write public books and e-books, prepare press releases and blog posts, create and maintain dynamic websites, interact with readers on social-media websites and discussion forums, and speak intelligently from notes at public events.
About Durrell: Durrell Bowman culturally interprets music, including rock music and film & TV music. He has published books and articles, presented papers and talks, and taught courses on music history & culture. After degrees in Waterloo and Toronto, he earned his Ph.D. in Musicology from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). In addition to his work on music and as a musician, he has studied and worked in IT (Information Technology), sometimes on music-related projects.
Carl Leafstedt (Trinity University): “Developing a Public Profile through Nonprofit Board Leadership, or, What Use Can a Bartók Specialist Be in San Antonio, Texas?”
Developing skills in non-profit management is a path more musicologists should consider. Skill sets learned in advanced degree programs in musicology have more ability to transfer to careers outside the academy than most of us ever realize. While the term “public musicology” perhaps most typically refers to musicologists who bring their academic training to non-academic careers, an equally important path to public presence lies through the board room. Non-profit arts boards consistently suffer shortages of people who have expertise in the field. It’s a common oversight on boards of directors in many communities nationwide. In my own career, beginning 12 years ago I started accepting appointments to a number of arts boards in San Antonio, including the San Antonio Symphony, the San Antonio Chamber Music Society, the San Antonio Chamber Choir, and the Youth Orchestras of San Antonio. For these organizations I have served in a number of roles, including founder, board chair, governance chair, and development chair. I am currently Chair-Elect for the Youth Orchestras (YOSA), a $1.2M organization that serves over 1500 students annually. In my paper I will briefly outline the ways these experiences have been beneficial to my own personal and professional development.
More musicologists should consider stepping outside the academy this way. Watching a well-run – or poorly run – arts organization function from year to year gives you new appreciation for the qualities necessary to run a successful non-profit enterprise. In my case I have kept my academic position as a tenured music historian at Trinity University, where I started teaching in 2001. Whether or not you remain in academe, musicologists who venture into the board room will learn management skills that can alter the course of your careers. Our ability to write in polished prose about music, and think about it in an analytical manner – and our credibility as experts – are needed on many boards in communities across the nation.
About Carl: Carl Leafstedt is a music historian who recently completed two terms as Chair of the Music Department of Trinity University. A native of Sioux City, Iowa, he was a chemistry/music double major in his undergraduate years at Williams College, then went on to receive a Ph.D. in music history from Harvard University. He has taught at Southwestern University, The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and Duke University. He’s been on the faculty at Trinity since 2001. His book on Bartók’s opera Duke Bluebeard’s Castle was published by Oxford University Press. From 2005-7 he served as President of the Southwest Chapter of the American Musicological Society.
The State Department-sponsored Westminster Choir World Tour, 1956-57 (introduced by Jessica Stanislawczyk)
Between October 1956 and February 1957, the 44-member Westminster Choir, conducted by John Finley Williamson, embarked on a tour of the United States, East and Southeast Asia, South Asia, the Middle East, and the Balkans. The international portion of this tour was sponsored by the State Department, as part of the U.S. government’s soft-power propaganda during the early Cold War. With the aid of Talbott Library faculty Amy Kimura and chair Mi-Hye Chyun, students in Fall 2014’s morning section of “Music Since 1900” used the Westminster Archives to construct an exhibit and a podcast about this tour.
The Sounds of Princeton (introduced by Katherine Caughlin)
The Sounds of Princeton is an ongoing project at Westminster Choir College of Rider University that explores the historical and contemporary sounds heard in Princeton. These include music-making, human-made sounds heard on the streets, places of worship, retail shops, educational institutions, and the sounds of nature. In Fall 2014, all students in the “Music Since 1900” course completed oral histories with Princetonians, and wrote blogs about their interview experiences. The afternoon section of this course created posters about the Sounds of Princeton, which are exhibited in the lobby of the Cullen Center, and created two soundwalks, which are available via QR codes on the opening poster of the exhibit.
About Katherine: Katherine Caughlin is an undergraduate degree candidate for the Bachelor of Arts in Music program at Westminster Choir College of Rider University while also completing a minor in Sociology. She is a member of the Westminster Choir and Westminster’s early music group, Kantorei. Katherine has many interests, including early and ancient music, ethnomusicology, anthropology, and choral singing. After graduation, she intends to pursue a graduate degree in either anthropology or ethnomusicology and eventually do field work overseas.
This talk will reflect on the emergence of public musicology as a reaction to, as an extension of, and as an opportunity for our discipline.
About Susan: Susan Key, Star-Spangled Music Foundation Executive Director, was most recently Special Projects Director at the San Francisco Symphony, where she worked on a variety of public and media-based initiatives, includingKeeping Score and the American Mavericks festivals. After eleven years teaching high school, she earned a Ph.D. in musicology and taught at the College of William and Mary and Stanford University. She has spoken and published on a broad range of topics in American music, including Stephen Foster, Aaron Copland, and early radio. She has served on the boards of the Society for American Music and the Los Angeles Public Library and has developed educational programs for the San Francisco Symphony, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the J. Paul Getty Museum. Her current passion is playing old-time fiddle.
3:15pm: Panel #9: A Gentle Persuasion: Jane Austen’s Music in the Public Arena (Lecture-Recital by Susanna McCleary and Dorothy de Val)
Popular novels of the 18th and 19th centuries present interesting possibilities for combining musicology and performance. The works of Jane Austen, long popular and now even better known to an enthusiastic audience through television and film adaptations, contain numerous references to music. Austen herself was a keen amateur pianist, singer and social dancer, and characters in the novels, such as Elizabeth Bennet in Pride and Prejudice and Anne Elliott in Persuasion, clearly enjoyed music. The program will explore various aspects of music in Jane Austen’s life and works designed to appeal to audiences outside academe, namely a) music in the family collections; b) music by female contemporaries; c) music to poetry by female contemporaries; and d) dance music.
A partial catalogue of works available in the family collection was published in 1996 and more recently Samantha Carrasco expanded on this in her dissertation by including an examination of collections in the Wright family (Southampton, 2013). Far from being a selection of canonic works by Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven, the family collections contain mostly ephemeral works by composers now almost forgotten, but which appealed to amateurs of the time and are still readily accessible to today’s audiences. Our program incorporates a mixture of songs typical of the collection by Storace, Arne and others, along with accompanied sonatas for piano and violin by popular composers such as Pleyel and Nicolai. We also feature a movement of a sonata by Austen’s contemporary, Jane Mary Guest, later Mrs Miles, (c1762-1846) a native of Bath, whose piano writing was probably a bit too virtuosic for Austen herself; a song by composer/singer Harriet Abrams (c.1758-1821), and some canzonets of Haydn (not in the family collection) to poetry by another female contemporary, Anne Hunter (1742-1821). No program of music related to Austen would be complete without some dance tunes, so we include the “ Boulangeries”, the only title mentioned by Austen, and “Mr Beveridge’s Maggot”, dedicated to a popular contemporary dancing master and featured in the BBC television series of Pride and Prejudice (1996). The concert will be in period costume, but with modern instruments.
About Susanna: Susanna McCleary (violin, soprano) is a graduate of Mohawk College (Dip.Mus., 2011) and McMaster University (B.Mus 2014), where she majored in violin performance with Sonia Vizante. She has performed with Pro Voce Studios under the direction of soprano Tina Torlone for several years. She is a regular performer for Jane Austen balls in Toronto and in addition to performing the classical repertoire, including vocal and instrumental works associated with Jane Austen and Charlotte Brontë, she also sings and plays traditional music of the British Isles and has studied both Irish and Scots Gaelic. She recently performed in Wales in a fundraiser for EQUART, a charity to assist blind and other disabled musicians.
About Dorothy: Pianist Dorothy de Val (PhD, London) is Associate Professor at York University, Toronto, Canada, where she teaches musicology and musicianship courses for musicians and dancers. Outside academe, she plays regularly for costumed Jane Austen balls in Ontario, and in July performed with Susanna McCleary in “Tea with Jane Eyre”, a concert featuring music associated with the Brontë family, in Monmouth, Wales. A recent concert in October, “An Evening with Jane Austen”, at the Heliconian Hall, Toronto, featured vocal and chamber music associated with the Austen family, including Kotzwara’s famous Battle of Prague. All concert programs are designed with a general audience in mind, are performed in period costume, and feature related readings from Austen’s letters and novels.
Honey Meconi (University of Rochester / Eastman School of Music): “The Choral Singer’s Companion and the Intersection of Academic and Public Musicology”
The Choral Singer’s Companion is a free online resource (http://www.thechoralsingerscompanion.com) created in 2002 that provides information on selected choral works and their composers. The Companion includes iconic choral works as well as lesser-known ones, a cappella pieces, opera ensembles, and symphonic creations. Entries include short biographies, discussions of the music and its genesis, translations, plot summaries for dramatic works, and lists of suggested works for listening and for reading. The content is provided by an academic musicologist with decades of experience as an amateur and professional choral singer, while all aspects of the Companion’s online presence, including its visual layout, are handled by a professional graphic designer.
Using The Choral Singer’s Companion as a starting point, the paper examines the intersection of academic and public musicology within the Western art tradition, including access to resources, the commitment of time for creation and upkeep of online material, the challenges of choosing content and identifying an audience, the problems of writing outside one’s research specialty, the perception of public musicology’s value within academia, the calculus for attracting attention, and the fraught economic and ethical relationship between the creation and dissemination of knowledge.
About Honey: Honey Meconi is Susan B. Anthony Professor of Gender and Women’s Studies at the University of Rochester, where she is also Professor of Music in the College Music Department and Professor of Musicology at the Eastman School of Music. She has written or edited five books and numerous articles. Her next book, on the music of St. Hildegard of Bingen, will be published by the University of Illinois Press. She is on the editorial boards of Grove Music and the Journal of the American Musicological Society, and on the advisory boards of the Alamire Facsimile Project and the Josquin Research Project.
Felicia M. Miyakawa (Independent scholar, freelance editor and academic consultant) and Michael G. Fauver (W.W. Norton): “The Avid Listener: A New Site for Public Musicology”
In October 2014, W.W. Norton will launch The Avid Listener, a new, interactive site for public musicology. Co-edited by musicologists Felicia M. Miyakawa and Andrew Dell’Antonio, The Avid Listener will act as a middle ground between the thoughtful yet rarefied scholarship of academic journals and the “lifestyle reporting” (to borrow a recent critique leveled by Ted Gioia) of mainstream music magazines. It will create a forum for discussions of popular and art music, new trends, and current events; a venue that, rather than avoid musical terminology, will explain that terminology in succinct, accessible ways and use it in service of a larger argument. It will encourage readers to listen broadly and deeply, to approach music with a curious spirit and a sense of adventure. In short: The Avid Listener will provide music students with models of good writing and show general readers that music criticism can be both literate and fun.
In this presentation, Miyakawa and managing editor Michael Fauver will discuss the ways that this blog navigates the ever increasing-divide between the academy and general readership. While The Avid Listener is certain to be a boon to students, the editorial team hopes to attract a wider audience of music-loving readers with extended topics such as Modes of Listening, Music and Spirituality in the Modern Era, Music and Disability, and Hip-hop Diplomacy; interviews with composers, performers, and other industry “insiders”; and discussions of performance practice, current events, music and museums, and “on this date” tributes. Featuring fresh, new scholarly voices, The Avid Listener will invite broader, communal discussion in each post, resulting (we hope) in wider recognition of Musicology in our scholarly and popular culture.
About Felicia: Felicia M. Miyakawa (Ph.D., Indiana University) is co-editor of The Avid Listener, a new interactive website that promotes public musicology and invites interactive discussion. Known primarily for her work on hip-hop, Miyakawa also writes about Spirituals, Black Nationalism, Feminist / Queer Theory, and Popular Music Pedagogy. After teaching at Middle Tennessee State University for ten years, she resigned her tenured position in 2013 in order to devote more time to research, writing, parenting, and vegan baking. She currently resides in Round Rock, Texas.
About Michael: Michael Fauver is managing editor of The Avid Listener and assistant editor at W. W. Norton. He studied piano performance at the University of Michigan, earned an MFA in fiction from the Iowa Writer’s workshop, and has received fellowships from the Corporation of Yaddo, The MacDowell Colony, and the Lambda Literary Foundation. In his spare time he’s working on a novel and a collection of short stories.
Christianna Barnard (Westminster Choir College of Rider University): “The High School Mixtape Project: Using Public Musicology to Explore Evolving Identities”
This fall, I created an online exhibit of oral histories on the topic of musical preferences and the evolution of identity during high school. Through this public musicology project, I was able to explore how music can create a safe space for personal development amongst young adults, while simultaneously encouraging the public to engage in their own self-exploration through a personal connection to the subject. Six interviewees and I, all high school graduates aged 18-24, crafted a mixtape or playlist that represented musical selections pertinent to our own evolving identity as adolescents. Then, interviewees completed an oral history explaining the importance of each musical selection on their mixtape. Tracks represented either music that participants created or listened to, highlighting selections that participants retrospectively tied to key moments in personal growth. I then exhibited excerpts from the interviews alongside their respective musical counterparts on a website targeted towards general public. On the website, I was able to trace common themes throughout the interviews, including: communicating the unspoken through musical performance, music as venue for private personal exploration, musical participation as a form of empowerment, the role of music in coming to terms with queer identity, and music and mental health. In my presentation, I will create a live version of my online exhibit, displaying the potential uses of public musicology in community development and research on music and identity.
About Christianna: Christianna Barnard is an undergraduate degree candidate in Sacred Music at Westminster Choir College of Rider University. She is in the Baccalaureate Honors Program and is an Andrew J. Rider Scholar for the 2014-2015 academic year. Her research interests include identity and music, constructions of gender and sexuality in popular music, and the ethnomusicological study of sacred music. She is currently writing her senior thesis on the music of Mary Lambert and posthumanism. Additionally, she is the blogger for the Westminster Choir. Following graduation, she intends to pursue a doctoral degree in musicology.
Katie Barnard (Westminster Choir College of Rider University): “Music and American Identity – A Dialogue Concert”
This concert is an attempt to create a live music performance through small-group dialogue on the topic of American Identity. Through facilitated discussion and exploration into the audience members’ thoughts and impressions, the subject of American identity will be discussed and related to musical compositions, genres, eras, and iconic figures. Performers will lead conversations on cultural adaptation, the “American Melting Pot,” the “American Dream,” gender roles in America, racial conflict in American society, and aesthetic identity through nationality. Based on these discussions, the performers and audience members will choose repertoire to be performed from lists by composers such as Aaron Copland, Charles Ives, the Gershwins, Samuel Barber, Jerome Kern, Stephen Sondheim, Moses Hogan, Cole Porter, Tori Amos, Fleetwood Mac, and others. Following these discussions and repertoire selections, the audience will enjoy a concert which strives to represent their impression of this subject, and which may serve to help performers and audience members alike hear and experience this music in new ways. Conceptually, this program (in keeping with dialogue-based education theory) seeks to eliminate the barriers between performer and audience, allowing all participants to be equal and creating a more democratic performance space for all involved. Performers will fulfill the role of performer, facilitator, teacher, and student. Audience members fulfill the expected role as audience, as well as becoming participants, teachers, and students. The goal of this format is to enhance the experience of the recital or concert and to engage with the material in a different and more active way.
About Katie: Katie Lynn Barnard is currently a graduate student at the Westminster Choir College of Rider University in Princeton, NJ. She holds a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from the New England Conservatory of Music, and has performed on stages in New York, Boston, San Francisco, Florida, Italy, and Austria. From 2008-2012, Katie worked at the Lower East Side Tenement Museum of New York as the Education Associate for Group Programming and as the Manager of Visitor Services. She has previously presented her research on the American Hipster at the Westminster Celebration of Student Research in 2014.