Friday, March 2
8:30–10:00 a.m., Room 206
Session Chair: Daniel B. Stevens (University of Delaware)
Online Videos: Ideal Vehicles for Counterpoint Visualization and Other Public Music Discourse
Richard M. Atkinson (Medical Doctor and Part-time YouTuber, Boston)
YouTube and other online video platforms offer unique opportunities to reach a wide and varied audience of both expert and amateur music listeners. Additionally, video is potentially more efficient than traditional print media in elucidating difficult musical concepts like dense, complex counterpoint. With this in mind, I created a music analysis YouTube channel several years ago to contribute to the dialog as a person outside of music academia. My audience has ranged from curious novices to music professors who incorporate the videos into their lesson plans. The YouTube comments section allows me to interact with my viewers, many of whom are academics who offer their own insights and corrections to my content, serving as an informal kind of peer review. Presenting as a non-academic allows me greater freedom to choose only topics I find particularly interesting (there is no syllabus), and affords me greater latitude in determining what constitutes fair use of recordings (YouTube/legal policies versus the more stringent requirements of academia). In this talk, I discuss my experiences as a YouTube presenter, the vast potential of video as a medium to discuss and clearly visualize complex musical passages, the pros and cons of presenting this material as a non-academic, and the potential of platforms like YouTube to act as important forums for public discussion of art music.
Asking New Questions and Reaching Wider Audiences: Engaging Students in New Ways Through a YouTube Music Theory Studio
Becky Troyer (Florida State University)
This is a series of pedagogical videos meant to introduce post-tonal music theory topics that students in theory 4 or a beginning post-tonal class would encounter. My series consists of 4-5 minute videos combining music, video, and visual art in an attempt to make a topic that can be daunting for beginners accessible and fun. I have chosen to use YouTube as the platform for sharing these videos. The nature of YouTube as a free online source and social media allows this information to reach a diverse audience ranging from prospective grad students taking qualifying exams and needing to review, to amateurs without classical training but with curiosity, to many international viewers, or others who have never heard of such a thing as set theory, but browsing YouTube led them to discover something new. The presentation will survey the new types of conversations YouTube's nature as a social media platform fosters as well as the technological and copyright concerns the medium brings up.
Communicating Music Theory In Online Video
Cory Arnold (12tone)
The Internet has changed a lot about the way we communicate, and it's opened up many opportunities for educators to reach new audiences and teach their lessons in different ways, but with any new frontier comes new challenges, and the world of online education is no exception. Some major differences include the lack of a consistent audience and the need to be constantly engaging in order to avoid losing viewers to other, more interesting videos. Through personal experience, experimentation, and discussions with other educational creators, the community has explored many solutions and workarounds to these problems, including developing quick explanations and distinctive personal styles in order to keep listeners engaged and quickly get them up to speed on the important details of the topic being discussed, and adapting our educational goals to optimize the tools that online video provides. Succeeding in online video requires understanding how and why it differs from a more traditional classroom setting, and finding your voice and your audience in an overcrowded sea of content.
Politics and/or the Law
8:30–10:00 a.m., Room 232
Session Chair: Lisa Cooper Vest (University of Southern California)
Musical Expertise in Contemporary American Copyright Litigation
Katherine M. Leo (Millikin University)
A perennial problem in American copyright law is how, and by whom, musical similarity should be evaluated. Since the first music infringement lawsuits heard in the mid-nineteenth century, courts have relied consistently on detailed analyses produced by expert witnesses. But since the mid-twentieth century, concerns about complex, and often conflicting, expert analyses, as well as policies favoring holistic perceptions from non-expert listeners, have led to constraints on the role of musical experts. Reliance on non-experts, however, has generated unpredictable and inconsistent results across cases. Recent courts have recognized a need for musical expertise but have questioned its nature and the analysis it should contribute. After a gloss of copyright policy and procedure, this paper explores the ways in which contemporary judges have interpreted and applied musical expertise in the infringement decision-making process. It examines cases where judges have instituted alternative models of expertise: Dawson v. Hinshaw Music, which presented an "intended audience," as well as McDonald v. West and Lane v. Carter-Knowles, which introduced a "discerning observer." These cases reimagine expertise to incorporate evaluations of musical similarity rooted more in listener genre fluency than academic comparison. Although the impact of these decisions remains inconclusive, they shed light on the legal influence of public listener knowledge as it intersects with musical analysis.
Lenny and Nino: Leonard Bernstein and Antonin Scalia Argue Interpretation Theory and Practice
Mark Rudoff (Ohio State University)
This paper imagines Leonard Bernstein arguing with the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin (Nino) Scalia, an homage to Bernstein's imaginary conversations in The Joy of Music and The Infinite Variety of Music. The fantasy treats argument as play but treats a serious point about how musical discourse connects to the humanities and politics.
Interpretation is a preoccupation shared by music and law. Lenny and Nino argue about the theory of legal interpretation known as originalism, which posits that the correct way to interpret the Constitution is to read it in exactly the terms intended by the men who penned it. This notion may sound familiar to students of Historically Informed Practice, at its heart an extended experiment with the values and limits of historicism. This experience may permit musicians to teach lawyers something about originalist discourse and, in turn, learn something when we understand musical interpretation as part of a larger argument about text and meaning.
Bernstein was styled the village explainer, a truism that underestimates his depth
and rigor. Bernstein (Harvard polymath and liberal activist) does not merely explain,
he argues; he takes apart musical texts, unpacks meanings, and searches for truth.
Scalia, the premier arguer of his generation, was the intellectual leader of the Originalists,
a staunch conservative and, incidentally, an opera lover. These are the right characters
to engage this argument, even if only as fantasy.
From the Subliminal to the Ridiculing: How Campaign Ads Use Music to Evoke Specific Emotions and Why the Public Should Care
Paul Christiansen (Seton Hall University)
Focusing on four basic emotions-happiness, sadness, anger, and fear-and two compound emotions-patriotism and contempt-this paper explores how music evokes these emotions in case studies of US political ads. In John F. Kennedy's "Jingle," a jaunty jig connotes happiness; Lyndon Johnson's "Poverty" deploys Delta blues-style music for sadness; Richard Nixon's "First Civil Right" uses a chromatic bass clarinet line, loud trumpet crescendo, menacing snare cadences, and forte glissandi to convey anger; Rick Santorum's "Obamaville" creates fear through low drones, harrowing sound effects, and a mournful E minor ostinato to depict a dystopian future should Barack Obama be re-elected; Ronald Reagan's "Morning in America" evokes patriotism through sweeping orchestral gestures, chromatic modulations, and suspended chords; Bob Corker's "Call Me" reflects contempt of Harold Ford Jr. through a solo mocking bass clarinet line. Music is the key factor in such appeals.
Americans are not necessarily unaware of attempts to influence them surreptitiously, but they often lack the musical sophistication to identify non-discursive appeals. A chief aim of public musicology is to educate people. Much as visual literacy and recognizing logical fallacies can be taught, musical knowledge can be conveyed so that viewers can deconstruct political appeals to emotion. The more citizens understand about how music influences their political thinking, the better off we will be.
10:20–11:50 a.m., Room 206
Session Chair: Christopher White (University of Massachusetts Amherst)
Who Counts as a Musician?
David John Baker (Louisiana State University)
In the almost 100 years since Carl Seashore first published his Tests of Musical Ability, the logic behind measuring musicality has become more sophisticated, but the goal has remained the same: assign a number to something we believe exists, but can't measure directly. These numbers often serve as an approximation for when people make statements like "She is more musical than him" and modeling musicality mathematically is essentially just a formalization of these intuitions. The problem is that the idea of musicality as some sort of internal resource that people have falls apart when it becomes dissected.
This paper investigates the idea of measuring musicality by surveying its history,
current state, and goals. Parallels are made to current work in intelligence research
and this paper suggests that music psychology may not only face similar problems in
terms of treating musicality as a monolithic internal resource, but the idea of doing
so actually harms the research, as well as the general public in terms of audience
accessibility. This paper argues that the music community should work towards dispelling
the myth of musicality and move towards thinking about music perception and appreciation
as a collection of related, though not unified processes. Drawing on work inspired
by thinking in the cognitive sciences, this paper demonstrates that conceptualizing
the multiple aspects of musicality in a modular way benefits both the research community
and general public.
The Language of Non-Musicians: Understanding the Referential Meaning in American Popular Music
Neal Warner (University of Arizona)
A brief case study was conducted in 2015 at Wayne State University in an effort to support an argument concerning the non-musician's ability to subconsciously identify signature sonic elements of specific American popular music producers. A shocking byproduct of this study was the observed vocabulary used by subjects in reference to details in music, and its strong correlation to language of the scholarly sphere. This data suggests a smaller gap between the presumed levels of fluency from trained musicians to non-musicians.
This paper makes two central contentions: the genre of American popular music parallels the theoretical conventions of "art" music more closely than ever, and as a result, musically untrained audiences of this genre subconsciously understand a musical language of high fluency. First, the definitions of American popular music and "art" music will be determined. Second, the language of non-musicians will be examined through two previously established concepts: referential meaning (Lipscomb and Kendal, 1994) and musical schema (Leman, 1995).
This new research challenges the current placement of American popular music in the
scholarly sphere and invites further analysis into the musical competency of non-musicians
from a psychological standpoint. Both the confirmation of this subconscious musical
language and its resulting from the intricacies of American popular music merit added
study and value in the scholarly sphere.
MASS (produced): A Discussion of Production History, Concerns, and Solutions Based upon Twenty-five Individual Presentations of MASS from Tanglewood, 1988 to UNCSA, 2018
Douglas Webster (American Singer International)
10:20–11:50 a.m., Room 232
Session Chair: Mari Yoshira (University of Hawai'I at Manoa)
Bernstein's Books, Bernstein's Readers: Classical Music and Print Culture in Mid-Twentieth-Century
Joan Shelley Rubin (University of Rochester)
The publication in 1959 of The Joy of Music established Leonard Bernstein, already known as a conductor, composer, and television personality, as a best-selling author. An examination of the production, dissemination, and reception of that book, together with the other volumes he brought out subsequently, suggests the ways in which print augmented Bernstein's role as a public figure in the world of sound. It also illuminates how audiences used texts about the classical repertoire to address their needs and ambitions-uses evident in the collection of fan mail from readers in the Library of Congress's Bernstein collection. Moreover, investigating Bernstein's venture into authorship, abetted by his editor Henry Simon (whose correspondence is likewise housed within the LC Papers), underscores his stance as a mediator functioning in a dynamic space between "high" and "low." That is, Bernstein fostered not so much the exclusive sacralization of classical music, a phrase some scholars have found useful, but, rather, coexistent processes of desacralization and accessibility. In that respect, he resembled other middlebrow popularizers such as Sigmund Spaeth and David Randolph, albeit with greater brilliance, a distinctive style, and a mastery of celebrity. Considering Bernstein's books and Bernstein's readers provides, in broadest terms, a rich example of the assimilation of musical culture to book culture in the United States during the first half of the twentieth century.
Bernstein in the Living Room in Middle America
Scott Harris (Schwob School of Music, Columbus State University)
Images of and stories about Leonard Bernstein came into many middle-American homes through the pages of Time, Life, and Look magazines in the 1950s, 60s, and 70s. Mass-market publications contributed to the perception of a shared, aspirational middlebrow culture. That culture, at the center of which were figures like Bernstein, was a gateway to classical music and a sophisticated urban arts scene that was outside the realm of personal experience for many. This paper looks at how Bernstein's life and career were presented in these magazines, and how those representations may have been interpreted in middle America. It further considers how Thomas Schippers was identified as the next great American conductor, the inheritor of part of the Bernstein mantle. In the 60s and 70s, middlebrow culture in middle America was, on the whole, widely available, widely ingested, and deeply meaningful for a subset of young people growing up at that time. Terry Teachout and others have written about the impact of middlebrow culture, without the derision some have attached to the term, but with a keen awareness of both its potency and problems. My interpretation builds upon such understandings. I consider Bernstein's life and work as presented in the popular national weekly press in terms particular to a specific time, place, and cultural mindset, and how those presentations likely resonated among those with artistic aspirations.
Leonard Bernstein as a Paradigm of Successful Public Music Discourse
Alicia Kopfstein-Penk (American University)
Many elements define successful public discourse. It must attract and retain a large audience, be appealing, conquer barriers, use new technologies, engage, inform, and receive wide recognition.
Leonard Bernstein used every medium available at the time: talks, books, radio, recordings, and the new medium of television. Before becoming director of the New York Philharmonic, he demanded their existing Young People's Concerts be televised. He used TV in an exciting and innovative way, such as painting a Beethoven score on the floor of the studio. The blacklist blocked some artists from work during the Red Scare, a barrier he shattered with Omnibus. He also embraced and inspired new technologies. Bernstein abandoned scripts when a teleprompter was available, and producer/director Roger Englander invented a new method of filming.
Yet this is not enough. Successful public discourse requires empathy. Bernstein demonstrated that through his choice of words, syntax, and cultural references, and by voicing thoughts in viewers' minds, as seen in his three TV series: middlebrow Omnibus, highbrow Harvard Lectures, and lowbrow The Young People's Concerts. Fan mail confirms his success.
Bernstein's television work won an incredible array of awards, and led to a 1985 exhibit "Leonard Bernstein: The Television Work." His most successful teaching couched topics as a question. He might have said: "What Is Successful Public Music Discourse?" Leonard Bernstein provided an exemplary answer.
"Performance and Discourse"
1:30–3:00 p.m., Room 206
Session Chair: Reginald Bain (University of South Carolina)
The Art of Listening
Javor Bracic (City University of New york)
We musicians take listening for granted. We assume that everyone hears what we hear in the music. But often non-musicians have surprising insights into the fabric of musical meaning. Over the past six years I have given over fifty conversation-recitals under the name "The Art of Listening" in which I throw the ball into the audience's field and allow the listeners to talk, question, interpret, and imagine the music in their own way. In the process, they gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of the music because it becomes their own.
In my presentation, I will perform Chopin's Nocturne in C sharp minor, Op. 27 No.
1 and then demonstrate how I go about engaging the audience in an iterative and interpretive
process. Basic concepts from music theory and history will be mentioned and briefly
explained, but jargon will be largely avoided. My goal is to demonstrate that in order
to connect with and derive pleasure from classical music, audiences do not need to
become experts in the field. They only need to develop a discerning focus and a powerful
imagination-two main principles of the art of listening.
Teaching Music with Music
David Newman (James Madison University)
Music has long been used as an instructional method, especially to teach young children the alphabet, body parts, and other basic information about life. Songs can both aid in the retention of concepts, and make the acquisition and memorization of facts and vocabulary more palatable. Songs have been routinely used for instruction and engagement in educational programming on public television, in shows like Sesame Street, Electric Company, and Read Between the Lions, and notably on network television in the popular Schoolhouse Rock series. Increasingly, songs are also being used to help teach more advanced subjects and target older students.
The theory and vocabulary of music can also be taught through songs, which have the potential to present material in a relevant context and with embedded mnemonic devices. Incorporating them into instruction not only holds the promise of improving understanding and retention, but also the possibility of making theory more fun and accessible. Very few such songs exist, but those that do are worth noting, and opportunities for writing new ones should be explored.
I will present a recital featuring selected works of my own which have been written
specifically to illustrate music theory concepts and deconstruct them in a way that
clarifies their pedagogical value. I hope to promote the benefits of teaching music
with music and convince others to contribute to the genre.
If Only Lenny Were Here: Lecture Recital and Premiere
Evan Mack, Composer (Skidmore College)
A presentation of a new song cycle for baritone and piano by Evan Mack. Featuring Michael Miller, baritone and the composer at the piano. The song cycle, If Only Lenny Were Here was written for the Bernstein centenary. It is a setting of famous quote by Leonard Bernstein. The thirteen-minute cycle for baritone and piano deals with the question of art's place in today's society. The lecture recital will discuss the concept of the piece and the importance of Bernstein's words, culminating in a premiere performance of the song cycle.
Leonard Bernstein was a champion of the arts during times of peace and a defender of the arts when it was under attack by politicos, critics, and society in general. Leonard Bernstein spoke often about the power of music to influence or react to current events. He would express his positions through interviews, his own musical style, and even actions-such as refusing to receive an award from the White House. This brand-new song cycle, an homage to Bernstein, continues the spirit and attitude of Lenny, while making its own musical statement.
"Race, Gender, and Sexuality in Music Criticism in the Early Twentieth Century"
1:30-3:00, Room 232
Session Chair: Yvonne Ivory (University of South Carolina)
Public Music Discourse under Jim Crow: Classical Music in the Early-Twentieth-Century Black Press
Lucy Caplan (Yale University)
Racial segregation was a part of everyday musical life in Jim Crow America, and this paper argues that public music discourse was a way of resisting its power. I focus on 3 critics who wrote for nationally circulated black periodicals from 1900 to 1930: the Indianapolis Freeman's Sylvester Russell, the New York Age's Lester Walton, and the Chicago Defender's Nora Holt. By writing about classical music in the black press, they created an alternative to in-person listening that evaded the racial segregation of public space.
Listening to music, like virtually all other social activities, was a separate and unequal experience under Jim Crow. Gatekeepers reinforced the color line by barring African Americans from concert halls; even in nominally integrated northern venues, black audience members were few and far between. Through their criticism, Russell, Walton, and Holt resisted white supremacist attempts to keep African Americans out of the physical spaces in which classical music could be heard.
My analysis of these critics' work highlights what black feminist theorist Brittney
Cooper calls "embodied discourse," or how their bodies and affective experiences informed
their thought. Writing from a standpoint informed by both race and gender, Russell,
Walton, and Holt wove memoiristic narratives into their work. I argue that although
autobiographical writing exceeds the expected parameters of music criticism, it was
in fact a constitutive part of their critical project.
Belle-lettriste or Musicologue? Public, Queer, and Musicological Identities in Edward Prime-Stevenson's Long-Haired Iopas
Kristin Franseen (McGill University)
Edward Prime-Stevenson (1858-1942) is best known-if he is known at all-as the author of two pioneering works of American sexology, both printed under the pseudonym Xavier Mayne. Prime-Stevenson's music criticism, written in the early 1890s and revised into the anthology Long-Haired Iopas: Old Chapters from Twenty-Five Years of Music-Criticism (1928), remains largely neglected.
This presentation examines how Prime-Stevenson positioned himself as a researcher outside of the academy, as well as how his treatment of queer subject matter reflected negotiations of personal and scholarly identities. Within the pages of Iopas, he attempts to create a queer musical canon through sheer force of will, adding more explicitly homoerotic dimensions to his discussions of Schubert and Wagner, dedicating essays to those who knew of his pseudonymous work, and referencing "Xavier Mayne" as an expert on musical homosexuality. These acts of revision transform Iopas from public music discourse into a subversive reading aimed at select audiences. He ultimately presents a version of queer musicology that could not publicly exist in either 1894 or 1928.
The copy of Iopas held at Dartmouth College appears to have been Prime-Stevenson's personal copy, containing
several annotations in his hand altering several essays, as well as a press-circular
detailing how he intended to market the book. I conclude by comparing his imagined
readers in these remarks to the few extant reviews of Iopas.
Marion Bauer and Public Musicology as Modern Music Advocacy
Elizabeth L. Keathley (University of North Carolina, Greensboro)
Composer, music professor, and tireless advocate of modern music Marion Bauer (1882-1955) engaged both academic and non-academic audiences of various levels of expertise in a number of venues and genres. She served as a member of the editorial board of Modern Music, a journal comprising articles mostly by composers for modern music practitioners and enthusiasts, but Bauer's publications in general music magazines and teaching journals, and her popular press book Twentieth-Century Music (1933) may have had more impact on the general public. Bauer's book remained in print through the 1990s, and it inspired Milton Babbitt to transfer to NYU and study music.
One of the book's key features, as Babbitt noted, was its large number of musical examples in piano reduction, which rendered the music under discussion audible to anyone with access to a keyboard. The illustrative power of the piano was, in fact, central to Bauer's outreach: she was one of a number of women who gave "piano lectures" to non-specialist audiences in the 1920s.
Bauer's account of modern music, much like her earlier, more extensive survey of the history of music, included women, African-American and Latin American composers, as well as jazz. In all her pursuits in public musicology, Bauer's primary goal was to educate listeners, to help them cultivate "new ears" so they could meaningfully engage the sounds of their new century.
"Music Theory and Digital Media I"
3:20–4:50 p.m., Room 206
Session Chair: Richard M. Atkinson (Medican Doctor and Part-time YouTuber, Boston)
"#musictheory will be the death of me": Complaints about Music Theory on Twitter and Digital Public Music Theory
Miriam Piilonen (Northwestern University)
In this paper I examine statements about music theory on Twitter, with special interest in the prevalence of complaints. I interpret these expressions of angst as real-time emotional responses to encounters with music theory, and a source of insight into how music theory is viewed. This presentation extends my work as the anonymous operator of the Twitter account @darkmusictheory, where I have been cataloguing complaints about music theory since 2014. I see @darkmusictheory participating in what I call "digital public music theory." Public music theory is gaining traction in academic circles, but its practices remain ambiguously defined and controversially practiced. Rather than bring academic views of music theory to the public, I explore how music theory is defined, discussed, and put to use by digital publics on Twitter.
Twitter users tweet about music theory to: 1) describe learning music theory, 2) share
knowledge and media, 3) debate the presumed imperative to "know" music theory, and
4) announce their love or hatred of music theory. I take particular interest in negative
expressions because of their pervasiveness, and because they index a collective sense
of the mundaneness, difficulty, and arbitrariness of music theory (whether this is
justified or not). I argue that information gathered from digital publics like Twitter
can help professional music theorists better understand the meanings of music theory,
and to re-articulate our goals as scholars and teachers.
A Music Theorist's Experience with Popular Press Publication
Christopher White (University of Massachusetts Amherst)
I am a music theorist––the bulk of my time and energy are spent researching, teaching, and publishing in academic venues. But, I have begun to experiment with publishing in the popular press. To do this, I have had to negotiate a steep learning curve. This paper will outline this learning experience, both practically and methodologically. First, given that the infrastructure and culture surrounding press outlets are fundamentally different from academic journals and the peer review process, I begin by laying out the basic mechanics of popular publications. I describe writing a pitch, finding the right editors, the kinds of responses one might expect, the editorial process, and the variations between the different outlets I've interacted with. I will share what parts of the process surprised me, what skills I found I could import from scholarly writing, and what new strategies I needed to learn.
I then outline three broader reflections on my experiences. First, I will discuss my motivations behind doing this kind of work, focusing on the benefits of reaching more people than is generally afforded by a specialized academic audience. Second, I will discuss the downsides of working with the popular press: this kind of publication does not count toward one's tenure case, nor does it allow one to make the kind of subtle and sophisticated arguments we most value in academia. Third, I will reflect on how my experiences have changed my thinking about my own academic work.
"Music Theory and Digital Media II"
3:20–4:50 p.m., Room 232
Session Chair: John McKay, University of South Carolina
Music Theory's Role in Mainstream Digital Journalism
Alyssa Barna (Appalachian State University)
Recently, digital journalists have published many articles that attempt to analyze musical works for a general audience. Many of these blog posts and essays claim to utilize music-theoretic concepts as the means to elucidate and convey material. However, the results often fail to engage accurately or meaningfully with music theory, and thus the academic community often rejects the work. A handful of theorists have written for a broader lay audience (see Osborn, 2016), however, they typically do not connect with a large readership among the general public. The goal of this paper is not to turn theorists into journalists, instead, to consider how we can communicate our detailed craft in an accessible and engaging way to the public. The issues pertaining to mainstream journalism and music theory are multifaceted: (1) The authors of the material are non-experts in the field of music theory, and their work does not demonstrate real engagement with scholarship; (2) Qualified scholars in the field have not risen to the challenge of communicating to mainstream audiences or making research accessible through popular online channels; and (3) Authors of these one-off music analyses have not considered what general audiences desire from writing on music. I will present strategies for creating effective visualizations, based on discussions with journalists who work full-time on presenting data effectively and clearly both in written and video media.
Yes, I'm the Guy from the Vox Christmas Chord Video: Here's What (I Think?) Went Wrong
Adam Ragusea (Mercer University)
I’m the journalism professor (notably not a music theorist) who was the “expert” interviewed for the 2016 Vox.com video “The secret chord that makes Christmas music sound so Christmassy.” The video, which was based on my 2014 Slate.com article, “All I Want for Christmas Is Diminished Chords: Why Mariah Carey’s immortal holiday classic sounds so darn Christmassy,” immediately came in for some withering criticism from music theory Twitter (see: #chordgate) for its clickbaiting, lack of scholarly rigor, and—in spots—outright inaccuracy. While I think these criticisms are essentially legitimate, I contend that the reaction among the scholarly community reflected a misunderstanding of how such content is produced (and, by extension, my role in the creation of this particular video) and also, among certain critics, a rather unenlightened and unbecoming elitism. In this session, I will explain how these events unfolded from my perspective, and also own how my knee-jerk defensiveness exacerbated the social media feeding frenzy. Also, as composer-turned-journalist, I will attempt to offer some useful insight into how content factories like Vox operate and how you can productively work with them—or why you maybe shouldn’t.
Saturday, March 3
8:15–9:45 a.m., Room 206
Session Chair: Michael Baker (University of Kentucky)
Retirement Home Residents Creating Post-Tonal Music
Crystal Peebles (Ithaca College)
This presentation describes an ongoing collaboration between residents at a local retirement home and students at Ithaca College. In this collaboration, students and residents explore music composed since 1920 through a series of interactive lectures, two composition activities, and a student-run final concert. While the goals of this project include teaching students to advocate for recently composed music, this presentation focuses on teaching non-musicians to creatively interact with music that exhibits alternative pitch, rhythmic, and timbral (etc.) structures from common practice music. These activities include group improvisation, rewriting a familiar folk melody in the style of Bela Bartók, and a composition using twelve-tone technique. Through composition, performance, and discussion both students and residents become more familiar with the sounds of modern music.
Positive outcomes of this project include: a meaningful partnership between students
and residents, an opportunity for students to directly apply knowledge and skills,
and a challenge for both students and residents to broaden their definition of "classical
music" to include non-tonal sounds and structures.
Arts for Social Change
Kyna Elliott (Teaching Artist, Atlanta, GA)
The arts ability to facilitate social change is increasingly gaining global attention. One such application of the arts is its ability to transverse cultures and languages and ease issues of acculturation faced by immigrants. The United Nations Refugee Agency reports an estimated 65 million people currently displaced worldwide. The issue of immigration is a divisive one. Nations must look at ways to address the social challenges immigrants face with acculturation. Immigrant children often experience profound stress associated with adapting to a new culture and education system. This often results in considerable issues with social capacity and achievement in educational settings. This discussion will center on the emerging research and studies highlighting how school arts programs, after school and community arts programs mitigate issues associated with acculturation.
Pedagogies of Encounter: Two High-Impact Music Theory Class Projects
Daniel B. Stevens (University of Delaware)
Becoming a public scholar can begin early in a musician's professional training. This presentation focuses on two outreach projects in which my honors theory students identified problems in their community and established reciprocal collaborative partnerships with community organizations to create solutions that utilized their musical knowledge and skills. After describing the projects' genesis, process, and outcomes in detail, I explain the pedagogical value of these learning experiences, in which musical problems, aesthetic questions, and compositional challenges emerge from encounters with community members. The projects are open-ended, creating abundant room for students to exercise agency and creativity as they work together to organize, communicate, and present their work at different stages to a variety of audiences (program directors, consultants, audiences). The educational experiences are holistic: students are challenged to synthesize learning across a variety of subject areas (aural skills, harmony, applied study) and professional skills (e.g. writing, organizing, planning, and creative thinking). Finally, students learn how to share their public contributions in a way that fosters ongoing interdisciplinary collaborations and contributes to positive social narratives about the arts through press releases, newspaper articles, and other social media.
8:15–9:45 a.m., Room 232
Session Chair: Jeff Perry (Louisiana State University)
Harmonica Playing as School and Recreation Activity, 1923-1940
Dr. Carol L. Shansky (Iona College)
Community music as a form of public music education was evident in recreation programs in the 1920s–1930s particularly using the harmonica, coinciding with the Hohner Harmonica Co.'s effort to encourage harmonica use beyond folk and blues. Low-price tag and relative ease of sound production made this instrument attractive for use as a group activity for under-privileged youth, emphasizing competition, patriotism and personal success as motivators. The Boy Scouts harmonica playing contest in 1922 was met with widespread interest, followed in Philadelphia by a Boys' Week Harmonica Contest in 1923. This event was almost immediately duplicated in numerous cities including girls as competitors as early as 1925. A national "harmonica craze" erupted and harmonica bands and soloists proliferated with the formation of ensembles for boys and girls such as those of the Girl Scouts, American Legion posts and 4-H clubs. The popularity of these organizations reached beyond the under-privileged to envelop youth across the socio-economic strata. Bands gave concerts, marched in parades and participated in municipally-supported solo harmonica competitions. While the recreation program harmonica bands were a way to occupy boys' energy and keep them out of trouble, girls participated in recreation programs as part of community-building efforts, all illuminating the significant role that community music held for children in the first half of the twentieth century.
A Home-Grown Composition Pedagogy for an American Vernacular Tradition
Robert T. Kelley (Lander University)
The American shape-note singing tradition has developed a unique composition pedagogy that is notable in two regards. First, it successfully teaches the craft of composition to musicians with little or no music theory training. Second, it defines an independent style of tonal music that is different from that taught in the academy. The compositional system relies on the solfège taught in basic singing school lessons and a simplified definition of consonance and dissonance, where "every other note" of the scale is considered consonant and adjacent scale degrees are considered dissonant.
This composition pedagogy system's low bar for prerequisite skill and the distinctly
American sound that it encourages could be harnessed to remove barriers to amateur
musicians with compositional aspirations. The result might be a world-wide influx
of distinctly American sounding new music from talented musicians with little formal
training. Even if this never comes to pass, this system can teach us lessons about
how to simplify our theoretical framework in order to engage the public more fully
in the analysis and discussion of many styles of tonal and modal music.
A Music Theorist in the Baseball Hall of Fame? Talking Music to Baseball Enthusiasts
Timothy A. Johnson (Ithaca College)
Baseball and music has become one of my primary areas of research, and this scholarship, which reaches outside of the academy, is embraced by my academic institution. This work has led me to seven presentations at the Baseball Hall of Fame. In addition the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) has recognized my book on baseball and music with an award. By presenting music analysis to public audiences in a baseball context, my studies have sparked a curiosity about music through sharing scholarly and analytical approaches in ways that non-specialists can grasp and appreciate. My presentations and writings have explored a wide variety of repertoire, including Western European concert-music related to baseball, baseball sheet music, ceremonial music used at ballgames, and recent popular music played at ballparks (especially country, heavy metal, and hip hop). My work has employed multiple analytical approaches, such as autograph sketch studies, rhythm and meter, Schenkerian analysis, and text-music relationships tied to social/cultural contexts in popular music. I approached some of my presentations and analyses purely from an aural perspective, helping public audiences learn to consider musical listening deliberatively and attentively, rather than just experiencing it as a part of their ambient sound worlds. This presentation demonstrates how I have presented analytically-rich ideas to audiences of non-musicians through scholarship in baseball and music.
"Narrative and Metaphor"
10:00–11:30 a.m., Room 232
Session Chair: Crystal Peebles (Ithaca College)
Intersubjectivity in Narrative Mappings of Romeo and Juliet onto a Ligeti Piano Piece
Aubrey Leaman (Northwestern University)
The death knell of classical music has been rung for years, as it is commonly felt that nonmusicians often find it boring and esoteric. But can providing audiences with listening strategies help them connect to classical music in more fruitful ways? This paper explores one such strategy––narrative––and its effects on nonmusicians' real-time listening experiences of Ligeti's "In Memoriam Béla Bartók" from the Musica Ricercata.
Twenty-five non-music major undergraduate students were told that the piece was directly inspired by Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet and were asked to imagine who the characters might be and what they might be doing. Their mappings revealed a high level of consistency in terms of where they heard new characters or events (based on relatively long-term changes in surface features) and what characters or events they imagined at these points in the music. In addition, listeners naturally split into two categories: "conservative" and "radical," where the former were highly constrained by the story schema and the latter less so.
While conservative and radical listeners may have different experiences, then, these
findings suggest that specific modes of listening, as encouraged through program notes
or the way in which we talk about pieces during concert performances, may have a very
real impact on what listeners experience, which may in turn affect enjoyment and can
inform how we analyze and discuss music with music students and nonmusicians alike.
Teaching Music Fundamentals with The Glass Bead Game
Michael Baker (University of Kentucky)
Hermann Hesse's The Glass Bead Game (1943) describes a fictional society in which professional accomplishment is achieved through a game based on interdisciplinary associations, with relationships between music and other academic disciplines as a frequent touchstone for characters within the novel. The rules of the game are only alluded to throughout the novel, but gameplay involves making interdisciplinary connections between all aspects of artistic, scientific, and cultural knowledge. Hesse's description of gameplay has much in common with modern metaphor theory, especially Fauconnier and Turner's notion of conceptual blending as expressed in The Way We Think (2002). Following a few prefatory remarks on its origin within Hesse's novel, this paper will outline a course model for the teaching of a collegiate-level course intended for non-music majors based on The Glass Bead Game drawing on conceptual blending theory, focusing on several associations between music and other intellectual, artistic, and scientific disciplines.
"Public music discourse" may take many forms, including teaching about music to non-music
specialists. The course is contemplative, collaborative, and interactive, featuring
fast-paced and wide-ranging discussions. Colleges and universities frequently cite
furthering interdisciplinary research and education as a priority to be addressed
within their long-range strategic plan, and this course built around The Glass Bead Game provides a means to that end.
Metaphorical Adventures in Music Appreciation: Excursions into General Music
Jeff Perry (Louisiana State University)
Teaching non-musicians creates the opportunity and the need to use metaphor as a primary teaching tool. Such metaphors provide themes and structure for my summer music course, and thus (hopefully) a lifetime of purposeful, informed musical experience for my students. This in turn has enriched my teaching of music majors.
Metaphor 1: Location. A distinction between classical and romantic art is how each treats place. Jane Austen's Bath is the context in which her character's place in the social hierarchy (a central motivator for the action) is enacted; Jane Eyre's Thornfield Hall is not simply a place, but virtually a character. Likewise, as Bernstein shows us in The Joy of Music, the music of Beethoven creates a new sense of musical space when it sheds its classical rhetorical devices; revolutionary music creates new space for itself; music is simultaneously of a place and transformative of its place.
Metaphor 2: Edge. Some art has distinct edges, some poems have regular meter and rhyme, some music has steady beat and phrase structure; others do not. John Ruskin's art criticism teaches a way to experience art forms in terms of color and imperfectly perceived, even incomplete patterns, in terms of dynamic motion rather than set structures. Relevant musical topics include improvisation, allusion, deformation of structure and genre, mashup and collage.
Metaphor 3: Motion. The 1960s folk music revival provokes discussion of vernacular and art music; of motion by certain musical practices from the center toward the margins and back; of tonality as the product of motion to and from a melodic and harmonic referent; and of some historical engines of motion (the printing press, the steam engine, the phonograph, the radio) that influenced the diffusion of music.
"Bernstein: On the Sacred and the Secular"
11:50 a.m.–1:20 p.m., Room 206
Session Chair: Katherine Baber (University of Redlands)
On Sanctification of Secular Musics: Sociological Perspectives
Judah Matras (University of Haifa, Israel)
In this paper I review five sociological hypotheses advanced to account for 'sacralization' of musical events and 'sanctification' of secular music: i) the hypothesis that "musicking" and musical events are inherently "ritual" celebrating individual and/or collective identity; ii) the hypothesis that sacralization is a process invoked by upper or privileged social classes to attain cultural exclusivity and fortify their power, prestige, and influence; iii) the hypothesis that "sanctification" of secular musics reflects political statements and has been central to various political and social 'isms' as alternative religion; iii) the hypothesis that "sanctification" of secular musics reflects political statements and has been central to various political and social 'isms' as alternative religion; iv) the hypothesis that sanctification of secular music is an example of artistic "seeking of the sacred" in the sense of French sociologist Emile Durkheim and students; and v) the hypothesis that sacralization of musical events and sanctification of secular musics are factors in a "middlebrow mode" of listening, that negotiates a balance between emotional and intellectual forms of musical engagement.
Bernstein and the Crisis of Faith: A Trajectory from Kaddish to Mass
Michael Slon (Assoc. Professor/Director of Choral Music - University of Virginia)
Leonard Bernstein––American conductor, composer, teacher, and writer-stated perhaps somewhat surprisingly in 1977, "The work I have been writing all my life is about the struggle that is born of the crisis of our century, a crisis of faith." As a public commentator, he was prone to look for large arcs, pursuing what his mentor Serge Koussevitzky called "the central line." And as a composer, he found unique ways to translate his philosophical themes directly into musical terms––championing not only a public discourse on music, but a public intellectual discourse through music.
This is perhaps most clear in the decade between 1961 and 1971, when he completed
three choral-orchestral works: Kaddish (Symphony No. 3), Chichester Psalms, and Mass.
Each can be viewed through the lens of Bernstein's stated concern with "a crisis of
faith," in his perception a crisis running parallel to his compositional struggle
with the state of tonality. This paper will draw a line through the three pieces,
briefly examining Bernstein's process and conclusions, and attempting to trace a trajectory
of public commentary in both musical and theological terms. Likewise, in offering
a contextualizing discussion of Mas-a piece re-enacted to break down and reinvigorate
larger faith and musical structures––the paper will hopefully shed some additional
light on the work in conjunction with its performance at USC during the conference.
Art and Politics On and Off Stage: Leonard Bernstein's 1985 Hiroshima Peace Concert
Mari Yoshihara (University of Hawai'i at Manoa)
Early morning on August 6, 1985, a group led by Seiji Ozawa gathered at a corner of the Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima to sing together as a prayer for peace a few hours before the official peace ceremony. Leonard Bernstein joined them after dedicating a wreath at the memorial. Yet Ozawa was not on the stage of Bernstein's peace concert held later that day. He had been invited to be part of the concert but declined, stating that the opposition to nuclear weapons could be expressed without a large concert and that he did not wish to be part of an organized movement of any sort.
Bernstein's and Ozawa's respective places in Hiroshima in 1985 symbolized the complex politics of antinuclear activism and the role of music in it. The concert took place within multiple contexts: Bernstein's advocacy for nuclear disarmament; Hiroshima's significance as the world's first target of atomic bombing; Japan's national discourse about the atomic bomb; the growth of the antinuclear movement amidst the nuclear arms race; and the musicians' grappling with the memories of war. By tracing the birth of the Hiroshima Peace Concert and the various acts on the ground in 1985, this paper examines Bernstein's role as an antinuclear activist and the artistic, discursive, and political performances on and off stage. Some of Bernstein's antinuclear politics were presented within the context of the official commemoration, while his other voices were performed on the edges of the concert stage itself.
11:50 a.m.–1:20 p.m., Room 232
Session Chair: Timothy A. Johnson (Ithaca College)
Concert Programs and the Reconstitution of the Postwar Polish National Audience
Lisa Cooper Vest (University of Southern California, Thornton School of Music)
In Poland, after World War II, the task of rebuilding musical life was a pressing concern, and a complicated one. In this paper, I pose the question: how did nascent postwar musical institutions reach out to their audiences, which had been devastated by wartime destruction, trauma, and loss?
In answering this question, I look to the concert program as an artifact of material
culture from the period. This is an artifact that preserves, in its discolored and
crumbling paper pages, the efforts of performing institutions (Philharmonic ensembles,
opera and operetta companies, and other, smaller-scale groups) to reeducate and reconstitute
their audiences. In these turbulent postwar years, the musical press had limited offerings
for a general, non-specialist public. The concert program, then, often served as a
kind of unofficial chronicle of musical life, as an educational handbook for matters
of music history and musical style, and as an explainer for music's unifying role
in Polish national culture in the past and, crucially, in the present. With their
eclectic compilations of materials, these concert programs promoted the goals of their
institutions. Beyond that, though, they also represent a form of public music discourse
that constituted its public, connecting audiences to long-breathed national traditions
and projecting goals for future cultural and national development in the postwar world.
Teaching Beyond the Academy Through Argentine Tango
Kristin Wendland (Emory University)
How can we in the academy make our work relevant to music enthusiasts and practicing musicians, rather than writing for our own small circle of specialists? My presentation models a way to accomplish this through teaching the characteristic style elements and performance techniques of the Argentine tango, and so it may serve as an example of public scholarship that bridges academic and public arenas. Most practicing musicians face an interpretive dilemma when learning tango's style: How does one accurately and convincingly play tango music? To answer this question, I will define the art form's style and illustrate its characteristic instrumental performance practices. First, in order to analyze the key rhythmic and melodic features of the style, I will trace the musical connections between three tangueros (tango musicians/composers) who established tango as an art form in Argentina from 1920 to modern times: Julio De Caro (1899-1980), Aníbal Troilo (1914-1975), and Astor Piazzolla (1921-1992). Then, I will illustrate how unique and elusive performance techniques, called yeites ("licks") by tangueros, further define the Argentine tango style. In a way accessible to music enthusiasts outside the academy, my presentation will provide a foundation for understanding tango's musical style and key techniques through an examination of scores, recordings, and video footage. It will serve as an example of how we in the academy can extend musical knowledge into public music discourse.
Entry Points: Linking Performer, Audience, and Music
Lauren Watkins (Newberry College and Limestone College)
By providing a practical process to create and develop entry points for any piece of music, this presentation offers relevant information about the use of entry points when designing a community outreach program. An entry point offers a clear and concise introduction to a musical work that connects the performer's ideas and experiences with the knowledge and interests of the audience. Entry points can originate from a theoretical, historical, personal, educational, or anecdotal point of view. Through the process of developing an entry point, the performer must also be mindful of the audience's knowledge, experience, age, background, and interests. Depending on the audience demographic, other useful tools for introducing a piece of music and enhancing an entry point include visual aids, participatory activities, and the use of strategic musical examples. Creative uses of these tools and tips for using them to enhance the introduction of a piece of music will be offered.
2:45–3:45 p.m., Room 206
Session Chair: Lucy Caplan (Yale University)
Designing Educational Initiatives for the Music of Asian America Research Center
Eric Hung & Mandi Magnuson-Hung (Music of Asian America Research Center)
The Music of Asian America Research Center (MAARC) is a new online information center and post-custodial digital archive that seeks to document, make accessible, and interpret the music making of Asian Americans across boundaries of ethnicity and genre. It seeks to give Asian Americans (particularly musicians) a sense of what Michelle Caswell calls "representational belonging," to contribute materials and ideas for educators who want to create more inclusive curricula and lesson plans, and to advance research on Asian American music.
In this presentation, the two co-founders of MAARC will first introduce the resources
available at MAARC, and then discuss how they created two educational initiatives
for different target audiences. The first is a unit plan for high school teachers.
It explores three Asian American musicians––a jazz drummer, a singer-songwriter, and
a rapper––and how they navigate racial liminality in the music industry. Suitable
for music, history and social studies classes, it is designed to help educators open
up discussions about the history of race in the U.S. and roles that music plays in
the American racial landscape. The second is a brief course for lifelong learners.
The goal here is to teach five key moments in Asian American history-the Chinese Exclusion
Act, the Japanese Internment, the 1965 Immigration Law, the Asian American Movement,
and the growth of anti-Asian violence in the 1980s––through music created by Asian
#Musochat: Defining Public Music Discourse in the Age of Social Media
Dr. Garrett Schumann (Western Michigan University and Madonna University)
Social media represents a unique, twenty-first century arena for open discussions of any topic, and Musochat––a regularly occurring, Twitter-based conversation involving composers, performers, presenters, and fans of newly composed music––is emblematic of social media's role in defining contemporary public music discourse.
Launched in June 2015, Musochat has presented over 90 structured discussions, each centered around a topical focal point ranging from gender diversity in opera to strategies for place-making, all of which are connected on Twitter by the hashtag, #Musochat. Over the last two and a half years, Musochat has attracted and inspired a multi-dimensional community of hundreds of musicians and musically-inclined people from around the world, many of whom have turned relationships initiated through Musochat into new collaborations, professional opportunities, and support networks.
This paper reports on new research examining Musochat both qualitatively and with cutting-edge analytic methods borrowed from the social sciences. Through a new Musochat user survey, as well as social network analysis, natural language processing, and unsupervised machine learning, our study measures structural features of Musochat's social network, and also accounts for the personal and artistic impact Musochat has had in the lives of its participants.
"Shaw and Wilde"
2:45–3:45 p.m., Room 232
Session Chair: Alison Mero (Clemson University Press)
The Public Music Theory of Bernard Shaw
Nicole Biamonte (McGill University)
George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) is best known today for his plays, but before he became well known as a dramatist he exercised his incisive wit as a music critic in London, regularly from 1888-94 and intermittently from 1876 to the end of his life. He had no formal musical training, but came from a family of musicians and learned much from his mother, a professional singer, and still more from her music teacher (and lover), George Vandeleur Lee. Shaw explicitly intended to make his reviews accessible to the general public; he complained about the use of technical language for its own sake, and also deprecated academic pedantry as a justification of musical value. Most of this writing combines critiques of performances with broader considerations about the aesthetics of music. Nevertheless, among the many subjects on which Shaw expressed emphatic opinions are music-theoretical topics such as chromaticism, dissonance, harmony, tonality, and musical form (sonata form in particular), as well as related pedagogical issues such as solfège systems, whether there are rules of composition, and the efficacy of score study. This paper compiles and categorizes Shaw's music-theoretical utterances, both descriptive and prescriptive, and analyzes what they can tell us about his own musical understanding, the ideologies underlying his views, and the level of understanding he assumed on the part of his late 19th-century London readership.
Wagner without Music: Oscar Wilde's Textual Engagement with "Parsifal"
Yvonne Ivory (University of South Carolina)
In 1888 Oscar Wilde published a short story entitled "The Young King" in the Christmas issue of The Lady's Pictorial magazine. Appropriately, it was a tale filled with Christian imagery: on the eve of his coronation, a prince has visions of the horrors experienced by the men and women who have toiled to produce the beautiful garments and jewels he will be wearing the next day. He is so shaken by these dreams that he instead dons a simple outfit to go to the ceremony. He endures a kind of Via dolorosa en route to the cathedral; but once he enters the sacred space, God floods it with light, makes his wooden staff bloom into life, and confers upon him an aura of Christ-like grace. The allusion to Tannhäuser may jump out here, but the rest of the tale plays more directly with the story of Parsifal––so much so that one critic has called this story Wilde's "Parsifalian turning"; but what remains unclear is how Wilde came to take this turn. He was no great enthusiast for opera, and in 1888 had never seen or heard Wagner's Parsifal. What were his sources for Wagner's version of this medieval story? In the proposed paper, I will survey the London press to find the possible sources of Wilde's knowledge. Through essays and reviews (of books about Wagner, of Wagner concerts, and of the annual Bayreuth festival), I will show, Wilde could have easily become familiar with details of Wagner's story of the "pure fool, made wise by pity" before writing his own.