FRIDAY, March 23 (Go to Saturday)
12:15-1:30 Short Paper Session 1: Jazz and Pop!
All the Things You Have Been: Avant-Textes and the Analysis of Jazz Tunes
Sean R. Smither, Rutgers University
Abstract: A trio plays the jazz tune “All the Things You Are” at a famous club in Manhattan. They begin with an introduction composed by Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker, omit Jerome Kern’s original verse, and play a heavily ornamented version of Kern’s chorus melody before launching into solos. To most audience members, this is a typical performance; none of these alterations to Kern’s original composition are considered unusual, and many listeners may not even be aware that these are alterations at all. José Bowen (1993) argues that these “remembered innovations,” consisting of altered or added features, may over time become part of the tune’s identity.
How might analysts engage with this history? Scholars in genetic criticism use the term avant-texte to describe networks of sketches, edits, and drafts that represent the genesis and development of a text (Deppman et al., 2004). In this presentation, I argue that analysts may better engage with a tune’s complex history by construing the tune as an avant-texte, where recordings, transcriptions, and lead sheets function like networks of drafts. In analyzing avant-textes, we reorient our thinking from temporal to spatial: versions are no longer conceived as points on a historical timeline but rather as constellations of musical materials suspended in a space that improvisers explore together. By making tangible the process by which flexible works are negotiated, the notion of avant-texte provides a middle ground between traditional textual analysis and theories of improvisation, making it extensible to other repertories where composed and improvised material commingle.
Capturing Schemata in Standard Jazz Repertoire
Keith Salley, The Shenandoah Conservatory
Abstract: This presentation discusses schemata in standard jazz, surveying compositions by jazz musicians and songwriters from America and Europe after 1925. Understanding schemata as confluences of musical features that create recognizable, stylistically expressive constructs, it acknowledges a range of features including harmony (including chord quality and root relationship), hypermetric strength, formal position/function, and melody. Schemata are especially relevant to jazz scholarship, given the ubiquity of II-V and II-V-I progressions, the limited number of conventional song forms, and the rigidity of hypermeter in this standard repertory. In its conclusion, this presentation addresses the applicability of schema theory to jazz arranging, composition, and pedagogy.
Standard Practices: Intertextuality and Improvisation in Jazz Versions of Recent Popular Music
Ben Baker, Eastman School of Music
Abstract: Since its inception, jazz has used popular songs as vehicles for
improvisation, from the standards of the Great American Songbook to music by
Radiohead and Michael Jackson. In recent decades, such cross-genre borrowing
has become commonplace in popular music, producing covers ranging from the
imaginative to the banal. How has the prominence of this cover phenomenon
reconfigured the playing of popular music by jazz musicians? Has jazz’s standard
practice become just another case of genre crossing in a polyglot musical culture?
This paper examines the intertextuality of jazz performances of recent popular
music. In two brief analyses, I argue that in the hands of capable jazz musicians,
popular songs are neither new jazz standards nor simply tunes to be covered.
Instead, jazz versions of popular music may evince a distinct intertextuality that
balances fidelity to a specific recording with the improvisatory freedom that
remains a hallmark of the jazz tradition.
Deconstructing the Masculine: Constructions of Masculine Fragility in Three
Songs from Radiohead’s A Moon Shaped Pool
Sean Davis, Temple University
Abstract: This paper draws from Bourdieu’s Masculine Domination and Butler’s Gender Trouble to argue that Radiohead’s “Ful Stop,” “Present Tense,” and “Glass Eyes” from A Moon Shaped Pool construct and deconstruct masculine identity. Bourdieu’s Masculine Domination posits that social institutions create an invisible power structure that affects our conception of masculinity, while Butler’s Gender Trouble argues that we engage in a gendered mimesis that informs the manifestations of gender in culture. Bourdieu argues that male self-esteem rests on impossible displays of social dominance (acting tough, multiple sexual partners, etc.); when men fail to measure up to these standards, they can respond with unpredictable or violent behavior. These reactions reveal the fragility of masculinity as a concept and a subject position. Although Fred Maus in “Masculine Discourse in Music Theory,” and Susan McClary in Feminine Endings explore how masculinity is relevant with regard to theoretical discourse and Western classical music respectively, I will focus on how the songs and lyrics from Radiohead’s A Moon Shaped Pool construct a fragile masculine subject position. Each of these songs approaches the idea of masculine fragility from a different musical or textual element. The complex rhythmic texture and ever-changing topography of “Ful Stop” could signify a tortured mind, struggling to remain together amidst deep personal strife. “Present Tense” resists tonal confirmation, signifying a retreat from the unpleasant reality of emotional vulnerability; and “Glass Eyes”––written in through-composed form––traces the emotional journey of a man as he yearns for companionship in an unfamiliar locale.
Embellishing the Verse-Chorus Paradigm: Max Martin and the Descant-Chorus
Stanley Fink, Florida State University
Abstract: Producer and song-writer Max Martin has written or co-written 22 Billboard Hot-100 number-one hits, from Britney Spears’ “...Baby One More Time” (1999) to Justin Timberlake’s “Can’t Stop the Feeling!” (2016). Though most songs on which Martin shares a credit as co- writer and/or co-producer are straightforward examples of verse-chorus paradigms (as described by Osborn 2013), such songs often include a special formal category that has thus far eluded description. After the bridge, these songs sometimes include a completely new melody for the chorus—with slight variations in the lyrics. I describe this formal section as the descant chorus and analyze several prototypical examples from Martin’s output.
In some of the most ornate song forms in which Martin shares credit, descant choruses combine with notable tonal features to express the text. Borrowing Mark Spicer’s (2017) concept of fragile and emergent tonics, in combination with Adam Ricci’s analytical approach to pump- up modulations (2017), I demonstrate how melody and harmony interacts with form to express the text in these songs. I conclude by situating the concept of the descant chorus within Martin’s total output as a song-writer/producer. While not every song in this corpus includes a descant chorus, the majority feature continuous melodic variations during the choruses and textural contrast after the bridge.
1:45-3:15 Long Paper Session 1
The Making of a Hit: Formal and Dramatic Narratives in Max Martin’s Bridge-Caesura
Toru Momii, Columbia University
Abstract: Popular literature has attributed songwriter-producer Max Martin’s commercial success to a carefully engineered songwriting developed as a member of Cheiron Studios (Seabrook 2015). Lavengood (2015) addresses these observations by identifying idiomatic formal units in Martin’s music. Synthesizing her work with Peres’s theory of sonic syntax in contemporary pop music (2016), my paper examines how Martin’s regulation of timbre and texture dictates the formal and dramatic trajectory in his music.
Martin’s Cheiron recordings feature two unique formal devices. The first is an effect I call the bridge-caesura, a pause or solo a cappella vocal interjection at the end of the bridge. The second is Lavengood’s complement chorus, a chorus which retains the textural, harmonic, and lyrical content of previous choruses but introduces contrasting melodic and rhythmic material.
Through formal and spectrographic analyses, I demonstrate how the bridge-caesura heightens the dramatic effect of the complement chorus. First, the onset of the bridge presents a sudden withdrawal of the low-frequency percussion layer, which disrupts the texture established in the first two choruses. Second, the caesura highlights the voice and other higher-frequency material, after which the complement chorus arrives in a fuller texture. By intensifying the textural and timbral contrast between the bridge and complement chorus, the bridge-caesura temporarily halts the process of gradual textural growth modeled by Spicer’s accumulative form (2004), an effect which strengthens the drive towards the climactic cumulative chorus. The bridge- caesura offers an example of how formal boundaries, marked through texture and timbre, shape the dramatic narrative in Martin’s recordings.
Gesture and Transformation in Joel Mandelbaum’s Thirty-One-Tone Keyboard Miniatures
William Ayers, University of Cincinnati
Abstract: This paper uses Joel Mandelbaum’s Four Miniatures (1984) for the thirty-one-tone archiphone to examine the connection between physical performance gestures and musical transformations. The topics of gesture and transformation have been connected since the outset of transformational theory; Lewin’s GMIT (1987) provided a basis for the treatment of musical intervals as “characteristic gestures” that may be performed or enacted. Focusing on the miniature titled “Triangulation,” this paper considers Lewin’s transformational attitude as a basis for understanding how the physical gestures of the performer on the archiphone keyboard invite the listener to actively participate in the musical transformations. Mandelbaum’s notes for “Triangulation” provide gestural indications that demonstrate how the piece should be visualized as triangular partitions of the keyboard; treating the piece as a series of triangular partitions that are performed in a particular order can assist a difficult performance on a generalized keyboard without the tactile information of a standard piano or organ. The archiphone’s generalized keyboard layout allows for unique gestural transformations (rotation, expansion, etc.) that generate musical content and structure, ultimately connecting the physical and musical spaces through the performer’s bodily actions. This paper demonstrates that the gestural actions used in the physical performance space generate a cohesive progression of elements in the musical space.
Seeking the Post-Tonal Cadence in Alfred Schnittke’s Viola Concerto
Anabel Maler, The University of Chicago
Abstract: Terms borrowed from theories of Classical form appear with surprising frequency in scholarly literature on post-tonal repertoires. But despite their pervasiveness, these terms are generally not well-defined. In this paper, I use the case study of Alfred Schnittke’s Viola Concerto to explore the complexity of meaning taken on by one such term, “cadence,” when it is transplanted into post-tonal contexts. In grappling with Schnittke’s unorthodox cadential gestures in the concerto, I face not simply an analytical challenge, but a definitional conundrum—and one that requires an expansion of the definitional frame.
My argument revolves around two types of cadences found in the first movement of the Viola Concerto: the dissonant, post-tonal cadence of mm.7-8, which occurs via chromatic voice-leading in contrary motion and is repeated three times in ever-expanding iterations; and the decontextualized contrapuntal cadence in movement’s final ten measures. By bringing into conflict different kinds of closure, I propose that Schnittke asks the listener what a cadence can mean in a post-tonal context. I argue that by confronting the difficulties of defining the cadence in the Viola Concerto, we can come to a better understanding of what “cadence” signifies in post-tonal music, and more broadly.
3:30-5:30 Professional Development Workshop
Form and Formal Process in the Exposition
of Mozart’s Symphony in F, K. 43/I
L. Poundie Burstein, CUNY
This workshop considers the layout of sonata-form expositions that hail from around the third quarter of the eighteenth century. As its primary point of departure, the workshop examines ways in which the layout of the exposition from W. A. Mozart’s K. 43/i interacts with the formal norms of its time. Particular attention is given to published discussions on form by musicians who flourished during the second half of 1700s. The approach of these eighteenth-century theorists contrasts greatly than what is found in most modern discussions on form, thereby suggesting a more nuanced understanding of the musical drama.
SATURDAY, March 24
9:30-11:00 Long Paper Session 2
Gabriel Fauré and Tonal Distortion: Centripetal and Centrifugal Tonality in Two Piano Works
Matthew Kiple, Temple University
Abstract: Despite the proliferation of scholarly research on the life and compositional style of Gabriel Fauré, his music seems to dwell on the outskirts of the standard concert repertory. This ostensible neglect can be attributed to the relatively late emergence of Fauré’s idiosyncratic style, the subtle “Gallic” nature of his music, and perhaps most of all, the intractability of his unconventional harmonic syntax. In this paper, I use Neo-Riemannian transformational theory cooperatively with scale-based theories to explicate this harmonic intractability—what I call centripetal and centrifugal tonality—in Fauré’s Nocturne No. 6 in Db major (Op. 63) and Barcarolle No. 10 in A minor (Op. 104 No. 2).
Drawing from Richard Cohn’s Neo-Riemannian adaptations of the Tonnetz and hyper-hexatonic system, as well as Edward Phillips’ and James Sobaskie’s scale-based analyses, I demonstrate how flattened mediant networks in the Nocturne coalesce centripetally to support the tonic (Fig. 1). Conversely, I demonstrate how cyclic progressions in the Barcarolle spiral centrifugally away from the tonic, ultimately yielding the hyper-hexatonic-polar relation (Fig. 2)—two distant, diametrically related harmonies—to dislodge the Barcarolle from its tonic- centered orbit. My analyses feature animated Tonnetz fragments and hyper-hexatonic systems of select passages from Fauré’s Nocturne and Barcarolle, coordinated with live demonstrations at the piano. Whether tonic/dominant closure is supported or destabilized via centripetal/centrifugal harmonic transformations, I ultimately characterize the tonal effect in both the Nocturne and Barcarolle as one of distortion.
Relative Diatonic Modality in English Pastoral Music: A Dorian Case Study
Nathan Lam, Indiana University
Abstract: This paper proposes a theory of relative modality in English pastoral music that complements recent research in Rock music’s ambiguous diatonic modes. The theory draws from contemporaneous sources, including Cecil Sharp’s seminal folk-song theory and the Tonic Sol-fa system, a la-based minor solfège that is widely used in music education but not music theory. Relative modality’s two fundamental components are its single diatonic collection and multiple tone centers therein. Using the English dorian mode as a case study, this paper argues for a “double syntax” (after Cohn 2012) based on centricity and collection. Note-relations are encoded as scale degrees (do-based minor solfège) and “diatonic positions” (la-based minor solfège; positions within a diatonic collection), respectively. The apparently simple theoretical construct of diatonic positions has several non-obvious ramifications, among which is the ability to unite multiple different centric hearings under one roof and to describe a continuity between them that no existing analytical methodology can easily afford. I will examine dorian passages from Cecil Sharp’s arrangement of “Sweet Kitty,” Gustav Holst’s First Suite for Military Band in Eb major, and George Butterworth’s Six Songs from ‘A Shropshire Lad’ (1911), all of which exemplify a dynamic balance between collection and centricity in English pastoral music.
Tetrachord Transformation in the Vocal Works of J.S. Bach
Owen Belcher, Eastman School of Music
Abstract: Despite the esteem afforded J.S. Bach and the extensive historic-musicological literature, there are few technical analyses of his vocal works. The analytical literature that does exist is primarily concerned with formal procedures (for example, Anson-Cartwright 2013, 2016 and Schulenberg 2011) or the creation of musico-theological allegories from text-painting devices and large-scale tonal organization (Chafe 1991, 2000). The present study begins to rectify this situation, focusing on one compositional strategy: the transformation of motivic tetrachords in ways that interact with text, form, tonal design, and instrumentation. Drawing on Laurence Dreyfus’ concept of a Bachian “invention,” and adopting David Lewin’s approach to analyzing music and text as a philosophical model, I explore tetrachord manipulations in three works: the terzetto “Zedern müssen von den Winden” from Nach, dir Herr, verlanget mich BWV 150, the opening chorus of the St. Matthew Passion, and the aria “Schlummert ein” from Ich habe genug BWV 82.
Each work exhibits a different method of tetrachord transformation. In the terzetto, tetrachords are rotated through all possible orderings, and are themselves alterations of the motivic pentachords in the surrounding movements. In the opening chorus of the St. Matthew Passion, the three groups of performers—choirs, orchestras, and chorale—each carry out characteristic chromatic and modal transformations on the same tetrachord interval series. In BWV 82, a single tetrachord is reinterpreted in “Schlummert ein” and throughout the cantata as a whole, reflecting different perspectives on death and sleep.
11:15-12:30 Short Paper Session 2
Pedagogical Potential in the Quadruple Gambits of Bach’s Solo Clavier Preludes
Christopher Doll, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Abstract: This paper identifies two kinds of opening gestures found in several of Bach’s solo clavier preludes, what I term the quadruple circuit gambit and quadruple shuttle gambit. Each “gambit” (opening move) is “quadruple” in its (hyper)metrically regular presentation of four harmonic stages—stable, unstable, unstable, stable—forming either an underlying harmonic “circuit” of I–IV(or II)–V(or VII)–I or a harmonic “shuttle” of I–V(or VII)–V(or VII)–I. Among all the clavier preludes of BWV 772–994, there are 18 unambiguous circuits and 4 unambiguous shuttles. After rapidly discussing several of these examples and how they relate to historically relevant clausulae and partimento-based schemata, I explore the pedagogical potential of these models by using them as guides in the analysis of less-straightforward gambits by Bach and later canonical composers, including Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Chopin, Scriabin, Rachmaninoff, and Shostakovich.
The Predominant V4/2
Daniel B. Stevens, University of Delaware
Abstract: Bach’s Prelude from the Suite for Solo Violoncello in G Major (Example 1) leads up to an exhilarating V42 chord in m. 22, one that Stevens (2014) has described as a “crisis” due to the inability of the cellist to resolve the dissonant C in the bass down by step. This paper develops an alternative reading of this harmony by considering similar moments in works by J.S. Bach where structural cadential dominants are preceded not by conventional predominant harmonies (e.g. IV, II, applied V or viio) but by an alternative chord that harmonizes ^4 in the bass: the V42. By putting bass scale-step in conflict with chordal structure and dissonance, Bach assigns this inverted dominant seventh a new functional identity and alternative voice-leading resolutions that are at odds with the narrow description given this chord in modern music theory textbooks.
Using voice-leading, register, texture, and harmonic analysis, this paper examines the predominant V42’s characteristic features, including: (1) ^4 in the bass moves directly (up) toward the cadential ^5 that marks the onset of the structural cadential dominant; (2) the chord usually proceeds directly toward the cadential dominant; (3) the dissonant ^4 may be transferred to an upper voice for resolution; (4) the rhetorical force of the harmony typically derives from registeral emphasis of ^4 in the bass and temporal emphasis of the harmony (e.g. fermata); and (5) the anticipatory quality and cadential proximity of this predominant overrides the chord’s common voice-leading tendencies.
Dissonant Triads and Two-Stage Operations in Neo-Riemannian Theory
William O’Hara, Gettysburg College
Abstract: Augmented triads play a key role in contemporary models of chromatic voice-leading: as equal divisons of the octave, they act as scaffolding for one of the most influential maps of major and minor triads: Richard Cohn’s “hyper-hexatonic system” and its analogue, Jack Douthett & Peter Steinbach’s (1998) “Cube Dance.” However, diminished triads have often been ignored by contemporary models of chromatic voice-leading. This presentation develops the idea of a two-stage operation, characterizing the canonical Relative (R) and the frequently-cited Slide (S) transformations as chords that move between two consonant triads via an intermediate dissonant one. Relative moves around the perimeter of the Cube Dance space, connecting triads in adjacent regions via intermediate augmented triads. Slide, however, is capable of moving by either an augmented triad or a diminished triad. While theorists have often excluded Slide from the “canonical” PLR group, a conception based on voice-leading distance via intermediary dissonant triads grants Slide an equal status beside the other three, and incorporates the often-neglected diminished triad into contemporary models of chromatic voice-leading.
Strauss and the Supertonic: Integrating Thoroughbass Approaches with
Conventional Tonal Theory in Late Nineteenth-Century Harmonic Analysis
Kyle Hutchinson, University of Toronto
Abstract: Nineteenth-century harmonic methodologies, both contemporary and historic, focus almost exclusively on chromatic transformations of diatonic precedents (e.g. Riemann , Kopp ). This paper proposes that approaches to nineteenth-century tonal syntaxes need not rely solely on chromatic transformations, and suggests combining thoroughbass practice with more conventional fundamental bass and Stufentheorie practices to account for certain perplexing late nineteenth-century extensions to harmonic syntax.
My approach adapts Schenker’s concept of the roothood-tendency of the lowest tone, which suggests an inclination to “assume root-value for each lowest tone” (Schenker, 1910). I term the most basic version of this approach the abnegated-sixth chord (after Hatten, 1994). I argue that despite appearing as conventional first-inversion triads with a 6/3 figured bass, tonal-prolongational conventions and intrinsic musical cues suggest that the sixths in these chords are not functioning as chordal roots, as they would under inversion theory. Instead, they act comparably to what Weber (1832) and Kirnberger (1771-79) term “non-essential” dissonances, substituting for the expected fifth above the bass in a manner similar to how theorists such as Zarlino (1558; Lester 1974) or Albrechtsberger (1791) understood six-three sonorities (Wason, 1985). I use this framework as a context for analyzing Strauss’ harmonic syntax, focusing on applications to supertonic functions in increasingly complex situations, conclude by suggesting that integrating thoroughbass perspectives into conventional sonority-centric tonal approaches generates a productive lens through which to analyze extensions to common-practice tonality, while maintaining the ability of such chords to promulgate conventional tonal-prolongational processes—a step towards reconciling extended tonality with common-practice procedures.
Harmony in Elliott Carter’s Late Music
John Link, William Paterson University
Abstract: From around 1995 until his death in 2012, Elliott Carter retooled his formerly complex harmonic practice in order to make his composing both more efficient and more flexible. That the two all-interval tetrachords (AITs) and the all-trichord hexachord (ATH) were Carter’s primary harmonic focus in these years is well known. But, as many analysts have discovered, the rich and varied harmonic relationships that strike so many listeners in this body of work are not always easy to relate to these three “core harmonies.” In this paper, I propose a way of doing so via a secondary category – “derived core harmonies” – formed by aggregation of the three “primary core harmonies” with and without common tones. The result is a compact yet comprehensive harmonic vocabulary of five-, six-, seven-, and eight-element set classes that readily accounts for passages in Carter’s late music in which the core harmonies are not easily inferable, and provides a more general theoretical context for Marguerite Boland’s “’linking’ and ‘morphing’,” Stephen Heinemann’s work on Carter’s “interval technique,” and Guy Capuzzo’s “combination sets” – three significant contributions to Carter analysis in recent years. Classifying Carter’s harmonies as “core,” “derived core,” and “non-core” provides a means of distinguishing between referential and non- referential harmonies, and thus a basis for identifying harmonic tension, ambiguity, and the expectation of return. It also facilitates multi-layered harmonic analyses of Carter’s late compositions, transpiring across multiple time scales.
1:45-2:45 Keynote Address
The Sky is Not Blue, and Teaching Traditional Harmony
L. Poundie Burstein, CUNY
Music theory students and teachers alike have long complained about the sterile harmony exercises that are a staple of most music theory classes. With glee, people love to point out how works by master composers frequently feature elements that are forbidden in exercises, thereby seeming to prove the ineptitude of the arcane harmony rules forced upon generations of students. Considering the glaring divide between compositional practice and the guidelines for these exercises, are there truly any benefits for continuing to teach in this old-fashioned manner?
This presentation shall argue that there is, and that understanding the proper aims and goals of teaching traditional harmony exercises addresses issues that lie at the very heart of harmony and its pedagogy.
3:00-4:00 Long Paper Session 3: J.S. Bach
Bach, Rotational Form, and the Galant
John Paul Ito, Carnegie Mellon University
Abstract: According to Laurence Dreyfus, Bach focused almost exclusively on the ‘what’ of contrapuntal operations performed on discrete musical objects; the ‘when’ of the ordering of those objects held minimal interest for Bach and should for us as well. This viewpoint has been influential; for Karol Berger it is foundational for his argument about time in eighteenth-century music.
But Dreyfus’s claim about the temporal ordering of events does not hold for all of Bach’s output. In a few movements from the harpsichord concertos, Bach employs rotations in Hepokoski and Darcy’s sense, units in which a fixed sequence of musical events recurs in the same order but with differing key relationships. BWV 1055iii and 1061i (Dreyfus’s central example of atemporality in ritornello form) are both based on modified da capo aria forms, and the rotations are the extended solos that stand in for the A-section strophes. BWV 1056 goes further: it is not a modified da capo, and the rotations encompass multiple solo/ritornello alternations and multiple major cadences.
Where did this innovation come from? Was Bach anticipating later stylistic developments, fitting a pattern described by Martin Geck? Or was Bach influenced by galant developments in the da capo aria and concerto, in which multiple solos (with differing key profiles) used the same sequence of thematic material, a possibility that would significantly adjust hypothesized dates of composition for BWV 1055 and 1056? Only further study of better-dated compositions can answer this question.
Quasi-Sequences in Bach: A Case Study in the Relation Between Technique
Mark Anson-Cartwright, Queens College; The Graduate Center, CUNY
Abstract: Theorists and historians of 18th-century music have long been interested in the relation between compositional technique and expression. A characteristically Bachian expressive phenomenon is a sequence or quasi-sequence that gradually ascends, culminating in the global melodic peak for the piece. One contemporary of Bach with an interest in such phenomena is Johann Walther, who defines the term Climax (or Gradatio) with reference to immediate repetition of a passage at progressively higher pitches. The passages considered in this paper relate to both Walther’s notion of Climax and Joel Lester’s thesis concerning “heightening levels of activity” in Bach’s music, namely, the principle that material first stated at the opening of a piece usually returns later, but reworked into more complex form. Yet Lester does not draw any necessary link between “heightening levels of activity” and sequential technique. This paper argues that Bach’s way of combining sequential and non-sequential material can have a powerful expressive effect that a strict use of sequence would not produce. Among the examples discussed are the Fugues in F minor and G minor from WTC I, and the organ chorale “Kyrie, Gott heiliger Geist” from Clavierübung III.
4:00-5:00 Long Paper Session 4
A Tale of Three Alexanders: Who Wrote Alexander Malcolm’s Chapter 13?
Paula Telesco, University of Massachusetts Lowell
Abstract: Alexander Malcolm (1685-1763) was a remarkable man who published not only a monumental treatise on music theory, but also several math treatises, a bookkeeping treatise, and a Latin rudiments book, all of which were influential during his lifetime, and are still highly regarded today.
Malcolm published his Treatise of Musick in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1721, one year before Rameau published his Traité de l’harmonie. This was the first important work on music theory published in Scotland, and established Malcolm’s musical reputation, influencing theorists and historians for almost 100 years, both in Europe and in the American colonies. Sir John Hawkins deemed it "one of the most valuable treatises on the subject of theoretical and practical music to be found in any of the modern languages."
Today, Malcolm’s chp. 13 is often cited by music theorists as anticipating the writings of Rameau. However, Malcolm’s Introduction states: “Justice demands [that I] inform you that the 13 Ch. of the following Book was communicated to me by a Friend, whose Modesty forbids me to name.” Who was this friend? To determine that, one must first determine the author or authors of two rare anonymous contemporaneous treatises, remarkably similar to each other, and one nearly identical to Malcolm’s Chp. 13. Several writers have speculated on possible authors, two in particular, Alexander Baillie and Alexander Bayne, but none have provided actual evidence. I have identified the author of these two hitherto-anonymous treatises, and he is none other than the “modest” friend of Malcolm’s.
But We’re Not in Zombie Mode: Meter and Selected Attention in Greek
Orthodox Movement and Music
Rosa Abrahams, Ursinus College
Abstract: “I don’t place myself in zombie mode,” said Greek Orthodox priest,
Father “Theodoros,” in discussing how he simultaneously pays attention and does
not pay attention to the music around him when conducting a service (Interview,
February 2017). In this paper, I explore ways in which clergy understand and
perform the chanted liturgies of the Greek Orthodox church and resultant instances
of physical/sonic selective attention. Greek Orthodox chant may be understood as
semi-metered: music allowing for varying levels of entrainment to meter on the
part of the listener and/or performer. When considered alongside the ritual
movements of the priest and concurrent sonic ritual events, an asynchronous
relationship is unveiled (understood as a state where one is not actively attending
to synchronization or lack of synchronization [Warren-Crow 2011]). Through
interviews and service observations of Greek Orthodox priests practicing in the
Chicago area, I explore complex metrical moments occurring between worshipping
bodies and the sonic environment, as well as between distinct metrical streams
occurring solely within the sonic environment. I employ the concepts of procedural
memory and selective attention, both of which were also referenced in my clergy
interviews. All of my analyses are informed by ethnography and embodied
analysis, and aim to contribute to understandings of meter in embodied worship
and Greek Orthodox chant.
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