Join us next week as we discuss the dissertation proposal materials of Lauren Eldridge and Chaz Lee! In this special session of the workshop, the time will be split between the two documents/presenters, with ample space to discuss each. As always, there will be food and drink to enjoy, along with vibrant discussion!
The documents are available on the download page of the website (see the right sidebar of the page), with the password propose.
NB: The workshop will take place in the room NEXT DOOR to the usual spot, in room 802 of Logan. Same bat time as usual, 4:30–6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 23.
In music schools throughout Haiti, women perform pedagogy through participation in mizik klasik. This genre encompasses both compositions in the style of Western European art music and traditional Haitian melodies. As composers, teachers, performers, students, and archivists, these women offer a sonic counterpoint to a media narrative that defines Haiti as “the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere.” They present Haiti as one of the first contemporary republics, among them the only nation governed in independence by formerly enslaved Africans. They also insist that Haitians are diverse in class position and religious affiliation, but that they share a rich cultural heritage. In this dissertation, I urge a close listening to a group heretofore subsumed in a mythically undifferentiated nation. I call attention to women who perform, teach, and learn mizik klasik, while negotiating a politics of respectability. I argue that they are rewriting mizik klasik by including themselves in its history, a history vital to modern perceptions of Haiti. They perform this pedagogical work through the gift of music.
I’m interested in the persistence of attachments to Western classical music in many places around the world. I think that what the category of the “classical” means is still up for grabs, especially as a mass-mediated and transnationally circulating aesthetic that overflows the bounds of a delimited canonic repertory and that can be found, for instance, in the soundtracks of different national cinemas, Korean, American, French, Indian, etc. One of my presuppositions is therefore that the persistence of the classical has not only to do with an attachment to specific musical content but also with the particular affective structure of that attachment. This structure pertains to how certain conventions come to be sensed and experienced as emphatically conventional through the affirmation of a shared space inhabited by subjects united in a common fantasy of being common. The pre-circulated case study is a first stab at giving this cosmopolitan generality a specific shape, to be followed by other close-readings and some fieldwork.
See you there!
Ana and Chelsea
This week’s workshop takes us to the life of a medieval monastery in Sweden. PhD candidate Michelle Urberg will present part of her dissertation work on musical literacy in the Vadstena abbey in the fifteenth century.
We hope you can join us! Paper available on the downloads page (see right menu).
Welcome back from spring break! Mark your calendars: this quarter is chock full of fabulous workshops with presentations ranging from proposals to dissertation materials to postdoc research and a guest presenter. As usual, all sessions will take place on Wednesdays from 4:30 to 6:00 p.m. in the Logan Terrace Seminar Room (801). Join us for delicious food and drink, and fabulous conversation of course!
Guest Presenter: Daphne Tan, Indiana University
“Ernst Kurth on Form and Erformung“
“Liturgical Accretions, Manuscript Production, and the Female Scribes at Vadstena Abbey”
Daniel Callahan, Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow
“In Search of Lost Movement”
A Pair of Proposals
“The Voice under Erasure at Darmstadt and beyond”
See you there!
Ana and Chelsea
Ernst Kurth on Form and Erformung
Join us for the first session of the spring quarter this year. Prof. Daphne Tan from Indiana University Bloomington will present on early-twentieth century music theory.
The session will take place in Logan 801, from 4:30 to 6 pm. Prof. Tan’s paper-in-progress can be found on the downloads page (see menu on the right).
Prof. Tan writes:
This paper investigates Ernst Kurth’s ideas about musical form as they are expressed in his final monograph, Musikpsychologie (1931). Under the purview of “form” falls much more than present-day treatments of the subject would suggest. Specifically, Kurth’s notion of Erformung (shaping) provides a crucial perspective from which to view his earlier analyses. Those familiar with Kurth’s prior treatises may recognize his trademark metaphorical concepts. Others may be surprised to discover that he addresses traditional Formenlehren and rhythmic theories head on. In light of the ideas Kurth presents in 1931, this paper looks back at his work in Bruckner (1925). It will also compare Kurth’s perspective with those of two well-known contemporaries: Alfred Lorenz and Hugo Riemann.
Come chat with PhD candidate Peter Smucker about the chamber music of Elliott Carter. Peter will be presenting ideas from the second chapter of his dissertation.
The pre-circulated text as well as a link to audio examples can be found in the downloads page (menu on the right).
Indian Summer in Times of War? Richard Strauss’ Last Opera.
Guest speaker from Germany Dörte Schmidt will present some work she is looking to expand. She investigates how Capriccio, Richard Strauss’ last opera can be read in its historical context. Capriccio was premiered in 1942 under the patronage of Joseph Goebbels.
The workshop will take place in Logan 801 from 4:30 to 6 pm, please join us. You can find the pre-circulated text in the downloads page (menu on right).
Dear members of the MHT Workshop:
We cordially invite you to our next session, featuring postdoctoral fellow Jonathan Lee. The meeting will take place on Feb 12 at 4:30, Logan 801.
The pre-circulated reading is available in our blog with the password Handel. Jonathan has also provided an abstract to get a preview (pasted below).
Please join us!
Chelsea and Ana.
“The Ligaments of Love”:
Men of Feeling, Religious Sentimentalism, and Joseph and His Brethren
Jonathan Rhodes Lee
Of all Handel’s oratorios, Joseph and His Brethren (1744) is the one most frequently associated with the sentimentalism so popular among mid-eighteenth-century authors and playwrights. The libretto by James Miller bears the marks of contemporary sentimental drama, with its tearful family tableaux and moral precepts issued by the faultless protagonist, a man of feeling who continually weeps, displaying his sensitive, ardent empathy. Scholars have frequently critiqued this sentimental hero, complaining of his “static” characterization (Paula O’Brien) and his “tearful sensibility worthy of [Laurence] Sterne” (Winton Dean). Duncan Chisholm and Ruth Smith have both attempted to soften these critical blows by claiming that beyond this sentimentalism lay a more exciting political symbolism; they see Robert Walpole lurking behind Joseph, the Egyptian “Prime Minister,” and posit that Joseph’s sensitive goodness contrasted with the distinctly unsympathetic portrayal of Walpole during the 1740s. Yet by the time that Joseph premiered, Walpole had been out of office for two years, and even Smith admits that such political readings are “opaque.” I offer an alternative explanation for the roots of the protagonist’s lachrymosity. Miller penned not only plays bitingly satirizing his contemporaries, but also sermons embracing the Latitudinarian viewpoints prevalent among religious writers of his time. Such ministers focused on benevolence and empathy, proclaiming this approach as a new and defining feature of contemporary Anglicanism. Like those of his like-minded contemporaries, Miller’s published sermons (as well as his libretto) advocated an ideal person whose love and empathy culminate in ardent fellow-feeling. R. S. Crane once proposed that the most influential models for the culture of sentiment lay not in secular philosophy, but in such Latitudinarian teachings. This religious outlook was intimately connected to the man of feeling whom Miller proffered as an exemplar for his Handelian audiences. To take seriously the sentimentalism of Joseph reminds us that Handel’s oratorios were not only political allegories, but also works that aimed to touch the private lives of the men and women of feeling for whom (and by whom) they were written.
Please join us for the second workshop of this winter. Shawn Keener (music history) will present a chapter of her dissertation on fifteenth- and sixteenth-century Venetian song.
The workshop will take place at 4:30 pm in Logan 801. The respondent will be PhD candidate Kelli Wood, from the Art History Department.
The document is available on the Downloads page, with the password Venice.
Naming the giustiniana
In this chapter, I’ll be accounting for the popular song style (or form, or genre) known as a giustiniana in its new, Cinquecento guises. Taking its name from the Venetian patrician, humanist, poet, and singer Leonardo Giustinian (c.1388-1446), the aria giustiniana flourished in the Quattrocento. Also known as the aria veneziana and most at home in the unwritten tradition, the giustiniana largely goes to ground in the Cinquecento, erupting into now-visible written and printed forms only sparingly over the course of the century.
As a frame for understanding how the genre continued to carry meaning as an index of venezianità, I’ll consider how composers, writers, and editors described and deployed this sort of song. Giustinian himself, whose eponymous aria was most often in the form of a canzonetta (long and strophic), came to be rebranded in print from the 1490s to about 1520 as a strambottist, even while notated giustiniane make their first published appearance in 1505 (before disappearing again for sixty years).
When the giustiniana appears in print in the 1560s, it does so in the context of a reinvigorated interest in dialect literature as well as the emerging professional theater known as commedia dell’arte. Though the terms aria veneziana and aria giustiniana were synonymous for most of the phenomenon’s two century arc, the first examples in print actually cast them as very different animals. Another name crops up in the course of things in 1570… “zorziana” which also has a story to tell.
Hung upon this framework is a discussion the music, focusing on the two anthologies of 1570 and 1575. Just as the names seem a simple matter but actually have more to tell us than meets the eye, so too does the unprepossessing music reveal something of the social contexts both public and private in which the genre was renewed.
A collaboration from Prof. Hoeckner to our January 8 session, this is a handy-dandy brief guide to abstract writing.
Abstract review session. Several students and members of our faculty will enrich each other with feedback to previously submitted abstracts for upcoming conferences.
Shawn Keener, “Naming the Giustiniana.” Venetian song and print culture in the sixteenth century.
Jonathan Lee, “Music, Morality, and Masculinity in Eighteenth-Century Britain.”
Dörte Schmidt – Title TBD
Peter Smucker – Sonic Cues in Late Chamber Works of Elliott Carter
All sessions to take place in Logan 801, 4:30-6:00 PM.