RMA 50th Annual Conference in Leeds
In this section:
THE PETER LE HURAY LECTURE
Alexander Rehding (Harvard University), ‘Music-Theoretical Instruments’
Derek Scott (University of Leeds), chair
THE EDWARD J. DENT MEDAL PRESENTATION AND LECTURE
Elizabeth Eva Leach (University of Oxford), ‘Sonic Tears: Machaut and Consolation’
Margaret Bent (University of Oxford), chair
RMA 50th Annual Conference
School of Music, University of Leeds
4–6 September 2014
THURSDAY 4 SEPTEMBER
09:30 – 11:00 Refreshments
09:30 – Registration
10:30 – 11:00 Welcome
12.30 – 18.30 Exhibits
11:00 – 12:30 THURSDAY LATE MORNING SESSIONS
A. Panel: London 1800–1851: Intrusion and Importation (LT4)
Roger Parker (King’s College London), convener and chair
Jonathan Hicks (King’s College London), ‘London Promenades, c.1840’
Oskar Cox Jensen (King’s College London), ‘Interlopers or Innovators? Foreigners on the Streets of London after 1815’
James Grande (King’s College London), ‘Amelia Alderson Opie Sings’
B. Music, Religion and Social Identity (LT3)
Elaine Kelly (University of Edinburgh), chair
Lorenzo Candelaria (University of Texas at El Paso), ‘Bernardino de Sahagún’s Psalmodia christiana and Catholic Formation among the Mexica in Sixteenth-Century New Spain’
Stephen Muir (University of Leeds), ‘East European Synagogue Music in the Cape of Good Hope: Music, Memory and Migration in the Transnational Experiences of Two Jewish Cantor-Composers’
Yoel Greenberg (Bar-Ilan University), ‘“These are your Gods, Oh Israel”: Schoenberg’s Moses und Aron and Houston Chamberlain’s Foundations of the Nineteenth Century’
C. Music, Politics and Ideology (LT1)
Bryan White (University of Leeds), chair
David Hunter (University of Texas at Austin), ‘Handel, Slavery and a Responsibility for Music History’
Lars Helgert (Georgetown University), ‘The ‘“Horst Wessel Lied” as Nazi Imagery and Displacement in Two Later Works by Lukas Foss’ CANCELLED BECAUSE OF ILLNESS
Rachel Cowgill (University of Huddersfield), ‘Tommy’s Tunes? Singing, Identity and the Politics of Representation among British Troops at the Western Front’
12:30 – 14:30 Lunch (sandwiches/light meals available on and off campus)
12:30 – 14:30 RMA Council meeting
12:30 – 13:30 RILM Presentation (Lunch provided for those attending this presentation)
14:30 – 16:00 THURSDAY AFTERNOON SESSIONS
D. Panel: New Perspectives on Jazz in Britain c.1919–1945 (LT4)
Bob Lawson-Peebles (University of Exeter), ‘The Meaning of Jazz and the Assault on Maidenhead’
Catherine Tackley (Open University), convener, ‘Rhythm Clubs: Ideals and Realities’
Will Studdert (University of Kent), ‘“Vitamin J” – British Jazz as Medicine and Poison in World War II’
E. Opera in Parma, Milan and Naples (LT1)
Julian Rushton (University of Leeds), chair
David Charlton (Royal Holloway, University of London), ‘Duni’s French Opera for Parma’
Cormac Newark (University of Ulster), ‘Opera as History: Rovani’s Cento anni (1856–1864)’
Zoey Cochran (McGill University), ‘A Study in Scarlatti: Music, Politics and Neapolitan Comic Opera’
F. Panel: The National and Transnational in Finnish Music (LT3)
Vesa Kurkela (Sibelius Academy), convener and chair
Saijaleena Rantanen (Sibelius Academy), ‘Transnational Agents of the Early Music Festivals in Late Nineteenth-Century Finland’
Olli Heikkinen (Sibelius Academy), ‘Successes and Failures in Transfer: Theodor Sörensen in Finland’
Markus Mantere (Sibelius Academy), ‘Musicology as a National Discipline in Early Twentieth-Century Finland’
16:00 – 16:30 Refreshments
16:30 – 17:30 THE PETER LE HURAY LECTURE (CCCH)
Alexander Rehding (Harvard University), ‘Music-Theoretical Instruments’
Derek Scott (University of Leeds), chair
17:30 – 18:30 Ashgate Publishing Reception (Foyer)
Launch of the new Ashgate Screen Music Series and Music and Material Culture Series
RMA 50th Annual Conference
School of Music, University of Leeds
4–6 September 2014
FRIDAY 5 SEPTEMBER
09:15 – Registration
09:30 – 10:30 FRIDAY MORNING SESSIONS
G. Expressive Gesture and Embodied Cognition (LT4)
Kia Ng (University of Leeds), chair
Adriana Ponce (Illinois Wesleyan University), ‘Form, Diversity and Desire in Schumann’s Fantasie op. 17: An Interpretation in Terms of Formal Function and Expressive Gesture’
Kevin O’Regan (City College, Norwich), ‘Sonate, que me trouves-tu?: Instrumental Music and Embodied Cognition in Eighteenth-Century French Aesthetic Theory’
H. The Exotic and the Sublime in French Opera (LT1)
Helen Greenwald (New England Conservatory), chair
Jacek Blaszkiewicz (Eastman School of Music), ‘Auber’s Greek Aida: The “Exotic Slave-Girl” as Archetype’
Sarah Hibberd (University of Nottingham), ‘Cherubini’s Médée: “A sublime enchantress”’
J. South American Dance Music in Differing Contexts (LT3)
Alexander De Little (University of Leeds), chair
Yuiko Asaba (Royal Holloway, University of London), ‘Invention of Japanese Tango: The Rise of Argentinian Tango in Japan’
Hans Michael Anselmo Hess (University of Bristol), ‘Malandros and Otários: The Use of Samba in Tropa de Elite and Tropa de Elite: O inimigo agora é outro’
10:30 – 11:00 Refreshments
11:00 – 12:30 FRIDAY LATE MORNING SESSIONS
K. Panel: Words, Images, Notation: Crossing Boundaries in Medieval Music (LT1)
Margaret Bent (University of Oxford), convener and chair
Ardis Butterfield (Yale University), ‘Beyond Music? The Social Drama of the Text in Medieval Song’
Helen Deeming (Royal Holloway, University of London), ‘Silent Music, Static Time: Musical Notation in Medieval Images’
Mark Everist (University of Southampton), ‘Vernacular Contexts for the Monophonic Motet: Notes from a New Source’
L. Panel: Street Music in the Late Nineteenth Century: Performance, Reception and Historiography (LT4)
Alison Rabinovici (University of Melbourne), ‘“Virtuosi of the Kerbstone”: Itinerant Italian Musicians in Australia and the Transition from Street to Stage’
Christine Mercer (University of Melbourne), ‘Marie Hall (1884–1956): A Family Association with Street Music’
Paul Watt (Monash University), convener, ‘Documenting London Street Cries, 1880–1920: The Ethnographer, the Historiographer and the Politics of Authorship’
M. Panel: The Music of Thomas Adès: Current Directions in Scholarship (LT3)
Emma Gallon (Independent Scholar), ‘Allusion (Illusion?) in Thomas Adès’s The Tempest’
Philip Rupprecht (Duke University), ‘Chasing Away Respectability: The Rule of Parody in Adès’s Powder her Face’
Drew Massey (Binghamton University), co-convener, ‘Notes on Adèsian Dialectics’
Edward Venn (University of Leeds), co-convener, ‘Adès’s Musical Body’
12:30 – 13:30 Lunch (sandwiches/light meals available on and off campus)
13:30 – 14:20 Research Presentation with software demonstration and performance in Clothworkers’ Centenary Concert Hall: ‘The Significance of Technical Research in the Study of Electroacoustic Music: A Perspective from the TaCEM Project’ (Michael Clarke and Frédéric Dufeu, University of Huddersfield, and Peter Manning, Durham University)
14:30 – 16:00 FRIDAY AFTERNOON SESSIONS
N. Panel: Popular Music and Gender in a Transcultural Context (LT4)
Stan Hawkins (University of Oslo), convener; and Mats Johansson (University of Oslo), ‘Scandinavian Transcultural Spaces’
Jon Mikkel Broch Ålvik (University of Oslo), ‘Scratching the Surface: Marit Larsen and Marion Ravn – Staging Authenticity, Faking Naïvety and Flaunting Banality’
Birgitte Sanve (University of Oslo), ‘Staging the “Real”: Identity Politics and Urban Space in Contemporary Norwegian Rap Music’
O. Panel: Constructing the Opera Singer’s Identity in the Eighteenth Century (LT1)
Melania Bucciarelli (Norwegian University of Science and Technology), ‘“Farò il possibile per vincer l’animo di M.o Handel” (I will do my best to win over Maestro Handel’s heart): Arsace (1721) and Senesino’s arrival in London’
Anne Desler (University of Edinburgh), ‘“Il nuovo Orfeo”: Farinelli’s Role in the Creation of his Myth’
Susan Aspden (University of Oxford), convener, ‘“Sancta Cæcilia rediviva”: The Mythic Elizabeth Linley’
P. Panel: Time and Space in the Music of the Twentieth Century and Beyond (LT3)
Ellen Davies (University of Oxford) and James Archer (Durham University), co-conveners
Joshua B. Mailman (Columbia University), ‘Time’s Duality and Androgyny of Musical Flow’
Gascia Ouzounian (Queen’s University Belfast), ‘Hearing with Two Ears at Once’
Bryn Harrison (University of Huddersfield), ‘Receiving the Approaching Memory: Experiencing Time in My Recent Music’
16:00 – 16:30 Refreshments
16:30 – 18:00 ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING (CCCH)
THE EDWARD J. DENT MEDAL PRESENTATION AND LECTURE (CCCH)
Elizabeth Eva Leach (University of Oxford), ‘Sonic Tears: Machaut and Consolation’
Margaret Bent (University of Oxford), chair
18:00 – 19:00 Routledge, Taylor and Francis Reception (Foyer). A glass of wine and a slice of the RMA’s 140th anniversary cake.
19:30 Conference Meal (University House) (Separate booking required)
RMA 50th Annual Conference
School of Music, University of Leeds
4–6 September 2014
SATURDAY 6 SEPTEMBER
09:15 – Registration
09:30 – 10:30 SATURDAY MORNING SESSIONS
Q. Musical Conversation and Musical Humour (LT4)
George Kennaway (University of Hull), chair
James William Sobaskie (Mississippi State University), ‘Conversations within and between Two Early Lieder of Schubert’
Annie Hanlon (University of Newcastle), ‘Funny Methodologies: Analysing Comic Structure in Music’
R. Subjectivity and Identity in Music (LT3)
Martin Shaw (Leeds College of Music), chair
Yonatan Bar-Yoshafat (Cornell University), ‘The Limits of Subjectivity? Self-Reflexive Manifestations in C. P. E. Bach’s E minor Keyboard Concerto Wq. 15/H.418’
Joseph E. Jones (Chinese University of Hong Kong), ‘Unequivocal Ethnic Significations? Instrumentation in Bear McCreary’s Video Game Scores’
S. Reviewing Garcia’s Legacy (Lecture Recital) (CCCH)
Anastasia Belina-Johnson (Royal College of Music), chair
Sarah Potter (University of Leeds), ‘The Traité complet de l’art du chant as a Record of Nineteenth-Century Vocal Style’
10:30 – 11:00 Refreshments
11:00 – 12:30 SATURDAY LATE MORNING SESSIONS
T. Panel: Singing from the Same Hymn Sheet: Making Copyright, Open Access and Creative Commons Work Together for Music Research and Publication (LT1)
Lawrence W. Bebbington (University of Aberdeen), ‘Music and Copyright: The Current UJ Legal Framework’
Chris Banks (Imperial College London), convener, ‘Music Research and Publishing: The Role and Impact of Open Access Publishing’
Mira Sundara Rajan (University of Glasgow), ‘Creative Commons: Its Role in Music Research and Publishing’
U. Panel: Inventare il vero: Italian Musical Realism, 1861–1961 (LT4)
Laura Protano-Biggs (New Zealand School of Music), ‘Banishing the Sentimental Ideal: Political Realism and Musical Performance in Liberal Italy’
Arman Schwartz (University of Birmingham), ‘Puccini, Realism, and Scepticism’
Ben Earle (University of Birmingham), convener, ‘Fascist Realism in Music? The Reception of Goffredo Petrassi’s Salmo IX’
Harriet Boyd (King’s College London), ‘Noisy Legacies’
V. Music and the City (LT3)
Stephen Muir (University of Leeds), chair
Stephen Downes (Royal Holloway, University of London), ‘Szymanowski in Warsaw: Late Chromatic Harmony and Metaphors of Metropolitan Spaces’
Peter Tregear (Australian National University), ‘Staging the City: Max Brand’s Maschinist Hopkins’
George Kennaway (University of Leeds), ‘“Quelle expression! quelle suavité!”: The 1865 Paris Début of the Hungarian Cellist Rosa Szük (1844–1921)’
12:30 – 14:30 Lunch (sandwiches/light meals available on and off campus)
14:30 – 16:00 SATURDAY AFTERNOON SESSIONS
W. Panel: (De)Constructing Histories of Electronic Music (LT4)
James Mooney (University of Leeds), convener, ‘Hugh Davies: His Worldwide Authority and Innovations in the 1960s’
Simon Emmerson (De Montfort University), ‘The Role of EMAS and other Groups in Electronic Music of the 1970s and 80s’
Dorien Schampaert (University of Leeds), ‘The Ondes Martenot in Electronic Music Practice and Discourse’
Y. Music and Literature (LT1)
Richard Brown (University of Leeds), chair
Sarah Collins (University of New South Wales), ‘Political Internationalism and Personal Individualism’: Vaughan Williams, strategies of displacement and Whitman’s double’
Leah Batstone (McGill University), ‘Whose Nietzsche? Mahler and Strauss’s Treatment of Also Sprach Zarathustra’
Michael Allis (University of Leeds), ‘The Musical Refiguring of Shelley: Granville Bantock and The Witch of Atlas’
Z. Intercultural and Transcultural Flows in Music (LT3)
Richard Witts (Edge Hill University), chair
Gavin Lee (Duke University), ‘Postcolonial Affect, or The Logic of Ambiguous Relationality’
Cheong Wai Ling (Chinese University of Hong Kong), ‘Reading Kurth, Hindemith and Schoenberg through Sang Tong – Modernist Approaches to Chinese Pentatonicism in Shanghai’
Eric Schneeman (University of Southern California), ‘Giacomo Meyerbeer, Christoph Gluck, and the “Geschmack des Auslandes”: A Re-evaluation of Meyerbeer’s Cosmopolitan Career in the German Press of the Biedermeier Period’
Thursday 4 September late morning sessions (11:00 – 12:30)
Session A. Panel: London 1800–1851: Intrusion and Importation
(Lecture Theatre 4)
Roger Parker (King’s College London), convener and chair; Jonathan Hicks (King’s College London), Oskar Cox Jensen (King’s College London), James Grande (King’s College London)
London Promenades, c.1840
When the Theatre Royal Lyceum hosted the first of its “Promenade Concerts à la Musard” in 1838, the auditorium was covered over with wood to allow the audience to walk around during performances. Food and drink were available for sale, while the orchestra, led by Signor Negri, served up a delicious variety of overtures, waltzes, and quadrilles freshly imported from the continent. In a city whose pleasure gardens had fallen into disrepute, this bringing indoors of outdoor sensibilities proved a shrewd commercial move. With the arrival in 1840 of showman conductor Adolf Jullien, the concerts became both a prominent fixture of London’s musical calendar and a fashionable point of reference for provincial impresarios. The Lyceum’s success, however, was hardly unexpected: Phillippe Musard, after whom the format was named, had been purveying a similar brand of entertainment in Paris for over five years, while the Vienna of Strauss & Son boasted an even larger market for what would soon be known as “light” music. Neither forbiddingly elite nor dangerously low, neither rarefied nor riotous, this performance model and characteristic repertoire seem to have responded to the demands of an increasingly influential public of artisans, shopkeepers, and low-ranking professionals. Perhaps because of this, the “promenade phenomenon” has of late become a familiar stepping-stone in the history of urban musicking: from our current historical vantage point, “after the great divide,” the story of a middling musical tradition seems particularly worthy of attention. However, the topic might bear further scrutiny: drawing on the British Library’s extensive archives for the initial Lyceum series, and with reference to recent work in cultural anthropology (Ingold and Vergunst, 2008) and literary history (Brant and Whyman, 2007), my paper interprets the bourgeois taste for musical promenades in terms of the production and control of public space. By attending to the metropolitan geography of inattentive listening—to practices of walking, mingling, and decorating stages with pot plants—I argue that the history of middle-class concert-going is inseparable from Victorian attempts to domesticate the natural environment.
Interlopers or Innovators? Foreigners on the Streets of London after 1815
Oskar Cox Jensen
‘I heard zat London was a good place for foreign music.’
– a ‘flaxen-haired’ Hanoverian clarinettist, c.1850
To Victorian bourgeois authors, the narrative was clear: the intolerable noise that plagued their city was the invasion that had succeeded. Napoleon had been repulsed, but with peace, there came Europe’s musical flotsam – and, in later decades, the consequences of imperialism and global trade in the shape of Indian drummers, blackface minstrels and Pandean pipers. Exoticised and vilified, these intruders were blamed for the fall of the stalwart, traditional, manly English ballad singer, as writers from Douglas Jerrold to Charles Manly Smith negotiated a crisis of metropolitan/cosmopolitan identity. Yet this self-consciously modern story of decline and decadence, in a land thus deemed ohne Musik at even the lowest level, was at odds with a popular culture of vibrancy, renewal, and continual assimilation.
This paper deploys a wider array of sources, both of musical production and textual reception, to access the practice of taste and performance on the London street. One emergent theme is, in Mayhew’s words, ‘John Bull’s partiality for foreigners’ – the enthusiasm of a music-hungry working class to embrace the widest possible spectrum of music, socially as well as geographically. This magpie tendency was nothing new in the mid-nineteenth century: it was technology and travel, not taste, that was the root of innovation.
The second, related theme concerns the endangered ballad singer, totemic of the city’s idealised and innocent musical past. Even within the generic confines of the broadside ballad, singers had always facilitated melodic immigration from a range of ‘foreign’, exoticised traditions. The key change here is found to be the incorporation of Scottish and Irish musical rhythms, scales and styles into a repertoire now politicised as familiar and British, when as late as the turn of the century, these had been glamourized as foreign. Later singers were equally prepared to incorporate the German or American into their repertoires: their ‘decline’ being as much a case of embracing new opportunities and identities, as falling from the favour of a fickle public.
Amelia Alderson Opie Sings
Amelia Alderson Opie has conventionally been viewed as a minor figure of Romantic period literary culture, as a novelist, poet, provincial dissenter and sometime member of the Wollstonecraft-Godwin circle. However, the construction of a Romantic canon privileging particular kinds of poetry has obscured the breadth, popularity and circulation of Opie’s output. This included popular songs, hymns, performances and adaptations of her novels, which were often staged and set to music.
This paper will examine the role of song in Opie’s thought and work, relating it to her dissenting religious and political beliefs. In 1801, she described her singing lessons in London with the Italian tenor Giuseppe Viganoni – a frequent performer at the King’s Theatre – who converted her to a belief in the primacy of ‘simple sentimental singing […] His singing is conversation put into sweet sounds’. However, her subsequent conversion to Quakerism led her to renounce both fiction and non-religious music. This paper traces the contested role of music throughout Opie’s career, culminating in Paris in 1830, when, in the early days of the July Revolution, she was ‘in such a state of uncontrollable enthusiasm, all the visions of human perfectibility which the friends of her childhood had associated with the French Revolution rushing on her brain, that while sitting in the boulevards she sang in her clear, brilliant soprano, Fall, tyrants, fall!’ I will argue for the central place of song in Opie’s sentimental poetics, in her contemporary reception, and in metropolitan networks of sociability during the early decades of the nineteenth century.
Session B. Music, Religion and Social Identity (Lecture Theatre 3)
Bernardino de Sahagún’s Psalmodia christiana and Catholic Formation among the Mexica in Sixteenth-Century New Spain
Lorenzo Candelaria (The University of Texas at El Paso)
In 1583, Pedro Ocharte published the first book of vernacular sacred song in the
Americas–the Psalmodia Christiana by Bernardino de Sahagún, a Spanish missionary of the Franciscan Order. Sahagún composed his book of 333 songs in the Nahuatl language during the second half of the sixteenth century to promote the formation of Catholic communities among the Mexica (commonly known as the “Aztecs”). Well-received in its day as a primer on tenets of the faith, the life of Christ, and popular saints, it was denounced by the Inquisition in the eighteenth century. Although Sahagún is best remembered for his General History of Things in New Spain (a monumental anthropological study of Mexica culture), the largely forgotten Psalmodia Christiana is the only work of his published during his lifetime. This paper demonstrates how a close reading of texts in the Psalmodia Christiana reveals an important facet of the understudied legacy of western plainchant traditions in the Christian evangelization of the New World. It focuses in particular on a body of eighteen previously uninventoried Latin hymns that were translated into Nahuatl and weaved into the fabric of this sixteenth-century vernacular songbook. More broadly, this paper repositions the undervalued Psalmodia Christiana as a polished outcome of the anthropological research for which Sahagún is most remembered. It sets in relief his well-informed pastoral sensitivity to Mexica sacred music traditions, which, far from being banished, were folded into the European thrust of the Christian mission in sixteenth-century New Spain.
East European Synagogue Music in the Cape of Good Hope: Music, Memory and Migration in the Transnational Experiences of Two Jewish Cantor-Composers
Stephen Muir (University of Leeds)
The English-dominated Jewish community established in Cape Town, South Africa, in the middle of the nineteenth century was enlarged, expanded and, by the 1930s, increased nearly tenfold by Jews fleeing the former Russian Pale of Settlement. Large numbers of Jews migrated from Russian Poland-Lithuania and Ukraine, escaping pogroms and later the threat of Nazi oppression. Among these migrants were a number of synagogue musicians, cantor-composers who were often also composers. They took with them remnants of the musical traditions of their former homelands, sometimes in the form of original manuscripts of sacred and secular music, often as part of an aural tradition. In this paper I trace the impact of migration on the music of two of these musicians. Froim Spektor, formerly of Rostov-on-Don, became Cantor of Cape Town’s New Hebrew Congregation (the “Roeland Street Shul”) in 1928; around the same time, Samuel Kibel left his post in Kovno to become Assistant Cantor at the Cape Town Hebrew Congregation (the “Gardens Shul”). Drawing upon archival and ethnographic work conducted in the Cape Town Jewish community, and upcoming visits to the archives of the Jewish communities of Rostov-on-Don and Odessa, I compare the impact of migration on these two cantor-composers – the one from a relatively relaxed Orthodox community in Southern Russia, the other from the comparatively austere world of Lithuanian Jewry – examining the musical and religious conflicts, compromises and accommodations necessary for their new lives in the British-led community of Cape Town.
‘These are your Gods, Oh Israel’: Schoenberg’s Moses und Aron and Houston Chamberlain’s Foundations of the Nineteenth Century
Yoel Greenberg (Bar-Ilan University)
Schoenberg’s unfinished opera masterpiece, Moses und Aron is, in the words of Joseph Kerman, “both a Judaic epic and an allegory of the problem of modernist communication with the public.” As a Judaic epic, the opera is seen as the composer’s response to his encounters with anti-Semitism during the 1920’s, and as the beginning of an inner process which culminated in his re-conversion to Judaism a decade later. This research seeks to problematize this view by revealing the manner in which the central symbols of the opera, particularly that of the Golden Calf, played a central part in anti-Semitic discourse in fin de siècle politics, art and literature. Drawing from a wide array of sources, from newspaper caricatures to works of fine art, from private letters to public propaganda and from literary works to newspaper articles, the symbols of the opera are shown to represent the attributed Jewish traits of materialism, opportunism and fickleness, suggesting that the opera may be more confrontational than hitherto believed. Rather than representing a retreat to Judaism following disillusionment with prospects of true emancipation, the opera emerges as a direct attack on anti-Semitism, adopting but re-interpreting contemporary anti-Semitic symbols. Specifically, I claim, the opera reverses Houston Chamberlain’s claims on Jewish creativity in Foundations of the Nineteenth Century. Thus, the opera’s allegoric message on art and its explicit theological content become a unique and exclusive part of a Jewish cultural legacy, intimately related to Schoenberg’s conception of his own art.
Session C. Music, Politics and Ideology (Lecture Theatre 1)
Bryan White (University of Leeds), chair
Handel, Slavery and a Responsibility for Music History
David Hunter (University of Texas at Austin)
Until 2013 no music historian had thought it worthwhile to investigate the ways in which the profits of the slave trade, plantations and trade in slave-produced products were used in Britain and its colonies to support music and musicians. The discovery that George Frideric Handel invested in the Royal African Company in 1720 has triggered the long needed investigation. By exploring the investments of the subscribers to the Royal Academy of Music, the origins of surviving instruments, the account books of ticket buyers and other such evidence, we can begin to see that music, like the other arts and sciences, was supported in part by slavery’s monetary profits. Handel used savings invested in another slaving business, the South Sea Company, to fund his own seasons of opera 1733-39. Given the primacy of the elite as patrons of music and investors in the slave-based economy it is not surprising that many individuals can be shown to have participated in both. Nor is it surprising that such dual involvement has been ignored, occluded or obscured by music historians and biographers. But, as studies in the visual arts and built environment have shown in recent years, some of the profits of slavery were used to create works of lasting aesthetic merit for the privileged few. It is time for music history to recognize, investigate and acknowledge the role played by slavery’s profits in the creation of the objects it studies.
The ‘Horst Wessel Lied’ as Nazi Imagery and Displacement in Two Later Works by Lukas Foss
Lars Helgert (Georgetown University) CANCELLED BECAUSE OF ILLNESS
German-Jewish composer Lukas Foss fled his native Berlin in 1933 after the Nazis’ rise to power. Foss was later successful as a composer in the United States, but this success did not erase the effects of his forced emigration. Foss’s use of the “Horst Wessel Lied,” the official anthem of the Nazi party, in two of his later works (Curriculum Vitae, 1977, for accordion; and Elegy for Anne Frank, for piano and orchestra, 1989) shows that the experience of displacement had a major effect on his life and work. In this paper I will demonstrate how Foss uses the “Horst Wessel” melody in autobiographical and programmatic contexts, which are means of expressing the childhood trauma and identity issues of his forced displacement. The autobiographical references in Curriculum Vitae range from the title and instrumentation to the choice of preexistent music, where “Horst Wessel” appears alongside excerpts from works by Brahms and Mozart that Foss learned in childhood. Foss’s special treatment of “Horst Wessel” in this piece (the melody is marked in the manuscript and texturally emphasized) is a profound statement on the importance of displacement to his artistic origin. In Elegy for Anne Frank, Foss uses “Horst Wessel” as part of a dramatic rendition in music of its protagonist’s life and death. The prominence and orchestration that Foss gives to the Nazi anthem overwhelms a childlike melody that represents Frank, a conception that can also be related to the less extreme effects of the Nazis on Foss’s own childhood.
Tommy’s Tunes? Singing, Identity and the Politics of Representation among British Troops at the Western Front
Rachel Cowgill (University of Huddersfield)
Singing and impromptu performance flourished among the extreme stress, discomfort and boredom of life on the Western Front. Officers encouraged such activities among the troops as a means of lifting morale, of creating entertainment on limited resources, and of sustaining mutual support. In the latter years of the war, when programmes of varied musical and dramatic performances were delivered by concert parties under the aegis of the YMCA and other organisations, there is evidence that some soldiers resented their home-made entertainments taking second place to those of visiting professionals—’unofficial’ performance was both a meaningful and highly valued part of the average tommy’s experiences of warfare.
This paper explores surviving accounts and evidence of tommies singing and performing at the front, and focuses particularly on songbooks published in 1917 by 2nd Lt Frederick Thomas Nettleingham of the Royal Flying Corps—Tommy’s Tunes and More Tommy’s Tunes—which attempted to capture ‘the songs soldiers do sing, not those, like the YMCA song book, that people think they sing or would wish them to sing’. The language, styles and themes that typify these and other soldier songs—some appropriated and modified from other contexts, some made up, some censored for print, and others disseminated in the forms of gramophone records and sheet music—offer insights into the performing personae of the British soldier. The tension between discipline and subversion, the different manifestations of humour and irony, the accommodation of both escapist and realist viewpoints, and in particular the ‘voice’ of the tommy as it emerges in these performances offer some understanding of the role of the language and music of collective song in forging the identity and culture of the First World War Soldier.
Thursday 4 September lunchtime (12:30 – 13:30)
Thursday 4 September afternoon sessions (14:30 – 16:00)
Session D. Panel: New Perspectives on Jazz in Britain c.1919–1945
(Lecture Theatre 4)
Catherine Tackley (Open University), convener; Bob Lawson-Peebles (University of Exeter), Will Studdert (University of Kent)
This themed session brings together some of the latest new work on jazz in Britain. Thanks to the pioneering work of David Boulton, Howard Rye and Jim Godbolt (amongst others), a chronology for the history of the genre in Britain has been established. This has enabled critical work by scholars such as George McKay (Circular Breathing, 2005), Catherine Tackley née Parsonage (The Evolution of Jazz in Britain, 2005) and Hilary Moore (Inside British Jazz, 2007). Since then, significant research projects based in Britain have investigated on the one hand, race as a key theme which runs throughout this historical narrative, and on the other, British jazz within a wider European and transnational context. Subsequently, two forthcoming books – Black British Jazz: Routes, Ownership and Performance and Black Music in Post-World War Two Britain (which puts jazz into a wider musical context) – will pursue the former theme; and book series on transnational jazz studies and the reception of jazz in Europe are being planned to advance the latter. The study of jazz in particular national contexts has advanced rapidly in recent years, not least by exploring the ways in which the music can transcend national borders and stereotypes to reflect the complexities of identity. However, there is a need for the examination of permutations of common themes and concerns to be matched by deep and specific studies which enable the continued interrogation and enrichment of the accepted chronology and understanding of jazz within particular local situations (especially outside major cities).
The papers in this session revisit the early part of British jazz history (c. 1919-1945) from different academic perspectives, re-examining and critiquing key sources and assumptions to investigate the meaning of jazz in particular geographical and historical contexts. Lawson-Peebles takes an oft-cited starting point – Canon Drummond’s 1919 pronouncement on jazz – to examine the reactions to jazz in the Berkshire town of Maidenhead. Catherine Tackley considers the regular (as opposed to exceptional) activities of the network of Rhythm Clubs which contributed to the sustained presence of the jazz across the country in this period. Finally, Will Studdert analyses the complex contradictions surrounding the role of jazz in the Second World War.
The Meaning of Jazz and the Assault on Maidenhead
Bob Lawson-Peebles (University of Exeter)
This paper will discuss the first impact of a cosmopolitan cultural form, Jazz, on Maidenhead, the town on the Thames upriver from London. Its starting point is a widely-reported 1919 speech by a senior Anglican vicar, Arthur Hislop Drummond, protesting that the appearance of a Jazz-Band at a Maidenhead dance was a “symptom” of “a very grave disease … infesting the country.” Drawing particularly on a local weekly journal, The Maidenhead Advertiser, this paper will try to explain Drummond’s resort to the language of pathology. Maidenhead’s convenient railway connection with London made it an early recipient of what could be called “invasions of the modern.” They were, in turn: its use as an Edwardian playground; as a recuperation-centre for the wounded from the Western Front; as a reception area for refugees from the 1917-1918 bombing of London’s largely Jewish East End; and finally as a return to a recreation area, but now to the accompaniment of a musical form perceived as “alien.” Maidenhead, therefore, is an exceptional site for analysing the intersection between such international military and political events as the First World War and the Bolshevik Revolution; and local responses to changing fashions in music and dance.
Rhythm Clubs: Ideals and Realities
In June 1933 a letter to Melody Maker from one James P. Holloway suggested the formation of ‘hot circles’, similar to literary circles, where record collections could be shared and discussed. With support from the magazine, the first British ‘Rhythm Club’, known as ‘The Melody Maker Club No. 1’, was formed and met in premises in the West End of London. The phenomenon spread rapidly across the country and by May 1935, when the British Federation of Rhythm Clubs was established, there were 90 clubs in existence. As well as ‘record recitals’ (illustrated talks), club meetings also featured live performances and the Federation published the periodicals Swing Music and Hot News and Rhythm Record Review.
Rhythm Clubs are frequently cited in the literature on jazz in Britain (and elsewhere in Europe) but their regular (as opposed to exceptional) activities and their influence on perceptions, understanding and development of the music, especially outside London, have not yet been considered in depth. The clubs provided the location for fascinating interactions between musicians and enthusiasts, residents and visitors, professional and amateur performers, and live and recorded music, not to mention foregrounding debates on authenticity, art and commerce in relation to jazz. This paper will explore the role of Rhythm Clubs in the capital, suburbs and ‘provinces’ of Britain until the end of World War Two. In particular, the paper will assess the relationship between the ideals of the Rhythm Clubs as presented in the Federation’s publications and how these manifested themselves on a local level.
‘Vitamin J’ – British Jazz as Medicine and Poison in World War II
This paper will explore the two key roles played by British jazz during World War II: as a bolster to civilian and military morale on the one hand, and as a means of attracting enemy listeners to demoralizing propaganda and news reports on the other. Music was referred to as ‘Vitamin M’ by Wing Commander O’Donnell of the RAF for its ability to lift the nation’s spirits, and the evidence overwhelmingly showed that jazz was the favoured medium of Axis and Allied Forces alike. Firstly it will discuss the contradiction between the BBC’s elitist self-perception as the nation’s cultural educator and the reality of the need to cater to popular tastes in the name of the war effort. The inadvertent jazz education with which the BBC thus provided the nation through specialist programmes such as Radio Rhythm Club – ironically devised by the working-class jazz aficionado Charles Chilton – embodied the BBC’s didactic ideal whilst breaking down social and cultural boundaries. The semi-legal phenomenon of Bottle Parties, an underworld speakeasy culture which often featured residencies by nationally-renowned jazz bands and regularly made the headlines in
Melody Maker, will also be examined in connection with the War’s role in developing jazz culture in Britain. Secondly it will utilize both British and German archival sources to reappraise the work of British propagandist Sefton Delmer and the Political Warfare Executive (PWE). Via counterfeit German soldiers’ stations, PWE broadcast jazz music along with carefully doctored subversive news items produced in conjunction with military intelligence to cause maximum damage to the German war effort. By exploring Britain’s benevolent and malevolent uses of jazz music in tandem, this paper will draw attention to the central role that jazz – or ‘Vitamin J’ – played during World War II as both a medicine and a poison.
Session E. Opera in Parma, Milan and Naples (Lecture Theatre 1)
Julian Rushton (University of Leeds), chair
Duni’s French Opera for Parma
David Charlton (Royal Holloway, University of London)
One of the reformers of eighteenth-century opera was Egidio Duni, half of whose career took place in Italy and the other in France. At the mid-point of this mutation were his years spent in the service of the French court at Parma (1749–1756). Only slightly later, this became the place where Traetta and Frugoni ‘aimed at … a merging of opera seria with tragédie lyrique’ (D. Heartz, ‘Traetta in Parma’, From Garrick to Gluck (2004), p. 277). Duni’s French opera for Parma has usually escaped notice and evaluation, still being classified as a doubtful or inauthentic work: Le Retour au village. Following the pioneering dissertation of Kent M. Smith (‘Egidio Duni’, Cornell University, 1980), this paper adds several justifications for seeing the opera as pivotal. It discusses its publication and the reasons why an imprint should have been issued in 1759; it outlines the activity of the French troupe of Delisle for which Le Retour au village was composed; and introduces the methods by which Duni and his collaborator(s) adapted Favart’s Ninette à la cour for their own purposes.
Opera as History: Rovani’s Cento anni (1856–1864)’
Cormac Newark (University of Ulster)
Histories of Italian literature relegate Giuseppe Rovani to the position of now-forgotten forerunner of the Scapigliati, the bohemians who revolutionized artistic life in Milan from the late 1860s. Similarly, his twenty-volume Cento anni is reduced to a footnote: one of the first serialized novels to be published in Italy. Yet in one respect it remains one of the most important documents of a crucial period in Italian history, reflecting with unique clarity the central place occupied by opera. As Roccatagliati and others have shown, opera was an object of heated debate in 1860s Milan, as men of letters and politicians argued over what the national art might mean for the new nation. This paper will argue that it was also an inevitable trope in literature—though more nostalgic than optimistic. It will trace the connections in Rovani’s text between opera on stage and opera as a way of writing about historical change through what he intriguingly called the ‘unfolding and folding up again’ of music. It will compare Cento anni with later accounts of the Risorgimento and Unification that took it for granted that Italian opera was a necessary tool for understanding narratives of Italian political history. It will seek to show that the enlisting of opera in Italian historicist discourse that is so fascinating to present-day musicologists and Italian politicians alike, far from being a recent phenomenon subject to the elisions and misunderstandings of historical distance, was actually an essential part of telling that story from the beginning.
A Study in Scarlatti: Music, Politics and Neapolitan Comic Opera
Zoey Cochran (McGill University)
During the operatic season 1718-1719, three entirely Tuscan operas were performed at the Teatro dei Fiorentini, a stage dedicated to Neapolitan-language comic opera. Though scholars have offered various explanations for this sudden transition to Tuscan, none of them can account for the genre’s return to Neapolitan in 1719, beyond stating that these Tuscan operas were apparently not a success (Hardie; Robinson; Strohm; Capone). However, Alessandro Scarlatti’s Il trionfo dell’onore was performed eighteen times during this season and defined a “notable success” in Scarlatti scholarship (Boyd; Grout). Focusing on Il trionfo’s music and libretto in the context of both Neapolitan comic opera and Scarlatti’s oeuvre, I offer an alternate explanation for this Tuscan season, tying it to contemporary political events so far omitted in musicological literature. This season coincides with the War of the Quadruple Alliance to which Il trionfo’s libretto refers: the opera’s protagonist Riccardo Albenori’s name greatly resembles that of Spain’s chief minister in charge of the invasion of Sicily, cardinal Giulio Alberoni. Furthermore, Scarlatti’s musical characterization is telling: Albenori’s music is in a comic style, while his lover Leonora’s uses the serious Neapolitan style of Neapolitan comic opera. One of the characteristics of this style is the modification or interruption of the da capo form for expressive purposes. Scarlatti’s Marco Attilio Regolo, composed after Il trionfo, is known for its “interrupted arias,” considered an “exceptional feature of this opera” (Grout). This reveals that a better understanding of Il trionfo can also open new perspectives on Scarlatti’s stylistic developments.
Session F. Panel: The National and Transnational in Finnish Music (Lecture Theatre 3)
Vesa Kurkela (Sibelius Academy), convener and chair; Saijaleena Rantanen (Sibelius Academy), Olli Heikkinen (Sibelius Academy), Markus Mantere (Sibelius Academy)
Four decades preceding the First World War were a singularly vital period in Finnish music history. Almost all institutions of modern musical life – public concerts, symphony orchestras, music theatre, conservatory, academic musicology, music criticism, festivals and all kinds of music business – arose or became established during that period of time. In Helsinki and other bigger towns in Finland, a new type of urban élite was formed, having the ideal of the enlightened Bürger with a sense of collective identity focusing on the public cultural sphere (the press and voluntary associations). According to the earlier methodological nationalism, this process has been called as ‘the birth of national music culture’, where cosmopolitan musical ideal were Finnicized, transformed into local cultural conditions and traditions. The paper highlights an opposite, transnational interpretation, based on the theory of cultural imperialism: Local musical life was actually Germanized and then customized to ‘national’ following Central European models. The focus of the paper is on foreign and indigenous musicians forming a mutual network transforming and transmitting new cosmopolitan ideals, trends and practices to local music life. Many central ideas came from Leipzig and its conservatoire where nearly all the leading Finnish musicians were trained. A couple of examples on the essential ‘agents of change’ will be presented and their role in the cultural transformation analysed.The paper is based on research work in the project Rethinking “Finnish” Music History Transnational construction of musical life in Finland from the 1870s until the 1920s, funded by the Academy of Finland and the Finnish Cultural Foundation.
Transnational Agents of the Early Music Festivals in Late Nineteenth-Century Finland
The first modern music festivals in Finland were organized in 1880’s by the Finnish Association for Popular Education. They had a huge collective significance for the participants socially, musically and ideologically. However, these early festivals have been scarcely studied. The few existing studies have emphasized the national romantic ideology underlying the organization of the festivals – which has most often been the focus of the Finnish music history research in general. My aim is to provide a more diverse picture of the early festivals by a scrutiny of the organizers’ connections to Europe. In fact, the festivals were formed in constant interaction with continental music life, and new aesthetic ideas brought especially from Germany and Estonia by Finnish intellectuals and composers. I argue, that the emergence of the music festivals in Finland was a transnational process, which translated and transformed the European music styles, conventions and performance practices to be a part of the cultural life of Finland. In my presentation I will examine how – and by whom – these networks were constructed, and how they affected the character, substance, and cultural impact of these early music festivals in Finland. This paper is a part of the research project Rethinking Finnish Music History – Transnational Construction of Musical Life in Finland from the 1870s until the 1920s. The project is funded by the Academy on Finland and the Finnish Cultural Foundation.
Successes and Failures in Transfer: Theodor Sörensen in Finland
In the middle of the 19th -century all the important posts in music in Finland were mostly occupied by men born and educated elsewhere, particularly in German-speaking countries. These men brought with them Central European knowledge and competence, which they adapted to local circumstances. Some were more successful, some less. The most successful musician was Hamburg-born Fredrik (Friedrich) Pacius, who came to Finland in 1835 and was subsequently titled “The father of Finnish music”. However, my paper is based on another, less successful case. Theodor Sörensen came to Finland in 1867 in his early twenties. He made his whole musical career in Finland and died in Viipuri in 1914. Among his numerous compositions one can name two symphonies, one symphonic poem and three overtures for orchestra. Despite being the most prolific composer of orchestral music in Finland before Jean Sibelius all the efforts to find his name on historiography of music in Finland are in vain. What went wrong? Why he didn’t succeed in what Pacius did? In my paper I offer three potential answers. First, although he was considered as “one of us” in the newspapers, he was a foreigner by birth, and that was beginning to mean a thing in the end of the 19th-century. Second, he never managed to achieve a position in the capital of Helsinki, the cradle of “national music culture”. Third and perhaps most importantly, he was accused of plagiarizing another Danish composer.
Musicology as a National Discipline in Early Twentieth-Century Finland
A good century before writing this, researching music in Finland was anything but an innocent and disinterested pursuit of knowledge. In Finland, and many other countries in continental Europe, the scholarly emphasis on folk music set its own ideological undertones for the musicological work. Folk music, both as a performed musical idiom but also as an object of scholarly inquiry, gained more and more nationalist meanings towards the end of the 19th century. Through the music’s use in popular mass movements, folk music became heavily associated with movements promoting the Finland’s national and cultural emancipation from Russia, something that ultimately took place in 1917 when Finland gained its independence.
In my presentation, I look at early Finnish musicology, represented here through the work of Martin Wegelius (1846–1906) , Ilmari Krohn (1867–1960) and Otto Andersson (1879–1969), in the context of nation-building that was very much in the air at that time in Finnish academia and arts and letters. The research of folk music was seen in Finland as an intellectual’s duty to the emerging nation and through the study of vernacular culture, intellectuals aimed at mapping out the collective cultural history of a nation without a political, officially documented past. Researching folk music meant establishing “Finnish music” as an autonomous entity with its own historical roots and an idealized past.
This paper is a part of the research project Rethinking Finnish Music History – Transnational Construction of Musical Life in Finland from the 1870s until the 1920s. The project is funded by the Academy on Finland and the Finnish Cultural Foundation.
Thursday 4 September plenary session (16:30 – 17:30)
The Peter Le Huray lecture (Clothworkers’ Centenary Concert Hall)
Pythagoras plays the Monochord; Or, The Instruments of Music Theory
Alexander Rehding (Harvard University)
Derek Scott (University of Leeds), chair
The historical study of music theory has long depended on treatises as its mainstay. This focus on written texts takes a rather narrow view of what music theory is or can be. My paper explores musical instruments as a source for the historical study of music theory. The figure of Pythagoras and his alleged penchant for the monochord offers a way into this exploration of the theory-bearing dimensions of instruments.
Musicians tend to think of instruments primarily in terms of music-making, but in other contexts instruments are, more broadly, tools. In the context of scientific experimentation, specifically, instruments help researchers come to terms with “epistemic things”—objects under scrutiny that carry specific (but as yet unknown) sources of knowledge within them. Aspects of this experimental practice can productively be transferred to the study of music theory and will be explored in a number of examples drawn from various periods of music history.
Alexander Rehding is Fanny Peabody Professor of Music at Harvard University. He is editor-in-chief of the Oxford Handbooks Online/Oxford Research References series, and has served as editor of Acta musicologica. His research focuses on the history of music theory and on 19th and 20th-century music, with book publications such as Hugo Riemann and the Birth of Modern Musical Thought (2003) and Music and Monumentality (2009). Rehding’s interest in the encounter of European musical thought with ancient and non-European music has found expression in a number of recent projects, including a collaborative exhibition (with online catalogue) ‘Sounding China in Enlightenment Europe’ (2012), as well as articles on ancient Greek music and ancient Egyptian music. Other research interests include questions in aesthetics, media, and sound studies. In 2013–14 he was the convener of a John E. Sawyer Seminar series on the topic of ‘Hearing Modernity’, funded by a grant of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. In 2014–15 Rehding is a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute of Advanced Study. The Royal Musical Association awarded Rehding the inaugural Jerome Roche Prize in 2001 and the Dent Medal in 2014.
Friday 5 September morning sessions (9:30 – 10:30)
Session G. Expressive Gesture and Embodied Cognition
(Lecture Theatre 4)
Kia Ng (University of Leeds), chair
Form, Diversity and Desire in Schumann’s Fantasie op. 17: An Interpretation in Terms of Formal Function and Expressive Gesture
Adriana Ponce (Illinois Wesleyan University)
The formal and expressive exuberance of Schumann’s Fantasie Op. 17 has been a source of disconcert for his contemporary and present‐day scholars alike. In 1844, Kossmaly‐‐a member of the “Davidsbund”‐‐associated it with a new style that took romanticism “too far into the arbitrary, the eccentric and the formless and turned “a much appreciated sense of effusiveness… into bombast and complete incomprehensibility.” Current scholarship suggests that the difficulty in understanding the work might not be entirely a thing of the past. The question of how we apprehend its first movement in terms of formal‐dramatic process remains open to further investigation. Interpretations that invoke the arabesque, and sonata and ternary forms have ignored formal function; those that have looked at notions of romantic distance and eroticism have explored the topics extensively, although with limited bearing on the music. My paper offers an interpretation based on the interaction of two processes in the context of competing ternary designs. The first process results from a series of motions toward, and away from, stability, and has the most stable section, the Im Legendenton, at its center. The second one arises from non‐normative dynamic curves that support various formal functions, which, in failing to deliver a satisfactory climactic melodic peak, create a narrative of longing and desire. Not only does this constitute an entirely new reading of the movement‐‐one that combines formal function and expressive gesture at that‐‐but it also offers a compelling way to understand the relationship between form and meaning in 19thcentury music.
Sonate, que me trouves-tu?: Instrumental Music and Embodied Cognition in Eighteenth-Century French Aesthetic Theory
Kevin O’Regan (City College, Norwich)
Just as in contemporary psychology the embodied cognition thesis holds that the structures of the mind are determined by those of the body, the aesthetic discourse in the eighteenth century concerning the function and purpose of instrumental music alone constructs, by means of its aesthetic outcomes that centre on ‘autonomy’, a kind of active musical body whose structures are homologous to the new human and philosophical ways of thinking that the doctrine of aesthetic autonomy brings into being. The discursive terrain in which music is thus mapped onto thought has been well discerned in eighteenth-century German aesthetic theory (particularly in its manifestation in Romanticism), but French aesthetic theory has, probably due to its dependence on neoclassicism, in contemporary research typically not been explicitly connected to such a metaphorical movement. This paper attempts to explore this gap by critiquing the reflections on instrumental music offered by French theorists such as François-Jean de Chastellux, André Morellet, Pascal Boyé, Michel Paul-Guy de Chabanon and Bernard Germain de Lacépède in the light of the embodied cognition thesis. In doing this I seek to exploit these sources in a synthesis that takes us beyond the movement from music’s expressivism to its aesthetic formalism and towards a sense of its consciousness, a consciousness that is habitually perceived and taken for granted in the peculiarity of German discourse. By discerning this level of ‘musical consciousness’ in the eighteenth-century French aesthetic tradition I suggest new alignments of this tradition to its counterparts in Britain and Germany.
Session H. The Exotic and the Sublime in French Opera
(Lecture Theatre 1)
Helen Greenwald (New England Conservatory), chair
Auber’s Greek Aida: The “Exotic Slave-Girl” as Archetype
Jacek Blaszkiewicz (Eastman School of Music)
Scholarship on Verdi’s Aida tends to focus exclusively on the “Egyptian” genesis of the work: namely, the scenario by Egyptologist Auguste Mariette, which Camille du Locle gave to Verdi in 1870. That year, Verdi visited du Locle in Paris, who had just assumed directorship of the Opéra-Comique. Therefore, du Locle was undoubtedly familiar with Daniel Auber’s and Eugene Scribe’s Haydée, ou le secret, a hugely successful opéra comique with 499 performances between 1847 and 1894. The heroine of this once-popular opera, set in sixteenth-century Venice, bears striking resemblances to Verdi’s Aida: Haydée is a slave to the benevolent Lorédan, a master whom she loves and eventually marries. She is a Cypriot princess, but conceals her identity for the sake of her country’s protection. Surprisingly, however, Aida and Haydée have never been discussed in tandem.
In this paper I investigate this heretofore unacknowledged link between these two operas, focusing on a comparison of the dialectical struggles facing both heroines. Although Haydée is about a Cypriot in Italy while Aida is about an Ethiopian in Egypt, both libretti depict a female slave in a hegemonic “West,” but is royalty in an oppressed “East.” Haydée and Aida both face the choice between conjugal love and patriotic duty, and in both cases, love prevails. In my conclusion, I frame both heroines within the larger representation of the “Eastern-female-slave” in nineteenth-century music, literature, and painting. Thus Aida and Haydée belong to a broader Orientalist archetype, lying between the femme fatale and the femme fragile.
Cherubini’s Médée: ‘A sublime enchantress’
Sarah Hibberd (University of Nottingham)
The idea of being ‘overwhelmed’ by musical and visual effects is a recurrent theme in the critical reception of Cherubini’s three operas for the Feydeau in the 1790s – each of which features a catastrophic denouement. The word ‘sublime’ is often employed, and in a variety of ways. On leaving Lodoïska (1791), one critic was barely able to speak after the ‘enthusiasm’ excited by the music’s ‘sublime beauties’. In Eliza, ou le voyage aux glaciers du Mont St Bernard (1794), attention turned from Cherubini’s orchestral writing to the awe-inspiring spectacle of an avalanche engulfing the entire stage, declared by at least one critic to be ‘faithful to the greatest phenomena of nature’. Finally, in Médée (1797), it was the talents of the actress Mme Scio that were
repeatedly praised in extravagant terms: ‘this sublime actress earned the admiration of the whole audience’. In other words, by 1797 the sublime – or the equivalence of art with the power and grandeur of nature – had come to be understood in such reviews as residing not only in the music or the visual effects, but in the performance of the singer, who appropriated the authority of the spectacle, incarnating its splendour.
This paper examines the final scene of Médée and its critical reception, situating it in the context of scientific writing about nature, panoramas and other ephemeral representations of nature’s power, and (post-)revolutionary rhetoric, in order to reveal a historically specific understanding of the sublime in France.
Session J. South American Dance Music in Differing Contexts (Lecture Theatre 3)
Alexander De Little (University of Leeds), chair.
Invention of Japanese Tango: The Rise of Argentinian Tango in Japan’
Yuiko Asaba (Royal Holloway, University of London)
The roots of tango, which has become popular internationally since the start of the twentieth century, are closely associated with Argentina. However, when adopted elsewhere in the world, tango has often taken on rather different forms from its Argentine roots, adapting to new cultural environments and acquiring a distinctive new, albeit hybrid, identity. Finnish tango provides a good example of such processes. By contrast, most tango in Japan is striking for its faithfulness to its Argentine origins as manifested in Japanese tango musicians’ discourse of ‘Honba no tango’ – tango from its birth-place. Japanese tango musicians today strive to ‘recreate’ the sounds of Argentina by closely capturing the old tango recordings, making the recordings mirror ‘their teacher’. New tango pieces have been composed, but practitioners insist on the need to ‘master the Honba no tango’ before being able to compose a ‘new’ tango.
This paper questions how much such prioritization of Argentine authenticity in Japanese tango performance and reception should be attributed to: (a) the
Japanese character and culturally specific transmission processes, and (b) to specific historical factors. For example, the trip to Argentina by ballroom dance aficionado Hyojiro Kato in the 1930s and the widespread dissemination of Argentine tango recordings by the Victor Records that this helped stimulate. Drawing on the terms developed by Ali Jihad Racy, we might question how much Argentine tango in Japan should be understood as ‘adaptational’ and how much as ‘idiosyncratic’. This presentation aims to generate debate regarding processes of cultural transmission.
Malandros and Otários: The Use of Samba in Tropa de Elite and Tropa de Elite: O inimigo agora é outro
Hans Michael Anselmo Hess (University of Bristol)
The use of samba in the films Tropa de Elite (Elite Squad, 2007) and Tropa de Elite: O Inimigo Agora É Outro (Elite Squad: The Enemy Within, 2010), focuses on the type of samba sometimes called the samba malandro. The samba malandro (= hoodlum samba) foregrounds the culture of lower-class Brazilians who live in the shantytowns, semimarginal people who are unemployed, misfits in society: the malandros (hoodlums). This spivish life, including resistance to work and the refinement of skills to deceive people who become their otários (suckers, fools, the victims of the malandros), is portrayed in both films, and samba is associated with such features in both films as well. The analyses of selected scenes in Elite Squad will explore how samba can portray the character of Fábio as an example of a malandro, Neto as the otário, and how these roles are inverted throughout the story of both films. As a key musical feature, syncopation in samba will be analyzed as a reflection of the smooth talk of the malandro articulating his next moves to find his otário. The aim of this paper is to explore how the theme of the malandros and otários is depicted by samba in these two films (among many other Brazilian films). From the perspective of a different music and global tradition, the analyses show how musical semiotics can help films to depict, interpret, contextualize and evaluate cultural, political and social features of recent Brazilian history.
Friday 5 September late morning sessions (11:00 – 12:30)
Session K. Panel: Words, Images, Notation: Crossing Boundaries in Medieval Music (Lecture Theatre 1)
Margaret Bent (University of Oxford), convener and chair; Ardis Butterfield (Yale University), Helen Deeming (Royal Holloway, University of London), Mark Everist (University of Southampton)
Medieval music has long compelled interdisciplinary study, of which Leach’s own work is a model. To a firm grounding in manuscripts and musical substance, she adds expertise in literature and images. The contributors to this session reflect those interests; all in different ways are in dialogue with hers.
Beyond Music? The Social Drama of the Text in Medieval Song
In the field of literature scholars are often enjoined to think ‘beyond the text’. In the predominantly musical intellectual environment of the RMA, we might reverse the injunction and ask what it means to think ‘beyond music’? If, in literary contexts, scholars need reminding that there is a world beyond words, in musical ones, there may be an equal need to remember that there is a world of words beyond music. But there is more to either injunction. Beyond text or beyond music: the key word here is ‘beyond’. What is the threshold beyond which we might look or step? The point is not just that in song both the words and the music work in tandem and need to be considered together – a message that many scholars have been preaching in recent decades – but that we need to look afresh at how we consider them together.
This paper will suggest that such questions of 13th and 14th c song may gain from being set within the current (re)turn to form in literary debate. This debate has recently re-opened issues about the differing perception of form and genre through literary history. Through some specific examples of fresh text-music analysis, the paper will ask how the case of medieval song might contribute to these historical reassessments of form.
Silent Music, Static Time: Musical Notation in Medieval Images
From angels holding scrolls in medieval panel paintings to cartoon robins ‘singing’ on Christmas cards, musical notation has long been employed in art as a visual referent to musical sound. Grappling with the conundrum of representing the auditory and dynamic phenomenon of music within the silent and static frame of a picture, artists from the Middle Ages to the present have employed the written signs of notation alongside the depiction of musical instruments and performance events to suggest musical sound in visual space. This paper is a critical enquiry into the functions of musical notation within images, taking as a case study a fourteenth-century frescoed ceiling in the cathedral of Le Mans. On this ceiling are depicted 47 angel-musicians, half of whom carry scrolls or books depicting liturgical texts and notated music: close scrutiny of the image reveals multiple levels on which the inscriptions can be understood to denote different aspects of music-making. The domain of research falls between the areas of musical iconography and the history of notation, and forms part of a larger research project which aims to trace a broad view of the cultural history of music writing, taking into account the variety of contexts and environments in which written music can be encountered.
Vernacular Contexts for the Monophonic Motet: Notes from a New Source
Amid the kaleidoscopic images that constitute the history of vernacular song around 1300, the monophonic motet defies generic categorization because of its fragmentary presentation in the surviving sources and of its terminological imprecision. Newly-dicovered material adds significantly to our understanding of this elusive genre and to our grasp of the picture of vernacular song in the generations before Machaut.
Adam de la Halle’s three-part rondeaux are well known. Copied in the manuscript, Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, fonds français (F-Pn fr.) 25566, they have concordances in the manuscript F-Pn fr. 12786 where the texts have space left for notation that was never executed. Just ahead of these rondeau texts in F-Pn fr. 12786 are six texts, clearly also destined to receive notation; two are taken from motets well known from the larger motet manuscripts of the thirteenth century, one from the manuscript Oxford, Bodleian Library, Douce 308, while the remaining three are unica.
The recent discovery of the second of these unicum texts, ‘[En demorant] veuil mon chant’ on a flyleaf in a fifteenth-century Book of Hours in Charleville-Mezières, Bibliothèque municipale 78, permits the transcription of the notation for this otherwise silent song. Furthermore, the notation is fully mensural with longae and breves differentiated. Not only does this new fragment help explain the six poems that precede the texts of Adam’s rondeaux, but they throw further light on the question of the mensural notation of vernacular monody raised by the Chansonnier Cangé (F-Pn fr. 846), and the broader questions raised by the presence of the monophonic motet on the landscape of music around 1300.
Session L. Panel: Street Music in the Late Nineteenth Century: Performance, Reception and Historiography
(Lecture Theatre 4)
Paul Watt (Monash University), convener; Alison Rabinovici (University of Melbourne), Christine Mercer (University of Melbourne)
Nineteenth-century urban landscapes around the world shared one common denominator—itinerant musicians and the sounds of their music. Focusing on examples from Britain and Australia, this session aims to examine “street musicians” and “street music” in its varied manifestations, including street cries. A study of street music is necessarily a “bottom up” history. This session aims to focus a more musicological light on what has until recently, remained a study more the preserve of the urban or social historian than the musicologist. While framing our research in the wider context of the disciplines of history, sociology and literary studies our focus remains that of the performance itself and the reception of street performance and its historiography. An examination of street music and its performers leads us to claim that the definition of the term “street musician” needs expansion and refinement. We find also that the distinction between “street musician” and “theatre musician” was not always clear-cut; that there was a fluidity of movement between the trade of one and the profession of the other. The definition, then, of “street musician” is necessarily more complex and nuanced than previously thought. Furthermore, the way that previous histories or published accounts of street music have been shaped by attitudes to the musical cannon and intellectual history will also be explored.
Alison Rabinovici explores in detail the particular skills that allowed itinerant Italian musicians to make the transition from the street to the theatre. She also illustrates that the movement from one mode of employment to the other was not a necessarily a oneway process; theatre musicians moved back to the streets as the need arose. Christine Mercer focuses on the street musician beginnings of the English violinist, Marie Hall. Christine explores Hall’s musician ancestors—Welsh harp and violin players—who also transitioned from the street to the stage. Paul Watt examines various documented histories of London street cries of the late nineteenth century, drawing attention to the reliance of visual, rather than auditory cues in the way street cries were represented in print and assessing the impact of historical method and ethnographic theory in these representations. Collectively, we argue that by paying close attention to the nuances of street music performance, reception and historiography this once neglected area of study assumes a central interest in the field of musicology.
‘Virtuosi of the Kerbstone’: Itinerant Italian Musicians in Australia and the Transition from Street to Stage
Throughout the nineteenth, century Italian street musicians, travelling in small groups of three or four players, were a familiar sight on the streets of capital and regional cities throughout Europe, the Americas, Africa and Oceania. While Italian organ grinders in particular, had caused comment in France and Britain from the early years of the century, itinerant Italians playing harp, violin and flute became increasingly visible. Remarkably, these players hailed from just a few small towns in the remote hinterlands of the mountainous southern Italian region of Basilicata (province of Potenza). After decades of seasonal global travel as traders in street music, Australia became the location of definitive migration for some of these itinerant Italians. A significant number eventually found employment in ballroom orchestras and were engaged for private and official functions, exhibition orchestras, variety theatre orchestras, and by 1900 in orchestras attached to the emerging “picture palaces”. By the early twentieth century, every emerging symphony orchestras in Australia included Italian-Australians who had started their musical journey on the streets. This paper explores in detail the transition from street to stage, and seeks to explain why the craft of the street musician was so readily transferrable to the art of the theatre orchestra musician. Further, this paper posits a new and more complex definition of the ‘street musician’ and suggests that his importance—and that of his street music—extends beyond his place at the very bottom of a ‘bottom up’ view of musicology.
Marie Hall (1884–1956): A Family Association with Street Music
During the early days of photography in the 1870s, John Thomson (1837–1921), photographed London’s poverty including two street musicians—an adult drummer and an Italian child harpist who were performing to earn a living. Scenes of street musicians were not restricted to London and were familiar sights throughout England and many other countries. Charles Dickens referred to street musicians as ‘noise makers … brazen performers on brazen instruments…worriers of fiddles’, but many were desperate to earn money to purchase food. Using the streets as a backdrop, this presentation outlines the untold story of Marie Hall’s extended family and their activities as street musicians. During the 1880s and 1890s, two generations of this musical family supplemented their income in a number of England’s Spa and market towns by entertaining people with their street music. Significantly, the Hall family members were musically well educated by some of the best teachers in Britain. A number of them played in prestigious orchestras and/or small groups for part of the year, travelling throughout Britain. Because musicians had seasonal employment, the Halls always needed survival money; so ‘busking’ in groups or alone was an integral part of their lives. Through benefactors, Marie Hall was able to break this cycle and gain international recognition after years of struggle and adherence to a dominating father. Much of the research for this paper is new and brings a more complete perspective to Marie Hall’s biography.
Documenting London Street Cries, 1880–1920: The Ethnographer, the Historiographer and the Politics of Authorship
Street cries have always been part of the sonic landscape of London but it was not until the eighteenth century that such cries began to be documented. Early attempts to document street cries were largely visual, for example, in paintings by Francis Wheatley (1747–1801). However, by the late nineteenth century, a substantial shift in the way that street cries were represented in publication changed dramatically. Between the production of Charles Hindley’s A History of the Cries of London (1881) and the publication of a series of articles on street cries in the suburbs of London by Lucy Broadwood and her team of ethnographers in the Journal of the Folk Song Society (1919), a discernible shift in emphasis in historical method and ethnography had emerged. Nineteenth-century efforts to document British musical repertory of the past overwhelmingly emphasize the efforts of chroniclers, compilers and cataloguers and the discourses of archiving and preserving cultural heritage with little emphasis placed on the broader intellectual motivation for such endeavours. In this paper I argue that Hindley’s and Broadwood’s work on positioning street cries in social and musical history represented a new generation of writers concerned with historical and scientific method, ethnography, and the ethics of authorship, which set them apart from their contemporaries at a time when the comparative musicology was fast emerging.
Session M. Panel: The Music of Thomas Adès: Current Directions in Scholarship (Lecture Theatre 3)
Drew Massey (Binghamton University) and Edward Venn (University of Leeds), co-conveners; Emma Gallon (Independent Scholar), Philip Rupprecht (Duke University)
The music of the British composer, conductor, and pianist Thomas Adès (b. 1971) has achieved a remarkably stable footing in concert halls around the world. Recent years have also seen scholars engaging in a steadily developing conversation about the significance of his work both in the history of British music and the cosmopolitan contemporary composition circuit. The purpose of this panel is to explore the current state of scholarship around the composer and to explore where it might be headed. Broadly speaking, we will consider debates about hermeneutics versus formalism; Adès’s position as an historical agent; and the dynamics of writing reception history in the historical now. We will feature position papers by five scholars of Adès’s music, who will speak about how they consider his work from a variety of semiotic, critical, and historical perspectives. The remainder of the time will be given over to discussion.
The respective papers will focus on elements of Adès’s output ranging from his eclecticism and stylistic parody to his self-fashioning in prose. The panel seeks to achieve a balanced consideration both of Adès’s own compositional language and the way that his works have been understood by scholars and the general public. By including speakers from both sides of the Atlantic from an array of backgrounds, we hope to offer broad methodological diversity in our panel to tease out trends, themes, and directions in current thinking about Adès, and his significance in the contemporary concert world.
As Adès approaches the middle of his third decade in the public eye, it is essential for scholars to pose such questions in order to situate his hulking presence in twenty-first century music properly. Given the ambivalent conclusions of several histories of music since 1900 – Joseph Auner noted that ‘much is being swept away in musical traditions around the world’ and Richard Taruskin has posited that the history of concert music ‘is coherent at least insofar as it has a completed shape’ – the musical world since 2000 seems particularly murky in terms of its historiographic contour. Yet most scholars of the concert world would agree that Adès will be a major figure to reckon with when posterity judges our present musical moment, and this panel is a preliminary effort to articulate the terms of that conversation.
Chasing Away Respectability: The Rule of Parody in Adès’s Powder her Face’
The role of parody in Thomas Adès’s music has been widely recognized by audiences and critics. In Powder Her Face, his 1995 opera, a play of stylistic imitations sweeps the score, the all-encompassing force by which the Duchess’s claims to social respectability are mocked and finally destroyed. Frequent separation of semantic and structural dimensions in commentary on Adès’s works may (as Gallon 2013 suggests) detract from the full range of significations his music invites. That range includes an idiomatically Adèsian ‘pleasure of allusion’ (Whittall 2003), distinct from Bloomian anxiety of influence. Adès’s semantic field admits an essential ambiguity, referencing the extra-musical within a structural frame poised between acoustic order and formal ‘disjunctures’ (Venn 2006). Building on this evolving critical awareness of the interpretive disorientation foregrounded in Adès’s aesthetic, my paper focuses on multi-layered parody techniques in the opera’s early scenes. We witness the protagonist at a fluctuating distance. The Duchess herself is first represented not directly, but in drag, by the Waiter (Scene 1). The song ‘she’ sings is a vulgar contrafactum of the Noel Coward-ish number with gramophone accompaniment in Scene 2 – itself aping jazz-age clichés. Adès’s chamber orchestra is a re-imagined Palm Court band, bent sinister by spectral effects and vertiginous timbral distortions. The opera’s parody, however harshly unsparing in its depictions of the Duchess herself, works to expose the class-ridden hypocrisy of the Profumo-esque sex scandal at its center. Especially in his Bergian orchestral interludes, Adès blurs the distance between contempt and compassion; ‘the music’, he has said, ‘has its own morals’.
Allusion (Illusion?) in Thomas Adès’s The Tempest
There has been a tendency in Adès scholarship to conceive his music in terms of plurality, whether semantic, narrative, temporal or particularly stylistic. This has been especially prevalent in journalism and reviews but academic commentators such as Fox, Gloag, Venn and Whittall have all, to some extent, used Adès’s invocation of classical forms and harmonies, characteristics of other genres such as jazz or popular music, and direct musical borrowings as springboards for discussion of his music. Certainly the consistency with which Adès employs such pluralistic strategies cannot be ignored as one of the fundamental traits of his compositional approach. Adès’s first opera Powder Her Face (1995) is perhaps the quintessential example, as the music’s stark juxtapositions of quotation and allusion effectively portray the leaps through time in the story of the Duchess, and exploit the multimedia nature of the operatic mode. However, the extent to which such eclecticism is in operation in any given piece and, perhaps more significantly, its expressive effect is not a constant throughout Adès’s oeuvre, as consideration of his second opera The Tempest (2004) proves. Through a close reading of illustrative extracts from The Tempest I will argue that the contrast in the amount, type, use and effect of stylistic borrowing in the work reflects a general trend in Adès’s output towards accommodation of allusion into a comparatively consistent musical language. I’ll end with a few thoughts on the degree to which this trend is acknowledged in writing on his music.
Notes on Adèsian Dialectics
One of the noteworthy – which is not to say singular – features of Adès’s career is his sustained and omnivorous consideration of music of the past, ranging from Dowland to Couperin to Janáček. Adès’s romance with the past occurs alongside an interest in developing extremely sophisticated technical means. Taking this initial tension as its starting point, my contribution to this panel will consider how Adès’s music has resisted easy classification – and maintained its challenges to its listeners – by cultivating confounding antinomies in some of his most ambitious works including Asyla, The Tempest, and Totentanz.
My paper will consider how Adès’s music might be situated within a broad dialectical framework, and how that framework might guide future scholarship. Drawing on Theodor Adorno’s notion of Musique Informelle (articulated in an eponymous essay in 1961) and Timotheus Vermeulen’s and Robin van den Akker’s ideas about ‘Metamodernism’ (from 2010), I explore how Adès’s music might be seen to speak with these respective views of new musical vistas and utopian visions. I conclude by outlining how such notions have already begun to percolate into contemporary popular discourses about concert music, for example with Alex Ross’s notion of a ‘final grand synthesis’ which he proposes at the end of his book The Rest is Noise. In the end, such an approach might help us to see Adès’s music as a crucible for larger debates about the trajectory of contemporary composition over the course of the last twenty years.
Adès’s Musical Body
The recently published collection of interviews between the composer Adès (b. 1971) and Tom Service offer a fascinating insight into the ways in which Adès conceptualizes his music. Perhaps as a corrective to critical accounts that focus on the stylistic (and often superficial) properties of his music, Adès stresses the internal logic of his music. To do so, however, Adès draws on a range of vivid metaphors. These are more than just rhetorical: ‘to me’, he claims, ‘all music is metaphorical, always’. The notion that music is by nature metaphorical is not new. For Roger Scruton, to hear music as music is to recognize its metaphorical embodied nature; the title of Michael Spitzer’s Metaphor and Musical Thought aligns and fuses its two subjects into an indivisible whole.
The conflicting, competing and sometimes contradictory metaphors that infuse Adès’s discussion of his music signal something of the nature of the music that he seeks to illuminate. In particular, the heady mixture of bodies, both figurative and literal, forms a significant subset within Adès’s metaphorical discourse. To understand the musical body in Adès’s music means to attend to the different grounds upon which the metaphors rest. Thus, my argument will begin by theorizing the (metaphorical) musical body by drawing together the work of George Lakoff and Mark Johnson, Steve Larson, Scruton, and particularly Spitzer. More significant, I will then attend to this theoretical body in motion (so to speak), by considering the multiple agencies that act upon it: here, my guiding lights are Robert Hatten, Michael Klein, Arnie Cox and Matthew BayleyShea. The resulting theoretical framework will be pluralistic (reflecting the potential for music to speak with many voices, to figure multiple bodies, and to articulate a number of agencies) but also innovative, delicately balancing the metaphorical, agential and narrative perspectives that animate our musical experience.
Friday 5 September lunchtime (13:30 – 14:20)
Research presentation with software demonstration and performance in Clothworkers’ Centenary Concert Hall
The Significance of Technical Research in the Study of Electroacoustic Music: A Perspective from the TaCEM Project
Michael Clarke and Frédéric Dufeu (University of Huddersfield), and Peter Manning (Durham University)
Technology plays a crucial role in much electroacoustic music, one that goes far beyond simply the mechanical production of sound. Frequently the nature of the technology used impacts significantly on the way in which the music is conceived and structured. TaCEM (Technology and Creativity in Electroacoustic Music) is a 30 month AHRC funded project investigating the relationship between technological innovation and creative practice. Two contrasting Case Studies from the project will be used to illustrate the significance of technology for the compositional process. Barry Truax’s Riverrun (1986/2004) was composed using the composer’s own PODX system, in which evolving streams of sound are shaped in real-time as they are generated. Riverrun resulted from the successive superposition of such streams creating rich mutli-layered textures transforming over time. By contrast Trevor Wishart’s Sound Loom software, used in the composition of Imago (2002), works out of real-time. Material for the composition was often generated through long sequences of successive processing stages, each step being fine-tuned in turn. The composition is structured through the precise juxtaposition and superposition of the resulting soundfiles. Two contrasting technologies result in two very different works. Different technologies afford different creative potential and in many cases compositions could not have been conceived without specific technical means. This paper will illustrate how full understanding of such works can only be gained through thorough analysis, including recreation, of the processes by which they were formed.
Friday 5 September afternoon sessions (14:30 – 16:00)
Session N. Panel: Popular Music and Gender in a Transcultural Context (Lecture Theatre 4)
Stan Hawkins (University of Oslo), convener; Mats Johansson (University of Oslo), Jon Mikkel Broch Ålvik (University of Oslo), Birgitte Sanve (University of Oslo)
Scandinavian Transcultural Spaces
Stan Hawkins and Mats Johansson
This presentation focuses on popular music within a Scandinavian transcultural space. We explore how musical practices intersect with changing demographics of cultural difference by spawning new social formations. Our point of departure is the assumption that traditional demographics increasingly fail to account for experiences of identity and belonging and more specifically how people behave as producers and consumers of culture. In approaching these issues, we discuss the implications of a transcultural approach to performance. The hypothesis presented suggests that attachments to and identifications with cultural forms are continuously performed and, therefore, situational and processual by nature. This view assigns agency to social actors in creating meanings and negotiating cultural affiliations. Which suggests a focus on the dynamic and creative ways in which people bond to and through music. In this sense, the meeting between cultures musically can be understood as a formative process, promoting inclusive, open-ended notions of belonging. Ethnographically situated within a Scandinavian transcultural space, we discuss how ethnicity, race, gender and other salient categories of difference are represented, constructed and contested in the dynamic context of musical expression. Here, the concept of identity politics relates to the idea of cultural affiliations as acquired and redefined in response to changing contexts and circumstances. More specifically, we propose that musical practices play a formative role in the constitution of geo-cultural spaces by disrupting the neat fit between cultural belonging and its expressions. In this discussion, we draw together a wealth of interrelated concerns that involve cultural property, attribution, boundary maintenance, cultural performance and agency, identity politics and belonging.
Scratching the Surface: Marit Larsen and Marion Ravn – Staging Authenticity, Faking Naïvety and Flaunting Banality
Jon Mikkel Broch Ålvik
In this presentation I investigate into the politics of gendered representation in Norwegian popular music, and how these function in a transcultural context. To this end, I take Norwegian artists Marit Larsen and Marion Ravn as cases in point. In media discourses on popular music, notions of authenticity always shape the artists’ personae. However, as is often easy to overlook, artists themselves also contribute to maintaining and even controlling these discourses. This is no less true for artists from outside the UK–US continuum of globalized popular music.
Marit Larsen, previously a member of teenage duo M2M with Marion Ravn, has received consistent praise from both the press and fans since her début solo album, Under the Surface, in 2006. Ravn, though no less successful as a solo artist in her own right, has long been perceived as the “bad girl” of the two. In the light of her initial solo contract with Atlantic Records after the break-up of M2M, her relative lack of global (read: US) success has also led several Norwegian fans to construe her as a “failure” when compared to the seemingly infallible Larsen.
I argue that Larsen’s persona draws on three notable female stereotypes – the pre-adolescent girl, the girl next door, and the housewife. Always interchangeable, these stereotypes come across as guises that Larsen can assume and take off when needed rather than any constant traits of her “true self”. Furthermore, they function as central characteristics for Larsen’s singer-songwriter persona, whose alleged authenticity rests on her perceived honesty. She thus conveys the illusion of authenticity through a strategy of distance. Drawing on Simon Frith’s and Philip Auslander’s concept of the persona, Allan F. Moore’s three categories of authenticity, Barbara Bradby’s work on discourses of desire in girl-group music, and Stan Hawkins’ theorization of the pop dandy, I wish to analyse how Larsen constructs her persona partly on nostalgic conceptions of gender and partly on a distinct ‘fake naivety’, and also how Norwegian audiences’ understanding of Larsen can and must be understood in the light of how they perceive Ravn and vice versa. I also wish to locate both artists in a transcultural context of popular music, to illuminate how artists outside of the hegemonic Anglo-American force field create globalized’ popular music.
Staging the ‘Real’: Identity Politics and Urban Space in Contemporary Norwegian Rap Music
In this presentation a critical inquiry is made into how aspects of identity and urban space are negotiated through the aesthetics and politics underlying the performances of contemporary mainstream rap acts Karpe Diem, Jesse Jones and Lars Vaular. Following up from studies on ‘realness’ in rap music provided by a vide range of hip hop scholars, I offer musicological perspectives on how notions of the ‘real’ are constructed and negotiated through artistic outputs and how this might connect to questions of ethnicity, cultural belonging and masculinity in an urban Norwegian context.
Based on comparative audiovisual analyses and readings of two different versions of Karpe Diem’s 2010 hit ‘Byduer i dur’ I argue how ethnicity and cultural belonging are negotiated both through self-representation and audiovisual recontextualization. By proposing a decentred approach to analysing audiovisual texts – ‘zooming’ in and out of a larger Norwegian space – my aim is to tease out how Karpe Diem’s performances could be read as part of an ongoing debate on Norwegian nationhood in a post-22/7 society. Through the analysis and reading of Jesse Jones’ performance in the music video Gategutt I consider how notions of gender, ethnicity and ‘race’ are negotiated through sample aesthetics, bodily display, vocal performance and in the audiovisual constructions of urban space. In this case study I argue how the appropriation of the black male gangsta figure opens up to critical discussions on ‘race’ and hypermasculinity in rap music. Referenced in lyrics, on album covers, as record label and through musical collaboration, the music collective NMG huset [the NMG house] in Bergen might be said to represent a sense of shared community in Vaular’s artistic output. At the same time Vaular brings to the fore a set of topics that work against notions of shared communities, exploring aspects of paranoia, alienation and estrangement. The final case study in the thesis concerns the contradictions of community and detachment in Lars Vaular’s song ‘I min leilighet’ [In my flat], and how aspects of vocality and sonic construction of space might open up discussions on homosociality and queer strategies in contemporary Norwegian rap music.
Session O. Panel: Constructing the Opera Singer’s Identity in the Eighteenth Century (Lecture Theatre 1)
Susan Aspden (University of Oxford), convener; Melania Bucciarelli (Norwegian University of Science and Technology), Anne Desler (University of Edinburgh)
Scholars of eighteenth-century opera are becoming increasingly aware of the role the opera singer played not just in the process of composition, but in the creation of the work in all its aspects, from inception to production. The singer’s role in the generation of a libretto, for instance, was treated as a ‘rule’ by Carlo Goldoni, whose explanation underscores the centrality of the performer to operatic design: ‘I did not first project the personages for which the actors were then to be sought, but I began with an examination of the actors so that then the characters of the interlocutors could be imagined’. Recognition of the seminal importance of the singer in the production of opera now informs many examinations of works from the period. More particularly, the far-reaching effects that performer persona as well as vocal style could have on operatic design, stylistic development and stage aesthetics over a season or over a career are just beginning to be investigated. In these three studies, we examine the reciprocal relationships between on- and off-stage identities for three famous singers of the century, positing that these artists sought to shape their public reputation through a careful interweaving of their roles in the theatre and outside it. These papers intersect in a variety of ways. Melania Bucciarelli and Anne Desler examine the careers of two castrati, helping to build a picture of the role leading primi uomini had in the choice and creation of operas in which they sang, and the manner in which they created distinct artistic profiles in relationship to their colleagues. Anne Desler and Suzanne Aspden investigate the intersection of singer persona with the increasingly influential public sphere in the deliberate creation of myth around the careers of the castrato, Farinelli, and the English soprano Elizabeth Linley, respectively. All three papers consider the role that music played in shaping public reputation, as well as the role singers played in crafting the music they sang. All three papers also link the representation of singer persona to broader developments in definitions of gender and cultural identity in the eighteenth century, seeing singers as both responding to and helping to shape cultural norms. It is intended that the discussion at the end of the session will allow consideration of these broader issues with regard to singers more generally.
‘Farò il possibile per vincer l’animo di M.o Handel’ (I will do my best to win over Maestro Handel’s heart): Arsace (1721) and Senesino’s arrival in London’
After lengthy and complex negotiations, the castrato Francesco Bernardi known as ‘Il Senesino’ finally set foot in London in September 1720. Less than a month after his arrival he had already approached the board of the Royal Academy of Music to propose the production, in revised form, of Orlandini’s Amore e Maestà (as Arsace). Although his contracts with the Academy do not survive, it is clear from the negotiations between the singer and Heidegger (via Giuseppe Riva), that Senesino had managed to secure the right to choose some of the operas in which he was to perform. Arsace was one of them and, as careful reading of the correspondence between Riva and the poet Paolo Rolli suggests, it may have been intended to mark Senesino’s debut in London. Senesino had a strong awareness of his worth, a conflictual and outspoken relationship with his patrons and superiors, and his relationship with Handel was difficult throughout his time in London. New evidence suggests that this reputation preceded his arrival in England. This paper explores Senesino’s choice of this particular opera to introduce himself to the London audiences, setting it within the context of his negotiations with the Royal Academy of Music and the role that castrati such as Nicola Grimaldi (Nicolini) and Valentino Urbani (Valentini) had had in the pasticcio-opera productions in London of the previous decades.
‘Il nuovo Orfeo’: Farinelli’s Role in the Creation of his Myth
When Charles Burney, visiting Farinelli in Bologna in 1770, expressed his desire to write the singer’s biography, Farinelli replied that if Burney had ‘a mind to compose a good work’, he should not ‘fill it with accounts of such unworthy beings’ as himself. However, closer consideration suggests he was being more than a little disingenuous and that, even in his retirement, he was mindful of maintaining his public image. Although Farinelli sang daily until shortly before his death in 1782, according to his first biographer, Sacchi, he did not sing for Burney. Moreover, he confirmed for Burney several anecdotes that constituted glorified rather than truthful tales of his past.Farinelli, it seems, had a greater interest in promoting his legend than he cared to admit. Eighteenth-century narratives of Farinelli’s inimitability and superiority did not arise fortuitously. There is clear evidence that even early in his career, Farinelli’s artistic, professional and personal choices were to a large extent determined by his desire not only to create a unique artistic profile, but also to influence public perception of him. In particular, Farinelli consciously set himself apart from other star singers by making different dramatic and musical choices and avoiding querulous star behaviour, while cultivating associations with paradigms of virtue and perfection by means of role choices, personal conduct and iconography. Farinelli’s ultimate success in creating his own myth is evident from the fact that his reception in modern popular culture and and musicology alike has largely been shaped
‘Sancta Cæcilia rediviva’: The Mythic Elizabeth Linley
‘The syren of Bath’ one magazine noted in 1773, ‘is greatly indebted to nature for the éclat with which she is followed, and not a little to the fortuitous concurrence of remarkable incidents in her life’. The career of the late eighteenth-century singing sensation, Elizabeth Linley, provides clear evidence that, for singers in this period, musical livelihood and personal life were mutually influential. Indeed, in Linley’s case an eventful life offstage evidently helped fuel musical success. It has been suggested that the status of opera singers in the eighteenth century foreshadowed modern celebrity culture; for Linley this connection is still more apparent in her involvement in dramatizations of her story. What makes Linley particularly interesting is not just the high profile of those dramatic works (The School for Scandal, generally attributed to her husband, Richard Brinsley Sheridan, was among the most popular works of the century), but her own enforced retirement from the public eye. This paper will use Linley’s life, career and repertoire as a means to considering the tensions between public reputation and private life for female performers in late eighteenth-century Britain, positing that emergent models of female domesticity, which were particularly strong in industrializing Britain, governed both the representation of female singers and the kinds of music they sang.
Session P. Panel: Time and Space in the Music of the Twentieth Century and Beyond (Lecture Theatre 3)
Ellen Davies (University of Oxford) and James Archer (Durham University), co-conveners; Joshua B. Mailman (Columbia University), Gascia Ouzounian (Queen’s University Belfast), Bryn Harrison (University of Huddersfield)
From the earliest twelve-tone compositions to the French Spectralism of the 1970s, the music of the ‘short twentieth century’ is fertile ground for research concerned with time and space, and has generated a long-standing and fruitful dialogue with philosophy. Temporal duality has dominated the philosophical discourse since the turn of the twentieth century, including Bergson’s temps espace and temps durée and Husserl’s Erlebnis and Erfahrung. This, in turn, has generated a small but influential musicological literature. Mark Delaere, Max Paddison, and Jonathan Kramer have established a framework for the separation of ’empirical’ time from the specific properties of subjective temporal experience in music, and explore the possibility for the ‘spatialization’ of musical time. Joshua B. Mailman’s paper sits at the intersection of this scholarship with music analysis, and sets out a conceptual model to sidestep the meaning-laden metaphors of ‘structure’ and ‘progression’ in temporal duality.
All music of the common practice tradition has a spatial aspect when the score is an ‘empty vessel’ for interpretation, as per Enrico Fubini’s suggestion that a musical score is a ‘rationalized space-time scheme’, replete with possibility for a unique subjective experience to be enacted in performance. The rise of indeterminacy in the 1950s and 1960s avant garde, however, emphasizes spatial experience as a property of musical material, and Gascia Ouzounian considers the relationship between listener and technology in this repertoire. As the very ‘matter’ of music began to change in the 1950s, musical material took on a spatial presence beyond the act of musical writing and a physical presence in performance through expansion, contraction and displacement.
The radically spatialized experience of modern ‘processive’ minimalism as practised by our final speaker, composer Bryn Harrison, is rooted in the symbiosis of music and the visual arts established by Morton Feldman. Much of Feldman’s 1960s music exemplifies Adorno’s musique informelle by appearing to abandon the expectation of movement in time altogether, described by Julian Johnson as “music that stands its ground by simply continuing”. The third paper, therefore, demonstrates the persistent relevance of these issues amid twenty-first century technological conditions.
These papers bring together a series of snapshots of the implications of musical time and space in this period for performers, musicologists, composers and analysts. The three twenty minute papers will be followed by half an hour of discussion, which are intended to stimulate discussion by moving the spotlight away from the abstracted philosophical discourse found in extant literature to an open, interdisciplinary conversation.
Time’s Duality and the Androgyny of Musical Flow
Joshua B. Mailman
Metaphors influence reasoning about music. Though ways to classify metaphors abound, static-vs-dynamic is crucial as suggested by Tenney (1977), Lewin (1977, 1987), Cogan (1995), Kramer (1995), Zbikowski (2002), and Spitzer (2004). Metaphors like ‘structure’, ‘architecture’, ‘design’, ‘boundary’, ‘section’, impose biases for staticism, whereas metaphors like ‘flow’, ‘process’, ‘growth’, ‘organicism’, and ‘progression’ impose biases for dynamism.
Though disagreeing on category names, some writers divide time into two supposedly conflicting types: temporal and spatial, corresponding to two ontological manifestations of compositions: as sound (dynamic process) or score (static entity). For instance, Zuckerkandl, Adorno, Kivy, and Paddison divide time into two types corresponding to temporal and spatial. These align with time categories of aesthetic experience asserted by Ushenko and Arnheim, and with general categories of time asserted by McTaggart, Gödel, Heidegger, and Bergson. Famously, McTaggart argues time needs both an A-series (tensed time: past, present, future) and B-series (untensed time: before-after, earlier-later). These coordinate with Bergson’s, Heidegger’s and Gödel’s categories.
In various ways, philosophers, musicologists and cognitive psychologists (Smart 1949, Lippman 1984, Boriditsky 2000, 2001) assert time generally, and music specifically, are routinely conceptualized in either of two ways: as something enduring through which we move, or as something fleeting that moves through us as we experience it. Adopting Bertrand Russell’s ‘relational’ approach to theorizing time, the author’s (2010) computational-phenomenological theory of dynamic form posits the concept of a vessel of form as a dual metaphor (a verbal “necker cube”), strategically connoting two contrasting physical entities, to enable a flexibility of thought for conceptualizing musical time. This, if conceptualized in terms of gender, renders musical temporal experience as androgynous, and in this way addresses certain epistemological biases encountered in customary music discourse.
Hearing with Two Ears at Once
In 1858, the British MD S. Scott Alison described a new medical instrument he had developed for listening to the human heart, the differential stethophone. ‘Engaged for some years in investigations into the phenomena of audition,’ he wrote, ‘I have been cognizant of some facts which I believe have hitherto remained unnoticed’. Amazingly, Alison was describing something that would seem odd to even remark upon today: ‘hearing with two ears at once’. We take for granted that hearing is a spatial and directional phenomenon, with both ears implicated in localizing sounds. Identifying the spatial sense of hearing, however, was not an easy or obvious task in the 19th century; nor could anyone have predicted the enormous consequences of this discovery in the music of the 20th century.
This paper will examine conceptual, technological, scientific, and musical developments that led to the emergence of ‘spatial music’ in the early-to-mid-20th century. It will draw upon medical and musical literature, newspapers and magazines, trade journals and advertisements to show how music became spatialized, especially through the use of new sound reproduction technologies. Technologies ranging from the telephone to stereophonic record players were critical to this history. So was the music of such visionary composers as Edgard Varèse, who in 1936 predicted that ‘music will eventually engulf and surround you.’ Ultimately, this paper will argue that binaural audition or ‘hearing with two ears at once’ not only became a known phenomenon, but that it is critical for understanding 20th-century music.
Receiving the Approaching Memory: Experiencing Time in My Recent Music
The paper will consider the role of musical temporality and memory in my recent compositional output which includes a 76 minute piano work (Vessels, 2012/13) and a new collaborative piece with visual artist Tim Head and the London Sinfonietta. The paper will focus on the experiential aspects of these works and will outline my interest in singular forms that utilize high levels of repetition. I will draw upon aspects of perception that take into account the immersive properties of these systems and highlight the ways in which, through an on-going impetus of expanding and contracting pitch intervals within a confined registral range, we build up a composite understanding of the surface of the work over time. I will argue that notions of change are not entirely absent from these works but conditioned by our experience of listening. As the 18th-century philosopher Hume has stated, ‘[r]epetition changes nothing in the object repeated, but does change something in the mind which contemplates it’.
Friday 5 September plenary session (16:30 – 18:00)
The Annual General Meeting (Clothworkers’ Centenary Concert Hall)
The AGM is open to all RMA members without the need to register for the conference. Non-members may attend the meeting, but may not vote.
Edward J. Dent Medal Award and Lecture (CCCH)
Sonic Tears: Machaut and Consolation
Elizabeth Eva Leach (University of Oxford)
Margaret Bent (University of Oxford), chair
In my 2011 book, Guillaume de Machaut: Secretary, Poet, Musician, I proposed that the varied but unified contents of Machaut’s works not only teach his audience how to live and love, but how to live with love and the suffering it could potentially cause in the specific context of the aristocratic court. In short: poetry and song console. The central figure in Machaut consolatory poetics is Esperance (Hope), who relates to Love; her chief antagonist is Fortune, who relates to death. Re-addressing this issue in the light of my more recent interest in psychoanalytical approaches to love poetry and psychological approaches to performance, this paper will explain why Machaut’s specifically musical form of consolation might have been particularly useful and timely.
Elizabeth Eva Leach is Professor of Music at the University of Oxford. In 2012, her second monograph, Guillaume de Machaut: Secretary, Poet, Musician (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2011), was awarded the Phyllis Goodhart Gordan Prize by the Renaissance Society of America. Leach is a Director of DIAMM (www.diamm.ac.uk) and maintains a regular research blog; blogposts and free online downloads of many of Leach’s paper publications can be found online via http://eeleach.wordpress.com/.
Saturday 6 September morning sessions (9:30 – 10:30)
Session Q. Musical Conversation and Musical Humour (Lecture Theatre 4)
George Kennaway (University of Hull), chair
Conversations within and between Two Early Lieder of Schubert
James William Sobaskie (Mississippi State University)
This presentation examines biographical implications and cross-informing relationships linking Franz Schubert’s An die Geliebte (D. 303) and An die Nachtigall (D. 497), two simple yet subtle songs, which may inform their interpretation and offer insights on other lieder as well as their composer. In An die Geliebte, tonal ambiguity enhances the indeterminate nature of the poetic text, permitting multiple coexistent and contrasting expressive meanings while slightly favouring an ironic interpretation and an intriguing subtext. In An die Nachtigall, whose introduction and first phrase are based on the opening of An die Geliebte, multiple expressive meanings again may be discerned, including a very different ironic interpretation that seems quite plausible in light of its predecessor. Biographical and historical context suggests that both songs represent directed address of a particular individual, one in code and one imagined, and that textual and structural relationships between the interrelated pair represent a musical ‘conversation’ belonging to a higher level of artistic discourse. Drawing upon prior discussions of these lieder by Susan Youens, as well as notions of appropriation and intertextuality articulated by Robert Hatten, plus original close structural analysis and contextual interpretation, this presentation will reveal unsuspected layers of meaning in these unassuming lieder of Schubert and suggest that other groups of separate songs within his oeuvre also may ‘speak’ to one another.
Funny Methodologies: Analysing Comic Structure in Music
Annie Hanlon (University of Newcastle)
Laughter is not a practice traditionally associated with the concert hall, yet examples of humour abound in the repertoire of Western art music. In the context of musical Modernism, humour played an important, yet largely unacknowledged role, in the turn away from Romanticism. The absence of a music-specific vocabulary and adequate critical and analytical tools has proven to be an obstacle to engagement with humour in musical studies. In this paper I explore some ways in which theories from the fields of humour studies and philosophy can be translated into working methodologies for the analysis of humour in music. Specifically in relation to the idea of comic structure, I consider how the presence of humour impacts upon the unity of a musical work. Musical and comic forms adhere to structural conventions that unfold temporally. This temporal element of humour, or comic timing, is considered under two headings: musical jokes and musical comedy. Jokes occur in the instant when a rupture appears in a seemingly homogenous narrative and this disturbance reveals the joke in a comic moment. Comedy develops in a different manner: as a series of comic sequences that share an inner connection. In comedy unity is achieved by continuity through discontinuity (Zupančič). The analysis of comic structure, rather than musical structure, allows for a new conception of musical development and unity based upon the temporal and structural way in which jokes and comedy operate.
Session R. Subjectivity and Identity in Music (Lecture Theatre 3)
Martin Shaw (Leeds College of Music), chair
The Limits of Subjectivity? Self-Reflexive Manifestations in C. P. E. Bach’s E minor Keyboard Concerto Wq. 15/H.418
Yonatan Bar-Yoshafat (Cornell University)
From its inception up to the present era, the concerto solo, and especially – the keyboard concerto – is frequently perceived in allegorical terms, i.e., as representing isomorphic relationships between individualistic drives, personified by the solo part, and orderly-structured background, portrayed by the orchestra (Koch, 1793; McClary, 1986, 1987; Jander, 1995; Kerman, 1999; etc.). In this context, C. P. E. Bach’s essays in the genre are considered, in Karol Berger’s terms (2007), as a transitional step between pre-modern (collective) ‘cycle’ time and the more progressively-oriented post-Enlightenment (subjective) ‘arrow’ time, which culminated triumphantly with Mozart’s mature piano concertos.
C. P. E. Bach’s musical peculiarities are frequently associated with the fashionable mid-eighteenth century sentimental styles, whereas many of Haydn’s and Mozart’s contrivances are regarded as intentional violations of conventions, which, by thus calling attention to conventions as such, add witty and ironic dimensions to their works (Bonds, 1991; Chua, 1998; Webster, 2001; Moreno, 2003; Burnham, 2005; etc.). In my paper I suggest an alternative narrative, concentrating on one of Bach’s most remarkable pieces, the E minor Keyboard Concerto Wq. 15 (1745), which has received only marginal scholarly attention. The concerto survives in only few copies, which nevertheless went through significant revisions, as the manuscripts reveal.
The paper highlights the unifying aspects of the work, as well as its many marked transgressions (subversions of the genre’s conventions, expressive ‘troping’ of topics, undermining expected tonal progressions, ambiguous formal and narrative execution, etc.). I suggest that contrary to the familiar notion, manifestations of self-reflexivity in instrumental works emerged as early as the mid 1740s (hence the ironization of form cannot be perceived as the distinguishing feature of the ‘Classical Style’), and that this feature may complement our understanding of post-Enlightenment music (i.e., alongside teleological ‘arrows’).
Unequivocal Ethnic Significations? Instrumentation in Bear McCreary’s Video Game Scores
Joseph E. Jones (Chinese University of Hong Kong)
Bear McCreary is recognized as one of the most innovative composers writing for video games and television in recent years. A common thread runs through the bulk of his work: a fusion of instruments drawn from the Western orchestra, from folk, rock, and related popular styles, and from various non-Western traditions. McCreary’s soundtrack for Dark Void (Capcom, 2010) incorporated the Russian balalaika as well as the Indian tabla and Japanese taikos, and he subsequently made use of a Javanese gamelan to situate SOCOM 4 (Sony, 2011) in Southeast Asia. He has continued this hybrid approach with Defiance (2013–), a sci-fi television drama produced in conjunction with a massively multiplayer online game of the same title. While critics and McCreary himself have branded his music as exotic and eclectic, little attention has been paid to these terms’ multivalent nature and the degree to which they reflect his stylistic approach. This paper draws upon the composer’s own commentaries, which offer insights on instrumentation and the ways in which it contributes to the dramatic arc of each project. Also considered are numerous reviews of McCreary’s soundtracks and responses from his audiences. Following Eftychia Pananikolaou’s suggestion that McCreary’s music for the TV series Battlestar Galactica “may carry unequivocal ethnic significations [but] it is almost impossible for the perceiver to construct any culture-specific meaning,” I argue that the tension between idiomatic writing and unidiomatic writing is central to his style across various media platforms—a source of his popularity and target for criticism.
Session S. Reviewing Garcia’s Legacy (Lecture Recital) (CCCH)
Anastasia Belina-Johnson (Royal College of Music), chair
Reviewing Garcia’s Legacy: Traité complet de l’art du chant as a Record of Nineteenth-Century Vocal Style
Sarah Potter (University of Leeds)
The work of legendary voice scientist Manuel Garcia II (1805-1906) is commonly associated with discussion of vocal technique, and more specifically with research into the relationship between larynx height and vocal timbre. Garcia’s Traité complet de l’art du chant (1840/1847) is one of the first works to describe the means and effects of the low-larynx technique that forms the basis of the modern operatic vocal sound. The technical content of this comprehensive work is without doubt revolutionary, but its relevance as a record of nineteenth-century vocal style is often underestimated. This paper uses the repertoire reproduced in the Traité complet as a basis for more general discussion of style and expression in solo singing of this period. Garcia annotates the arias he has selected thoroughly, communicating his musical and physiological knowledge through a combination of traditional musical notation and additional instructions that describe stylistic or musical convention alongside each particular manipulation of the vocal apparatus required.
Specific directions of this kind provide rare insight into the production and application of the myriad stylistic devices and expressive principles described by practitioners and commentators in the nineteenth century. Live realization of these works in accordance with Garcia’s annotations will demonstrate the effective use of rhetorical devices, dynamic effects, ornamentation, portamento, and vocal timbre in the context of popular repertory. The diverse and frequent variation that Garcia advocates in this repertoire is indicative of a more general expectation of contrast and nuance in vocal performance of the nineteenth century.
Saturday 6 September late morning sessions (11:00 – 12:30)
Session T. Panel: Singing from the Same Hymn Sheet: Making Copyright, Open Access and Creative Commons Work Together for Music Research and Publication (Lecture Theatre 1)
Chris Banks (Imperial College London), convener; Lawrence W. Bebbington (University of Aberdeen), Mira Sundara Rajan (University of Glasgow)
The panel will explore the intellectual property issues surrounding the pursuit of music scholarship and research; publishing issues affecting authors and publishers of music and music research; music performance; licensing and dissemination of works, and other issues. The session will consist of three 20 minute papers exploring IP issues in three key areas, to be followed by a question and answer session to the Panel lasting 30 minutes. The three papers are designed to provide a succinct but comprehensive overview of the current IP framework (from creation of works through to publication and licensing) as it affects music creation, research, publication and licensing.
Music and Copyright: The Current UJ Legal Framework
Lawrence W. Bebbington
Significant changes to UK copyright law in Spring 2014 will affect music research, teaching, publishing and performance. This paper will out outline those changes and their impact. Important areas such as ownership of copyright; licensing; the use of extracts for quotation/criticism and review; changes to the law on sound recordings and performer’s rights; orphan works etc will all be covered to order to assess the implications and impact on music research and publishing. Areas of outstanding concern for the music community will also be outlined.
Music Research and Publishing: The Role and Impact of Open Access Publishing
Recent years have seen major developments in OA publishing of research and creative works and the publication of the Finch Report in 2012 followed rapidly by announcements from the Department for Buisness, Innovation and Skills, Research Councils UK and HEFCE have accelerated this agenda. This session will outline the key elements of OA as it affects music scholarship, including the recent UK Government initiatives; mandates from research funders such as RCUK; compliance with mandates etc. The changing nature of the publishing landscape has profound implications for music publishers and learned societies and with OA initiatives driving many elements surrounding the writing, submission, vetting, publication and dissemination of research, this session will also look at how smaller and learned societies can develop business models to remain viable and competitive in a highly dynamic market.
Creative Commons: Its Role in Music Research and Publishing
Mira Sundara Rajan
Alternative approaches to the traditional copyright licensing model are available to authors and publishers in publishing and disseminating music, and in the publication and teaching of music. This session will examine the role and benefits offered by the Creative Commons licensing approach – both as an independent licensing model but also the role it plays in compliance with mandates from research funders (such as RCUK). The types of general licences, and those specific to Music, will be explored; specialist areas such as Creative Commons Music Communities and resources will also be covered.
Session U. Panel: Inventare il vero: Italian Musical Realism, 1861–1961 (Lecture Theatre 4)
Ben Earle (University of Birmingham), convener; Laura Protano-Biggs (New Zealand School of Music), Arman Schwartz (University of Birmingham), Harriet Boyd (King’s College London)
Debates around the topic of musical modernism – its definition, its politics, its various versions, the problems of historical periodization raised by the very concept – have provided some of the most stimulating writing in English-language musicology of the last two decades. But the discipline may have arrived at a point where, owing to the manner in which they are increasingly framed, these debates are no longer very productive. In particular, the widespread tendency to label as ‘modernist’ almost any repertory composed after 1880 can appear interpretatively unhelpful, for all that it would seem the product of a perfectly laudable attempt to move figures sidelined by conventional historiography into the generally accepted picture of twentieth-century music. Discussions of musical modernism would seem to produce the best results when grounded in geographical as well as historical specificity. Meanwhile, the historiography of late-nineteenth and twentieth-century music would benefit from the introduction of a few alternative critical perspectives, of which the one proposed by the present panel will be realism. Realism seems an especially apposite term at the present musicological juncture, since it has traditionally been regarded as modernism’s opposite number. To put it crudely, while modernism privileges form over content (or insists that form is itself content), realism privileges content over form. In art history, film studies and literary criticism, the implications of such a shift of perspective have been endlessly explored for decades. Yet in musicology – in English-language musicology, above all – the ‘realism debate’ has never properly got off the ground. Partly this must be due to the peculiar nature of music, which of all the arts would seem least amenable to any aspiration to represent reality. And yet musicologists writing in English today would seem far less wary of representation – of content tout court – than they might have been 30 years ago. Other cultures have had fewer qualms. In Italy, two of the most celebrated cultural movements of the late-nineteenth and twentieth centuries, verismo and neorealismo, explicitly called attention to their realistic qualities. Music participated in both. In setting out to show how the notion of realism operated in these and other Italian contexts during the century following Unification, the present panel hopes not merely to understand what has been meant by this term, but also to suggest how its judicious employment may encourage a richer and more precise historiography of this much contested period.
Banishing the Sentimental Ideal: Political Realism and Musical Performance in Liberal Italy
It is a commonplace that in the decades that followed Italian Unification (1859–61), the romance of the risorgimento faded as the obstacles Italians faced in the new nation became all the more visible. The political historian Federico Chabod has shown that the Italians’ more sober outlook was one that post-unification politicians, themselves invested in a new political realism, in fact wanted to promote. Italians were told to ‘hurry [their] pace and pursue reality, leaving behind affections, dreams, and the sentimental ideal’, as one politician put it in 1871, ‘in order to grasp vigorously hold of the only things that [were] solid and secure: positive science, productivity, and the force that [came] from both of them’. While we tend to think of nineteenth-century realism in the Italian musical context as an aesthetic associated with the narrative and musical devices of veristi operas from the 1890s in particular, my paper considers this earlier moment in Italian realist thought, and its influence on musical aesthetics. In tandem with the shifts that Chabod describes, music critics started to replace the overstated rhetoric commonly used to describe instrumental and operatic performance in earlier decades with terms that assessed more measurable achievement, such as precision and accuracy. Taking Milanese musical criticism as a case study, this paper explores the influence of political realism on dramatic criticism. It assesses how the terms used to describe conductors and soloists shifted across the 1860s, seventies and eighties and suggests ways in which performance aesthetics changed as conductors and soloists started to conform to new critical ideals.
Puccini, Realism, and Scepticism
Most approaches to Italian operatic realism have looked for connections between the musical phenomenon known as verismo and the earlier literary movement that went by the same name. Taking a more pan-European perspective, this paper suggests that Puccini’s operas may have less in common with the novels of Verga and Capuana than with the theatre of Ibsen, as analysed in Toril Moi’s recent book Henrik Ibsen and the Birth of Modernism. For Moi, Ibsen’s realism revolves around a self-conscious critique of philosophical idealism, one staged (in highly gendered terms) through a series of confrontations between scepticism and the everyday. Moi’s approach to Ibsen – an author operating on the periphery of Western Europe, and one whose brand of realism was (like Puccini’s) as provocative to 19th-century audiences as it has been embarrassing to later ones – may help us re-hear several famous duets in the composer’s operas from the 1890s: scenes in which increasingly hysterical men find themselves performing for silent or deaf women.
Fascist Realism in Music? The Reception of Goffredo Petrassi’s Salmo IX
In 1951, in a characteristically sour recollection of his experience as a musical modernist in fascist Italy, Luigi Dallapiccola wrote of how, in the late 1930s, his interest in twelve-note technique was described, even by such a friendly critic as Guido M. Gatti, as ‘unrealistic’. ‘In Italy, at that time’, Dallapiccola continues, ‘baroque music was considered realistic, and an attempt was being made to write music equivalent to the architecture of Bernini’. The English translation of Dallapiccola’s words, by Deryck Cooke, is striking. For the Italian makes no use of the term ‘realistico’. The composer’s words are ‘inattuale’ and ‘attuale’. Normally ‘attuale’ would be rendered as ‘current’ or ‘contemporary’; Cooke might have ventured the Nietzschean ‘untimely’ and ‘timely’. That he chose ‘realistic’ instead suggests a shrewd grasp of the cultural politics of late fascism. As the cultural historian Ruth Ben-Ghiat has demonstrated, ‘realism became a signifying category of [fascism’s] third way’ between liberalism and communism. Indeed, precisely the connection between realism and the baroque can be found in a celebrated piece of late 1930s music criticism, the encomium on Goffredo Petrassi’s fascist masterpiece Salmo IX by the conductor, critic and composer Gianandrea Gavazzeni. Following the publication of this article, Salmo IX would be widely acclaimed as an exemplar of ‘barocco romano’, yet for Gavazzeni, Petrassi’s work also possessed a ‘realismo specifico’. What value did the notion of realism have in the vocabulary of such a thorough-going idealist as Gavazzeni? Why should the ‘realismo specifico’ of Salmo IX be praised, when two years later the same critic would condemn the ‘piatto realismo’ of Dallapiccola’s opera Volo di notte? In suggesting answers to these questions, the present paper will attempt to shine some light on the hitherto little explored topic of a specifically fascist musical realism.
The aftermath of World War Two in Italy, as well as memories of the war itself, were perceived as particularly noisy. This gave rise to a sense of sonic experience that many composers felt they had to capture if they were to retain political import. Harnessing noise within the framework of a modernist compositional idiom situated new music as a way out of what many saw as cultural malaise‹something both instigated by and responding to wartime devastation, the horrors of Fascism and an enticing mass media. In this paper, I start by providing an overview of mid-century theoretical writing on the borders of sound theory and music aesthetics, in particular topics responsive to the Italian city, the recent war and the neo-avant-garde. Next I consider how these were articulated within a particular brand of modernist operatic realism that emerged in the late 1950s and early 1960s: works that sought to ally socially realist content with a stylized modernist aesthetics. Finally, I bring these various discursive issues‹of city noise, modernist noise and war noise, as well as the noisy buzz of new media‹to bear on the premiere of Luigi Nono¹s Intolleranza 1960 (1961). I focus on how the opera¹s modernist ideology of noise as a realist lens made it the most timely work imaginable, while in turn I attempt to sketch a politics of this noisy realism.
Session V. Music and the City (Lecture Theatre 3)
Szymanowski in Warsaw: Late Chromatic Harmony and Metaphors of Metropolitan Spaces
Stephen Downes (Royal Holloway, University of London)
In 1917 Szymanowski’s ancestral estate was ransacked by the Bolsheviks. During the civil wars which then followed in the Ukraine Szymanowski was holed up in the family’s town house, but this was unsustainable. In effect he joined a displaced, nomadic aristocratic community that moved from hotel to hotel. In the mid 1920s he was found a small flat in Warsaw by a friend and he lived there for several years as he sought to establish himself as part of the cultural and institutional regeneration of Warsaw after the Polish independence. This tiny apartment on a crowded city street offered the starkest possible contrast to the spacious estate and manor house of his pre-1917 life. In 1926 Szymanowski wrote an essay in which he describes chromatic harmony in spatial metaphors which suggests that his creative imagination was at this time stimulated by notions of intersecting miniature tonal spaces, of ‘interior’ and ‘exterior’ spaces evoking home, loss and exile. In his tiny city flat, a stark contrast to the expansiveness of his lost country estate, he composed a Stabat Mater whose layered tonal complexes and vagrancies can be read as invoking a highly individual melancholic pastoralism. This approach facilitates a new way of analysing Szymanowski’s chromatic tonal idiom, allowing us to place his music more fully in the context of 1920s modernism and to unpick a fascinating musical response to a peculiar experience of the modern city.
Staging the City: Max Brand’s Maschinist Hopkins
Peter Tregear (Australian National University)
Opera may have become a genre predominantly by and for an urban elite, but it was not until the repertoire of the so-called Zeitoper that it became predominantly about the urban experience. Critical judgment of this repertoire, however, has been ambivalent at best. A review by Andrew Porter of a performance Max Brands’ opera Maschinist Hopkins from 2001 revived and reconfirmed an earlier judgment of David Drew from the Proceedings of the Royal Musical Association of 1961–2 that decried the work as merely ‘promiscuous modernism’, a ‘kind of chaos which may for a short time be mistaken for real innovation.’ (Reviewing the same performance, Michael Tanner, went further and suggested that by subsequently banning the opera, the Nazis only hastened a judgment of history that we ourselves would have made anyway).
Caught between such critical hostility and neglect, it is easy for music historians to down play the historical significance and influence of works like Maschinist Hopkins. In the years leading to the accession to power of the Third Reich, however, it was an astonishing popular and critical triumph. This paper argues that the foundation for its success lay in no small part in precisely its foregrounding of the kind of musical modernism that Porter and Drew had decried. Via such means, the score exploited dramatic and sonic analogies for the experience of modern urban life (many of which derived from silent film) that enabled it to reflect and reinforce what was occurring on stage with particular force.
‘Quelle expression! quelle suavité!’: The 1865 Paris Début of the Hungarian Cellist Rosa Szük (1844–1921)
George Kennaway (University of Leeds)
Rosa Szük was born in Pest, and was taught the cello first by her father Leopold and then by the Belgian virtuoso Adrien-François Servais. She performed throughout Europe from 1858 until her marriage into the aristocracy in 1869. At this point she ceased public performance, although she remained a leader of Budapest artistic salon life until her death. Widely reviewed, in concerts throughout the Austro-Hungarian Empire, France, England, and Germany, she remains a largely unknown figure. Servais’s adoption of the tail-pin made playing the cello at an advanced level more practical for women cellists, and he taught several female pupils who achieved an international reputation. The circumstances of Szük’s Paris début are unusual in that she was warmly supported by Alexandre Dumas fils who helped to create her advance publicity. One Paris reviewer draws a parallel between Szük and the cellist who features in Dumas’ Les mohicans de Paris (1854). This paper draws on material from contemporary reviews and from Rosa Szük’s unpublished memoirs which are held in a Budapest archive.
Saturday 6 September afternoon sessions (14:30 – 16:00)
Session W. Panel: (De)Constructing Histories of Electronic Music
(Lecture Theatre 4)
James Mooney (University of Leeds), convener; Simon Emmerson (De Montfort University), Dorien Schampaert (University of Leeds)
How is it that we are sometimes able to talk of ‘electronic music’ rather than all the bits and pieces that make it up? The purpose of this themed session is to draw attention to and stimulate discussion around the ways in which various electronic music histories have been constructed, and the different and sometimes competing agencies involved in such construction. In particular, social, technological, and literary factors are to be considered via three case studies, one each presented by each of the three contributors. Emmerson’s paper discusses the relationships between various social groups, including the Electroacoustic Music Association of Great Britain (EMAS), and their roles in shaping a culture of electronic music in the 1970s and 80s. Mooney’s paper explores how a particular individual—Hugh Davies (1943–2005)—sought to establish himself as a worldwide authority and innovator in electronic music in the 1960s, referring to the ‘story told’ by his self-built electronic instruments, publications, and establishment of an educational studio. Schampaert’s paper focuses on an electronic musical instrument, the Ondes Martenot, addressing aspects of its material and literary history and scrutinizing the forces that bring to bear upon its current position in electronic music practice and discourse. In a sense the papers each attempts to expose the mechanisms via which one particular version events prevails over others, and, to question the implications therein. One common theme is the interaction of various different social groups that contribute—or, alternatively, are excluded from contributing—to the meaning of a particular genre/idiom or instrument. Another concerns the electronic musical instrument as material manifestation of particular ideals or value systems, as evidenced in both the Ondes Martenot and in Davies’s self-built instruments. A third theme has to do with the representation of instruments and musical idioms in discourse and literature, which may or may not reflect the standpoints of various social groups ‘on the ground.’ Although the content of this session is not explicitly grounded in a particular theoretical model, the processes and mechanisms that it seeks to highlight can be understood in terms of what sociologist John Law has described as ‘the metaphor of heterogeneous network’:
This […] is a way of suggesting that society, organizations, agents and machines are all effects generated in patterned networks of diverse (not simply human) materials… [A] machine is […] a heterogeneous network—a set of roles played by technical materials but also by such human components as operators, users and repair-persons. So, too, is a text. All of these are networks which participate in the social. And the same is true for organizations and institutions: these are more or less precariously patterned roles played by people, machines, texts, buildings, all of which may offer resistance.
How is it that machines, texts, organizations and institutions (etc.) collaborate and conspire to produce different artefacts, accounts and meanings of electronic music? That is the broad question that these three papers address.
Hugh Davies: His Worldwide Authority and Innovations in the 1960s
The purpose of this paper is to explore the ways in which the late English musician and musicologist Hugh Davies (1943–2005) sought to establish himself as both a world authority on, and an innovator in, electronic music in the latter half of the 1960s, focusing on his work as a builder of bespoke electronic performance instruments, and on his establishment of an electronic music workshop at Goldsmiths College, London, in late 1967. Particular attention is paid to the ways in which Davies described himself and his projects in letters, biographic notes, press releases, and the like, which played an important role in his strategy, and which provide a primary account of the rhetoric and narrative that he used to pursue his agenda.
Such sources evince Davies’s efforts to garner institutional support, ultimately resulting in his establishment of the Goldsmiths studio. They show how Davies used his connection with Stockhausen (he was his personal assistant from 1964–1966) as an esteem indicator but always took care to assert his own creative identity, so ensuring that he would be perceived as an independent operator rather than a disciple. They evince Davies’s attempts to carve out a niche for himself by laying claim to the rapidly emerging praxis of live electronic music performance, a praxis with which Davies had become closely acquainted through rehearsing and performing Stockhausen’s ‘live electronic’ works (e.g. Mikrophonie I, Mixtur), but which he then individualized by building his own bespoke and idiosyncratic electronic instruments that placed his work at some remove from anything ever realized by Stockhausen. Homologously, they evince Davies’s efforts to present himself as a cosmopolitan authority on the field of electronic music worldwide, a field whose territory he had mapped in his early research and then individualized via his International Electronic Music Catalog, published in 1968.
The Role of EMAS and other Groups in Electronic Music of the 1970s and 80s
This paper starts with a general sketch of the situation in Britain in the early to mid 1970s, when a small number of pioneering electronic music studios (Goldsmiths, York, RCM) was joined by a new generation often with specific aesthetic orientations (Durham, City, UEA, later Birmingham and others); also to be noted are the collective and open access studios (West Square/Morley for example) which carried on a sometimes precarious existence around this time. But it would be wrong to think of a history of the subject as a history of studios. There were highly active and developing electroacoustic improvizing, sound art and installation scenes which often felt excluded from what they saw as ‘institutional’ discussions at the time. There
were also independent live electronic ensembles which made sometimes short-lived but important contributions. The paper also provides an account of the genesis of the Electroacoustic Music Association of Great Britain (EMAS), a professional body established in 1979 with the author as its founding secretary. Its practitioner-led model had its special strengths and weaknesses. But its model of (pre-internet) networking and sharing was fundamental to the explosion of activity that followed in the subsequent two decades, although the accusation that this led to the development of an ‘academic’ music genre cannot be avoided. The aim is to rebalance the historical record, trying to distinguish and credit the many and various creative streams that were at work – and to acknowledge failures and issues unaddressed. This is placed in the context of the broader contemporary music scene in Britain at the time.
The Ondes Martenot in Electronic Music Practice and Discourse
This paper studies the Ondes Martenot’s suspension between popularity and obsolescence, and the possible reasons for this. The search for answers reveals a complex network of technologies, people, institutions, literature and other actors, all playing a role in the story (perhaps not yet history?) of the Ondes Martenot. Some factors have contributed towards its survival, whilst others have pushed the instrument closer to the edge – these factors can be imagined as vectors pulling at the instrument from both sides. An example of a vector pointing in the direction of survival is the body of work written for the instrument. Olivier Messiaen’s compositions (the Turangalîla Symphony being the most well-known) and Radiohead member Jonny Greenwood’s pieces arguably represent the strongest forces in this vector, enjoying widespread critical acclaim and thus contributing to the visibility of the
instrument. A vector instead pulling the instrument towards obsolescence is the intricacy of the design (particularly the volume button), making it near-impossible to replicate. This resulted in a scarcity of instruments on the market, in turn restricting the number of players and teachers. Recent activity in the Ondes Martenot network (a documentary, a new digital model, a number of academic papers on the instrument) has shown that it is not yet ready to be turned into history, but this begs the question: what does the Ondes Martenot need to survive beyond the dormant state it has been in for nearly a century?
Session Y. Music and Literature (Lecture Theatre 1)
Richard Brown (University of Leeds), chair
Political Internationalism and Personal Individualism’: Vaughan Williams, strategies of displacement and Whitman’s double
Sarah Collins (University of New South Wales)
At the time of his death in 1892, the paradigmatic American poet Walt Whitman was more widely celebrated in Britain than in his own country, having received the vocal support of the likes of Tennyson, William Michael Rossetti, John Addington Symonds, Swinburne (for a time) and Edward Carpenter. For these writers, Whitman’s political egalitarianism—expressed through notions of ‘manly love’ and comradeship—presented a powerful alternative to prevailing Victorian forms of political and social relations. Whitman also provided significant inspiration for British composers at the turn of the twentieth century, with settings by Holst, Delius, Grainger, Scott, Gurney, Bridge, Stanford, Wood, Vaughan Williams and others. Yet while Whitman’s transatlantic literary reception has come to be seen as a moment of crystallization in the formation of contemporary notions of homosexuality and homophobia, such as described by Eve Sedgwick and Richard Dellamora, his reception among British composers is viewed as having been highly circumscribed, focusing more on the democratic and mystical implications of Whitman’s poetry.
In testing the claim that British composers simply ignored the aspects of Whitman’s poetry that seemed, to literary figures, to have been a core feature of the poet’s outlook, this paper will suggest that the continuity of intellectual concerns across aesthetic, national, environmental and bodily spheres were masked by strategies of displacement, which Lydia Goehr described in Elective Affinities as a critical approach to the problem of art’s relationship with politics. Drawing from Goehr’s notion of displacement, this paper will examine Vaughan Williams’ interaction with Whitman’s poetry, especially in relation to his views on the possibility of a ‘national music’.
Whose Nietzsche? Mahler and Strauss’s Treatment of Also Sprach Zarathustra
Leah Batstone (McGill University)
In 1896, both Gustav Mahler and Richard Strauss completed works influenced by Nietzsche’s Also Sprach Zarathustra: Mahler’s Third Symphony and Strauss’ symphonic tone poem of the same name. While these works are often discussed in the literature of each composer, they have rarely been compared in depth. Mahler’s engagement with Nietzsche reflects particular interest in perspectivism and the Dionysian affirmation of men’s connection to one another (McGrath). Strauss, by contrast, was primarily drawn to the philosopher’s rejection of Schopenhauerian pessimism, strong anti-Democratic leanings, and the importance of individual striving (Youmans). In this paper, I will discuss the two very different Nietzsches presented in the music of Mahler and Strauss by examining their differing interpretations of the Übermensch concept. Mahler’s use of the term to describe the finale of his Third Symphony, as well as his setting of the Zarathustra text “Oh Mensch, Gib Acht!” in the fourth movement reflects a concern for and connection to fellow man. Meanwhile, Strauss’s tone poem is preoccupied with individualism; the musical structure of the work itself illustrating a narrative of a hero’s striving. These works reveal divergent interpretations of the philosopher in a decade when Nietzsche reception was at its most varied (Aschheim). Examination of their symphonic structure, employment of Zarathustra texts, and personal correspondence regarding Nietzsche, show Mahler and Strauss as proponents of different receptions of the philosopher’s work. Building on the work of Annette Unger, I will show how these musical works not only embodied the multi-faceted Nietzsche, but the philosophical reception of a particular age.
The Musical Refiguring of Shelley: Granville Bantock and The Witch of Atlas
Michael Allis (University of Leeds)
Building on James Hepokoski’s familiar concept of the contract between composer and listener in defining programme music, this paper explores how the listener might ‘grapple with the connections’ suggested by the juxtaposition of musical text and paratext. Specifically, the paper focuses upon Bantock’s 1902 orchestral poem, The Witch of Atlas, based on a poem by Shelley of 1820. Whilst Bantock’s inclusion of an expurgated paratext in his published score offers a useful way in to appreciating his orchestral refiguring, literary scholarship can be identified as a site of additional interpretative strategies that might be applied to the music; these include aspects of genre, the concept of transformation in the poem, and Shelley’s awareness of the visual. An exploration of these issues identifies Bantock’s The Witch of Atlas as a strong reading of Shelley’s text. Its distinctive structure, an effective representative of Shelley’s manipulation of visual expectations, can also be contextualized usefully in terms of Bantock’s pre-war orchestral refigurings of literary texts. In all these works, Bantock’s structural decisions can be seen as a direct representation of the literary models upon which they are based; not only does this suggest parallels with Richard Strauss and his identification of ‘a correspondingly new form for every new subject’ as a ‘legitimate artistic method’, but it helps us to reassess Bantock’s status in relation to the more familiar composers associated with the ‘first, active phase’ of musical modernism.
Session Z. Intercultural and Transcultural Flows in Music
(Lecture Theatre 3)
Postcolonial Affect, or The Logic of Ambiguous Relationality
Gavin Lee (Duke University)
In contexts of postcolonial power struggle, ‘ambiguity’ is a charged term that describes the condition of being impinged upon by multiple cultural forces of Self (nationalism, ethnicity, race) and Other (the West, globalization). While some world music discourses insist on the lockstep between music and capitalism, and some orientalist critiques insist on the prominence of the Western perspective, I argue that globalized music in the twenty-first century needs a revised interpretive and analytical frame. Extending on Homi Bhabha’s concept of postcolonial ambivalence, or the strategic split allegiance to both colonial and anti-colonial efforts, I devise a theoretical model of interculturalism that pays heed to ambiguity, complicating the contexts of capitalist commodification and orientalist stereotype. This ambiguity is evinced in Belgium-born Singaporean citizen, Robert Casteels’ L’(autre) fille aux cheveux de Bali (2002), in which two familiar European piano works, Debussy’s La fille aux cheveux de lin and Bartók’s Báli szigetén, are arranged respectively for Chinese string trio and gamelan ensemble. The source pieces are broken into small fragments and juxtaposed such that the linear flow in the originals is preserved. I examine shifting relations between the four musical-cultural identities in terms of a matrix of affiliation and disaffiliation, affinity and disaffinity, and proximity and remoteness. While these relations can be understood in purely musical terms, they are designed to track both incremental and more drastic changes of relations between cultures in terms of perception, emotion, and identity-narratives. The phenomenological exploration of ambiguous relationality leads us to an understanding of what we might call (following Deleuze) the ‘logic’ of postcolonial affect.
Reading Kurth, Hindemith and Schoenberg through Sang Tong – Modernist Approaches to Chinese Pentatonicism in Shanghai
Cheong Wai Ling (Chinese University of Hong Kong)
It is commonly known that the teaching of Wolfgang Fraenkel (1897–1983) was pivotal in spreading the theory and practice of the Second Viennese School to China. Without the Third Reich, Fraenkel would not have fled for the ‘exotic’ land of China, bringing with him what was then understood by many as the pinnacle of Austro-Germanic musical modernism. What Fraenkel achieved in his decade-long exile in China was, however, not limited to the dissemination of dodecaphony. The use of Schoenberg’s Harmonielehre (1911) and Kurth’s Grundlagen des linearen Kontrapunkts (1917) in Fraenkel’s teaching had deeply influenced Sang Tong (1923–2011), his student at the Shanghai Conservatory in the 1940s, and retrospectively one of the most esteemed and long-standing presidents of the Conservatory.
This paper investigates how Sang Tong, who openly refuted Schoenbergian dodecaphony, sought to theorize the debatable notion of Chinese pentatonicism with recourse to notable central European theories. These include, significantly, Schoenberg’s delineation of quartal harmonies in Harmonielehre, Kurth’s speculation on the ‘absolute harmonic effect’ in Romantische Harmonik und ihre Krise in Wagners Tristan (1920), and Hindemith’s discussion of ‘harmonic fluctuation’ in The Craft of Musical Composition (1937), a text much promoted by Tan Xiaolin (1911–48), a student of Hindemith’s at Yale, and also a key figure at the Shanghai Conservatory around Sang’s time. I shall work through seminal texts published by Sang over two decades in the post-Cultural Revolution era, and throw light on his influential attempt to inject modernism to the cherished haven of Chinese pentatonicism.
Giacomo Meyerbeer, Christoph Gluck, and the ‘Geschmack des Auslandes’: A Re-evaluation of Meyerbeer’s Cosmopolitan Career in the German Press of the Biedermeier Period
Eric Schneeman (University of Southern California)
In recent studies of the 19th-century reception of Christoph Gluck, Alexander Rehding and William Gibbons focus on Wagner’s writings about the composer, his adaptation of Iphigénie en Aulide, and critics’ attempts to bring Gluck’s operatic reforms into a teleological process that culminated in Wagner’s music dramas. What has not received scholarly attention is that other 19th-century critics believed that Meyerbeer was the heir of Gluck’s operatic legacy. In his Künstlernovelle “Gluck in Paris,” printed in the Neue Zeitschrift für Musik (1836), Johann Peter Burmeister-Lyser fictionalized Gluck’s tenure in Paris in order to draw parallels between Gluck’s and Meyerbeer’s career. Lyser also printed a pamphlet in defense of Meyerbeer’s career and musical style in which he points out the inherent contradiction in attacks against Meyerbeer’s cosmopolitanism, in that the career and musical style of Gluck, a composer greatly admired by Meyerbeer’s critics, reveal the same cosmopolitanism. When Meyerbeer conducted Gluck’s Armide at the Berlin royal opera for his first official appearance as the General Music Director in 1843, local critics used this event to draw comparisons between the two composers. While the Berlin press gave Meyerbeer’s operas mixed reviews, critics praised his 1843 production of Armide, saying that it displayed a profound understanding of Gluck’s opera. By focusing on Lyser’s writings and reviews of the 1843 production of Armide, this paper demonstrates that, prior to Wagner taking his place, Meyerbeer was deemed as the inheritor of Gluck’s legacy of operatic reform, a fact that was obscured by the later-in the- century pro-Wagner crowd.
 Paraphrased from: John Law, ‘Notes on the Theory of the Actor Network: Ordering, Strategy and
Heterogeneity’, Systems Practice, 5 (1992), 379–393.
 Law, pp. 380–2.
Early-Bird by RMA members only (for all bookings made up to Friday 25 July 2014):
- Standard: £50 / Concession (Student/Unwaged/Retired): £30
Advance booking by RMA members only (Saturday 26 July – Monday 25 August 2014):
- Standard: £65 / Concession (Student/Unwaged/Retired): £35
Booking by non-RMA members or late bookings (after Tuesday 26 August) by RMA members:
- Standard: £75 / Concession (Student/Unwaged/Retired): £40
- Thursday only: £30 / Friday only: £30 / Saturday only: £30
Conference Meal, Friday 5 September 19:30 at University House:
- £40 (3-courses and 1/2 bottle of wine)
Accommodation information for the RMA Annual Conference, 4-6 Sep. 2014
En suite rooms are available on the University campus at Storm Jameson Court. A number of these have been put on hold for the days of the conference, but this is on a first come first served basis. Please book using the following link:
Bargain price hotel recommendations:
The Kingston Hotel, 5 Kingston Terrace, Leeds LS2 9BW (very near the University).
Discovery Inn, Bishopgate Street, Leeds LS1 5DY (close to the rail station, and opposite the bus stop from which the No. 1 bus departs every 10 mins for the University).
Medium price hotel recommendation:
Premier Inn, Clay Pit Lane, Leeds LS2 8BQ (10 mins walk from the University).
More expensive hotel recommendation:
Radisson Blu Hotel, The Headrow, Leeds LS1 8TL (10 mins walk from the University).
All these hotels can be booked easily via Booking.com (and, of course, many other web sites).
Archive: Call for Papers
Deadline: 5:00 PM (GMT), Saturday, 30 November 2013
The Royal Musical Association will assemble for its Annual Conference at the School of Music, University of Leeds, between 4 and 6 September 2014. It will be a special event for a number of reasons: not only is it the RMA’s 50th annual conference, but also it marks the 140th anniversary of the Association’s foundation and the 70th anniversary of its designation ‘Royal’. The occasion will be a meeting point for all to celebrate the achievements of the RMA and the breadth and depth of current research into the science and practice of music. The Peter Le Huray lecture will be given by Alexander Rehding (Harvard University) and the Dent lecture by Elizabeth Eva Leach (University of Oxford).
The programme committee invites proposals for individual papers (20 minutes) and themed sessions (90 minutes). Any session format – including sound installations, performance-based presentations, or workshops – may be proposed, as long as it fits into a 90-minute slot. The committee welcomes proposals from early-career researchers as well as leading scholars and practitioners. The aim is to represent the wide interests of the RMA’s membership at this milestone conference.
Submission of proposals and abstracts should conform to the following rules:
Individual papers: two copies of an abstract of no more than 250 words to be sent in pdf format. One should be attributed and one anonymous to enable anonymous review. An indication should be given of equipment required.
Themed sessions: abstracts (as above) for each of the contributions to the session. In addition, a 400-word rationale (also pdf format) that makes clear the purpose of the session, its theme and the ways in which the individual contributions relate, both thematically and in terms of organization and timing (for example, four 15-minute position papers followed by a half-hour discussion). Please include full contact details of the convenor, and indicate what equipment is needed.
The programme committee comprises Anastasia Belina-Johnson (Leeds College of Music), Kevin Dawe (University of Kent), Warwick Edwards (RMA/University of Glasgow), Andrew Kirkman (University of Birmingham) and Derek Scott (Annual Conference Chair; University of Leeds).
Proposals for individual papers and themed sessions should be sent to:
They must arrive no later than 5.00pm (GMT) on Saturday 30 November 2013. The committee aims to notify proposal authors of its decision by early February 2014. Those selected will be asked to confirm their acceptance and may make revisions to their abstract and (where applicable) timings. The full programme will be announced and booking will open by Easter. Abstracts will be published on the RMA’s website in July.
Note: All participants (save Le Huray and Dent guests and designated conference organizers) are required to register and pay the applicable fee. Registration fees cannot be guaranteed at this stage, but are expected to be no more than £65 for RMA members and £75 for non-RMA members, with concessions available at half-price and a discount offered for early-bird registration.
You do not have to be an RMA member to propose a session or a paper, or to participate. However, you will find it well worth joining at www.rma.ac.uk. It will entitle you to a discount on the conference registration fee, free hard-copy and online access to the Journal of the Royal Musical Association and the RMA Research Chronicle, exclusive discounts on a wide range of publishers’ books, professional news and views in the monthly e-bulletin and twice-yearly printed newsletter, and much more besides.
Enquiries about exhibition space, leafleting, and advertising in the conference programme book are welcome at any time.
Enquiries are also welcome regarding closed meeting-room facilities for members of the Music Research Consortium UK, though a small charge may be payable.