Noticing Musical Becomings: Deleuzian and Guattarian Approaches to Ethnographic Studies of Musicking

Published Feb 9, 2017

Abstract In this article, we expand conceptually upon approaches in cultural musicology and ethnomusicology that conceive of music in terms of shifting textual signs and performances of cultural meaning.1 Our aim is to propose some new ways of considering music in terms of relational events, doing, and becoming. We ask: what if music does more… Read more

Beat Hierarchy and Beat Patterns—From Aksak to Composite Meter

Published Feb 9, 2017

Abstract In his study of Steve Reich’s phase–shifting music, Richard Cohn points to a specific analytical challenge that transcends the repertoire at hand: “Given the relative poverty of our rhythmic terminology, the challenge for the theorist is to discover a means to characterize this material that is not only descriptively adequate, but also allows for… Read more

“Django’s Tiger”: From Jazz to Jazz Manouche

Published Feb 9, 2017

Abstract Jazz manouche, a contemporary musical genre originally inspired by the European Romani guitarist Django Reinhardt (1910–53), provides a fruitful case study for exploring the conceptual transformations and contradictions inherent within any “invented tradition.” This article’s point of departure is Reinhardt’s original composition “Django’s Tiger,” which today’s musicians typically perform with slightly different harmonies from… Read more

The Historical Soundscape of Monophonic Hi-Fidelity

Published Aug 29, 2016

Abstract An article in High Fidelity magazine, entitled “Listening is Believing?” and dated July/August 1953, sets forth the contemporary limits of sound reproduction in the inimitable style of advertisement copy: “Technical electronics can go only so far. Te rest of the job must be done by the imaginative mind of the listener. Tat’s not a… Read more

The Musical Work Reconsidered, In Hindsight

Published Aug 29, 2016

Abstract Certainly, the concept of the musical work has not always existed. Yet deciphering precisely when the work emerged has proved an immensely difficult task for musicologists.1 In particular, the publication of Lydia Goehr’s The Imaginary Museum of Musical Works—in which she famously argued that the work–concept crystallized around 1800—has provoked an endless litany of… Read more

The Lost Movements of Ernst Toch’s Gesprochene Musik

Published Aug 29, 2016

Gesprochene Musik, by Ernst Toch (1887–1964), is a forgotten milestone in the history of electronic music.1 A three–movement suite consisting of spoken music for choir, it is one of the few paradigmatic representatives of the genre of Gramophonmusik, which made use of prerecorded gramophone discs in a concert setting. The work was premiered in 1930… Read more

Voice and Instrument at the Origins of Music

Published Aug 29, 2016

Abstract During the summer of 2008, archaeologists uncovered some remnants of musical prehistory in the caves of Hohle Fels, Germany. There, among burnt animal bones and flint–knapping debris, they found fragments of three flutes (Conard, Malina, and Münzel 2009). One was remarkably complete. Tis delicate instrument, discovered in twelve pieces, had been fashioned from a… Read more

“A Disturbing Lack of Musical and Stylistic Continuity”? Elliott Carter, Charles Ives, and Musical Borrowing

Published Aug 14, 2015

Abstract Elliott Carter and Charles Ives shared a complex personal and professional relationship. Ives supported Carter’s musical pursuits as a young man and remained a guiding influence throughout his career. As Jan Swafford writes, however, “Carter, whose mature music would owe a great deal to Ives . . . would pay back his mentor with… Read more

Judging Performance, Performing Judgments: Race and Performance in Weimar Germany

Published Aug 14, 2015

Abstract In the summer of 1930, the pianist John Flaffith concertized throughout Europe and astounded audiences with his vivid interpretations of a varied repertoire, ranging from Debussy and Stravinsky to Bach and Mozart. In Poland, the Kurjer Polski raved: “Yesterday John Flaffith played before a wild audience. What this great artist understands and brings [to… Read more

Experiencing Alba Tressina’s Anima mea liquefacta est through Bodily Humors and the Sacred Erotic

Published Aug 14, 2015

Abstract In this article, I situate Tressina’s Anima mea liquefacta est (1622) at the nexus of Renaissance and Early Modern intellectual and religious frameworks. I demonstrate the ways in which it connects with the sacred erotic, a major component of European religious thought in the seventeenth century, and Galenic humorism, which by the end of… Read more

A Psychological Approach to Musical Form: The Habituation–Fluency Theory of Repetition

Published Aug 14, 2015

Abstract With the possible exception of dance and meditation, there appears to be nothing else in common human experience that is comparable to music in its repetitiveness (Kivy 1993; Ockelford 2005; Margulis 2013). Narrative artifacts like movies, novels, cartoon strips, stories, and speeches have much less internal repetition. Even poetry is less repetitive than music…. Read more

Editor’s Note

Published Aug 14, 2015

Abstract There is a nice scene in Annie Hall where Woody Allen’s character, standup Alvy Singer, meets Carol Kane’s character, stage manager Allison Portchnik. Waiting in the wings at a variety show, Singer remonstrates with Portchnik over the scheduling. “What do you mean, ‘next’?” he asks with amazement. “I’m not going after another comedian …. Read more

The Meyer Manuscript: An 18th-Century American Tunebook

Published Apr 23, 2015

Abstract The Meyer collection includes an 18th-century American tunebook in manuscript. This oblong tunebook, catalogued under the call number TN4/M294/T, is bound in a soft cloth cover and measures 16.5 by 10.5 centimeters. There are ‘thirty-seven folios, each with entries on both recto and verso. Unfortunately the manuscript contains neither a date nor an owner’s… Read more