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

Material Matters

Published Mar 23, 2015

Abstract Schneller documents his musical upbringing, travels around the world, and his studies of musicology.

Nigun Poems

Published Mar 23, 2015

Abstract This set of poems grew out of my experiences of listening and finding myself inside nigunim (pl; singular nigun or nign), Chassidic chants—mystical, usually wordless songs used as accompaniment for rituals—weddings, prayers, candle–lightings—collective beckoning of transcendence. The nigun experience is fraught with what Amiri Baraka called, referring to blues, the “re/feeling”—proximity and shape of… Read more

On Plurality

Published Mar 23, 2015

Abstract Neilson shares his expression of music and methodology of composition.

From Errata 5uite

Published Mar 23, 2015

Abstract Errata 5uite. errant phrase denoting a succession of 5 line errata slips of tongue composed of letter notes written on 5 line musical staves (invisible) together forming a silent suite (Fr. a following).

Transformational Analysis: An Essay Toward an Analytic Model

Published Mar 23, 2015

Abstract The goal of this paper is to briefly review some contemporary modes of analysis in light of Treitler’s remarks and to suggest, again briefly, a new perspective on analysis, which I term “transformational.” Several current approaches to music analysis are founded on the concept of a single basic shape as the underlying source for… Read more

A Timely Musical Discourse, or A Music Treatise from Lost Times, Part I

Published Mar 23, 2015

Abstract Eschewing some serious scholarly reservations, I wish to present a significant portion of a heretofore unknown treatise that concerns the nature of musical time. It takes the form of a dialogue between two musicians, a teacher and his student. The characters might represent actual musicians, or perhaps they personify two entirely contrasting musical cultures…. Read more