Book Reviews

Boss, Jack. 2014. Schoenberg’s Twelve-Tone Music: Symmetry and the Musical Idea. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Published Feb 9, 2017

Abstract Densely informative and richly detailed, Jack Boss’s monograph on Schoenberg’s twelve–tone music is the product of an impressive thirteen years of analytical work, itself drawing on a career–spanning engagement with Schoenberg’s music. This volume is the latest offering in Cambridge University Press’s Music since 1900 series, which also published Schoenberg’s Musical Imagination by Michael… Read more

Davies, J.Q. 2014. Romantic Anatomies of Performance. Berkeley: University Of California Press.

Published Feb 9, 2017

Abstract What might a broken clavicle, a urinating Frédéric Chopin, the execution of parricides, and Sigismund Thalberg’s “third hand” all have in common? According to James Davies, these practices, accidents, and medical woes share nothing less than a concern for defining musical bodies. Romantic Anatomies of Performance offers a richly detailed history of hands, voices,… Read more

Helbig, Adriana. 2014. Hip Hop Ukraine: Music, Race, and African Migration. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.

Published Feb 9, 2017

Abstract The underpinning principles of Hip Hop Ukraine: Music, Race, and African Migration conform to broader trends within hip hop studies. Scholars are increasingly breaking with the traditional approaches, which centralized (African?)Americanness as a governing frame, in favor for approaches that emphasize the global reaches of the imagined hip hop community, taking into account the… Read more

Daniel Albright. 2014. Panaesthetics: On the Unity and Diversity of the Arts. New Haven and London: Yale University Press.

Published Feb 9, 2017

Abstract A ticklish question runs through Daniel Albright’s Panaesthetics: what, or which, or whose Pan? The Greek god Pan is promiscuous, seductively musical, all–encompassing and self–fissioning; the camera pan shifts our gaze to refocus on new visual fields or subjects; pan– prefixes relatedly imply some fusion or bringing–together of various elements (pan–American— pansexual—pandemonium). To which… Read more

Morgan, Robert P. 2014. Becoming Heinrich Schenker: Music Theory and Ideology. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Published Feb 9, 2017

Abstract In my view, there is a real need for the kind of book that Robert Morgan’s Heinrich Schenker: Music Theory and Ideology aspires to be: a succinct, lucid, and sympathetic summary of the most important works of the most important music theorist, one that shows how those works comprise an integrated theoretical program, a… Read more

Review of Carol Vernallis. 2013. Unruly Media: YouTube, Music Video, and the New Digital Cinema. New York: Oxford University Press.

Published Aug 29, 2016

Abstract “I love the media swirl,” begins Carol Vernallis’s (2013) Unruly Media. In this exploratory, whirlwind, and sometimes frustrating volume, Vernallis acts as an exuberant tour guide through the bleeding edges of twentieth– and twenty–first–century media content. Vernallis cares deeply about the material under scrutiny in her book—pop culture artifacts from the “Sneezing Baby Panda”… Read more

Review of Eva Rieger. 2011. Richard Wagner’s Women. Translated by Chris Walton; and Laurence Dreyfus. 2010. Wagner and the Erotic Impulse.

Published Aug 14, 2015

Abstract The anniversary commemoration of great artistic figures would be incomplete without a survey of the scholarly landscape. So in the year of Richard Wagner’s bicentenary, the publication of new books shows no sign of abating, and nor should it, when there is still so much to be said about this most controversial of composers…. Read more

Review of Heather Wiebe. 2012. Britten’s Unquiet Pasts: Sound and Memory in Postwar Reconstruction. New York: Cambridge University Press

Published Aug 14, 2015

Abstract Britten as a public figure. Britten as a composer of music for children, amateurs, and the church. These are sides of Britten’s legacy that have attracted little scholarly attention prior to Heather Wiebe’s recent monograph Britten’s Unquiet Pasts: Sound and Memory in Postwar Reconstruction. More familiar is Britten as a composer of opera and… Read more

Review of Thomas Emmerig. 1984. Joseph Riepel, 1709-1782, Hofkapellmeister des Fürsten von Thurn und Taxis : Biographie, thematisches Werkverzeichnis, Schriftenverzeichnis. Kallmünz : M. Lassleben

Published Mar 23, 2015

Abstract Thomas Emmerig’s Joseph Riepel (1709-1782): Hifkapellmeister des Fürsten von Thurn und Taxis, volume 14 in the Thurn- und Taxis-Studien, is a welcome work which should be of central significance in the recent revival of interest in the life and work of Joseph Riepel. This relatively small volume (177 pages, including indices) contains a biography… Read more