|Little Rock skyline|
We look forward to welcoming you to Little Rock, Arkansas in March 2013 for the Thirty-Ninth Annual Conference of the Society for American Music.
Located in Central Arkansas on the banks of the Arkansas River, Little Rock and the surrounding area is known for its natural beauty and for the many outdoor activities available to residents and visitors. Home first to the Quapaw tribe, explored by the French trader Jean-Baptiste de La Harpe in 1722 and settled by Americans from the east after 1808. It is the home of the Clinton Presidential Library, the birthplace of Douglas MacArthur, and the home of Central High School where one of the major events in the history of school desegregation took place in 1957. It has been the home of many noted artists, including Robert Palmer, Jr., Pharoah Sanders (our Honorary Member for 2013), William Grant Still, and Florence Price. Little Rock prides itself as being a major cultural center for Arkansas and is home to a number of performing organizations and museums.
The Program Committee has planned a rich array of sessions, poster sessions, seminars, lecture-recitals and special events, many centered around themes and topics of special importance to Little Rock and Central Arkansas region. There are sessions featuring the diverse musical history of the Little Rock area, including papers on the works of William Grant Still and the Little Rock influences in Scott Joplin’s Treemonisha. Sessions include “Black Identities on Stage,” “The (Musical) Making of a President 2012” and “Music and Civil Rights.” There will also be a special session focusing on the music and career of this year’s honorary member, Pharoah Sanders.
This year’s seminar topics are “Music History Pedagogy” moderated by Renee Lapp Norris of Lebanon Valley College, and “Musical Improvisation and Identity,” moderated by Tract McMullen (Bowdoin College). The papers for these seminars will be available in advance through the SAM website beginning in mid-January. When you register for the conference, you will receive a password that provides access to the documents, which will appear as PDF files.
|Old State House Museum|
Three Friday afternoon excursions will feature the political and social history of Central Arkansas. The first focuses on the Civil Rights history of Little Rock and will include tours of the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center Museum, Central High School and Dreamland Ballroom, one of the prominent African American performance spaces of the twentieth century. The host for the afternoon will be Dr. John Kirk, Chair of the History Department at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and authority on the Civil Rights Movement in Arkansas. The second will feature a guided tour of the Clinton Presidential Library with the opportunity to explore the displays either with a docent or independently. The Center often has special exhibits and has many displays related to Clinton’s presidency. The final tour will be to nearby Hot Springs where attendees can explore the national park bath houses, visit the many fine arts galleries and shop along Central Avenue. Free time in the afternoon will allow for hikes, spa or gallery visits, or high tea, and the tour will conclude with dinner at a local restaurant. For those who prefer to explore on their own, the conference hotel is located near the Arkansas Studies Institute, the Arkansas Arts Center, headquarters of Heifer International, the Natural History Museum and the historic Capital Hotel. The Old Statehouse Museum, the original state capital and the site from which Bill Clinton launched his presidential campaign and announced his victory in 1992, is just next door and is home to several Arkansas history exhibits. The nearby River Market District offers a wide variety of shopping and dining possibilities and the historic Capitol Hotel is located just across the street.
This year the Society is pleased to induct Grammy Award-winning Pharoah Sanders as its 2013 Honorary Member. Born in Little Rock, Sanders is known for a distinctive tenor saxophone sound. Two sessions will focus on aspects of his music, and a special presentation of the award will take place on Friday afternoon. Mr. Sanders will be present for the Friday session and presentation.
The weather in Little Rock in March is mild, with average highs in the 60s, perfect for outdoor activities. More details about the area and its attractions are on the website and will be updated through the conference. On behalf of the Local Arrangements Committee and the Program Committee we look forward to seeing you in Little Rock for an enjoyable conference.
Local Arrangements Chair
|Clinton Presidential Library interior|
On behalf of the 2013 SAM Conference Program Committee, I would like to express our pleasure at having received such an impressive pool of proposals and to share our excitement over the program we have assembled for our annual meeting in Little Rock. The committee received 323 submissions, and—over two days of intense, stimulating, rich, and enormously collegial and gratifying discussion—we selected 119 papers, 15 posters, 12 seminar papers, and 3 lecture recitals. With very few exceptions, all proposals were worthy of presentation, and we were forced to make numerous difficult decisions. This hard work more than paid off when the selected proposals largely arranged themselves into a program that is both challenging in its breadth and welcoming in its integration of fascinating topics.
The program reflects the broad and diverse range of regions, periods, and musics that fall under SAM’s purview and exemplifies the vast array of methodologies, approaches, and critical perspectives that our members bring to scholarship on American musics and music in the Americas. Yet there is also a high degree of topical focus, with the program cohering around several related themes. With regard to region, for instance, I am pleased that the program features several sessions dedicated to musical developments outside of the United States, ranging from Québécois fiddling to the avant-garde in Buenos Aries; yet, it also features a strong concentration on music as practiced in and around our host city, with a wealth of panels, papers, lecture recitals, and poster presentations investigating Arkansan musical traditions and musicians and assessing their impact well beyond the region. This blend of breadth and focus applies as well to other topical parameters, such as historical period (with, for instance, a panel on music from colonial times as well as a panel on music from the 2012 presidential campaign), the range of musicians considered (from rock icons like Jimi Hendrix, Ronnie James Dio, and Led Zeppelin to the renowned nineteenth-century professional whistler Alice J. Shaw, as well as panels concentrating on major figures, such as Mary Lou Williams, John Adams, Florence Price, and the Society’s 2013 Honorary Member Award recipient, Pharoah Sanders), the variety of media investigated (from early tunebooks to contemporary digital music communities), the themes explored (from indigeneity to patriotism, from civic pride to civil rights), the array of functions served by American musics (from shape-note gospel singing to early film music), and the methodologies employed (from source studies to critical hermeneutics). I invite members to preview the conference program currently available on the SAM website.
In closing I would like to express my gratitude to the members of the 2013 program committee (Mina Yang, Travis Stimeling, Marva Carter, Chris Wilkinson, and Beth Levy), all of whom contributed enormously to shaping the program and brought great enthusiasm, professionalism, competence, knowledge, and good will to this highly challenging yet immensely rewarding process. We look forward to seeing you in Little Rock and receiving your feedback on the program.
Steven Baur, Chair
2013 SAM Conference Program Committee
Central Arkansas Nature Center
Several SAM Interest Groups will be meeting in Little Rock. If you are interested in joining one of the groups or attending their meetings, contact the group leaders listed here.
- Music, Film, and Media Interest Group, Mary Simonson (email@example.com), chair
- Music of Latin America Interest Group, Jenny Campbell (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Christina Taylor Gibson (email@example.com), co-chairs
- Folk and Traditional Music Interest Group, Gregory Reish (firstname.lastname@example.org), chair
- Gospel and Church Music Interest Group, Tammy Kernodle (email@example.com), co-chair
- Research Resources Interest Group, Mark McKnight (firstname.lastname@example.org), chair
- Research on Gender Interest Group, Melissa de Graaf (email@example.com), chair
- Connecting Outside the Academy Interest Group, Joseph Horowitz (firstname.lastname@example.org), chair
- Jewish Studies Interest Group, Erica Argyropoulos (email@example.com), chair
|Katherine K. Preston, SAM President|
12 December 2012
Dear Friends and Colleagues—
This is my final Bulletin message to you as President of the Society for American Music. President-Elect Judy Tsou will take over as SAM’s fearless leader at the end our March conference in Little Rock. My (almost) two years as President of the Society have been exhilarating, satisfying, and humbling. Very early in my tenure I began to understand more clearly the depth of SAM members’ commitment to and enthusiasm for the Society for American Music; this loyalty to the organization was revealed in both conversations I had with many members and responses to the survey conducted in early 2010 by the Long Range Planning Committee (at the instigation of my predecessor Tom Riis). In an earlier Presidential message, I described the surprising level of enthusiasm of the survey’s respondents, and the astonishing degree of unanimity about what the Society’s priorities should be. I decided very early on that my goal as President would be to attempt to help channel this incredible energy and enthusiasm, and many of the tasks that we (the officers and members of the Board) have undertaken over the last two years have been designed to do just that. This has been an exciting experience, and a gratifying one, for the progress that we have made is the result of a great deal of hard work by many, many individuals. (The experience, I can add with conviction, has been much more satisfying than serving as Chair of a Department of Music!) I am truly grateful to have been given the opportunity to have a role in this development. Our forward momentum and an increased sense of a clearly articulated mission will continue, I am confident, under my successor Judy Tsou.
At the business meeting in Little Rock we will discuss some of the tangible results of all of this work, including some changes to the Society’s organizational structure and a newly revised Long Range Plan. In earlier messages in this forum I have mentioned the creation of two new committees: the Committee on the Conference and the Committee on Committee Governance. The President of SAM has the power to create committees (which the Board then approves), but I believe that these two new working groups should be standing, rather than ad hoc, committees. This requires a change to our bylaws, which must be approved by the membership at our annual meeting. In the process, you will also be asked to vote on the addition of three other committees to the Bylaws. The Conference Site-Selection, Cultural Diversity, and Honors and Awards committees have long been de facto standing committees, and we should recognize that fact. The second tangible product of our increased forward momentum is a revised Long Range Plan, which is the result of two years’ worth of meetings and discussions both in person and via teleconference. The LRPC first met for this reason in September 2010; from that meeting came the survey mentioned above, which then spawned an open forum at the Cincinnati conference. The LRPC’s subsequent deliberations (including an additional one-day retreat in Pittsburgh in September 2012) were informed by data collected from the survey and the forum. Our very productive discussions at both retreats were immeasurably enhanced by pro bono leadership from Ms. Cheryl Tomko, a strategic planning facilitator from the University of Pittsburgh. Vice President Denise Von Glahn, who chairs the LRPC, will share information about our revised plan at the meeting.
|2013 SAM Honorary Member Pharoah Sanders|
A third tangible product of all the work from the last two years is more sensory in nature: a renewed and increased feeling of excitement among the members of the Society about the future of our organization. I attribute this attitude to the survey itself, which seems to have awakened in members a realization of our shared commitment and a faith in our great potential as a scholarly organization. The stellar and exciting conferences we have enjoyed in recent years and the increased prestige of the Journal of the Society for American Music have also contributed. Also contributing to this sensation is our realization that the Society, which is approaching its 40th year, has succeeded beyond the founders’ wildest dreams (or so I suspect). Scholarship on American music, on the American music diaspora, and on the history of music in America is no longer on the margins: it is front and center in the discipline of musicology. The Society—first as the Sonneck Society (in honor of Oscar Sonneck, a pivotal early scholar of American music) and later known by our current name—has been a major catalyst in that change.
I invite you all to be part of that excitement by attending our next national conference, in Little Rock, Arkansas. This location is a bit too far south and east to be in the geographical center of the country, but it is remarkably close to the mean population center of the country (which is in southern Missouri). The location, as a result, is pretty close to where a lot of people live, and if you have never attended a SAM conference, this is a great time to do so. The conference itself promises, as usual, to be rich, diverse, and a wonderful reflection of the cornucopia of musical styles native to or heard in America. There will be sessions on music of the 18th, 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries; on popular, dance, theatre, film, folk, and art musics, on the music of native Americans, and on specific American composers. There will be interest group sessions, lecture recitals, poster sessions, and seminars on two different topics (Music History Pedagogy and Music Improvisation and Identity). In honor of our location there will be sessions on music of the Civil Rights movement, on soul music, gospel music, and shape-note hymnody; there will be, furthermore, two sessions organized around the great tenor saxophonist (and Little Rock native) Pharoah Sanders, who will be made our 2013 honorary member. And, of course, there will be plenty of opportunity to network and simply to have a great time with people who share our interests. In short, it will be an enjoyable and stimulating conference, and I hope to see many of you there.
I end this missive on a sad note. As many of you already know, two long-time and valued members of our Society will not be present at our conference this year. Mary Wallace Davidson, who was to receive our Distinguished Service Award in Little Rock, died on 11 October 2012 after a long and heroic battle with lung cancer (I did speak with her prior to her death and told her of the honor). And one of our former Presidents, Anne Dhu McLucas, had her life tragically cut short on 8 September as the victim of homicide in her home in Eugene, Oregon. Anne and Mary knew each other well and were close friends. They were also among the first people I met some thirty years ago when I first joined the Sonneck Society as a graduate student. I am proud that I could call both of them friends, and their absence will be palpable. They contributed much to our Society over the years, and will be present in Little Rock, I am sure, in spirit.
Amendments to the Society’s Bylaws requires two-thirds vote by the Board of Trustees, subject to ratification by members of the Society by a two-thirds majority of those voting (either at the annual meeting or by proxy). The following amendment to Article VI will be presented to Society members at the Business Meeting at our next conference in Little Rock. Those not attending the meeting can vote by proxy by sending an email message to the Society Secretary, Neil Lerner (firstname.lastname@example.org). Please put “bylaws vote” in the subject line and indicate “Yes” or “No” in the body of the text. For those who do not use email, send a hard copy proxy to Lerner at Davidson College, Box 7131, Davidson, NC 28035.
For explanation of the amendments, see the President’s message in this Bulletin.
Article VI. Committees
Section 1. Standing Committees.
The standing committees of the Society shall be the Executive, Nominating, Long-Range Planning, Finance, Development, Membership, Conference, Conference Site Selection, Committee Governance, Cultural Diversity, Honors and Awards, and Public Relations. The composition of committees and method of selection is stated in the Society’s Handbook. The president shall serve as an ex-officio member of all standing committees except the Nominating Committee.
Descriptions of the current standing committees should remain as is, with the addition of the new committees placed in the list between “Membership” and “Public Relations.” Descriptions of the new committees to be added to the bylaws:
The Committee on the Conference makes recommendations for changes in the format of our annual conferences.
The Conference Site Selection Committee solicits, screens, and recommends Board action on invitations from potential hosts for annual conferences.
The Committee on Committee Governance identifies members for potential service on committees, and can recommend creation of new committees or elimination of old ones.
The Cultural Diversity Committee promotes the Society’s goals to be as broadly inclusive as possible and explores avenues for increasing membership in the Society among non-majority populations.
The Honors and Awards Committee administers the various honors and awards of the Society. It solicits and maintains an ongoing list of possible honorees, and recommends to the Board the names of potential recipients for major awards bestowed by the Society each year.
|Arkansas Arts Center|
Call for Items for the Silent Auction
It’s that time of year again! Time to begin thinking about what you can donate to the 2013 Silent Auction. New or used, any items of interest to the SAM membership will be accepted. Books, which tend to increase revenue substantially, are especially welcome. All donations are tax deductible, and all of the auction’s proceeds benefit the Student Travel Endowment. Items should be brought with you to the conference in March. Contact Sarah Suhadolnik (email@example.com) or SAM Executive Director Mariana Whitmer for more information.
Getting Ready for Little Rock
The annual meeting in Little Rock is fast approaching! The Student Forum organizes several events, and we are always looking for volunteers to help. If you have questions or would like to get involved with any of these happenings, contact co-chairs Brian Jones (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Sarah Suhadolnik (email@example.com).
Little Rock Events
The Student Forum is a great way for students to connect! All students at the conference are invited to attend our events. This year’ Student Forum Panel will focus on strategies and tips for publishing as a graduate student. The panel of speakers will include journal and book editors, as well as younger scholars who have had publishing success. Bring your questions to the panel, which will be held on Thursday, March 7th from 12:45–1:45 p.m. The Student Forum Business Meeting will be Friday, March 8th to elect a new co-chair and discuss student ideas and issues. Check the program for the time and location. After the meeting, we will all relax at an informal Student Forum dinner. We hope to see you all there!
Mark Tucker Award for Outstanding Conference Paper
Students who will be presenting a paper at the conference are eligible to compete for the 2012 Mark Tucker Award. For information on where and when to submit applications, please check the society website: www.american-music.org.
The Silent Auction, held annually at the Society meetings, supports the Student Travel Endowment. The auction is facilitated by members of the Student Forum. This means we need your help! As always, we seek donations of books, recordings, and other SAM-related materials for the auction.
Help stretch your travel budget and get to know a fellow SAM student member by participating in the Student Forum roommate search. If you would like help finding a roommate for Little Rock, please contact the Student Forum co-chairs.
We look forward to seeing you in Little Rock in March!
Brian Jones and Sarah Suhadolnik, Student Forum Co-Chairs
|Richard Kamrar Collection|
The Center for Popular at Middle Tennessee State University recently received the donation of a large sheet music collection. Mr. Richard Kamrar of Oakland, California, a long-time collector, has gifted the Center his collection of approximately 30,000–35,000 pieces of music. The Richard Kamrar Sheet Music Collection is an excellent representation of American popular music from the 19th and 20th centuries, with pieces dating from 1823 through 2000. It is rich in Broadway, movie music, non-production tunes, obscure titles, Big Band charts, and Cole Porter, and also music books and other valuable holdings.
Mr. Kamrar was a long-time theater organist and friend of many musicians and composers in California, including Cole Porter. He remembers his very first piece of sheet music, which was given to him by his music teacher in 1936, titled “Everything Stops for Tea.” He moved to San Francisco in 1956 and it was there that he started collecting music in earnest. He became a one-man music library and was often contacted by friends, composers, and performers for information on obscure or rare pieces.
The Richard Kamrar Collection is a major addition to the Center for Popular Music. The Center’s holdings in sheet music were already among the largest and most accessible in the world, and Mr. Kamrar’s kind donation only makes a good situation great. The Center staff is thrilled by the gift and anxious to get at the work of archiving and cataloging the music, thus making it available and accessible to Center patrons in the present and to the untold generations of students and scholars to come.
Dale Cockrell, the Center’s Director, and his wife Lucinda, the Center’s Archivist, moved the Collection from Oakland to its new home in Tennessee via Penske rental truck. It was a long, five-day haul with a half-million dollars worth of sheet music in the back, but with its joys (the Utah salt flats, the Sierras, the buttes). Dale is happy to report that their marriage is still solid!
|The Peabody Hotel|
Volume 7, Number 1 (January 2013)
“Why We Sing”: David Mahler’s Communities
Amy C. Beal
Those Entertaining Frisco Boys: Hedges Brothers and Jacobson
Doubled Selves: Eleanor Powell and the MGM Backstage Musical, 1935–37
Ron Pen, I Wonder As I Wander: The Life of John Jacob Niles
Anne Dhu McLucas
John Spitzer, ed. American Orchestras in the Nineteenth Century
Polly H. Carder, George F. Root, Civil War Songwriter
Cristina Magaldi, Music in Imperial Rio de Janeiro
Tamara Elena Livingston-Isenhour and Thomas George Caracas Garcia, Choro: A Social History of a Brazilian Popular Music
Carole King, The Legendary Demos
James E. Perone
Edward A. Berlin The Asphalt Orchestra, The Asphalt Orchestra
Aaron Copland: Music in the 20’s
Colleagues and fellow SAM constituents, I am delighted to write to you in my new capacity as editor of the Bulletin. As a junior faculty member with several years of SAM membership under my belt, I am happy to take on this position of service to the society and you. It is my hope that over the next three years I can work to augment the visibility and function of the Bulletin; discussions to that end will begin at the Publications Committee meeting in Little Rock. I would be glad to receive your thoughts, observations, questions, and suggestions for and about the Bulletin in addition to any and all contributions you may have. This applies to everyone, but especially all junior, untenured, and student members. I look forward to hearing from you!
Laura Moore Pruett
The Journal of the Society for American Music and the SAM Bulletin are always seeking reviewers for books, recordings, and multimedia publications. If you are interested in serving as a reviewer for either publication, please send your name, email address, and areas of expertise to Tom Riis, Chair of the SAM Publications Committee, at Thomas.Riis@Colorado.edu.
|Little Rock River Rail Electric Street Car|
The Society is pleased to welcome these new members:
New Affiliate Member:
Broadcast Music, Inc., New York, NY
Carl Vermilyea, Tallahassee, FL
Jennifer Kelly, Easton, PA
Paul Steinbeck, St. Louis, MO
Andrea Fowler, Liberty, MO
Jonathan Goldman, Victoria, BC, CANADA
J. Tyler Fritts, Memphis, TN
Alexander Woller, Champaign, IL
George Lewis, New York, NY
Georgia Luikens, Cambridge, MA
Frank Lehman, Cambridge, MA
Katherine Isbill, Seattle, WA
Meredith Doster, Atlanta, GA
Karen Garrison, Auburn, AL
Melissa Zapata Rodriguez, Bronx, NY
John Covach, Pittsford, NY
Jeffrey van den Scott, Evanston, IL
Jonathan Sauceda, Longview, TX
Michele Aichele, Iowa City, IA
Alysia Raine, Glenview, IL
Jeremy Orosz, Minneapolis, MN
Jessica Loranger, Santa Cruz, CA
Music, American Made: Essays in Honor of John Graziano, ed. John Koegel. Harmonie Park Press, 2011. xxxi + 733 pp. 978-0-8999-0157-3. Hardcover.
E. Douglas Bomberger
The musical Festschrift is a genre that originated among German musicologists but has found a strong resonance in the United States. A collection of essays compiled in honor of a distinguished scholar not only serves as a reflection of the honoree’s unique interests and accomplishments but can also be a contribution to scholarship in its own right. Among recent Festschriften devoted almost entirely to essays on American music are the volumes honoring H. Wiley Hitchcock (Michigan, 1990), Eileen Southern (Harmonie Park, 1992), William Kearns (Harmonie Park, 1999), and J. Bunker Clark (Harmonie Park, 2007). Music, American Made: Essays in Honor of John Graziano is substantially longer than any of these predecessors, and it promises to take its place on the short shelf of distinguished works in the genre that will be consulted on the strength of its scholarly achievements.
John Graziano is known for the breadth of his interests and the depth of his curiosity. After early publications on Renaissance music and Schoenberg’s serialism, he settled on American music as his focus. But “settled” is perhaps not the most accurate verb, because his interests led him to explore the broadest reaches of the topic. He has written on art music and popular music, often exploring the border regions between the two categories. He has investigated many aspects of African-American musical life, notably in his award-winning article on Sissieretta Jones, known as the “Black Patti.” He has made important contributions to the literature on orchestral music, opera, musical theatre, and art song. His work with the “Music in Gotham” project in New York has made him an authority on music in urban settings, and his editorial work for the Recent Researches in American Music series has been crucial in uncovering lost and neglected American repertoire.
All of these interests are reflected in the wide-ranging collection of twenty-nine essays contributed by his students, colleagues, and friends. The essays are divided into six groups: 1. Music in Urban Spaces; 2. Art Music Repertories; 3. Nineteenth-Century Popular Music Traditions; 4. Music on Stage and in Film; 5. Traditional Music and Art Music Adaptations; and 6. Sacred Music and Adaptations. Each of these categories is sufficiently broad to allow for cross-pollination among them.
Nearly all of the essays are based on archival research. Graziano has often called attention to the unexplored riches buried in American libraries, archives, and contemporary periodicals; these essays elevate the pursuit of those riches to a position of honor and chronicle several important new discoveries. Thomas Riis examines the recently recovered script of the Cole and Johnson musical A Trip to Coontown (1897), the first African-American musical comedy. He draws attention to the unique uses of ethnic and racial humor as reflective of the team’s desire to paint African-American culture in a sympathetic light while negotiating the world of Broadway. Raoul Camus describes the music of the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition in detail and gives credit to Graziano for insisting on a trip to the San Francisco Public Library that led to his discovery of a crucial typewritten inventory of groups that performed at the Exposition (p. xxv). Paul Laird illuminates the worlds of burlesque and vaudeville in the early twentieth century through a description of scrapbooks compiled by Irish comic Roger Imhof and now housed at the University of Kansas. In similar fashion, many of the other contributors reveal documentary evidence that broadens our understanding of music and its place in American culture. By contrast, musical analysis seldom appears in the essays, with notable exceptions in Jonas Westover’s insightful dissection of the orchestrations for The Passing Show of 1914 and in Michael Pisani’s comparison of early folk song settings by Bartók and Farwell.
The performance of music has been a central preoccupation of Graziano’s career, and his work acknowledges that in America even more than in Europe, the way music is performed often takes precedence over the way it was written. Many of the essays in this collection explore performance traditions, both before and since the introduction of sound recording technology. Deane Root’s essay “Performing Foster” examines the settings where the songs of Stephen Foster were performed in an effort to chronicle their entrance into the popular and folk culture of the United States and abroad. Ron Pen looks at the role of Appalachian folk music in the preservation of Southern culture as a distinct regional topos. Sandra Jean Graham discusses the “repackaging” of African-American spirituals in her essay “Reframing Negro Spirituals in the Late Nineteenth Century,” demonstrating that they moved from their antebellum plantation roots to broad cultural currency through several unanticipated channels, for instance as college songs. N. Lee Orr’s essay “Democracy Comes to the Choir Loft: Dudley Buck and the Popularization of American Sacred Music” traces the changes that took place in American choral singing after the Civil War, attributing the changes at least in part to the works written by Buck for amateurs.
In keeping with the fluidity of performance traditions is the American propensity for adaptation. Several of the most fascinating essays deal with works or genres that were adapted to different uses than originally intended. William A. Everett looks at film versions of Sigmund Romberg’s 1928 operetta The New Moon, illustrating how Hollywood producers could radically alter the setting, plot, and musical content of a stage work in their efforts to sell popcorn. Christopher Bruhn applies the methodology of “Signifyin(g),” pioneered by Samuel Floyd and Henry Louis Gates, Jr., to analyze Layton and Creamer’s 1921 song “Dear Old Southland” with its allusions to the spirituals “Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child” and “Deep River.”
Numerous essays reflect Graziano’s interest in transatlantic influences on American music. Ora Frischberg Saloman and Matthew Reichert examine the reception of Beethoven and the composers of the “New German School” in nineteenth-century New York, while Stephen Banfield chronicles the reception of American music in nineteenth-century Bristol, England. Edward Berlin traces the European studies of Eleanor Stark and the influence she exerted on the publishing business of her father John Stark, who brought the music of Scott Joplin to the public. Ruth Henderson looks at the American tour of Italian contralto Marietta Alboni in 1852–53. An intriguing essay by Michael V. Pisani compares the work of American Arthur Farwell and Hungarian Béla Bartók during the years 1904–1908, demonstrating that they pursued similar goals by using traditional music as the basis for a nationalist musical style. The significance of this serendipity lies “in how these composers contextualized folk music and in the processes by which they derived a more complex harmonic language and rhythmic freedom from their respective materials” (p. 513). Marianne Betz’s discussion of George Whitefield Chadwick’s chamber music is also permeated with transatlantic connections in both reception and stylistic analysis.
A majority of the essays deal with music in urban life, reflecting Graziano&srquo;s work on the “Music in Gotham” project. While New York is the focus of many of the essays, there are significant contributions on music in Washington, DC by Katherine K. Preston and Orly Leah Krasner; in San Francisco by Leta E. Miller; and in Lynchburg, VA by Jennifer CHJ Wilson. At the opposite end of the spectrum are essays on music in rural settings by Ron Pen, William Kearns, and Kay Norton. Nineteenth-century New York was a city of immigrants, but not all were from Europe. John Koegel documents the important Cuban émigré community in the city during the last two decades of the century, tracing connections from musicians Emilio Agramonte, Rosalía Chalía, and Emilio de Gogorza to the political activist José Martí.
Koegel also served as editor of the volume, using a light touch to bring editorial consistency while allowing each author’s voice to remain distinctive. As a result, this diverse collection of essays with its myriad interconnections is a fitting tribute to John Graziano. It contains significant new information and perspectives that will appeal to readers who share John’s curiosity and broad range of interests.
Backstory in Blue: Ellington at Newport ’56, John Fass Morton. Rutgers, 2008. 304 pp. ISBN-978-0-8135-4282-9. Hardcover.
J. Kent Williams
Readers who are not steeped in jazz lore may not get this book’s rather esoteric title. Its central concern is the performance of the Duke Ellington Orchestra at the Newport Jazz Festival (NJF) on the evening and early morning of July 7–8, 1956. More precisely, it focuses upon the band’s rendition of the up-tempo “Diminuendo in Blue and Crescendo in Blue” and the crowd’s response to the groove laid down by bassist Jimmy Woode and drummer Sam Woodyard, to Paul Gonsalves’s long, hot, tenor sax solo, and to Newport socialite Elaine Anderson’s spontaneous solo dancing. The importance these events played in reviving Ellington’s career has been noted by critics and historians as well as by the Duke himself who, when asked his age during the 1960s, would reply, “That’s a dangerous question. I was born in 1956 at the Newport Festival.”1
If Morton had merely described this collective performance, his book would be shorter but much less interesting. Instead he has provided a “backstory” that supplements, and occasionally corrects, previous accounts and embeds them in a rich historical and cultural context. Relying heavily upon interviews with those who played crucial roles both onstage and off, as well as secondary sources, Morton offers fascinating profiles and narratives as well as keen appraisals of contemporary events and trends.
The twenty chapters of Backstory in Blue are grouped into three parts. In Part One, entitled “How We Got There,” Morton recounts the key people, places, and events that led to NJF ’56. He also chronicles the development of the jazz record industry and provides an extensive profile of George Avakian, from his high school years as an avid jazz discophile, to his time at Yale where he joined the United Hot Clubs of America and got to know Marshall Stearns (who in 1956 authored The Story of Jazz), to his advocacy of reissuing classic jazz records, and finally to his role as a jazz producer at Columbia, and later other labels.
Morton’s account of the founding of the NJF, as well as its first two (1954 and 1955) editions, agrees substantially with that provided by Bert Goldblatt in his 1977 study Newport Jazz Festival: The Illustrated History. Both writers agree that once the idea took root, Elaine and Louis Lorillard provided start-up money, recruited the advisory board, persuaded George Wein to sign on as producer, and promoted the festival among their friends and neighbors. Morton goes on to add a deeper discussion of how Elaine Guthrie Lorillard, after years of classical piano lessons, became a passionate advocate for jazz.
The location, events, and principal actors of “Newport ’56” are recounted in a series of six chapters under that heading. Beginning days before the festival, Morton relates decisions and actions that preceded the final Saturday night program, he then continues with a compelling account of the events just before Ellington’s last set. Here, on the verge of describing the epic performance, Morton diverts focus from affluent Newport to the more modest, but musically rich, Cape Verdean community in and around New Bedford, MA, the culture that produced Paul Gonsalves. In addition to describing that milieu, the author relates important events in Gonsalves’s pre-Ellington life: his musical awakening upon hearing the Jimmie Lunceford band at the RKO Theater in Providence, RI, his subsequent ascent through the ranks of local and territory bands, and eventually his ascent to membership in the Count Basie and Duke Ellington orchestras. The chapter ends with a brief account of the genesis and pre-NJF ’56 history of “Diminuendo and Crescendo in Blue” and of Gonsalves’s lengthy solos during its “interval.”
The main narrative resumes in Chapter 12, which is immodestly titled “The Rhythmic Groove of the Century: The Gonsalves Solo.” After setting the scene by locating various VIPs and contingents in the audience, Morton narrates the unfolding of the “Diminuendo” performance from Ellington’s announcement and four-chorus piano introduction, to the entrance of the bass and drums, and then that of the saxes and brass. Once the band had finished the “Diminuendo” section, which Ellington concluded with a two-chorus interlude, Gonsalves stepped forward to begin his “interval” solo. As he began to blow, he closed his eyes and failed to notice George Avakian frantically pointing to the Columbia microphone that was on a separate stand from those for the festival PA and the Voice of America (VOA) recording contingent. Avakian ran backstage and told the Columbia engineers to boost their gain, but they could only compensate so much. As a result, Gonsalves’s solo lacks presence on the Ellington at Newport LP released by Columbia. That flaw and others were repaired decades later when the VOA tapes, long thought to have vanished, were found in the archives of the Library of Congress. Audio engineers, led by Phil Schaap, were able to synchronize the Columbia and VOA mono recordings to produce the stereo CD Ellington at Newport Complete that was released by Sony in 1999.
In one of jazz history’s most famous moments, the band’s tight groove and Gonsalves’s inspired soloing prompted Elaine Anderson to arise from her seat in one of the front-row boxes and begin dancing in the aisle alongside the VIP box seats. Morton reveals that Anderson had extensive training in various styles of dance and was known for dancing solo at private parties, but her name had remained unknown to most jazz fans. Instead, she was simply “the platinum blond in the black cocktail dress whose dance that night both expressed and inspired the Gonsalves solo” (p. 159). Morton fills that gap by describing Anderson’s (née Zeitz) life before and after NJF ’56 as well as the source of her parents’ and husband’s wealth.
Before narrating Anderson’s dance, Morton describes the imaginary “fourth wall,” a state of mind that separates performers from their audience. He recalls two times when jazz performances had broken through that wall: a rollicking tenor sax solo by Paul Gonsalves at the Savoy nightclub in Boston c. 1946, and a dance by Elaine Anderson’s friend, Carol Haney, at Miami’s Fontainebleau hotel early in 1956. By relating these events, Morton implies that Gonsalves’s solo and Anderson’s dance were not out-of-character. Both had precedents, but Anderson’s was the more daring since it required breaking out of her role as an audience member to dance in front of 7,000 fans. As she told Morton in a 2002 telephone interview, “Now you’ve got to remember: People do that all the time today, but this is a long time ago. Nobody ever did that there. Nobody” (p. 174). Morton then describes Anderson’s dance and the reactions of the crowd, photographers, and band in vivid, slow-motion prose. He supplements that account with seventeen black-and-white photographs that show her in various stages of abandon.
In “Where It All Went,” the third and last part of his Backstory in Blue, Morton traces the lives of the principals after NJF ’56. He describes the post-festival buzz among jazz fans about the events of Saturday night, the subsequent wave of publicity surrounding Ellington, and the production and release of Columbia’s Ellington at Newport LP. Morton also provides a deeper look into Columbia’s role, as well as that of other labels, in promoting jazz and other styles of popular music during the middle decades of the twentieth century.
Morton continues his profile of Elaine Anderson by relating heretofore unknown details of her life after NJF ’56. She met George Avakian for the first time at Newport ’57 and their conversation about her photo on the Columbia LP began an association that lasted until her death in 2004. She also met Ellington unexpectedly while living in Los Angeles during the mid-1960s, and that encounter led to her being invited as a special guest to the 1965 performance of Ellington’s First Sacred Concert in San Francisco.
The book’s penultimate chapter, entitled “The Brotherhood of the Jam,” is primarily concerned with the post-1956 careers of Ellington and Gonsalves. Through correspondence with Tom Reney, a jazz DJ and freelance writer, Morton learned that Ellington tolerated Gonsalves’s abuse of drugs and alcohol for the remainder of the saxman’s life (the two men in fact died within days of each other). The book’s final chapter, entitled “Festival Junction,” traces the history of the festival post-1956 and social change into the 1960s. Some of the spirit of those years was captured by photographer Bert Stern in his 1960 film Jazz on a Summer’s Day.
Riots by drunken college students and other youthful thrill seekers eventually forced municipal authorities to suspend the remainder of the main 1960 festival and to cancel the 1961 jazz and folk festivals. In subsequent years George Wein was able to reconstitute the Newport Jazz Festival, which he claims, “had the greatest years of jazz in ’62, ’63, and ’64” (p. 261). In 1965, the jazz and folk festivals moved from Freebody Park to another site that came to be known as Festival Field. In that same year Bob Dylan famously made his switch from acoustic to electric guitar; as Wein reminisced, “The Newport Jazz Festival really started everything that is happening today” (p. 263).2
Morton’s book is a significant and impressive contribution to the history of jazz and popular culture in mid-century America. Its strengths are its innumerable details and authenticity, as well as the richness and fluidity of its prose. Given its depth, breadth, and finely etched characterizations, along with the author’s background in theater and film, I can imagine the book being adapted for a full-length film or a television mini-series. That said, the study is marred by some of Morton’s musical analyses, which demonstrate that his knowledge of cultural history is not matched by a comparable understanding of music theory. Three matters on this point require comment.
The first problem is Morton’s discussion of the tritone. Gonsalves opens his solo on G, the pitch that forms a tritone with D-flat, the root of the first chord and the tonic scale degree for the entire solo (pp. 10, 266, 280). While sounding sharp-4 above (or below) 1 does evoke tonal tension and ambiguity, that ambiguity is quickly resolved if sharp-4 resolves to 5, as it does in the example Morton cites, the opening motive of “Maria” from Bernstein’s West Side Story. The problem, however, is that Morton mentions only the second note (sharp-4) of that motive and ignores the third, the resolution to 5 (p. 266). In a more general statement, he dwells on certain properties and effects of tritones but ignores others: “A sound completely foreign to a key, the devil in music is extremely dissonant, a restless, ambiguous sound that creates for the ear a spiritual and mysterious tension. It is the ultimate in conjuring, sound that awakens a send of the miraculous” (p. 266). This misconception stems from the notion that the tritone is a note (pitch), specifically sharp-4 or flat-5, rather than an interval. Morton apparently does not realize that tritones are abundant in most functionally tonal music.
Rather than dwelling on the tritone formed between Gonsalves’s first note (G-natural) and the tonic scale degree (D-flat), Morton could have focused on the entire first chorus. As my transcription (Ex. 1) shows, Gonsalves resolved G-natural (sharp-4) immediately to A-flat (5) in mm. 1 and 3, just as in “Maria,” but he played G-naturals again in mm. 2 and 4 without resolving them. Brackets and labels below the staff indicate the set-type (prime form) of each set of pitches. It is worth noting that all of the pitches in mm. 1–8, except the sixteenth-note E-flat in m. 7, belong to the octatonic collection shown in Ex. 2. Due to their highly symmetrical properties, octatonic collections contain multiple instances of smaller sets of the same type. For example, three instances of [0 1 6] are identified in mm. 1–2 of Ex. 2, all sharing the G-natural/A-flat dyad. In fact, an instance of this trichord type can be formed with every pitch class of an octatonic collection. While it was unusual in 1956 for a jazzman to begin a solo by playing “outside” of the prevailing harmony, Gonsalves did return to the diatonic scale of D-flat major in the last four bars of his first chorus. Morton speculates that Gonsalves’s “bold improvisational choice” may have been influenced by the key scheme of the “Diminuendo” that preceded his solo and/or by “the polytonal possibilities Ellington handed him” (p. 280), although he does not explain those possibilities. It is also possible that Gonsalves had been listening to the music of Bartók, since the pitch materials in mm. 1–8 of this chorus closely resemble those in certain pieces by Bartók, most notably the first movement of the Fourth String Quartet.3
Example 1: First chorus of Gonsalves’s solo
Example 2: The octatonic collection implied in mm. 1–8 of Gonsalves’s solo. The other two octatonic collections can be obtained by rotating the “spokes” clockwise or counter-clockwise by one “hour.”
Also of concern is Morton’s description of the tonal plan of the “Diminuendo and Crescendo,” in which he reckons intervals between key areas in pitch space rather than pitch-class space. For example, in trying to bolster his claim that the work “is noteworthy for its rising pitch” (p. 279), Morton considers each new key to be pitched higher than the previous key. This leads to statements like “When Ellington went from the key of C to A-flat, he moved up the scale a minor sixth, raising pitch via an interval most unpredictable” (p. 279), and “to enter the “Crescendo” Duke did a quick pass, playing block chords from D-flat up an expansive minor sixth to A, then up a perfect fifth to the dominant E, and finally up a major seventh to rest at E’s leading note, E-flat, whereupon the band joined the conversation” (p. 281). Of course such distances should be measured in pitch-class space, that is, in an ascending or descending direction, whichever is shorter. Thus the distance from C to A-flat is the same (four semitones) as that for the first modulation, E-flat to G. Furthermore, tonal shifts up or down a major or minor third from one major key to another are not unusual in jazz and popular song of the 1920s through the 1950s. In fact, such chromatic mediant key relations occurred in two works that Ellington had played earlier in the evening: Vincent Youmans’s “Tea for Two,” and the third movement of Ellington’s own Newport Festival Suite (whose choruses are based loosely on the tonal-harmonic plan of “Tea for Two”).
In one of his far-reaching statements about the effect of pitch and key relations Morton claims that “Elaine Anderson, an engaged listener with a classically trained ear attuned to Beethoven . . . would have subliminally responded. Very early in the solo, if not in the opening phrases, what she heard tore her from her seat and propelled her to interpret in dance” (p. 281). Here Morton seems to have confused Elaine Anderson with Elaine Lorillard. In his earlier accounts, he describes Elaine (Zeitz) Anderson’s extensive training in dance but says nothing about her taking years of piano lessons, as he did with Elaine (Guthrie) Lorillard. It seems more reasonable to assume that Anderson, as a trained dancer, responded more to the tight groove laid down by the rhythm section and the generally “hot” and hard swinging character of Gonsalves’s solo than to abstract pitch and key relations. Morton also makes some claims about Ellington’s tonal structures and the practice of certain classical composers, notably Wagner and Stravinsky. Space constraints do not allow for an engagement with these statements, some of which were based on analyses in Gunther Schuller’s The Swing Era.
My final concern is with Morton’s description of the phrase/chorus structure of the “Diminuendo and Crescendo.” In one endnote he refers to “its fourteen-bar phrases, twelve bars plus two-bar extensions” (p. 283). This idea was apparently derived from an uncited review by the English critic Max Harrison. Morton and Harrison were actually concerned with the length of choruses rather than phrases, but even so there are no fourteen-bar choruses in this work. All choruses of the “Diminuendo” are conventional twelve-bar blues except for choruses 7 and 8, each of which has twenty bars. The additional length of chorus 7 (beginning at 1:30) results from repetitions of two-bar groups and four-bar phrases. There is also a tonal shift from E-flat to G major in the middle of the first four-bar phrase. In chorus 8 (beginning at 1:55) Ellington elongated the blues scheme, apparently to effect a modulation from G major to C major. Its metric and tonal-harmonic scheme is shown in Ex. 3. Gonsalves’s “interval” consists entirely of twelve-bar blues choruses in D-flat major. All choruses of the “Crescendo” are normal except chorus 46 (11:04), which is a twelve-bar blues with a four-bar tag, and chorus 47 (11:23), which is an eight-bar partial blues chorus with a four-bar tag. The final chorus is interrupted in m. 11 by a coda.
Example 3: Tonal harmonic scheme of chorus 8
Morton’s book begins with a Foreword by Jonathan Yardley who, as a sixteen-year old jazz neophyte, was present on that magical night. Morton interviewed Yardley some fifty years after NJF ’56 and weaved Yardley’s account into his narrative. Yardley went on to pursue a career in journalism that included a Pulitzer Prize (in 1981) for Distinguished Criticism as book critic for the Washington Post. But in spite of his numerous achievements and honors, Yardley recalled that “that night in Newport stands alone and apart. That I was actually there is something that I can’t quite believe, and that gives me undiminished joy” (p. xii). Such joy was shared more remotely by others, like myself, who bought the Ellington at Newport LP soon after its release, and through repeated playings, developed a fondness for Ellington’s music and that of other jazz greats. Morton’s Backstory provides a fascinating account of a brief but momentous event in jazz history as well as an extensive backstory that couches Ellington’s comeback in a rich and deep historical and cultural context.
1 Derek Jewell, Duke: A Portrait of Duke Ellington (Norton, 1977), 110.
2 As quoted from a 2003 interview. In recognition of his long and distinguished career as a producer of jazz festivals Wein was recently given the Prix Bruce Lundvall Award at the Montreal Jazz Festival 2011.
3 In the Fourth String Quartet, see mm. 22–25; also see Mikrokosmos nos. 109 and 113. The label “z” was first applied to the [0 1 6 7] set type by Leo Treitler in his article “Harmonic Procedure in the Fourth Quartet of Béla Bartók,” Journal of Music Theory 3, no. 2 (1959): 292–98.
Songs in Black and Lavender: Race, Sexual Politics, and Women’s Music, Eileen M. Hayes. University of Illinois Press, 2010. 231pp. ISBN-978-0-2520-7698-5. Paper.
Felicia M. Miyakawa
Eileen Hayes’ new monograph, Songs in Black and Lavender: Race, Sexual Politics, and Women’s Music, is a multi-faceted study of race, gender, sexuality, and feminist politics within the context of Women’s Music Festivals. These festivals, many of which are held annually, have blossomed around the country since the first festival was inaugurated in 1974. Each festival operates within self-contained rules. Some allow anyone to attend; others admit only women. Some are adult-only spaces; others allow both male and female children to attend with parents but separate the children by gender at a certain age. Some require festival attendees (“festigoers”) to sign up for work shifts; other hire paid staff to attend to manual labor. Taken together, these festival sites—linked primarily by a common interest in “Women’s Music”—offer Hayes a rich but shifting terrain of gender and identity politics to explore.
Prospective readers should be forewarned: Hayes is clearly unconcerned with constructing a chronological narrative here. In fact, Songs in Black and Lavender is not much of a narrative at all. It is an experiment in form, one that may either delight or baffle readers. As I read, I had the impression that the book unfolds in outwardly expanding concentric circles; tree rings, marking the age, survival, and impact of the Women’s music festival scene. Hayes’ most tightly controlled investigations come near the front of the book. By the final chapter, I found myself wondering about how “Drag Kings” were connected to what I perceived to be her point(s). I would have done well to remember her words as I read the later chapters: “the book’s organization underscores that this is not a study of women’s music but...is one that has been done in that context” (p. 28). (For those readers waiting for the Drag King punch line, here’s the point: MtF transgender performers are often excluded from the festivals Hayes chronicles because they are not “womyn-born-womyn.” “Drag Kings”—women performing as men—are more acceptable because the performers are “womyn-born-womyn.” These are separate issues, as Hayes admits, yet she tackles them in a single chapter because together they reveal contested, unstable notions of gender identity within the Women’s Music scene.)
This is (Not?) a Story my People Tell
In retrospect, her non-narrative strategy makes sense. Narratives need a protagonist, a clear sense of self, a fixed subject position. But Hayes allows her own subject position (and I would argue that she is one of the main subjects of her study) great fluidity. In chapter 1 she “defines” her own position in the study: “I do not presume to inhabit a black lesbian subject position. I say this not to disavow associations between myself and members of the community in which I conducted research, but rather to underscore...that markers of identity ought not necessarily to be deemed sufficient grounds upon which to grant one authority to speak the cultural truths” (p. 4). Yet, Hayes does identify with aspects of the women she studies: she is black, and a self-described lesbian feminist in terms of her activist agenda. For Hayes, subject positions are malleable but worth naming out loud. Take for example, her conversation with Cal Mitchell about whether or not Mitchell identifies as an activist. After extended reflection, Mitchell finally concedes: “Yeah, okay. So I’m an activist, maybe. (laughs).” To which Hayes responds: “I think it’s more than an activist, maybe! (laughs)” (p. 138). Hayes not only asks her respondents for their insight, but challenges them to greater insight and self-reflection and then writes of their process. In this particular interactive interview, Hayes inhabits one subject position: she is the researcher; she asks the questions. Yet her perspective shifts throughout the study. She experiments with an introspective investigation in chapter 1 with a diary of her own experiences as a festigoer. She camps with the other festigoers, takes on work duties, attends workshops, and enjoys musical performances at various festivals, talking with the other women as she inhabits these worlds, reveling in the role of participant observer. But she is also the omniscient narrator at times, filling the reader in on the history of the Women’s music festival movement, providing the connective tissue for a rich exploration of a particular locus of feminist activity that we rarely see. And she chronicles all of these experiences with a deep sense of humor.
Fade to Black (and Lavender)
In fact, her entire study embodies play: gender play, role play, metaphoric play; plays on words, plays on ideas, and plays on tropes. Hayes defaults to seeing the humor in her role as a participant-observer ethnomusicologist, and her consultants typically respond in kind. Take, for example, Hayes’ recollection of a visit to a fortune teller, Lady Abundantia, to inquire “if I would finish this book or not.” Her reasoning: “Everyone knows that African American women comprise the highest percentage of American consumers who purchase the services of psychics, fortune tellers, tarot card readers, and crystal-ball seers” (p. 20). Holding the book in my hand, I, the reader, know the eventual answer to her inquiry. But the query itself is of secondary importance. Hayes here illustrates an approach maintained throughout her study: hold an assumption (or stereotype) up to the light, act on the assumption, and then examine processes and results alike through the lenses of many and diverse theoretical approaches. The end result is a study well situated in multiple disciplines (but also somewhat fractured by this prismatic approach), told with a serious wink and a wry smile.
Hayes’ sense of play manifests in yet another way through her many nods to popular culture and African-American literary and musical tropes. On the very first page of chapter 1, she grounds her diary in the aesthetics of Tyler Perry as Madea (!). She crafts section headings that rely on clever, twisted references to major films and musicals: “Sister (Mammy) Act,” for example, or “The (Drag) King and I.” Signifying on Nina Simone’s song “To Be Young, Gifted, and Black,” Hayes titles one of chapter 9’s sections “To Be Young, Aggressive, and Black,” as a way to introduce an extended discussion of David Peddle’s film The Aggressives. And in the same chapter she harnesses Langston Hughes’ poem “Dream Variations,” and in particular the final line “black like me” which serves, as she puts it, as “a heuristic device to examine the extent to which transgender-specific issues are included in the constellation of topics of concern to the black family or body politic” (p. 164). These are wide-ranging references: nothing is too sacred, high-minded, or obscure as a possible reference point. The variety here could seem unsettling, groundless. But this tack, too, seems an embodiment of her subject and approach: first, the heterogeneity of her cultural references mirrors the heterogeneity of her subjects, assumed by outsiders (whatever that means) to be a monolithic group; and second: this is a serious subject, but let’s not take ourselves too seriously.
Nevertheless, there are weighty issues to be considered here. Chief among them is the ever-daunting issue of the construction and labeling of difference. The nature of Hayes’ study takes us into multiple levels of Otherness: women musicians in a career path largely dominated by men, carving out a protected space for themselves; black women in the land of music festivals primarily peopled by white women, jockeying for space and representation; black lesbians operating within a lesbian political worldview that privileges whiteness, seeking a brand of activism that does not automatically preclude their involvement; older festigoers mingling with the next generation of women’s music devotées, wanting to be remembered but recognizing that their protégés need to grow; transgender (male-to-female, or MtF) musicians and music lovers who want to be part of the festival scene but are excluded because they are not “womyn-born-womyn.” This terrain is sticky, but as she points out: “critical scholarship should attend to doubly and triply minoritarian groups precisely because in doing so the interconstitutive nature of difference is revealed” (p. 4).
Indeed as she reveals image by image, lesbian by lesbian, activist by activist, and festival by festival, her “research site” is chock full of the complications that make questions of difference complicated and delicious. Simply defining what the book is about presents riddles. In her words, Songs in Black and Lavender is about “manifestations of black feminist consciousness in ‘women’s music’” which she characterizes as “less a type of music than it is a site of women’s thinking about music, a context for the enactment of lesbian feminist politics and notions of community” (p. 1). She spends the rest of the book unpacking the complex, interwoven strands of this opening statement. “Lesbian feminist politics,” for example, is hardly a stable ideological platform. And although “Black Feminist consciousness” has risen from the ashes of being virtually ignored during second-wave feminism to a powerful, we-count-too, multivalent, interdisciplinary, frontal and interstitial assault on hegemony, it remains ill defined. But therein lies the play, the wiggle room within which Hayes can juxtapose theoretical frameworks suggested by a constellation of theoretical stars, including Patricia Hill Collins, Joy James, Michael Awkward, Homi Bhabha, Judith Butler, Hazel Carby, Judith Halberstam, bell hooks, Kate Bornstein, and many others. I, for one, will mine her bibliography (and the rest of her study) for years to come.
The Center for American Music at the University of Pittsburgh is delighted to announce that they will be hosting a fifth NEH Summer Institute for Teachers, June 27–July 29, 2013 titled “Voices Across Time: Teaching American History Through Song.” All K–12 educators in any discipline and graduate students in education are invited to apply. Please spread the word! More information at: www.library.pitt.edu/voicesacrosstime/index.html. “Voices Across Time” is a project of the Society.
David Hildebrand, Director of the Colonial Music Institute, has published a double CD, Music of the War of 1812. The set includes a one-hour public radio program, “From Broadside to Anthem,” that brings life to this period of American history. Featured are “Madison’s March,” “Decatur and the Navy,” and “The Battle of Baltimore,” a rollicking Yankee Doodle parody offering a lower class accounting of the attacks at North Point and Fort McHenry. The program offers an extended telling of the story behind “The Star-Spangled Banner.” The second disc includes also “Before the Lord We Bow” (one of the two hymns composed by Francis Scott Key) and “Perry’s Victory.” Featured guest performers include Ginger Hildebrand, the US Naval Academy Glee Club, The Sons of Harmony of St. John’s College, and singers from Westminster Choir College.
The Colonial Music Institute also published Kate Van Winkle Keller’s book Music of the War of 1812 in America and is now distributing on DVD the one-hour documentary film Anthem entirely focused on the process of parody and the background to “The Star-Spangled Banner.” For further information and orders, visit www.1812music.org.
Karen A. Shaffer, director of The Maud Powell Society for Music and Education, announces the publication of Maud Powell Favorites: New Edition of Rare Violin Masterworks. America’s first great master of the violin, Maud Powell (1867–1920) pioneered the violin recital in America, championed American composers, including the works of women and African-Americans, and was the first instrumentalist to record for the Victor Red Seal label (1904). She premiered major concertos in America by Tchaikovsky, Sibelius, and Dvořák, and left a performance legacy that endures today. Musical America editor John C. Freund hailed her as “one of the most powerful forces for musical advancement in America.”
Maud Powell Favorites, published in a limited four-volume edition, contains 43 rediscovered masterworks for the violin, including Powell’s own transcriptions. Works by Amy Beach and Marion Bauer are featured along with works by Sibelius, Palmgren, Foster, Coleridge-Taylor, Rosamond Johnson, Hermann Bellstedt, Dvořák, Gluck, Grainger, MacDowell, Beethoven, and many others. Maud Powell Favorites is published by The Maud Powell Society for Music and Education, Brevard, NC (2009). For more information or to order Maud Powell Favorites, visit the Publications page of the Maud Powell Society web site at www.maudpowell.org or contact The Maud Powell Society at 828-884-8500.
Music preservationist Roger Lee Hall has compiled a new commemorative multi-media disc, Glory, Hallelujah! Songs and Hymns of the Civil War Era. It includes eight premiere recordings, including a Shaker pacifist hymn, an original version of “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” four rare hymns by Stephen Foster, a hymn written for the National Peace Jubilee in Boston, and a new hymn in commemoration of those lost in the Civil War titled, “They Who Seek the Throne of Grace,” based on a theme by Louis Moreau Gottschalk. The disc is available in two formats: music-only CD, and a CD-ROM with historical background, music examples and sheet music. Read more about the disc at this link: www.americanmusicpreservation.com/CivilWarSongsandHymns.htm.
Flutist Peter H. Bloom and pianist Mary Jane Rupert, who tour the globe as the duo “2”, are featured on a new CD, Kleemation and Other Works by Elizabeth Vercoe (Navona Records NV5884). Vercoe has been praised by The Washington Post as “one of the most inventive composers working in America today.” Her 2003 composition Kleemation is a suite of five contrasting movements for flute and piano, based on provocative and enigmatic drawings by Paul Klee. Captivating, moving and edgy, the piece draws on the musicians’ gritty virtuosity. To contact Peter, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.americasmusicworks.com.
John Koegel (California State University, Fullerton) has been awarded a year-long Research Fellowship by the National Endowment for the Humanities for work in 2013–2014 on his book Mexican Musical Theater in Los Angeles, 1910–1940. He will investigate all forms of musical theater (opera, operetta, musical comedy, musical revue, plays with music) and vaudeville in the Mexican/Mexican-American community in Los Angeles and Southern California.
Calls for Papers and Contributions
CFC: The International Alliance for Women in Music calls for submissions for the 2013 Pauline Alderman Awards for outstanding scholarship on women and music. Named for pioneering musicologist Pauline Alderman (1893–1983), the biennial awards honor scholarly books, articles, and reference works from any discipline treating some aspect of women and music in an original and compelling way. The 2013 awards will consider works published in 2011 and 2012. Any individual or organization may submit items for consideration by sending a letter of nomination with the nominated work, postmarked no later than February 1, 2013. Send letters and publications to:
Elizabeth L. Keathley, Chair
PAULINE ALDERMAN AWARDS COMMITTEE, IAWM
School of Music, Theatre and Dance
University of North Carolina, Greensboro
P.O. Box 26170, Greensboro, NC 27402-6170
For details of the competition and a list of past honorees, please see: www.iawm.org/oppsComp_alderman_current.htm.
CFP: Latin American Hip-Hop. Contributors are needed for a special edition on Latin American hip-hop for the online journal, alter/nativas: Latin American Cultural Studies Journal (alternativas.osu.edu/en/index.html), associated with the Center for Latin American Studies at The Ohio State University. From a cultural and musical practice that originated among African American and Hispanic youth in the Bronx, hip-hop has become a global signifying practice providing new parameters of meaning to locally and nationally diverse groups. Throughout Latin America, youth have appropriated hip-hop as a musical medium for voicing concerns and perspectives on a slue of both local and global issues. For this reason, this musical practice provides a rich site for an analysis of the symbolic as well as the material impacts of the global culture industries. The general objective of this special edition is to compile essays that 1) are representative of hip-hop’s diverse expressions in Latin America while 2) analyzing the complexity of Latin American hip-hop as it relates to globalization, capitalism, popular culture, social and political protest, racism, ethnicity, identity, gender, the nation, etc. By Feb 28, 2013, submit a one-page abstract of your proposed essay and an abbreviated CV or academic bio focusing on your research expertise. Submissions and inquires should be sent via email to Christopher Dennis (email@example.com).
CFP: You are kindly invited to submit proposals for the Fourth International Conference on Music and Minimalism, jointly hosted by UCLA and the California State University, Long Beach on the campus of CSULB in Long Beach, CA, 3–6 October 2013. All scholars interested in music and minimalism are invited to submit paper proposals. The conference welcomes all papers concerning minimalist and post-minimalist music as well as the many subsequent styles they inspired, and is committed to the broadest methodological scope, including analytical, historical, cultural, philosophical, composer-centric, and performance-oriented presentations. In honor of the conference’s West Coast location, the organizers would especially like to encourage papers (or session proposals) on the theme of “Minimalism and the Left (Coast),” including such topics as:
- California minimalism (composers, labels, scenes, trends, institutions like the SF Tape Music Center, Cold Blue Recordings, etc.)
- Minimalism and the Pacific Rim (Japan, China, East Asia)
- Minimalism and Hollywood
- Countercultural minimalism (minimalism, popular music, altered consciousness)
- Minimalism and leftist (or rightist) politics (the 1960s and after)
The Society is also interested, as always, in new research on the core minimalist, post-minimalist, and “totalist” repertories; engagement with the work of lesser-known composers, especially from outside the USA, the United Kingdom, and Europe; and position papers on the larger implications of musical minimalism in contemporary world culture. Contributions are welcomed in the form of individual papers (20 minutes). Abstracts containing a maximum of 400 words should be sent as email attachments, by February 1, 2013, to LongBeach2013@minimalismsociety.org. The conference is also happy to present lecture-recitals, including the possibility for composers and/or performers to present their own minimalism-related work. Those considering a proposal for a lecture-recital (or any other type of non-traditional session, paper, or event, such as a listening environment or poster session) are strongly encouraged to contact Robert Fink (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Carolyn Bremer (email@example.com) as soon as possible in order to discuss their plans informally, prior to submitting a formal proposal. More information is posted on the conference website: minimalismsociety.org.
CFP: Protest Music in the Twentieth Century, an International Conference. Lucca, COmplesso Monumentale di San Micheletto, 15–17 November 2013. www.luigiboccherini.org/protest.html. The conference’s subject is protest music and ‘dissidentrsquo; composer and musicians during the twentieth century, with a particular focus on the forms with which dissent may be expressed in music and the ways composers and performers have adopted stances on political and social dissent. Moreover, the phenomenon of dissent will be investigated within the contexts of musical historiography and criticism. Papers approaching the topic from historical, sociological and philosophical points of view will be welcomed. The program committee encourages submissions within the following areas, among others:
- Protest Songs and Songwriters
- The Role of Music in the Civil Rights Movements
- Protest Music of Specific Ethnic and National Groups
- Protest Music in the Social Construction of Race and Gender
- Jazz Music and Social Protest
- Billie Holiday and Blues/Jazz Singing of the First Half of the 20th Century
- Rock Music as Protest
- Political Hip-Hop and Sociopolitical Rap: Conscience and Dissent
The official languages of the conference are English and Italian. Papers selected at the conference will be published in a miscellaneous volume. Papers are limited to twenty minutes in length, allowing time for questions and discussion. Please submit an abstract of no more than 500 words and one page of biography. All proposals should be submitted by email no later than Sunday, 21 April 2013, to firstname.lastname@example.org. With your proposal please include your name, contact details (postal address, e-mail and telephone number) and (if applicable) your affiliation. For any additional information, please contact: Dr. Roberto Illiano at email@example.com.
Upcoming Conferences and Events
Summer Institute: 2013 NEH Summer Institute for College and University Teachers: Music and Travel in Europe and the Americas, 1500–1800
Application deadline: March 4, 2013
Monday, July 15, 2013 to Friday, August 9, 2013, at the Newberry Library, Chicago
Directed by Carla Zecher, Director, Newberry Center for Renaissance Studies
In this interdisciplinary summer institute our goal will be to listen—literally and metaphorically—to travel. College and university teachers from across the nation will come together to explore the intersections between the history of music and the history of travel in early modern Europe and the colonial Americas in the period from 1500 to 1800. The Institute will accept 19 college or university teachers and 3 advanced graduate students as NEH Summer Scholars, who will participate in a four-week series of lectures and discussion sessions led by scholars in the fields of musicology, history, literature, and theater studies. For details and application information, see: www.newberry.org/Music-and-Travel-1500-1800.
Conference: A Festival of New Music will be held 12–15 February 2013 at Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, GA. The festival features the premiere of an as-yet-untitled composition by Michael Markowski, commissioned by KSU and several other area universities, and four nights of concerts will all include works by featured composer David Lang, who received the Pulitzer Prize for music in 2008. Lang and Markowski will be in residence most of the week, conducting master classes, leading seminars and coaching musicians playing their music. Also featured is Sō Percussion from New York, a ground-breaking percussion quartet whose innovative instruments even include the needles of an amplified cactus being plucked. Local artists include gloATL, a dance company that uses unconventional spaces for its choreography and interactive art installation form, and Sonic Generator, Georgia Tech’s ensemble-in-residence, a group of classical musicians which also uses unusual instrumentation and technology in performance. Compositions by KSU students and faculty will also be heard in concert. All of the festival music will be from living composers, and much of it will be cutting-edge. The festival crosses disciplines by incorporating dance, and the community will be welcome at many of the non-concert events. See kfnm.kennesaw.edu for more info.
Conference: The Forum on Music and Christian Scholarship (FMCS) invites everyone to join us for our Conference in 2013, New Haven, Connecticut. The meeting will be held 14–16 February 2013 sponsored by the Yale Institute of Sacred Music. Jeremy S. Begbie, Thomas A. Langford Research Professor, Duke University, will be the Keynote speaker. The broad sweep of conference topics explores the nexus between music and Christian scholarship and music. Thirty-six presentations range from historical aspects on art and religion in the Middle Ages and the Reformation, to the religious contexts of music by Messiaen and Beethoven, to the sacred in popular music. The program also contains Music in non-Western contexts as well as a recital performance by the Yale Voxtet in historic Marquand Chapel. For details about the program, the presenters, and registration details, please visit www.yale.edu/ism/events/FMCSConference2013.html.
Conference: The Department of Music at Northeastern University with support from the Earle Brown Music Foundation will host a symposium 18–19 January 2013 on the music of Earle Brown (1926–2002). Keynote addresses will be given by Richard Toop (Sydney Conservatorium) and Kyle Gann (Bard College), with concerts by the Callithumpian Consort directed by Stephen Drury and Boston Modern Orchestra Project directed by Gil Rose. Other featured speakers include Susan Sollins-Brown (President, Earle Brown Music Foundation), Carolyn Brown (Merce Cunningham Dance Company), and Thomas Fichter (Director, Earle Brown Music Foundation). Brown’s sound installations Wikiup (1979) and Music for Galerie Stadler (1964) will also be on special exhibit. The symposium also highlights several recent developments in Earle Brown research. In 2007, Edition Peters became the publisher of a new revised edition of Brown’s scores prepared by the Earle Brown Music Foundation, making available an unprecedented number of the composer’s approximately 50 works, some of them for the first time. In March 2012, the Foundation completed a digital re-issue of the 18 historic albums Brown curated and produced as the “Contemporary Sound Series” for Time-Mainstream Records between 1961 and 1973, now published and distributed as a 6-volume CD series by Wergo. For the 2013 Symposium, the Foundation has launched a descriptive inventory of the Earle Brown Papers detailing its extensive archival holdings of original manuscripts, sketches, unpublished works, correspondence, audio and visual media, and personal memorabilia.
Conference: An interdisciplinary conference on Music and Diplomacy will be held at the Center for the Humanities at Tufts University and the Mahindra Humanities Center at Harvard University 1–2 March 2013. How does music (its concepts, practices, and institutions) shape the exercise of diplomacy, the pursuit of power, and the conduct of international relations? Scholars are increasingly asking these questions from a variety of disciplinary standpoints. While some have highlighted the ritual function of European court entertainments in the development of modern diplomatic practices, others have pondered the construction of (a)political meaning in musical events. From the musical performance of political conflict to the cultural conditions of peacemaking, scholars and practitioners have investigated the purposes and effects of music as “cultural diplomacy,” “public diplomacy,” “soft,” “smart,” and/or “sticky” power. Diplomatic patronage of all kinds of music (from opera to jazz to hip hop), the music-making of diplomats themselves, and the development of celebrity diplomacy have raised further questions about the politicized consumption of music. This conference aims to provide a forum for interdisciplinary dialogue among scholars from various historical standpoints and diverse disciplines, including (but not limited to): musicology and ethnomusicology, government (international relations, political theory), peace studies, cultural studies, history, sociology, psychology, literature, and communication. Keynote speakers include Danielle Fosler-Lussier, Associate Professor of Music at The Ohio State University.
Conference: Rhythm Changes II: Rethinking Jazz Cultures is an international conference hosted by the Rhythm Changes research project at the University of Salford, 11–14 April 2013. Keynote Speakers include E. Taylor Atkins, Northern Illinois University, and David Ake, University of Nevada, Reno. Rethinking Jazz Cultures provides an opportunity to explore a number of critical questions bound up with jazz and the dynamics of culture, from Americanisation to the politics of migration and race, from the impact of globalisation and the hybridisation of musical styles to the creation of social institutions and distinct communities, from jazz’s shifting aesthetic status from popular to canonical ‘art’ music. Jazz continues to play a complex role in the cultural life of nations worldwide, shaping scenes, constructing communities and cultural values; the music feeds into historical narratives that are marked by conflict and contradiction but the role the music plays in everyday life is rarely understood. Whilst jazz has developed in a range of national settings through different influences and interactions, as evidenced in the first Rhythm Changes Conference in Amsterdam 2011, the music is also a transgressor of the idea of nation. Rethinking Jazz Cultures, therefore, aims to explore wider issues surrounding identity and inheritance, enabling unique perspectives on how culture is exchanged, adopted and transformed. For event details visit www.rhythmchanges.net/rhythm-changes-conference-2013/.
Conference: The 2013 American Innovators conference The Music of Stuart Saunders Smith: Continuing the Transcendentalist Tradition will be held at Wright State University Department of Music, 2–3 February 2013. While the conference will focus on the music of Stuart Saunders Smith, it will at the same time explore the heritage of the transcendentalist and experimental traditions in music. Smith has carved an unusual niche in modern American music. Although he is usually associated with the experimental tradition, many elements of his music, such as its often direct and powerful expressivity, do not fit neatly into the Cageian ethics of experimentation without concern for ends. The literary allusions and influences in his work also indicate that his music is oriented toward expressive and experiential aims rather than concerned primarily with autonomous processes. On the other hand, many aspects of his compositional outlook—such as his modular approach to form, his welcome of chance interactions in performance, and his allowance of broad latitude to the performer in determining many details and even the form of the work presented—place it close to the experimental tradition.
Mary Wallace Davidson, 1935–2012
By James P. Cassaro, University of Pittsburgh
|Photo courtesy of Gerry Szymanski|
Mary Wallace Davidson passed away on October 11, 2012, at the age of 77 after a long and valiant struggle with cancer. A distinguished music librarian and scholar, Mary moved effortlessly among her colleagues in both library and scholarly organizations. Born on June 9, 1935, in Louisville, Kentucky, she received her AB in music from Wellesley College in 1957, and her MS in library science from Simmons College in 1962. At the same time she studied with Gustave Reese at Harvard. Mary’s superb command of music information resources resulted in appointments as head of several significant music collections in the United States, among them the Sibley Music Library of the Eastman School of Music (1984–99) and the William and Gayle Cook Music Library at Indiana University (2000–4). At Eastman and Indiana, Mary taught courses on music librarianship and bibliography, but perhaps her most-impressive endeavor was the planning for and construction of the present Sibley Music Library, which was dedicated in 1989.
Mary took easily to positions of responsibility in professional music and library societies, among them as president of the Music Library Association (MLA, 1983–85), and of the U.S. branch of IAML (2005–8). She served on the boards of the Society for American Music (SAM, 1980–84) and MLA (1970–72). In 1998, Mary was awarded the MLA Citation, the organization’s highest honor, for her distinguished service to the profession, and was to receive the 2013 Distinguished Service Citation from SAM at its upcoming meeting in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Mary’s publication record is as prolific as it is profound. In the music library field, her work on library facilities, collection development, copyright, and digital technology has had a long-lasting effect on the profession. As a distinguished scholar of American music, Mary’s research focused predominately on early American music periodicals, a study of which she received a fellowship in 2006 from the National Endowment for the Humanities. In 1983, she was co-author with James J. Fuld of 18th-Century American Secular Music Manuscripts. In retirement, Mary was working on an oral history project for the Music Publishers Association, an online 2nd edition of Resources of American Music History, and serving as a prolific reviewer of the Boston classical music scene for The Boston Musical Intelligencer.
Other remembrances of Mary that have appeared characterize her as “smart, literate, inquisitive,” a “‘people person’—warm, caring, and friendly,” and having “a genuine interest in the welfare of everyone.” All of us who have had the profound honor to bask in the warmth of her friendship, the candor of her counsel, and the extent of her vast experience will miss her terribly. She gave us her all, and forever she will live on in our heads and our hearts.
|Photo courtesy of the Anne Dhu McLucas memorial website (annedhu.com)|
Anne Dhu McLucas, 1941–2012 (Shapiro before 1992)
By Barbara Lambert, Lecturer and Curator, Frederick R. Selch Collection of American Music History, Oberlin College
Anne lived a complete life, and she completed it every day, packing in as much as possible: viewing three films in a row was even better than seeing just one. Sam Cooke’s lyrics to “A Change Is Gonna Come” begin: “I was born by the river In a little tent, and o just like that river I’ve been running ever since”—adding with joy and verve sums up Anne. Each new day was an opportunity to be seized. She rapidly absorbed whatever came her way, extracting the essence while multi-tasking: tacking concert posters on her way across campus to make a presentation. She was the most disorganized of organized people, yet missed nary a beat. Constitutionally unable to take any down time for herself, she substituted physical activity for it. Her life was a balance of the physical and intellectual and she was an insatiable people-person. She loved parties: not waiting for someone else to, she threw them for herself and others. Nothing was too menial for her: she would spot a task and do it, from cleaning the rubbish cans used as cooking vessels for the Mescalero Apache female initiation ceremony to thoughtfully appearing with a cake for a party in a few minutes’ notice.
The Boston Globe’s Brian Marquard likened Anne to the tune families she studied throughout her distinguished academic career: “Passing from one voice to the next, melodies wander from generation to generation, easing effortlessly across oceans and national boundaries. Anne Dhu McLucas studied this oral tradition of tune families that travel and adapt to varied musical traditions, and their migratory nature seemed to mirror her own life, which was forever in motion, constantly changing, yet always recognizable.”
Anne’s parents were politically progressive, moving the family eighteen times in Colorado during her formative years. They brought up her and her older sister Caye Dhu McLucas Geer (of Durango, Colorado) skiing, hiking and camping most weekends in the Colorado mountains. Their father was a government programs administrator, who learned Japanese while serving during WWII, then lost his job during the McCarthy era. Afterwards the family ran a ski lodge.
Before graduating from the University of Colorado in 1965 with a bachelor’s degree in Italian and German languages and literature, Anne married briefly and spent two years in Europe, receiving a performing certificate from the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria in 1963 in harpsichord, chamber music and Lied-accompaniment, then traveled and worked for a short time in Switzerland.
At Harvard Anne earned her 1968 master’s degree in music history with the thesis “Some Newly Discovered Polonaises Attributed to W.F. Bach” and her 1975 Ph.D. with her dissertation: “The Concept of tune-Families in the British-American Folk-Song Tradition.” She taught at Harvard from 1967 to 1970 and again from 1979 to 1986, at Wellesley College from 1974 to 1980 and Boston College from 1969 to 1972. After a year commuting to The Colorado College to teach in 1987–1988, she returned to Boston College from 1988 to 1992, where she established its music department.
Anne was married to Edward R. Shapiro for 24 years with whom she had her extraordinary son Jacob, cellist, electric guitarist and chief executive of Public Radio Exchange. Jacob said of his mother: “despite being an accomplished, formidable academic, she was disarming and open, almost to a fault, forgiving an embracing diversity of all kinds. She never had her warning signs up about people...”
Even though she spent over a quarter of a century near the Atlantic Ocean while living in Massachusetts, her real outdoor love was the mountains. In in the lovely University of Oregon video of her she reported learning “rock climbing at the age of 50-something.”1 Rock climbing and skiing were her best escapes because while doing those “there is no way you can think about anything else” like the myriad concerns a conscientious dean, professor and a scholar bears. She delighted in three major walking trips: a 10 day hike from the west to the east coast of Scotland with two women colleagues, two weeks in the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan, and more recently walking the Cinqueterra in Italy. In June of 2012 she had a double knee replacement and was quickly recovering so that she could resume rock climbing and skiing “into my 90s.”
In 1992 Anne accepted the Deanship of the School of Music and Dance at the University of Oregon. John Ward, her Harvard advisor and mentor admired her intellectual accomplishments and administrative abilities yet was concerned about her scholarly mark. He told her, as only John could, that she would be taken seriously only when she had published a monograph. Taking his advice to heart, she wrote The Musical Ear: Oral Tradition in the USA in her own inimitable style with pairs of chapters, one scholarly, the next accessible. This book ties together the vast range of her musical interests and is already influencing a new generation of scholars who consider aurally-transmitted music as important as notated music. A two-part international colloquium: “Oral Traditions Old and New” at the University of Oregon in the fall of 2012 in Anne’s honor became an eloquent memorial to her.
A musicologist, ethnomusicologist and professional keyboard performer, Anne’s interests, scholarly and otherwise were boundless: Machaut, hillbilly music from 1920 to 1940, Mahler, American Indian music, Mozart, Anglo-Celtic music, Stravinsky and Shostakovich. She was a quick study of whatever subject captured her imagination. She read non-stop and “was interested in the impact music has on the lives of people, from the most ordinary citizens…to the most accomplished composers.” She “specialized in American music and its connections to Europe [especially] Scotland and Ireland, and the Mescalero Apache coming-of-age ceremony.”
She was a wonderful listener: to music, nature, other’s needs or just to expand her knowledge. The deft questions she asked of paper presenters at professional meetings were at once encouraging, insightful and thought-provoking. They are among the many things so many of us will miss about her. Not content to teach a handful of standard courses, she constantly developed a diverse stable of new ones.
Anger was not in Anne’s repertory. Solutions and constructive counter arguments were her response. Fearless, she had no sense for danger, and knew no boundaries save a trusting and constant abiding respect for others.
While dean, a close administrative staff member, Janet Stewart, recalled one of many late, late nights helping Anne (who often suffered from a migraine and stomach sensitivity caused by radiation in the early 1970s when she survived ovarian cancer) as they worked on a bevy of weighty issues from faculty wrangles, fundraising and construction of a new music building, teaching and performing, to community help. Anne wryly observed “I seem to be able to tolerate more ambiguity than most.” No matter how busy she was, Anne always had time to help others.
It was her love of wilderness, mountains and films that she shared with her last partner, James Gillette, on his hundreds of acres of land. They often traveled in a box truck largely constructed by Jim to carry smaller vehicles: bicycles, kayaks, and water skis to take advantage of whatever adventure was before them.
As Jacob noted at his mother’s memorial service at Harvard: “Her relationship with Jim was another paradox. They were an odd couple by any stretch—the harpsichordist and the motorcyclist. But they shared an amazing energetic and generous spirit; they cared deeply for each other and their families.”
However on September 7th, Jim and Anne were both tragically and inexplicably murdered as Anne was packing for a trip to Boston to visit Jacob, his beautiful wife Lena and the three grandchildren Anne was head-over-heels about: twins Maksim and Zoë, 4, and Evanna, 2. Jim’s older son remains under arrest for the deed.
Jacob remembers: “My mother’s generosity was instinctual, spontaneous, and heartfelt. I’ve been hearing stories from her students, colleagues and friends of her many acts of kindness, her affection and support, her devotion to their development and success. She made friends and kept them, and stayed in touch. She will forever remain with us.
My mother wove together so many people into her life, over time, over geography, over passions and pursuits. She bound us together with her light touch, but in ways that will forever enlighten and remind us of her life.
She would be so grateful, and a bit embarrassed, to see these gatherings in her honor—out in Oregon, here in Cambridge, and beyond.
And that’s just one of the many wonderfully paradoxical things about my mother.
She was ambitious, but unpretentious.
She was modest, but masterful.
She was elegant but happy to rough it;
she was principled and tolerant;
fiercely independent and enthusiastically social,
she was intellectual, and spontaneous;
she was open-minded and yes definitely also absent-minded: you could open a store with the number of purses, cameras, books, and papers she left in some taxi or bathroom. But actually, remarkably, most of them were returned to her, through some kind of cosmic goodwill she generated”—and continues to.
It is a sad duty to report the death of Robert M. Stevenson (1916–2012), certainly one of the leading musicologists of the latter half of the twentieth century and a preeminent figure in the advancement of musicological research pertaining to the Americas. Dr. Stevenson passed away on December 22, 2012, in Santa Monica. A full obituary by Walter A. Clark (University of California, Riverside) will appear in the next issue of the Bulletin.
The Bulletin is published in the Winter (January), Spring (May), and Summer (September) by the Society for American Music. Copyright 2013 by the Society for American Music, ISSN 0196-7967.
Items for submission should be submitted to Laura Pruett as an attachment to e-mail. Photographs or other graphic materials should be accompanied by captions and desired location in the text. Deadlines for submission of materials are 15 December, 15 April, and 15 August.
Further information is available at the website (www.american-music.org) or by contacting the SAM office.
H. Earle Johnson Bequest for Book Publication Subvention
This fund is administered by the Book Publications Committee and provides two subventions up to $2,500 annually.
Sight and Sound Subvention
This fund is administered by the Sight and Sound Committee and provides annual subventions of approximately $700–$900.
Irving Lowens Memorial Awards
The Irving Lowens Award is offered by the Society for American Music each year for a book and article that, in the judgment of the awards committee, makes an outstanding contribution to the study of American music or music in America. Self-nominations are accepted.
Wiley Housewright Dissertation Award
This award consists of a plaque and cash award given annually for a dissertation that makes an outstanding contribution to American music studies. The Society for American Music announces its annual competition for a dissertation on any topic relating to American music, written in English.
Student Travel Grants
Grants are available for student members who wish to attend the annual conference of the Society for American Music. These funds are intended to help with the cost of travel. Students receiving funds must be members of the Society and enrolled at a college or university (with the exception of doctoral students, who need not be formally enrolled).
Mark Tucker Award
The Mark Tucker Award is presented at the Business Meeting of the annual SAM conference to a student presenter who has written an outstanding paper for delivery at that conference. In addition to the recognition the student receives before the Society, there is also a plaque and a cash award.
Adrienne Fried Block Fellowship
This fellowship, endowed in honor of Adrienne Fried Block, shall be given to support scholarly research leading to publication on topics that illuminate musical life in large urban communities. Preference shall be given to projects that focus on the interconnections among the groups and organizations present in these metropolitan settings and their participation in the wide range of genres that inform the musical life and culture of their cities.