|The SAM/2.0 table in Little Rock|
At the opening reception of the 39th Annual Conference in Little Rock, the Society launched its first-ever endowment campaign. It is based on a new vision for the Society that the members articulated in the 2011 online survey (summary and raw data available at american-music.org/organization/survey2011.php). The Development Committee culled through the raw data from that survey during the fall of 2011 and discovered that the majority of respondents wanted the Society actively to support research in American music. From that mandate, we were able to articulate the following five goals for an endowment campaign: to secure support for research for scholars at all stages of their careers, to expand our awards for excellence in American music scholarship, to increase our subventions for scholarship using diverse technologies, to support the Society’s print and media publications, and finally to ensure the financial stability of the Society.
At a retreat in January 2012, the Development Committee hammered out the specifics of the Campaign. These included the length of the Campaign (four years with a one-year silent, leadership phase), financial goal ($1 million), and a name (“SAM/2.0: Promoting New Scholarships on Music of the Americas”). Then-President Katherine Preston suggested “2.0” to capture the new set of goals and shared priorities that the membership had expressed in the online survey and the Society’s aspirations. This Campaign would enable us reach those goals.
Two months later in March 2012, the leadership phase of the Campaign began. Members of the Development Committee spent the subsequent twelve months meeting one-on-one with many of the Society’s founding members, former officers, and long-term members about the Campaign. More than one member told us, “I owe my career to this Society. SAM was where I read my first paper and met the colleagues who have shaped my career.” These members viewed an endowment campaign as a way to give back to the Society that has been their professional home. The leadership phase of SAM/2.0, which ended on 1 March 2013, resulted in many ideas for funding and a total of $555,590 in bequests, pledges, and donations.
In March in Little Rock, then-President Katherine Preston kicked off the public phase of the Campaign to the peals of a trumpet fanfare provided by Craig Wright, Director of the SAM Brass Band. A short PowerPoint presentation highlighted both the goals of SAM/2.0 and seven new funding opportunities: the Richard Crawford Fund to support projects that explore the American musical experience in all its diversity, the Charles Hamm Fund to support an award for scholarly editions of American Music, the Judith McCulloh Fund for a research residency at the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, the Anne Dhu McLucas Fund to support graduate students pursuing research or fieldwork in traditional or Native American music, the Wayne Shirley Fund for a short-term research residency at the Music Division of the Library of Congress, the Eileen Southern Fund for support research on music of the African diaspora, and the Judith Tick Fund to support women’s music-making across time. The presentation concluded with President-elect Judy Tsou announcing a challenge: she would match all pledges and donations made during the meeting dollar-for-dollar up to $25,000.
During the meeting in Little Rock, the Society’s Officers and members of the Board of Trustees and Development Committee staffed a “SAM/2.0” booth in the exhibits area where members could learn more about the Campaign’s goals and pick up a brochure and pledge card. At the Business Meeting on Saturday, Katherine Preston in her closing remarks as President announced that the Society had received a $25,000 donation from the Hampsong Foundation to establish a Hampsong Education Fellowship in American Song to support projects developed by educators who wish to explore the repertory of American classic song as a means to understand the broader narrative of American history and culture. To sustained applause, we also learned that over $25,000 had been pledged or donated and President-elect Judy Tsou’s matching fund had been exhausted. Together we had reached $614,278 in bequests, pledges, and donations.
If all members of the Society make a pledge over the thirty-six months in the public phase of the SAM/2.0, together we can make a real difference! As the following table demonstrates, a manageable monthly donation can yield a significant pledge:
|Monthly donation for 36 months yields||Total Pledge|
Payment options include a one-time donation by check or credit card charge or a recurring credit card charge over the thirty-six months of the Campaign. If you have not had the opportunity to pledge yet and did not receive a brochure and pledge card in your mail, please e-mail your name and address to firstname.lastname@example.org. Those who wish to pledge online or to donate using PayPal may do so through the Campaign website: SAM2point0.net.
Recently, the Society announced the call for proposals for the first new fellowship from the Campaign: the Virgil Thomson Fellowship, “focused on the history, creation, and analysis of American music on stage and screen, including opera. The Fellowship may support research expenses, including but not limited to travel expenses, books, and media resources.” More information about this fellowship can be found on the Society’s homepage under “Awards” and below.
As we look towards our 40th Annual Conference next year in Lancaster, the Development Committee is busy applying to Foundations for matching funds for the Campaign. We are also actively soliciting funds to establish short-term research residencies at major archives and libraries, such as the American Antiquarian Society, Center for Black Music Research, New York Public Library, and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum; to increase our subventions for media and digital innovation; and to increase the student travel budget to the annual conference in order to support the next generation of American music scholars and future leaders of the Society. Your donation, pledge, or bequest to SAM/2.0 will help us promote new scholarship on music of the Americas. All aboard!
bruce d. mcclung, Chair, Development Committee
From the President
|Judy Tsou, SAM President|
Dear Colleagues and Friends,
The 39th annual conference of the Society in Little Rock was greeted by beautiful sunny weather and good Southern hospitality. Under the able leadership of Local Arrangements Committee chair Karen Bryant, the conference went off smoothly. She arranged a concert that included works by Arkansas composers Florence Price, William Grant Still, and Duke Ellington at the campus of the University of Arkansas. She made sure that the mayor of Little Rock, a representative of the Arkansas Governor, and the local press were present at the Society’s honoring of native son Pharoah Sanders. As a result, the local Arkansas Democrat-Gazette published an article on the honors ceremony (March 9, 2013). Karen also arranged both local and not-so-local tours for the Friday afternoon excursions, enhancing an already outstanding conference experience. She and the committee deserve many thanks from us all.
The Program Committee (Steven Bauer, Dalhousie University, chair; Marva Griffin Carter, Georgia State University; Beth Levy, University of California, Davis; Travis Stimeling, Milliken University; Chris Wilkinson, West Virginia University; and Mina Yang, University of Southern California) also deserves heartfelt thanks for providing an interesting and thought-provoking program. There were papers from the Civil War to the present, from local Arkansas music to Québécois fiddling, and from various popular music genres to art music genres. Paper topics included Weird Al Yankovic, Stevie Wonder, Mary Lou Williams, John Cage, Louise Talma, Chinatown Theaters, and “God Bless America.” Poster Sessions also were full of diverse topics, from Verdi in Mexico City to Maud Powell and Philip Glass.
At the Little Rock meeting, outgoing President Katherine Preston unveiled the Society’s $1 million Endowment Campaign. This campaign came out of the Society members’ desire to have financial support for research. Thus, the Development Committee partnered with august libraries and archives such as the Library of Congress, New York Public Library, and the Smithsonian Institution to establish research residencies at these and other institutions. There are also other research fellowships that are subject- rather than institutional-based. The members also expressed the desire to recognize scholarship excellence, and so the committee also planned to raise funds for more awards to honor distinguished research. And most importantly, members wanted to ensure the long-term financial stability of the Society by establishing endowments to support the operation of the Society. At the public unveiling of the Campaign, the Development Committee, ably chaired by bruce mcclung, had already raised about $555,000 toward the goal. By the end of the Little Rock meeting, the total had grown to $614,000. Although this is a very good beginning, we need the entire membership to pitch in to help this campaign reach its goal. Details of the campaign can be found in bruce’s article above and at SAM2point0.net.
The 2.0 Campaign is just one of the many initiatives coming out of the Society’s Long Range Plan started by former President Tom Riis and continued by President Katherine Preston. I will continue to carry out the Objectives and Actions of the Plan. One of those is to increase ethnic diversity in our membership. To that end, I have appointed a Task Force to explore and apply for grants to support minority scholarships, to increase the number of ethnically diverse scholars in our field. The Task Force is chaired by Carol Oja (Harvard University); other members are Josephine Wright (College of Wooster), and Charles Hiroshi Garrett (University of Michigan). This is just one prong of the multi-prong approach we will take to increase diversity in our Society and our field.
The Little Rock meeting marked the end of my year as president-elect and the beginning of my presidency. In my year of learning, I gained a deeper understanding of the workings of the Society and started to map out possible areas of increased efficiencies. I worked with President Preston and Treasurer Bomberger to overhaul the membership of the Finance Committee to include the President and Past President (or President-elect), so that they will have responsibility as well as direct authority over the fiduciary matters of the Society. The Finance Committee is now the same as the Executive Committee. I also started to overhaul the budget presentation and the budgeting process to be more transparent. This is a continuing process, and I am confident that our new Treasurer, Sabine Feisst, will continue with this effort. Also relating to finance, the Society now has hired a financial advisor at the Pittsburgh National Bank to advise and help us with investment strategies; this has already improved the return on our investments. And this will eventually contribute to the financial stability of the Society.
Thanks to former President Preston’s establishment of the Committee on Committee Governance and the work of the committee, chaired by Jim Deaville (members Charles Hiroshi Garrett, Katherine Preston, Judy Tsou, and Laura Pruett), the job of making new committee appointments has been made easier. I have made about 50 appointments since the Little Rock meeting; the committees are now fully staffed. Serving on committees can be both fun and fulfilling, if you wish to serve on a committee in the coming year, please let Jim Deaville (email@example.com) know.
Mark Katz, our JSAM editor extraordinaire, will be completing his term in 2014. I have appointed a search committee, chaired by former JSAM editor Josephine Wright; the other members of the committee are Katherine Preston and Thomas Riis, both of whom have been on the editorial board of the journal and served on the Publication Committee this past year. We hope a new editor will be announced by the end of the year.
The hard work of Joice Gibson, Associate Conference Manager, and Mariana Whitmer, our Executive Director, together with the Local Arrangements Committee and Program Committee, made the Little Rock meeting a smashing success. I thank you all, and I look forward to seeing you next year in Lancaster and working with you over the next two years and beyond!
Report on the Annual Business Meeting (March 9, 2013)
|Pharoah Sanders receives a SAM Honorary Membership|
Submitted by Neil Lerner, Secretary
The Society for American Music held its Annual Business Meeting on Saturday, March 9, 2013, at The Peabody Hotel, site of the Little Rock conference. Presiding over her final Business Meeting, SAM President Katherine Preston opened the meeting and welcomed those assembled with a few remarks about her presidency. She described the successful launch of the SAM/2.0 Campaign and shared two exciting announcements of two new programs: first, the Hampsong Education Fellowship in American Song, to provide educational funding that utilizes the Song of America database, and second, the Virgil Thomson Research Fellowship, named in memory of one of the earliest Honorary Members of the Society and intended to fund research focused on any aspect of the history and creation of American music on stage and screen. Preston next explained a new initiative intended to increase student participation at the conference banquet: senior scholars subsidized a number of tickets for students, who would be able to attend the banquet along with those senior scholars. Finally, Preston acknowledged the long-term support of her university, the College of William and Mary. Besides training countless students in American music, her school has provided the Society with a number of leaders, including three presidents.
After a motion from Christopher Wilkinson (seconded by Douglas Bomberger) to approve the Minutes from the 2012 Annual Business meeting, the meeting then shifted to a moment of silence for the memorial tribute to those members who passed away during the past year: Van Cliburn (Honorary Member, 1999); Mary Wallace Davidson; Anne Dhu McLucas; Christine Najarian; Robert M. Stevenson (Lifetime Achievement Award, 1999); Lavern Wagner; and Arthel Lane “Doc” Watson (Honorary Member, 2012).
Making his final report as Treasurer, Douglas Bomberger explained how the recent change in our dues structure had yielded an increase in revenue which, together with a good year in the stock market, has us in good shape. Indeed, he shared his happiness at being able to leave the office with the Society having recovered from the financial declines associated with 2008. Bomberger also reiterated the invitation to contribute generously to the SAM 2.0 Campaign.
Mark Katz, the editor of the Journal for the Society for American Music, thanked the outgoing members of the editorial board (David Bernstein, José Bowen, Larry Hamberlin, Katherine Preston, Suzanne Robinson, and Judy Tsou) and welcomed the incoming members: Marianne Betz, Portia K. Maultsby, Kirk Miller, Carol Oja, Howard Pollack, and Judith Tick.
He asked everyone who had reviewed submissions for the journal to raise their hands, and after many hands shot up into the air, he promised to come around and thank everyone. Katz shared some statistics that speak to the continuing success and growth of JSAM: a 70% increase in downloads over the previous year; an acceptance rate of around 23% and a response time for decisions of around six weeks. He exhorted us to engage with the journal digitally (some institutions base their subscription decisions on the number of downloads) and encouraged submissions in a few underrepresented areas: of music of all of the Americas; from disciplines outside of historical musicology; and on recent popular music. Ryan Bañagale, speaking for the new editor of the Bulletin, Laura Moore Pruett, reminded us of the Bulletin’s availability both in print and online and invited input from all members about ways to reimagine and reinvigorate the Bulletin.
The chair of the Development Committee, bruce mcclung, discussed the exciting things happening with the SAM/2.0 campaign. The leadership phase has concluded, with around $550,000 raised towards our goal of $1,000,000. mcclung demonstrated how even modest pledges of amounts like $14 a month could become a $500 total by the end of the campaign. He told us about the incoming President, Judy Tsou, had offered $25,000 in matching funds for pledges that occurred during the conference, and he was pleased to report that the amount was matched by pledges in Little Rock, meaning that we leave the conference with $600,000 pledged toward our total goal. There is a website for those wishing to learn more about the campaign or to make a pledge: SAM2point0.net.
The chair of the Long Range Planning committee, Vice President Denise Von Glahn, described how the Long Range Planning Committee has been working to refine our goals and challenges for the coming years, based on the 2011 membership survey. The SAM/2.0 campaign is a direct result of this planning and surveying. The chair of the Public Relations committee, John Spilker, invited the submission of relevant press releases which he would then distribute further. The co-chairs of the Student Forum, Brian Jones and Sarah Suhadolnik, talked about their annual business meeting where they elected a new co-chair, Megan MacDonald. Next, Trudi Wright and John Spilker explained the aims and activities of the newly-formed Forum for Early-Career Professionals.
After hearing from the chairs of the Little Rock Program Committee and Local Arrangements, Steven Baur and Karen Bryan, the meeting turned to future conferences, beginning with next year’s conference that will be hosted by Elizabethtown College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. The Program Committee chair for the Lancaster conference, Christopher Wilkinson, announced a deadline of June 3, 2013, for submissions to what will be the 40th annual conference of our Society. Updating us on the work of the Conference Site Selection committee, Sandra Graham shared that the 2015 meeting will be in Sacramento, California, and in Boston in 2016.
President Preston next thanked for their service a number of committee chairs whose terms were ending: Jeffrey Taylor, John Spitzer, Renee Lapp Norris, Karen Ahlquist, Stephen Shearon, Elaine Keillor, Graham Wood, Nancy Newman, Tammy Kernodle, and Jessica Sternfeld. “Our Society goes forward because of your work,” she added before turning to members of the Board who were rotating off as of this Business Meeting: Members-at-Large Scott DeVeaux and Gillian Rodger, Vice President Denise Von Glahn, and Treasurer Douglas Bomberger. She also welcomed the newly-elected Board members: John Koegel and Trudi Wright, Members-at-Large; Sabine Feisst, Treasurer; and Kay Norton, Vice President. All received a warm round of applause.
The meeting then turned to the announcing of several honors and awards from the Society. The Sight & Sound Subvention, chaired by Graham Wood, goes to Mark Clague and Susan Key for their project Poets and Patriotism: A Recorded History of the Star-Spangled Banner. Chair Jessica Sternfeld told how the H. Earle Johnson Publication Subvention will go towards two projects: Melissa de Graaf, The New York Composers Forum Concerts, 1935–1940, and Christopher Smith, The Creolization of American Culture: William Sidney Mount and the Roots of Blackface Minstrelsy. Graham Wood, presenting for Elaine Keillor, chair of the Cambridge University Press Award, announced that this year’s award to an international scholar who has written an outstanding paper for delivery at the conference goes to Kate Galloway for “Sounding and Composing the Harbour: Recontextualizing and Repurposing the Soundscape and Sense of Place in the Harbour Symphony.” Stephen Shearon announced that the Mark Tucker Award for a student who has written an outstanding paper for delivery at the conference will go to Emily Gale for “Sentimental Songs for Sentimental Men.”
The committee for the Wiley Housewright Dissertation Award, chaired by Renee Lapp Norris, selected Sheryl Kaskowitz’s “As We Raise Our Voices: A Social History and Ethnography of ‘God Bless America,’ 1918–2010.” Karen Ahlquist, chair of the Adrienne Fried Block Award, announced that Marianne Betz’s “G.W. Chadwick’s The Padrone (1913) or: Opportunities and Obstacles for Opera in Boston” was this year’s recipient. Reading for chair John Spitzer, Jennifer DeLapp presented the Irving Lowens Article Award to Karen Ahlquist for her article “Musical Assimilation and ‘the German Element’ at the Cincinnati Sängerfest, 1879.” The chair of the Irving Lowens Book Award, Jessica Sternfeld, acknowledged an Honorable Mention to Larry Hamberlin for Tin Pan Opera: Operatic Novelty Songs in the Ragtime Era before announcing that the winner was Sabine Feisst for Schoenberg’s New World: The American Years. Finally, James Cassaro read a remembrance for Mary Wallace Davidson, the posthumous recipient of this year’s Distinguished Service Award, and Carol Oja presented the Lifetime Achievement Award to Judith Tick.
We conducted some New Business as Preston reminded us of the proposed By-Laws changes that had appeared in the last issue of the Bulletin. These changes add several new committees that were recently created along with ones that have been around for a while but had not yet made it into the By-Laws. Christopher Wilkinson moved to approve (with a second from Douglas Bomberger), and a hand vote of all assembled revealed that everyone present was in support of these changes. During the Announcements period, it was announced that the day happened to be Mariana Whitmer’s birthday, and those assembled sang as our Executive Director received a small gift and some cake. Preston’s last official task was to hand over the (imaginary) gavel to Judy Tsou, and Tsou’s first words were a warm “thank you” to Preston for all her work. Christopher Wilkinson then offered a motion to adjourn, which Tom Riis seconded, and at 5:48 we adjourned.
Award and Grant Announcements from Little Rock
Honorary Member: Pharoah Sanders
Born in Little Rock in 1940, Pharoah Sanders is a tenor saxophonist known worldwide not just for the significance of his early work with some of jazz’s most celebrated artists (especially John Coltrane) but for the continued relevance of his performances and compositions today. After making a name for himself on the West Coast, Sanders moved to New York in 1962, where he worked with founding members of the city’s avant-garde scene, including Ornette Coleman (who once called Sanders “probably the best tenor player in the world”), Don Cherry, and Billy Higgins. He worked and recorded with Coltrane from 1965 until the latter’s death in 1967. Recordings made in the late 1960s and early 1970s, especially those with vocalist Leon Thomas, became widely known, particularly “The Creator Has a Master Plan” from the album Karma (1969). Like many of his contemporaries, much of Sanders’s music was influenced by non-Western traditions, especially those of Morocco: 1994’s The Trance Of Seven Colors was recorded there and documented a meeting between Sanders and master Gnawa musician Maleem Mahmoud Ghania. Now a resident of Los Angeles, Sanders remains a potent force on the current jazz scene, touring internationally with his quartet.
|Judith Tick receives a SAM Lifetime Achievement Award|
Lifetime Achievement Award: Judith Tick
Judith Tick is an accomplished scholar, generous mentor, and inspiring leader. Her creatively imagined and painstakingly documented work on women in music (American Women Composers 1983, Women Making Music 1986, The New Grove “Women and Music” 2000), American composers and musicians (Charles Ives 1993, Ruth Crawford Seeger 1997, Aaron Copland 2000, Ella Fitzgerald forthcoming), and the sources of American music (Music in the USA: A Documentary Companion [with Paul Beaudoin] 2008) have guided us in formulating and re-imagining our field’s most crucial perspectives. Tick’s work as Associate Editor for Musical Quarterly from 1993 to 2010 shaped our discipline in many lasting ways. Her service to SAM as Vice President and Board Member at Large, and on the Development, Nominating, Honors and Awards, Lowens and Tucker Awards committees, among others, has been inspirational. SAM’s health today reflects many marks of Judith Tick’s integral service.
Distinguished Service Award: Mary Wallace Davidson (1935–2012)
Davidson was best known as head of the Sibley Library at the Eastman School of Music and the Cook Library at Indiana University, the two largest academic music libraries in the country, and as the co-author with James J. Fuld of 18th-Century American Secular Music Manuscripts: An Inventory. Among her many achievements at Eastman, she planned and supervised the construction of a sumptuous yet highly functional new building, obtained grants for the electronic conversion of its huge card catalogue, and organized a major music preservation program.
At Indiana, where she served for five years after being called out of retirement, she helped implement the “Variations2” digital music library project and taught both bibliography and music librarianship. She was president of the Music Library Association in the mid-1990s and in 1998 received MLA’s highest award, a citation for lifetime achievement.
Mary spent her early career in the Boston area and co-edited The Boston Composers Project: Bibliography of Contemporary Music, though never forgetting her roots in her beloved home town of Louisville. Her contributions from that time in Notes, Fontes, Grove dictionaries, and elsewhere deal primarily with library and bibliographic subjects.
After her second retirement in 2004, she continued writing—in American Music, the Lenore Coral festschrift, The Encyclopedia of New England—and continued working on major international bibliographic projects. Between 2009 and 2012 she wrote 68 reviews for the Boston Musical Intelligencer.
Her major service to the Society for American Music included four years as a board member at-large and, from 1989 to 1992, as book review editor for American Music, then the Society’s journal. She also chaired two of SAM’s award committees.
No words can fully capture Mary’s smile, compassion, soft voice, thoughtfulness, and overall gentleness, nor can this brief essay convey her knowledge, skill, resourcefulness, and resolute ability to accomplish what needed to get done. Through her wonderful personal qualities she influenced and inspired swarms of librarians and faculty members and, most especially, her staff and students, whom she guided, encouraged, and led by example. The loss to her friends, to her field, and to the world at large of this admirable woman is immeasurable.
Adrienne Fried Block Fellowship: Marianne Betz
The Adrienne Fried Block Fellowship, which supports research on musical life in large urban communities, is awarded to Marianne Betz for “G. W. Chadwick’s The Padrone (1913) or: Opportunities and Obstacles for Opera in Boston.” Her essay will comprise the introduction to her forthcoming MUSA edition of the work. The Padrone explores the theme of confrontation between native-born Americans and Italian immigrants. Prof. Betz argues that had it been performed, it may have served as “a new component of American musical and cultural identity” in the early twentieth century. Her research travel will enhance her presentation of the musical life and complex cultural attitudes in Chadwick’s Boston. Engagingly written and accompanied by the first critical edition of the opera’s full score, Betz’s essay will stimulate interest in The Padrone as an important cultural document and potentially a work for the stage.
Karen Ahlquist, chair
Housewright Dissertation Award: Sheryl Kaskowitz
For the 2012 award, the Housewright Dissertation Award Committee (Brett Boutwell, Theo Cateforius, Drew Davies, Renee Norris, and Nancy Rao) received twenty-four submissions. The dissertations were from a range of disciplines, including history, media studies, and ethnomusicology, and traditional musicological methods were applied to relatively unexplored repertories from the Americas. The winner was Sheryl Kaskowitz, “As We Raise Our Voices: A Social History and Ethnography of ‘God Bless America,&rd\squo; 1918–2010” (Harvard, 2011). Kaskowitz applied two methodologies to her study of this iconic song: the traditional song profile approach and the sociological concept of communitas. The first provided an in-depth accounting of the changing texts and reception of Irving Berlin’s “God Bless America” from the 1910s through the first decade of the twenty-first century. The second provided a framework for Kaskowitz to trace the song’s continual use and reinvention as secular ritual. The committee congratulates Kaskowitz for a beautifully written, thorough, and significant contribution to American music studies.
Renee Norris, committee chair
SAM Sight & Sound Subvention Award 2013: Mark Clague and Susan Key
Thanks to my fellow committee members Ann Spivey and Brian Thompson for their work on reviewing applications and selecting Sight & Sound Subvention Award for non-print projects related to American music. This year’s award went to Mark Clague and Susan Key of the Star-Spangled Banner Foundation for their project: Poets and Patriotism: A Recorded History of the Star-Spangled Banner. The subvention will support the production and distribution of the first ever recordings of over a dozen different versions of “The Star Spangled Banner” using historically informed texts, instruments, performing forces, and performance techniques, all based on new critical editions. The project builds upon the pioneering research of song collectors and scholars, and uses a variety of archival sources—including one of the eleven surviving copies of the original printing of the anthem. Educators at the K–12 and college levels will be able to engage students in a deeper understanding of this important musical document and its history by drawing upon these recordings and related resources posted on the project website. The release of these recordings will be timed to coincide with the anthem’s bicentennial in September 2014 and with a conference to be held at the University of Michigan. With its combination of scholarship and performance and its cultural significance, this project gives the Society a chance to demonstrate the value of musicology to the general public. In particular, by making a strong case for the role of the arts—especially of music—in American life. Congratulations to Mark and Susan on their award.
Graham Wood, chair
Cambridge Award: Kate Galloway
A fine analysis of site-specific composition, based on actual participation in and fieldwork about the creation and performance in St. John’s harbour, Newfoundland, called “Sounding and Composing the Harbour: Performing Landscape and Re-contextualizing the Soundscape of Place in the Harbour Symphony” by Kate Galloway earned the Cambridge Award. Galloway, a postdoctoral fellow at the Research Centre for the Study of Music, Media, and Place at the School of Music, Memorial University, became the first music researcher to be awarded the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) Postdoctoral Prize in 2012.
Elaine Keillor, committee chair
|The Student Forum Silent Auction in Little Rock|
The Student Forum had a great conference this year in Little Rock! Special thanks to Josephine Wright, Melissa Good, Suzanne Ryan, and Ryan Bañagale for sitting on the joint Students and Early-Career Professionals panel, “Publishing as a Graduate Student and Beyond.” Thanks also to everyone who donated, volunteered, and bid on items in the Silent Auction, and to the Executive Board and the various senior scholars who sponsored subsidized student tickets for this year’s Banquet. We hope you enjoyed getting to know us as much as we enjoyed the opportunity to get to know you in a more informal setting.
We’d like to give our enthusiastic thanks to Brian Jones, and welcome Megan MacDonald as the incoming co-chair. If you would like to get involved in student happenings for next year’s conference, feel free to contact co-chairs Megan MacDonald (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Sarah Suhadolnik (email@example.com). We invite all students to join our Facebook group, “Society for American Music Student Forum,” and to sign up for the Student Forum listserv through the Society for American Music website to keep up to date on the latest news for SAM students. Looking forward to seeing you all next year in Lancaster!
Meet the Forum for Early Career Professionals
Co-chairs: John Spilker, Trudi Wright, and Dana Gorzelany-Mostak
The Forum for Early-Career Professionals (FECP) aims to provide mentoring, professional development, and support for the various issues related to the early stages of careers that intersect with American music. Long-term commitment to the FECP will foster mentoring relationships among members who have varied years of professional experience.
As an inclusive group, we encourage participation from diverse professions dealing in American music, including (but not limited to): performers, composers, librarians, editors, arts administrators, educators, and scholars. We strive to cultivate a safe, inviting environment for people in a variety of job positions, including (but not limited to): independent scholars, performers, composers, adjunct, part-time, full-time, non-tenure-track, and tenure-track positions. The annual FECP Discussion Meeting will provide a platform for informal meaningful discourse, which may revolve around a central topic such as balance, creative activity and research, technology, service, etc. These discussions will inform the topic of choice for a biennial panel on the SAM program. At our Friday evening meeting in Little Rock, we gathered, not just to conduct our yearly business, but also to discuss the idea of “balance” and how this is an important part of lives, both professionally and personally. The ideas generated at this meeting will become the basis for next year’s Student and Early Career Professional Forum in Lancaster. The discussion included thoughts about balancing family, dating, teaching, research, professional activities, performance, community life, personal health, and spirituality.
After our official meeting, the group reconvened two more times for dinner together on Friday night and at the SAM banquet, to enjoy more relaxed conversation and times to socialize. There were over thirty participants, which gives us great hope that the FECP will continue to flourish and provide a place for SAM’s early career professionals to network and make new connections.
If you are interested in joining the Forum for Early Career Professionals, do not hesitate to contact one of the co-chairs: John Spilker (firstname.lastname@example.org); Trudi Wright, (email@example.com); or Dana Gorzelany-Mostak, (firstname.lastname@example.org). We would love to hear from you!
Public Relations Committee
The Public Relations Committee held its first meeting at the 2013 Little Rock conference. Glenn Pillsbury continues to serve as administrator of the SAM website. Jeffrey Wright manages the society’s Facebook presence. Everette Smith joined the PR committee this year and will oversee new possibilities for SAM on Twitter. During the Little Rock conference, we piloted the use of the Twitter hashtag #Sonneck2013 for conference-related tweets. We also suggest the use of #SocAmMus for American Music tweets throughout the year. All committee chairs should send any press releases to John Spilker (email@example.com), who will disseminate the information to a variety of list-servs.
Folk and Traditional Music Interest Group
The Folk and Traditional Music Interest Group held a wonderful session devoted to regional seven-shape gospel traditions at the meeting in Little Rock. Singers, pianists, composers, and teachers from various parts of Arkansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma gathered to sing, to reminisce, and to celebrate the rich and thriving tradition in the region. Distinguished guests from the Jeffress-Phillips Music Company of Crosset, Arkansas, led the assembly in singing from their published songbooks, and discussed the history of the music. Also in attendance with his family was Bob Brumley, son of famed gospel composer Albert E. Brumley and President of Brumley and Sons/Hartford Music Company of Powell, Missouri. In Little Rock the FTM Interest Group also hosted its annual Sacred Harp singing and acoustic jam session, with excellent attendance and fine music-making for all.
Greg Reish, Chair
Report on the Annual "SAM Sing" Sacred Harp Singing
Members of SAM engaged in social and musical harmony in joining our voices together to sing from the Sacred Harp tunebook. This annual singing—a moveable feast of shapenotery—was held in a gracious hall of the Old State House Museum. The splendid acoustics of the State House caused the thirty-five participants to sound like the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. The following tunes were lustily evoked and sung: 73b, 479, 47b, 133, 276, 82a, 59, 155, 159, 45, 44, 148, 86, 146, 434, 105, 524, 128, and 163. We closed the meeting by singing “Parting Friends” number 267. I look forward to SAM members joining in the company of local singers in Lancaster, PA, at the Sacred Harp Singing next year.
Ron Pen, University of Kentucky
Journal of the Society for American Music
|The 2013 SAM Brass Band|
Volume 7, Number 2 (April 2013)
The Vocal Ecology of Crumb’s Crickets
Robert C. Cook
Implication, Quotation, and Coltrane in Selected Works by David N. Baker
Horace J. Maxile, Jr.
“The World is His Song”: Paul Robeson’s 1958 Carnegie Hall Concerts and the Cosmopolitan Imagination
Amy Asch, ed., The Complete Lyrics of Oscar Hammerstein II
Stephen Sondheim, Finishing the Hat: Collected Lyrics (1954–1981) with Attendant Comments, Principles, Heresies, Grudges, Whines and Anecdotes
Stephen Sondheim, Look, I Made a Hat: Collected Lyrics (1981–2011) with Attendant Comments, Amplifications, Dogmas, Harangues, Digressions, Anecdotes and Miscellany
Albin Zak, I Don’t Sound Like Nobody: Remaking Music in 1950s America
Nichole T. Rustin and Sherrie Tucker, eds., Big Ears: Listening for Gender in Jazz Studies
Tammy L. Kernodle
David Savran, Highbrow/Lowdown: Theater, Jazz, and the Making of the New Middle Class
Denise Von Glahn
Lisa E. Davenport, Jazz Diplomacy: Promoting America in the Cold War Era
Emily Abrams Ansari
Mark Slobin, James Kimball, Katherine K. Preston, and Deane Root, eds., Emily’s Songbook: Music in 1850s Albany
The Bristol Sessions, 1927–1928: The Big Bang of Country Music
Travis D. Stimeling
David Kirby Victor Herbert, Works for Cello and Piano, Solo Piano Works
Karin Thompson Silvestre Revueltas, La Coronela, Itinerarios, Colorines
Association for Cultural Equity, The Alan Lomax Archive
JSAM and SAM Bulletin Reviewers Needed
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.
|The 2013 SAM Jam|
The Society is pleased to welcome these new members:
Kirstin Ek, North Salem, NY
Nathinee Chucherdwatanasak, Kansas City, MO
John Pippen, Bloomington, IN
Elizabeth Sallinger, Lawrence, KS
Curtis Nelson, Merced, CA
Chelsea Burns, Chicago, IL
Charles Sharp, Los Angeles, CA
Morgan Luker, Portland, OR
Nolan Vallier, Council Bluffs, IA
James Buhler, Austin, TX
Gabriel Solis, Urbana, IL
Erin Smith, Cleveland Heights, OH
Christopher Stover, Brooklyn, NY
Kara McLeland, Nashville, TN
Elizabeth Kirkendoll, North Richland Hills, TX
Adam Hudlow, Slidell, LA
Anne Searcy, Cambridge, MA
Daniel Robinson, Buffalo, NY
Tracy McMullen, Portland, ME
Julie Hubbert, Columbia, SC
Daniel Henderson, South Boston, MA
Ryan Ross, Mississippi State, MS
Brian Felix, Asheville, NC
Stephen Wade, Cambridge, MA
Liz Przybylski, Chicago, IL
Glenn Patterson, St. John’s, NF CANADA
Elizabeth Ozment, Jonesboro, GA
Joshua Plocher, Minneapolis, MN
Jennifer Wagner, Kansas City, MO
Sarah Tyrrell, Lake Ozark, MO
Janita Hall-Swadley, Parkin, AR
Vernon Huff, Mesa, AZ
Thomas Marks, Drexel, MO
Borden Morehead, Knoxville, TN
Katy Free, Knoxville, TN
Karen Shaffer, Brevard, NC
Maureen Mahon, Brooklyn, NY
Bereniece Jones, Eugene, OR
Stephen Pysnik, Durham, NC
Robert K. Wallace, Bellevue, KY
W.S. Tkweme, Louisville, KY
Dana Terres, Tallahassee, FL
Laura Risk, Montreal, QC CANADA
Sasha Metcalf, Goleta, CA
Anabel Maler, Chicago, IL
Fujiko Kurumaji, Baton Rouge, L
A Alice Henderson, Tallahassee, FL
Alixandra Haywood, Montreal, QC CANADA
Joseph Finkel, Tempe, AZ
Heather Buffington Anderson, Austin, TX
Melanie Bookout, Fort Wayne, IN
Caitlin Brown, Zionsville, IN
Anne Harley, Claremont, CA
Anna Stephan-Robinson, Bronx, NY
Elyse Marrero, Tallahassee, FL
Kevin Delgado, San Diego, CA
Rachel Vandagriff, Oakland, CA
Melanie Zeck, Chicago, IL
Alita Mantels, Little Rock, AR
Rebecca Cweibel, Seattle, WA
Brian Wright, Reno, NV
Kristin Sponheim, Redding, CT
Erin Fulton, Lawrence, KS
Andrew Martin, Minneapolis, MN
Devin Burke, Cleveland, OH
Sounds of the Modern Nation: Music, Culture, and Ideas in Post-Revolutionary Mexico. Alejandro L. Madrid. Temple, 2009. 224pp. 978-1-5921-3694-0. Hardcover.
Música y modernidad en Buenos Aires (1920–1940). Omar Corrado. Gourmet Musical, 2010. 376pp. 978-9-8722-6648-6. Hardcover.
River of Tears: Country Music, Memory, and Modernity in Brazil. Alexander Sebastian Dent. Duke, 2009. 312pp. 978-0-8223-4537-4. Paper.
A Guide to Latin American Art Song Repertoire: An Annotated Catalog of Twentieth-Century Art Songs for Voice and Piano. Maya Hoover, ed. Indiana, 2010. 368pp. 978-0-2533-5382-5. Hardcover.
Carol A. Hess
In 1891, Cuban patriot José Martí published the essay “Nuestra América” (Our America), which appeared almost simultaneously in New York and Mexico City.1 In it, he noted not only the numerous communities outside US borders that call themselves American, but also the tensions over power and ownership that existed throughout the vast territory known North and South as “America.” In the 1950s, and fresh from his assignments during the Good Neighbor period, Gilbert Chase addressed the fact that English lacks a neat adjective denoting “of the United States,” unlike Spanish (estadounidense) or Portuguese (estadunidense). As he observed in the Introduction to the first edition of America’s Music from the Pilgrims to the Present, the term “America” is “more properly applicable to the Western Hemisphere as a whole,” as a “symbolic name that binds us all to common ideals of peace, friendship, and cooperation.” Yet even Chase, among the first US scholars to address Latin American music, pleaded “euphony and convenience supported by a literary tradition that has ample precedent,” as reflected in the title of his enduring study.2
Academic societies have also wondered about associating “America” solely with the United States. In the early 1990s, members of the American Studies Association asked “What’s in a name?” They debated not only Martí’s concerns, but also American influence in an increasingly globalized environment, all of which affect labor, ethnic, and cultural studies, and have led scholars to reject what Radway calls the “unproblematic [American] we” often associated with so-called American exceptionalism.3 Music entered this conversation when the Society for American Music confronted related issues apropos its mission statement, which in 2008 read:
The mission of the Society for American Music is to stimulate the appreciation, performance, creation, and study of American music in all its diversity, and the full range of activities and institutions associated with that music. “America” is understood to embrace North America, including Central America and the Caribbean, and aspects of its cultures everywhere in the world.4Now, however, the SAM webpage announces:
The mission of the Society for American Music is to stimulate the appreciation, performance, creation and study of American musics of all eras and in all their diversity, including the full range of activities and institutions associated with these musics throughout the world.In addition to eliminating some confusing wording of the earlier version (North America does not “include” Central America, for example, and the breathless “everywhere in the world” probably means “wherever practiced”) the revised statement no longer imposes geographical restrictions on “America.” Although it largely sidesteps the question Martí raised—where, exactly, does America end and begin?—no one should be surprised that exploring American music “throughout the world” has sparked curiosity among US musicologists toward the nearest of the Americas, those to the South. Accompanying this trend are demographic shifts: in the United States, the Hispanic population reached 16% in 2010 and is projected to figure at 29% by 2050.5
As we Americanists regard this phenomenon, it behooves us to compare the current state of research on music of the United States with our collective knowledge of music from the region some have called the Other America. Thanks in large part to the founders of the Sonneck Society for American Music, since 1975 we have enjoyed revamped curricula, previously unimaginable areas of specializations, new orientations for college and university graduate programs, and two journals, the Journal of the Society for American Music and American Music (in addition to the Bulletin), all devoted to US composers or music rooted in US cultural practices. When we compare this activity to the relative silence on Latin American music during the same period, however, we see that despite some happy and important exceptions, Latin American art music enjoys scant official status in most college and university music departments today even as Latin American studies programs have been a fixture of academic life since the 1960s. Only recently have some Ph.D. programs in musicology begun to accept Spanish for the foreign language requirement, surely an odd commentary on the literary tradition represented by Cervantes, Borges, and García Márquez.
Can Latin American musical scholarship replicate the heft and disciplinary presence of its Northern cousin? Can the notion of “American music” become the “symbolic name that binds us all to common ideals of peace, friendship, and cooperation” Chase envisioned? This essay briefly considers four studies on Latin American music published within the past four years and is intended for those who wish to consider American music from a broader perspective, whether in teaching or scholarship.6 Tellingly, three of the four deal with modernism (or modernity), an apt theme in light of widely cited studies on musical modernism in the United States.7 First, however, other recent trends can be noted. Since around 2000, Anglo-centric narratives in music histories of the United States have been losing ground.8 Some new English-language textbooks on Latin American music await our delectation, such as Mark Brill’s Music of Latin America and the Caribbean (Pearson Prentice Hall, 2011) and the multi-authored Musics of Latin America under the general editorship of Robin Moore (Norton, 2012).9 Several recent Ph.Ds have explored Latin American music and intersections among the Americas.10 An inter-American orientation also emerges in Oxford University Press’s series Currents in Latin American and Iberian Music (CLAIM), under the editorship of Walter A. Clark. In one book from that series, From Serra to Sancho: Music and Pageantry in the California Missions (2009), author Craig A. Russell poses an important question related to the demographic shifts described above. Lamenting the broader failure of US society to acknowledge that our culture evolved “not only from the eastern seaboard,” Russell pointedly asks, “if we do not understand our own past, how can we responsibly solve our present-day problems?”11 Whether we grapple with geopolitics or musicology, the question resounds.
Yet those wishing to embrace Latin American music still confront several challenges. For one thing, scores are not always easy to find. As a non-Latin Americanist colleague and SAM member put it to me recently, “by the time I’ve read about Venezuelan, Colombian, Argentine or Peruvian composer X in Grove Online and identified two or three scores relevant to the class I’m teaching, I have to wait six weeks for ILL to send them.” Despite the abundance of YouTube performances, nailing down less ephemeral recordings can be challenging as well. Also, many studies are available only in Spanish or Portuguese. Further, despite role models of persuasive and elegant writing in musicology (one need only think of Kerman, Taruskin, Sisman, or Holoman) interested non-Latin Americanists—the very audience US Latin Americanists most fervently want to reach—may be greeted with indifferent writing or unpolished copyediting, often the result of poor translations.12
Alejandro L. Madrid is one of the most active scholars working on Latin American music today. His Nor-tec Rifa! Electronic Dance Music from Tijuana to the World appeared in the CLAIM series in 2008. He co-edited (with Ignacio Corona) Postnational Musical Identities: Cultural Production, Distribution, and Consumption in a Globalized Scenario (Lexington Books, 2008) and edited Transnational Encounters: Music and Performance at the U.S.-Mexico Border (Oxford, 2011), winner of the American Musicological Society’s Ruth A. Solie Award. His Sounds of the Modern Nation: Music, Culture, and Ideas in Post-Revolutionary Mexico (Temple, 2009) is an English translation of Los sonidos de la nación moderna. Música, cultura e ideas en el México postrevolucionario, 1920–1930 (Fondo Editorial Casa de las Américas), which received the prestigious Casa de las Américas Musicology Prize in 2005. In it, Madrid contextualizes the premises of modernism, addressing its theoretical underpinnings and attendant polemics from the Mexican perspective. Well versed in critical theory, Madrid reminds us, for example, that modernity is a condition dating from the late-seventeenth century characterized by capitalism, secularism, liberal democracy, and rationalism, whereas modernization is the process of striving for said condition; modernism, on the other hand, is a discourse that “embraces modernity,” usually in relation to aesthetics (5–6). This grounding is necessary for any discussion of “modernism on the periphery,” a condition Carlos Blanco Aguinaga has related to Latin America but which also affected the United States at the dawn of what would come to be called the “American” (twentieth) century.13
Madrid launches his book with a chapter on Julián Carrillo, best known for his microtonal compositions. Like Carlos Chávez, Carrillo maintained connections to the United States, collaborating with the League of Composers and with Leopold Stokowski, who premiered Carrillo’s Concertino (1926) in Carnegie Hall. US modernists reacted: Ruth Crawford Seeger, for example, found Carrillo’s microtonal works “extremely Oriental—Hindu in effect.”14 Madrid discusses ways in which this music is anything but “Oriental” (that is, exotic) by applying to it the methodology of “post-Schenkerian ideas of dissonant prolongation” (12) à la Robert P. Morgan. Alluding to Schoenberg, Madrid argues that Carrillo’s microtonal music responds to the polemics of “style and idea” characteristic of German-influenced music of the era, a conclusion those whose concept of Mexican music is largely shaped by El salón México or José Pablo Moncayo’s Huapango will find stimulating.
Madrid also has a good deal to say about Chávez, perhaps the Mexican composer most familiar to US readers, thanks to Aaron Copland, to various Copland scholars, and especially to Robert L. Parker and Leonora Saavedra.15 Drawing on Saavedra’s important work on Mexican musical identity, Madrid considers Chávez in relation to José Vasconcelos, minister of education during the post-revolutionary government of Álvaro Obregón (1920–24), widely—although incorrectly—assumed to promote indigenismo (glorifying the native presence in Mexican history and culture). Madrid situates Chávez in various non-nationalist trends, such as the short-lived but intense movement of the 1920s known as estridentismo, which was closely related to futurism and Dadaism and thus influenced by machine culture. (Diego Rivera, known for depicting indigenous life, was similarly taken with machines, as can be seen in his “Detroit Industry” murals of 1933, for example.) If many in the United States have privileged Chávez’s noble savagery, largely apropos the Sinfonía India, applauded by Colin McPhee, John Cage, and Leonard Bernstein, Madrid offers a fresh look at this important and well-regarded composer. He also covers the First National Congress of Music (Mexico City, 1936), the evolution of Manuel M. Ponce’s cosmopolitanism, and politically motivated shifts in perceptions of the native presence as manifested in the 1928 revival of Ricardo Castro’s opera Atzimba, first performed in 1900, before the Revolution.16 Throughout this ambitious book, the reader encounters not only new ways of thinking about nationalism and modernism but a wealth of “hard” information. Admittedly, this fascinating material is sometimes sabotaged by the less-than-polished translation and the reader sometimes struggles in making chapter-to-chapter connections. The latter, however, is more a reflection of Madrid’s wide range rather than any inherent weakness. One also wonders about “Cosmopolitanism,” which the author uppercases but does not really explain, a surprising lapse in light of his careful unpacking of terms too often taken for granted such as “modernism” and “modernity.” (The index shows only two of the four references to “Cosmopolitanism,” neither of which clarify the matter.) Give that many scholars are presently grappling with cosmopolitanism, one looks forward to further illumination of the concept from this important scholar.17
Like Madrid, Argentine scholar Omar Corrado received the Casa de las Américas prize, in his case, in 2008 for his book on Latin America’s first serialist, Juan Carlos Paz, whose works Copland essentially dismissed as too cerebral (“tiring”) after his State Department-sponsored cultural diplomacy tour of Latin America in 1941, the height of the Good Neighbor period.18 Corrado, who trained in Argentina and the Sorbonne, is one of Argentina’s most productive and insightful musicologists and has principally focused on música culta (art music) in Argentine culture and society in the early twentieth century. His Música y modernidad en Buenos Aires (1920–1940) (Music and Modernity in Buenos Aires [1920–1940]), published in 2010, is one more project undertaken by Gourmet Musical Ediciones, founded in 2005 in Buenos Aires to bring out original studies (or translations into Spanish) on various topics in music and musicology.19 Although some of the material in this book has appeared elsewhere (Latin American Music Review, Pauta, Música e investigación) this fact need not diminish our pleasure in finding it integrated in one volume. The author’s command of the Argentine press is dazzling: a table lists approximately seventy-five newspapers and magazines published in Argentina during the period in question, including the press of the vibrant immigrant community (Il Mattino d’Italia, Acción Española, Argentinisches Tageblatt) and the Buenos Aires Herald, widely read by the US business and diplomatic community (331–32). This vast array of presses, along with their political agendas, is a constant—and solid—point of reference for Corrado, who draws on a similarly wide-ranging and multilingual bibliography to cover an exhilarating array of topics. His treatment of Stravinsky in Buenos Aires (285–96), for example, deserves a secure place in Stravinsky scholarship worldwide, which generally overlooks Stravinsky’s reception and experience in the Spanish-speaking world.20
Yet just as critics elsewhere shaped Stravinsky’s music to fit the political currents of the 1920s and 1930s, so too, did journalists in Argentina, some of whom encouraged him to articulate his right-wing politics when he visited the Argentine capital in the spring of 1936. Significant here is the twisted reception of Perséphone, the work Richard Taruskin has called a “neoclassical extravaganza” but which one politically conservative Argentine critic nostalgic for a folkloric past considered “a return to [Stravinsky’s] Russian accent” (292).21 Corrado also treats neoclassicism as practiced by any number of Argentine composers, such as Jacobo Ficher, Honorio Siccardi, Luis Gianneo, José María Castro, and his younger brother Juan José (who under Good Neighborly auspices traveled more than once to the United States). The section on the 1927 centenary of Beethoven’s death (117–33) confirms Corrado’s sensitivity to international trends and their ideological implications “locally,” given that during the commemoration in the Argentine capital “Beethoven served...as a continent, containing diverse variables according to which each sector staked out the territory in which it hoped to situate itself in Buenos Aires’s cultural system of the era” (133). Throughout, Corrado analyzes numerous works by Argentine composers, which are also listed in a helpful table on pp. 332–33. (Individual compositions are not listed separately in the otherwise complete index, however, proving somewhat inconvenient in the Stravinsky and Bach entries.) It may be that not all topics will interest musical readers in the United States. Those unfamiliar with more general trends in Argentine culture during this period may wish to skip Corrado’s discussion of the role in music of the journal Sur (149–62) and its energetic founder Victoria Ocampo, for example. (In fact, it was US author Waldo Frank who encouraged Ocampo to found the journal.)22 These readers can proceed selectively, however. For those in the United States used to equating twentieth-century Argentine art music solely with Ginastera, Corrado’s book will come as a revelation without detracting from that important figure.
Also exploring modernity is Alexander Sebastian Dent, whose River of Tears: Country Music, Memory, and Modernity in Brazil (Duke, 2009) introduces Brazilian commercial country music, also known as música sertaneja after the sertão (Brazilian backlands) from whence it hails. Long seen as backward, the sertão has been both disparaged and idealized. It has also served as artistic inspiration, as in the 1902 novel by Euclides da Cunha Os Sertões (often translated as Rebellion in the Backlands) and in various works of Heitor Villa-Lobos, such as Bachianas brasileiras no. 2. Mainly, Dent proposes to “translate” música sertaneja (Preface, n.p.) to audiences unfamiliar with this milieu. In fact, this artfully written study does much more. Throughout, Dent elaborates a theory of performance “sensitive to the socially and economically neoliberal times” in which we live (ibid.), certainly a matter of no small relevance given Brazil’s current status as the “economic powerhouse” of Latin America. Engaging with theories of performance and “performativity,” Dent explores the role of the rural in Brazilian culture by arguing that the values of the sertão, which often clash with those of modernity—and the essentially mournful music that emblematizes the region—situate música sertaneja as “modernity’s critic, foundation, and fool” (1). A salient characteristic is male vulnerability, which afflicts many rural men suffering from what Dent neatly terms “an emergency of the heart” (8). Throughout, the author demonstrates that it is perfectly possible to leaven weighty concepts (metaindexicality and postauthoritarian memory among them) with lyrical quotations from Proust, Yeats, and Benjamin, all in gratifying prose.
Of a more practical bent is A Guide to Latin American Art Song Repertoire: An Annotated Catalog of Twentieth-Century Art Songs for Voice and Piano (Indiana, 2010), edited by Maya Hoover. While works of the so-called Big Three (Chávez, Villa-Lobos, Ginastera) are becoming increasingly familiar, we often find ourselves at a loss when eager performers, such as our students, ask us to suggest works by Bolivian, Peruvian, or Uruguayan composers for them to study. Hoover, a mezzo soprano who has published in Classical Singer and Philosophy of Music Education Review, offers a clear and intelligent answer for these enthusiasts. Those “who wish to delve into [Latin American art song],” she observes, “do not know where to turn, and end up abandoning this repertoire for other songs that are readily available and already in the public eye” (xiii). She marshals several well-coordinated contributors who cover twenty-two countries, including the so-called “ABC countries” (Argentina, Brazil, Chile) and those rarely treated in such surveys, such as Ecuador and Nicaragua. An impressive array of repertory emerges, ranging from songs by the Spanish expatriate Jesús Bal y Gay (Mexico) to Andrés Sas (Peru) to the more familiar Ernesto Lecuona (Cuba). Although Spanish is the predominant language, two sections are dedicated to Brazil and Haiti; Hoover also includes gems such as the two sets of Catalan folk songs by Joaquín Nin-Culmell (1908–2004). (The Berlin-born Nin-Culmell, who lived most of his life in the United States, is not quite properly listed under Cuba. Of course, his father Joaquín Nin, was born in Havana in 1879 and also composed solo songs.) Certainly the book is user-friendly: instead of merely registering the range, text, or approximate difficulty of a given song, readers can actually find out how to get hold of it. An extensive bibliography includes online sources and links to organizations such as LAASA (Latin American Art Song Alliance), organized in 2003 by Allison L. Weiss and also one of Hoover’s contributors (Argentina).23
In fact, Hoover’s catalogue descends from the lists and collections produced by Chase, Charles Seeger, and others during the Good Neighbor period, when North-South amity and cultural bonds were a high national security priority and when Latin American art music made itself felt in the United States to an unprecedented degree.24 During the Cold War, when the United States sought to extirpate communism in Latin America by supporting military regimes or through direct interventionism, Good Neighborlinesss came to a standstill. Let’s hope that, as perspectives and demographics continue to shift here in the “Colossus of the North,” geopolitical and cultural bonds between the United States and Latin America can flourish anew and that music will assume its rightful place in the increasingly borderless cultural terrain we call “American” music.
1 José Martí, Nuestra América, series title: Nuestra Mayúscula America (Nuestra América Editorial, 2005). See also Jeffrey Belnap and Raúl A. Fernández, eds. José Martí’s “Our America”: From National to Hemispheric Cultural Studies> (Duke, 1998).
2 Gilbert Chase, America’s Music from the Pilgrims to the Present (McGraw-Hill, 1955), xxi–xxii. As noted in Carol A. Hess, Representing the Good Neighbor: Music, Difference, and the Pan American Dream (Oxford, forthcoming), this passage is removed from the introduction to the second edition (1966). In the third edition (1987), a foreword by Richard Crawford replaces Chase’s introduction.
3 Janice Radway, “What’s in a Name? Presidential Address to the American Studies Association, 20 November 1998,” American Quarterly 51 (1999): 1–32.
4 A more detailed history of the statement is found in The Bulletin 34, no. 2 (spring 2008), 25–28. In a lead article, “SAM’s Mission Statement: Rationale and Discussion,” then-President John Graziano set forth some of the central issues of the debate as manifested in a listserv exchange. Among these are practicality (i.e. the need to demarcate a manageable range of study), fears that papers might not be given in English, inclusiveness, the “tradition with ample precedent” Chase noted, and the very identity of the Society.
5 These statistics, from the Pew Research Center, are cited in “The Hispanicisation of America: The Law of Large Numbers,” The Economist 396, no. 8699 (September 11–17, 2010), 35.
6 Some fine recent books include Cristina Magaldi, Music in Imperial Rio de Janeiro: European Culture in a Tropical Milieu (Scarecrow: 2004); Marie Elizabeth Labonville, Juan Bautista Plaza and Musical Nationalism in Venezuela (Indiana, 2007); Geoffrey Baker, Imposing Harmony: Music and Society in Colonial Cuzco (Duke, 2008); Susan Thomas, Cuban Zarzuela: Performing Race and Gender on Havana’s Lyric Stage (Illinois, 2009); Deborah Schwartz-Kates, Alberto Ginastera: A Research and Information Guide (Routledge, 2010); and Geoffrey Baker and Tess Knighton, eds., Music and Urban Society in Colonial Latin America (Cambridge, 2011). See reviews in the Journal of the Society for American Music by Walter Aaron Clark (1, no. 4; 2, no. 3; 5, no. 4) and Drew Davies (3, no. 2) on these and other studies. My apologies to all authors who for reasons of space are not mentioned here.
7 See, for example, Carol J. Oja, Making Music Modern (Oxford, 2000) and Michael Broyles and Denise von Glahn, Leo Ornstein: Modernist Dilemmas, Personal Choices (Indiana, 2007).
8 See, for example, Richard Crawford, An Introduction to America’s Music (Norton, 2001) and Lorenzo Candelaria and Daniel Kingman, American Music: A Panorama (4th ed., Schirmer, 2012). On music in Florida, see Wiley L. Housewright, A History of Music and Dance in Florida, 1565–1865 (Alabama, 1991). J. Peter Burkholder, Donald Jay Grout, Claude Palisca, A History of Western Music (8th ed., Norton, 2010) integrates Ibero-America into the Western canon to a far greater degree than previous editions of this widely used text.
9 See also John M. Schecter’s Music in Latin American Culture: Regional Traditions (Schirmer, 1999) and Dale A. Olsen and Daniel E. Sheehy’s The Garland Handbook of Latin American Music (2d ed., Routledge, 2000).
10 Some recently completed dissertations include Drew Edward Davies, “The Italianized Frontier: Music at Durango Cathedral, Español Culture, and the Aesthetics of Devotion in Eighteenth-Century New Spain” (University of Chicago, 2006), winner of the Society for American Music’s Housewright Dissertation Award; Jesús Alejandro Ramos-Kitrell, “Dynamics of Ritual and Ceremony at the Metropolitan Cathedral of Mexico, 1700–1750” (University of Texas, 2006); Christina Taylor Gibson, “The Music of Manuel M. Ponce, Julián Carrillo, and Carlos Chávez in New York, 1925–1932” (University of Maryland, 2008); Stephanie Stallings, “Collective Difference: The Pan American Association of Composers and Pan American Ideology, 1925–1945” (Florida State University, 2009); Jennifer Campbell, Shaping Solidarity: Music, Diplomacy, and Inter-American Relations, 1936–1946 (University of Connecticut, 2010).
11 Craig H. Russell, From Serra to Sancho: Music and Pageantry in the California Missions. Series title: Currents in Latin American & Iberian Music; Walter A. Clark, ed. (Oxford, 2009), 18. Elisabeth Le Guin and Margaret Cayward reflect on Russell’s findings in “California Musicology,” Journal of Musicology 29, no. 1 (2012): 85–100.
12 This lack of consideration for the reader often takes form via unelaborated name-dropping: too frequently authors on Latin American music refer to genres, persons, or historical events that non-specialists cannot reasonably be expected to know. For example, a recent and potentially valuable study on Brazilian music refers repeatedly to the dobrado march without so much as explaining the term or even including it the index. Weak translations from Spanish and Portuguese often result when translators replicate the noun-laden constructions common in romance languages, but which are cumbersome and dull when rendered in English. Call me a Anglophone Strunk and White maniac, but I would wager that utterances such as “I have taken the musical styles as prime examples of how the consumption of ideas could help in the negotiation of sites of identification...to navigate the multi-ideological ambiguity that characterized... etc.” are likely to distance readers accustomed to the verb-oriented and ultimately more vivid expository writing once widely taught in English-speaking countries.
13 Carlos Blanco Aguinagua, “On Modernism from the Periphery,” in Anthony L. Geist and José B. Monleón, eds., Modernism and Its Margins: Reinscribing Cultural Modernity from Spain and Latin America (Garland, 1999), 3–16.
14 Quoted in Judith Tick, Ruth Crawford Seeger: A Composer’s Search for American Music (Oxford, 1997), 144.
15 See Aaron Copland, “Carlos Chávez—Mexican Composer,” New Republic 54 (May 2, 1928): 322–23; see also “Carlos Chávez—Mexican Composer,” in Henry Cowell, ed., American Composers on American Music (Stanford, 1933), 102–106. Oja discusses Chávez in Making Music Modern, 275–79. Among Copland studies, see Howard Pollack, Aaron Copland: The Life and Work of an Uncommon Man (Holt, 1999), 221–22, 301–302; Elizabeth B. Crist, Music for the Common Man: Aaron Copland During the Depression and War (Oxford, 2005), 45–48. Robert L. Parker’s numerous studies include “Copland and Chávez: Brothers-in-Arms,” American Music 5, no. 4 (1987): 433–44; see also Leonora Saavedra, “The American Composer in the 1930s: The Social Thought of Seeger and Chávez,” in Bell Yung and Helen Rees, eds., Understanding Charles Seeger: Pioneer in American Musicology (Illinois, 1999), 29–63; “Of Selves and Others: Historiography, Ideology, and the Politics of Modern Mexican Music” (Ph.D. diss. University of Pittsburgh, 2001), esp. 136–74.
16 On Ponce, see Leonora Saavedra, “Manuel M. Ponce’s Chapultepec and the Conflicted Representations of a Contested Space,” Musical Quarterly 92, nos. 3–4 (2009): 279–328.
17 See, for example, Camilla Fojas, Cosmopolitanism in the Americas (Purdue, 2005); Pheng Cheah and Bruce Robbins, eds., Cosmopolitics: Thinking and Feeling Beyond the Nation (Minnesota, 1998). Cristina Magaldi applies these concepts to music in “Cosmopolitanism and World Music in Rio de Janeiro at the Turn of the Twentieth Century,” Musical Quarterly 92, nos. 3–4 (2009): 329–64.
18 Aaron Copland, “The Composers of South America,” Modern Music 19, no. 2 (January–February 1942), 77. See Carol A. Hess, “Copland in Argentina: Pan Americanist Politics, Folklore, and the Crisis of Modern Music,” Journal of the American Musicological Society 66 no. 1 (2013): 191–250. Corrado’s prize-winning book is Vanguardias al sur: La música de Juan Carlos Paz (Bernal, 2012).
19 See, for example, Jean-Jacques Nattiez, Proust Músico (2009); Pablo Kohan, Estudios sobre los estilos compositivos del tango (1920–1935) (2010); Silvina Luz Mansilla, La obra musical de Carlos Guastavino. Circulación, recepción, mediaciones (2011).
20 See, however, Carol A. Hess, Manuel de Falla and Modernism in Spain, 1898–1936 (Chicago, 2001), 161–98.
21 Richard Taruskin, “Perséphone,” The New Grove Dictionary of Opera, ed. Stanley Sadie, Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online (accessed April 6, 2012).
22 See Victoria Ocampo, “Carta a Waldo Frank,” Sur 1: (1931): 7–18.
24 See Gilbert Chase, Partial List of Latin American Music Obtainable in the United States, With a Supplementary List of Books and Phonograph Records (Music Division, Pan American Union, 1942); A Guide to Latin American Music (The Library of Congress, 1945). See also publications by Gustavo Durán, a Spanish expatriate composer and pianist (and former lieutenant colonel in the Republican army during the Spanish Civil War). These include Fourteen Traditional Spanish Songs from Texas (Music Division, Pan American Union, 1942) and Recordings of Latin-American Songs and Dances: An Annotated Selected List of Popular and Folk Music (Pan American Union, 1942). On Durán’s service to the United States government during the Good Neighbor period, see Carol A. Hess “Anti-Fascism and franquismo in the United States: Gustavo Durán as Good Neighbor,” in Música, ideología y política en la cultura artística durante el franquísmo (1938–1975), Gemma Pérez-Zalduondo, ed. (Ministerio de España y Fundación Brepols, forthcoming).
It seems fitting to take an ambitious approach to a musician who had no shortage of ambition himself, and Helen Smith’s There’s A Place for Us: The Musical Theatre Works of Leonard Bernstein (Ashgate, 2011) does so on two fronts. The scope—all eight of Bernstein’s theatrical works, with copious reference to his other compositions—is gratifyingly broad. The goal—a comprehensive account of the development of Bernstein’s compositional style as he worked toward the ideal of a quintessentially American opera—is compelling but continues to pose problems for writers. Smith is better prepared for this task than was Barry Seldes, whose 2009 political biography declared Bernstein’s ambition to write a “socially critical opera” unfulfilled.1 Her consideration of the selected works under the simplest possible rubric, “musical theater,” is respectful of a career that regularly flouted boundaries and defied categorization, generic and otherwise. Given its scope, the book is surprisingly streamlined and the organization clear. The concision of each chapter leaves some questions unexamined, which is less an indictment of Smith and more an invitation to other writers. Indeed, Smith’s analyses must now be the starting place for research into any of the works she discusses and for almost any new entry into the now booming field of Bernstein studies.
Smith wisely narrows the focus of her analyses to “certain recurring ideas”: motifs, structures and forms, and pastiche (4). These three topics are treated in varying depth, as suits the work under consideration. Each chapter begins with a brief biography of the show at hand, and outlines the genesis and development of the book/libretto/lyrics as well as the music, before placing them into the context of production/business concerns, social/political events, and the collaborative process. Each chapter begins with a clear picture of what is at stake in the work for Bernstein and his collaborators, and a summary of what significant musical techniques Smith will discuss.
Given the appearance in these vignettes of numerous well-known literary, theatrical, and musical figures, from Stephen Sondheim to Stephen Schwartz, it seems odd that Smith takes pains to declare Bernstein “totally and individually responsible for the music” (2). Betty Comden and Adolph Green’s accounts of the creation of On the Town describe a flexible, fast-paced, and open songwriting process, and contemporary reviews of the show mentioned the influence of arranger Hershy Kay. Bernstein’s sketches and notes for the musical indicate his awareness of (and dependence on) arrangers’ skills in delineating the many styles at play in the score. Still, Smith’s only mention of Kay—who remained a frequent collaborator with Bernstein—comes much later, in the chapter on Mass. By contrast, Nigel Simeone’s investigation of the genesis and reception of West Side Story devotes considerable attention to the communication between Leonard Bernstein and arrangers Irwin Kostal and Sid Ramin.2 Simeone’s study, along with the inclusion in the new Oxford Handbook of the American Musical of a chapter on orchestration and arrangement, seems to indicate that accounting for the contributions of arrangers and orchestrators is a crucial aspect of analyzing and interpreting American musical theater.3 Bernstein did contribute to the orchestration of the musicals discussed, most notably in ballet sequences like the Act I finale of On the Town. He was predominantly, but by no means “totally,” responsible for the sound of works like West Side Story, Wonderful Town, and Mass. Bernstein was, however, clearly responsible for the structural elements that Smith discusses. Her choice highlights the difference between understanding the development of Bernstein’s compositional techniques and understanding each show on its own terms. Smith’s book proposes to do both, implicitly and explicitly, but is ultimately more successful with the former.
Smith also successfully traces influences in a meaningful fashion, particularly in her positioning of motif as a central technique in Bernstein’s compositions. She points to Igor Stravinsky as a source of Bernstein’s interest in motivic (what Stravinsky called “intervallic”) composition and perhaps the origin of the outline of the Urmotiv that appears across the younger composer’s career (not just in the theater works). She traces this highly recognizable descent through a perfect fourth (typically scale degrees 4-3-1), first identified by Jack Gottlieb, from On the Town through A Quiet Place, illuminating its gradually accrued associations with optimism and resolution. Although Smith is not the first to recognize Bernstein’s affinity for certain motifs as meaningful or as keys to a cohesive structure—Jack Gottlieb and, more recently, Andreas Giger have discussed motive as a part of Bernstein’s aesthetic—she is by far the most thorough.4 Other intervals emerge as significant to various shows. Smith demonstrates prevalence of sevenths and affirmative ascending octaves in Candide (an attitude likely inherited from Copland) and the perfect fifth in Wonderful Town, which in its ascending and descending versions links the songs “It’s Love” and “A Little Bit in Love,” as well as “What a Waste” and “Conversation Piece.” Some motives Smith mentions seem less salient and perhaps more indicative of a topical approach than a structural strategy. For instance, the lower-neighbor tone gesture (what she calls an “auxiliary note motif”) in 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue occurs most frequently in the musical’s several Sousa-style marches. Ultimately, Smith’s exegesis of motivic composition as a method of songwriting and a unifying device in Bernstein’s music theatre resonates with the composer’s own discussions of musical cohesion. This study is also a much needed expansion on others which typically restrict discussions of motive to the most thoroughly discussed works (e.g. West Side Story). Smith is also meticulous when drawing lines of influence, constructing careful cases based on Bernstein’s familiarity with a given work or composer as a student, performer, and conductor.
Smith’s discussion of formal structures highlights the sometimes contradictory nature of Bernstein’s aesthetic; he emerges as both a neoclassicist and an occasional serialist. His use of sonata form and other clear structures within songs and across acts is not surprising, given his identification with Stravinsky, Copland, Milhaud, and others. The excavation of Bernstein’s twelve-tone structures, however, belies his rhetoric on serialism (including his famous lamentation at Copland’s turn toward twelve-tone techniques) and disproves the common assumption that Bernstein dabbled in and then dismissed serialism. Chromaticism appears in early works like On the Town and Trouble in Tahiti, where it is used to evoke hyperactivity and anxiety, and becomes more clearly twelve-tone from Candide onward (247). Bernstein’s use of tone rows gradually incorporates more standard twelve-tone compositional techniques and develops personal quirks along the way. His manipulation of the row in A Quiet Place is comparatively sophisticated and draws on techniques commonly employed by Webern: emphasis on semitones in row construction, elision, and canon and other imitative textures (253). Although Smith still declares Bernstein’s engagement with serialism “always quite superficial,” his blend of twelve-tone rows with tonal harmonic backgrounds and tendency to coordinate twelve-tone features with key expressive or formal moments is not unlike Alban Berg’s more accessible approach (251). Readers may wish Smith had devoted more space to drawing these serialist threads together, since related discussions, for example on the rows in Trouble in Tahiti and A Quiet Place, take place several chapters apart. Still, this facet of the book does much to clarify the murky issue of Bernstein’s relationship with modernism and the avant garde.
Given the considerable space Smith devotes to the final recurring element—pastiche—a definition of the term seems in order, particularly given its flexibility as a concept and the range of interpretations it makes available after studies like Richard Dyer’s.5 Bernstein’s music also presents an added complication: his tendency toward stylistic borrowing from particular composers and from genres across the highbrow-lowbrow divide. At what point does this kind of evocation become pastiche? Since Smith’s first mention of pastiche is the “Duchin vamp” at the beginning of Wonderful Town (so named after the popular 1930s bandleader Eddie Duchin) and she directly addresses the issue only in that chapter and those on Candide and 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, she appears to confine the concept to specifically historical imitations. However, the term lurks in the corners of her analysis of troping in Mass and dance rhythms in West Side Story. Likewise, parody receives a simplistic treatment with respect to Candide, a work which could just as easily demonstrate that the uses of parody as a musical technique are not restricted to humor and irony. (And why not, then, discuss parody in reference to Wonderful Town or the Act II club crawl in On the Town?) The problem here is not Smith’s critical acumen, but rather that she has pulled on a thread that warrants further unraveling.
The discussion of pastiche is the most unevenly distributed of her three core concepts, but where and how Smith chooses to discuss form is also problematic. The two operas, Trouble in Tahiti and A Quiet Place, benefit from a surfeit of formal analysis, and Candide, West Side Story, and 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue receive a respectable consideration of their large-scale structures. Structure with respect to On the Town is confined to song forms and formal analysis is almost entirely absent from the discussion of Wonderful Town; both musicals feature thematic detours into the dance sequences instead. The distribution of specific types of analysis among the chapters constructs, perhaps inadvertently, a hierarchy. Furthermore, the organization of their respective chapters implies that Wonderful Town and On the Town as not as “smart” as Candide. Smith treats them as musical comedies but not musical satires. In contrast, Carol J. Oja’s forthcoming book on On the Town promises a discussion of the critical voice, particularly with regard to race, embodied in Bernstein’s first musical comedy. Smith’s examination of Mass features an oddly extended detour into Bernstein’s other “Jewish” works, particularly the Chichester Psalms, and a seemingly ad hoc organization compared to the neatness of other chapters. The discussion of the Chichester Psalms is redundant given Paul R. Laird’s thoroughgoing study and not clearly connected to the three core ideas Smith sets out to track.6 The confusion in this chapter is likely the result of the book’s broad scope and the fact that Mass is a deeply vexing composition that is, on the whole, not easily explained. Overall, though, the book’s organization remains tight and makes the copious analytical examples easier to digest.
Helen Smith certainly accomplishes what she set out to do; this book is currently without parallel as a survey of Bernstein’s theatrical works and his compositional style in general. Ironically, its intentionally streamlined organization leaves one promise unfulfilled. In terms of the evolution and development of such crucial strands in Bernstein’s aesthetic, this study could use more concrete connections. The development of the Urmotiv is clearly delineated and Smith manages to interweave the motives, forms, techniques, and themes at work in Trouble in Tahiti and A Quiet Place despite their distance from one another. The analyses of motif, formal structures, and other techniques are detailed and thorough, but many of the chapters feel like they end abruptly, without much in the way of summary, interpretation, or conclusions drawn, before launching into the next work. I suspect this is an editorial shortcoming. Concise, streamlined books can be an admirable goal, but I wish this one had been allowed to expand. A slightly slower pace might also have allowed for an approach to musical analysis that could draw in a reader from outside the musicological orbit. Members of other fields, like Jewish studies, should have considerable interest in the works at hand and the results of Smith’s analyses, but the density of these discussions bars access to many who might otherwise be actively engaged. Other recent studies of musical theater composers—Steve Swayne on Sondheim’s early style and Jeffrey Magee on Irving Berlin’s musical theater—have managed to make the end results of musical analysis, if not every twist and turn, vivid and accessible.7 Bernstein himself was adept at this kind of communication as well. Fortunately, there’s a time and place for us to start making the connections and comparisons that these excellent analyses invite.
1 Barry Seldes, Leonard Bernstein: The Political Life of an American Musician (California, 2009), 195.
2 Nigel Simeone, Leonard Bernstein: West Side Story (Ashgate, 2009).
3 Dominic Symonds, “Orchestration and Arrangement: Creating the Broadway Sound,” in The Oxford Handbook of the American Musical, edited by Raymond Knapp, Mitchell Morris, and Stacy Wolf (Oxford, 2011).
4 Jack Gottlieb, “The Music of Leonard Bernstein: A Study of Melodic Manipulations,” D.M.A. diss. (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1964). Gottlieb, “Symbols of Faith in the Music of Leonard Bernstein,” The Musical Quarterly 66 (April, 1980): 287–95. Andreas Giger, “Bernstein’s The Joy of Music as Aesthetic Credo,” Journal of the Society for American Music 3, no. 3 (August 2009): 311–39.
5 Richard Dyer, Pastiche: Knowing Imitation (Routledge, 2006).
6 Paul R. Laird, The Chichester Psalms of Leonard Bernstein (Pendragon, 2010).
7 Steve Swayne, How Sondheim Found His Sound (Michigan, 2005). Jeffrey Magee, Irving Berlin’s American Musical Theater (Oxford, 2012).
The Center for Popular Music at Middle Tennessee State University in collaboration with the American Antiquarian Society has received a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to digitize, catalog, and provide web-based public access to their American vernacular music manuscripts. This award will enable the construction of an “American Vernacular Music Manuscripts” website featuring a searchable, multi-field database and hi-res page images. A far-reaching aspect of the project is that it will establish vernacular music manuscript cataloging guidelines so that hundreds of other archives, libraries, and historical societies with similar manuscripts may catalog and make available their holdings. The manuscripts included in this project, which date from ca. 1730–1910, include commonplace books, copybooks, and single and double leaves, and the two collections to be cataloged and digitized hold fiddle/fife/flute dance tunes, hymns, songs, ballads, and keyboard pieces, totaling about 9,000 pieces of music. Together there are more than 8,000 manuscript pages in approximately 250 manuscripts, most all of American provenance. A sense of the American Vernacular Music Manuscripts website and its intended function may be enjoyed by visiting the “Demonstration Website” at popmusic.mtsu.edu/AVMM/vernacular.html and following the instructions. (Be sure and browse through the manuscript using the cool page-turning software!) Any queries about this project can be addressed to Dale Cockrell, the Center’s director, at 615.898.2449 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
A second major grant, of $19,993, was awarded to the Center for Popular Music by the Grammy Foundation to inventory, preserve, and transcribe the 4,000 tapes in the Charles K. Wolfe Audio Collection, many of which are oral histories of musicians or field recordings. Dating from the 1930s–2000, this is likely the premier collection in the American Mid-South region.
The Stanford University Archive of Recorded Sound began continuous web streaming of the Riverwalk Jazz programs consisting of more than 350 hours of historic radio broadcasts on January 1, 2013, from riverwalkjazz.stanford.edu. Two channels of programs play a unique sequence of 352 shows in an ongoing loop, including some of the earliest shows which have not been heard in over 20 years. A detailed finding aid (oac.cdlib.org/findaid/ark:/13030/c8222vcv/) describes the large archive of tape recordings, scripts and production files, business records, and other documents preserved at the Archive of Recorded Sound. For more information about the project and to gain access to the Riverwalk Jazz archives, contact the Stanford Archive of Recorded Sound (email@example.com; 650-723-9312).
A spring and summer performance tour featuring 1812-era music will commemorate the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812 in America. Find details of David and Ginger Hildebrand’s appearances at Put-in-Bay, OH, Fort Niagara NY, off of Ft. McHenry, and this fall in Boston and beyond at 1812music.org/performancschedule.htm. See the main page for links to the audio CD, book by Kate Van Winkle Keller, and DVD of the documentary film Anthem, being broadcast nationally in late June.
Flutist Peter H. Bloom is now contributing editor for Noteworthy Sheet Music, which has published works by American composers John McDonald, Richard Nelson, Matt Samolis, Elizabeth Vercoe and others. Bloom performed Vercoe’s compositions in concerts with mezzo-soprano D’Anna Fortunato and pianist Mary Jane Rupert, including a week-long residency at Dickinson College (Carlisle, PA). The ensemble showcased Vercoe’s This Is My Letter to the World (2001, texts from Emily Dickinson poems) and Kleemation (2003, inspired by Paul Klee’s drawings), which Bloom and Rupert recorded for Navona Records (Kleemation and Other Works by Elizabeth Vercoe). A high point was The Aardvark Jazz Orchestra’s 40th season, featuring the world premiere (March 2013) of Mark Harvey’s Boston JazzScape at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Bloom has been an Aardvark band member for more than 35 years. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit americasmusicworks.com.
In February 2013, David Patterson founded Permelia Records, whose goal is “to encourage discussions about the relationship of music to the other creative arts.” In March Permelia Records issued its first release, “The Music of William C. Wright: Solo Piano and Vocal Works 1847–1893,” a selection of the previously unrecorded works by the composer and father of Frank Lloyd Wright. Immediately prior to its release, lectures and performances based on this recording took place at the State Historical Society of Iowa–Iowa City, and at Wright’s Unity Temple in Oak Park, Illinois, as the opening 2013 event for the Unity Temple Restoration Foundation’s well-known “Break The Box” series. For more information about Permelia Records and orders, visit PermeliaRecords.com.
Ralph P. Locke presented a paper at the IMS July 2012 meeting entitled “Musical Exoticism 1500–1750: Some Methodological Considerations and Case Studies.” The paper derives from his book-in-progress on how musical exoticism is manifested in “early music”; this book will form a “prequel” to his Musical Exoticism: Images and Reflections. Locke’s recent and forthcoming articles include “Orientalism in Music” (in the “Orientalism” volume of Dictionary of Literary Biography) and “On Exoticism, Western Art Music, and the Words We Use” (Archiv für Musikwissenschaft, 2012). For the forthcoming second edition of AmeriGrove, he revised his entry on Isabella Stewart Gardner and wrote the “exoticism” entry.
Roger Lee Hall, Director of the American Music Recordings Archive, has produced a CD and DVD titled “The Star-Spangled Banner”—Early Songs of Protest and Patriotism. The CD contains thirty songs of protest and patriotism from “The Liberty Song” to “The Star-Spangled Banner,” performed by the Old Stoughton Musical Society Chorus, The Yankee Tunesmiths, Philip Hawk and The Band of Musick, and others. The DVD includes the music and a documentary, “Old Stoughton and The Grand Constitution,” celebrating the 200th anniversaries of the U.S. Constitution and The Stoughton Musical Society Constitution, both written in 1787. More information about the CD and DVD is available online at americanmusicpreservation.com/SongsofProtestandPatriotism.htm.
Calls for Papers
Society for American Music 40th Annual Conference
March 5–9, 2014, Lancaster, Pennsylvania
The Society for American Music invites proposals for papers, organized panels of 3–4 papers, concerts, lecture-performances, papers for seminar format topics (to be announced by April 30, 2013), and scholarly posters. The online submission deadline for all proposals is June 3, 2013. See american-music.org/conferences/Lancaster/index.php.
Straight from the Heart: A Conference on Love and Rock Music
April 16–17, 2014, Université Paul-Valéry, Montpellier, France
Proposals (300 words in French or in English + a short biography) must be sent either to Mark Duffett (m.duffett@CHESTER.AC.UK) or to Claude Chastagner (email@example.com). They shall feature the first and last name, field, status, affiliation, and electronic address of the author, as well as 5 key words. The document will be saved under the following: LASTNAME.firstname.doc. Deadline for proposals is July 15, 2013.
Roots of American Musical Life
May 30–June 1, 2013, Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia. Joint meeting of the Historical Keyboard Society of North America (HKSNA) and the American Musical Instrument Society (AMIS). See amis.org/meetings/2013/.
PopMac: International Conference on Analyzing Popular Music
July 2–4, 2013, Institute for Popular Music at the University of Liverpool
Keynote speakers include Anne Danielsen (University of Oslo), Walter Everett (University of Michigan), and Allan Moore (University of Surrey). See popmac.org.uk/.
Third Biennial North American Conference on Nineteenth-Century Music
July 11–13, 2013, Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas. Keynote address by Andreas Giger (Louisiana State University). See ncm.tcu.edu.
Robert Murrell Stevenson, 1916–2012
|Robert Murrell Stevenson|
Robert Murrell Stevenson, one of the leading music scholars of the twentieth century and a preeminent figure in Ibero-American research, died at age 96 of natural causes on December 22, 2012, in Santa Monica, California. A longtime Professor of Musicology at the University of California, Los Angeles, as well as an Adjunct Professor of Musicology at Catholic University of America, he was an extraordinarily prolific author of books, book and Festschrift chapters, articles, musical editions, dictionary and encyclopedia entries, and reviews, as well as the founder/editor/publisher of the groundbreaking journal Inter-American Music Review. Stevenson was also a very accomplished pianist and composer. His scholarly investigations ranged over an impressively wide array of subjects, particularly Spain and Latin America before 1900, but also traditional, indigenous, and popular musics from throughout the Americas and the contributions of women composers and performers. Early in his career, he also wrote about Shakespeare, Bach, Luther, and English hymnody.
Born on July 3, 1916, in the railroad town of Melrose, New Mexico, his family moved to the border town of El Paso, Texas in 1918, where he spent his childhood and grew to maturity, along with his brother Alfred Boynton and sister Jean. His parents Robert Emory Stevenson (1879–1924), from Kentucky, and Ada Ross Stevenson (b. 1882), from Kansas, were engaged in Methodist mission work in Oklahoma and Texas. The elder Robert Stevenson, a Methodist minister, served as Vice President at the Lydia Patterson Institute, a Methodist boarding and day school for Mexican and Mexican American youth in El Paso (the school still follows this mission today). Stevenson’s father died when he was seven, and his mother later served as Principal of the secondary area of the Lydia Patterson Institute.
Robert Stevenson earned his bachelor’s degree in 1936 at the Texas College of Mines and Metallurgy in El Paso, now the University of Texas at El Paso. An account of his subsequent training reads like a Who’s Who of institutions and famous people. He studied at the Juilliard School in the 1930s, Yale University (MM 1939), and the University of Rochester (PhD, composition, 1942). Further study took him to Harvard University (STB 1943), Princeton Theological Seminary (ThM 1949), and The Queen’s College, Oxford University (BLitt 1954). His teachers included Leo Schrade and Jack Westrup (musicology), Ernest Hutcheson and Artur Schnabel (piano), and Howard Hanson and Igor Stravinsky (composition).
After working as Instructor of Music at the University of Texas, Austin (1941–43), he served during World War II as Army Captain and Chaplain for a unit of African American soldiers and received an Army commendation. After the war, he returned briefly to the University of Texas (1946), and then taught at Westminster Choir College (1946–49). In 1949, he was appointed visiting lecturer of music theory and piano at the University of California, Los Angeles. However, he soon moved into musicology at UCLA, where he remained into the 1990s, well after his retirement as Professor of Musicology. At UCLA he taught several generations of musicologists, ethnomusicologists, music theorists, composers, and performers, as well as countless students in general education courses, including those in his large-enrollment class on the history of rock music. Perhaps the most prominent composer to have studied with Stevenson was La Monte Young, who has commented frequently about Stevenson’s strong influence on his musical development.
An accomplished composer and pianist, Stevenson wrote a wide range of pieces for piano, chamber groups, choir, and symphony orchestra. His Concerto for Violin and Orchestra, composed under the guidance of Howard Hanson, was submitted in 1942 as his dissertation for the Ph.D. at the Eastman School of Music, University of Rochester. His Town Hall (New York) recital of March 20, 1947—reviewed by composer Lou Harrison in the New York Herald Tribune—was an all-Stevenson program. In the 1950s, he published a series of piano sonatas that celebrated the places he had studied: A Cambridge Sonata (1953), A Manhattan Sonata (1954), and A New Haven Sonata (1954). Leopold Stokowski conducted the Philadelphia Orchestra in his Two Peruvian Preludes in 1962. Stevenson continued for many years to give regular piano recitals at UCLA and elsewhere. The Real Conservatorio in Madrid, the location of the Archivo Robert Stevenson and sponsor of the Cátedra Robert Stevenson scholarship in musicology, issued a recording of his clarinet music in 2005.
Stevenson’s chief scholarly interests included Iberian as well as Latin American music, especially of the colonial period. Through archival research in Mexico and Central and South America, he was among the first to discover essential documents and music manuscripts for reconstructing the history of Latin American cathedral music history. He also contributed substantially to the study of music in the United States, with articles on John Cage’s early life; Mexican and Latino music in the U.S.; musical life in nineteenth-century California; Teresa Carreño in the U.S.; sources on Native American music; Paderewski in Paso Robles, California; music in his hometown of El Paso, Texas, and on many other U.S. topics. And he also investigated Canadian music.
His huge publication list, which includes eight editions of Spanish, Portuguese, and Latin American early music, and twenty-four books and monographs on a wide range of topics, reveals an impressive command of musical repertory, bibliographical and archival tools, and of the scholarly literature. His first major study, The Music of Mexico (1952) was a path-breaking book. The Music of Peru (1960), Renaissance and Baroque Musical Sources in the Americas (1970), and Music in Aztec and Inca Territory (1968) provided new information and understanding for a wealth of Latin American pre-contact and colonial-era music. Spanish Music in the Age of Columbus (1960) and Spanish Cathedral Music in the Golden Age (1961; revised Spanish edition, 1993) gave valuable accounts of then-neglected aspects of Renaissance music.
While Stevenson published many scholarly articles in leading U.S. and Latin American music journals such as the Journal of the American Musicological Society, 19th-Century Music, The Musical Quarterly, Heterofonía (Mexico), and Revista Musical Chilena de Música (Chile), he was such a prolific researcher and writer that in 1978 he launched his own journal, Inter-American Music Review (eighteen volumes issued to 2008). Unique in conception as well as execution, it became a major venue for leading research on music of all the Americas, from Argentina to Canada and all areas in between, as well as Spain and Portugal. Many of the articles published in this journal were by Stevenson himself, almost always unsigned. The astute reader could identify a Stevenson article, however, because of his very close attention to detail, distinctive prose style, and rich and sometimes esoteric vocabulary.
Stevenson also contributed hundreds of articles to many music dictionaries and encyclopedias, most notably The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart, and Diccionario de la Música Española e Hispanoamericana, on U.S., Latin American, and Iberian topics. He served for many years as the sole editor for music for the Handbook of Latin American Studies (Library of Congress). Well into his mid 90s, he continued to remain active as a scholar, and his substantial book South American National Anthems and Other Area Studies/Mexico after the Mexican Anthem appeared in 2009. His “Musical Tributes to Attributed Apparitions of the Virgin in Spain and Mexico,” probably his last study, was published in 2011 when he was 95.
Stevenson probably received more honors and awards than any other musicologist studying American or Latin American music, perhaps more than almost any other music scholar—and these represent a unique achievement: Distinguished Alumnus, University of Texas at El Paso (1964); second University Faculty Lecturer in music at UCLA (1981) since the creation of the honor in 1925, after Arnold Schoenberg; Gabriela Mistral Prize of the Organization of American States (1985); Lifetime Achievement Award of the Society for American Music (1999); Constantine Panunzio Distinguished Emeritus Award (University of California system, 2004); honorary memberships in the American Musicological Society (2002), the International Musicological Society (2006), and the Society for Ethnomusicology (2007); Sanford Medal, Yale School of Music; Guggenheim, Fulbright, National Endowment for the Humanities, and Ford Foundation fellowships and grants; Cátedra Robert Stevenson, Real Conservatorio Superior de Música in Madrid; and honorary doctorates from Illinois Wesleyan University, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, and Catholic University of America.
The American Musicological Society gives the Robert M. Stevenson Award for outstanding scholarship in Iberian music. The Society for Ethnomusicology sponsors the Robert M. Stevenson Prize. And Stevenson established the annual Robert Stevenson Lecture in the UCLA Department of Musicology. His research archive is maintained at the Biblioteca del Real Conservatorio Superior de Música in Madrid. A Festschrift entitled Treasures of the Golden Age: Essays on Music of the Iberian and Latin American Renaissance in Honor of Robert M. Stevenson was published by Pendragon Press in 2012, shortly before his passing.
Robert Stevenson was an exceptional mentor as well as researcher. He guided twenty-five doctoral dissertations at UCLA and the Catholic University of America, and many of his musicology advisees went on to establish significant careers. Those who were fortunate enough to do graduate research under his direction felt deeply inspired not only by his erudition and productivity, and by the scope and depth of his investigations, but also by his passionate commitment to preserving and promoting a vast heritage of great music. He played a crucial role in moving the Americas from the periphery to a position of central importance in music scholarship. His innumerable friends, admirers, colleagues, and students will sorely miss him, but his discoveries will continue to serve as a shining beacon for music scholars and performers everywhere.
Walter Aaron Clark, University of California, Riverside
John Koegel, California State University, Fullerton
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 Moore 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.
Student Travel Grants
Available for student members who wish to attend the annual conference of the Society for American Music and intended to help with the cost of travel. Students receiving funds must be members of the Society and enrolled at a college or university.
Mark Tucker Award
Awarded at the annual SAM conference recognizing a student who has written an outstanding paper for presentation at that conference.
Cambridge University Press Award
This award is presented to an international scholar (not a student) for an outstanding paper presented at the annual conference.
Adrienne Fried Block Fellowship
The Block Fellowship supports scholarly research leading to publication on topics that illuminate musical life in large urban communities, focusing on the interconnections and the wide range of genres present in these metropolitan settings.
Wiley Housewright Dissertation Award
The Wiley Housewright Dissertation Award annually recognizes a single dissertation on American music for its exceptional depth, clarity, significance, and overall contribution to the field.
H. Earle Johnson Bequest for Book Publication Subvention
The Johnson Subvention is given to support the costs of the publication of a significant monograph on an important topic in American Music. Two subventions of up to $2,500 may be awarded annually.
Sight and Sound Subvention
The Sight and Sound Subvention provides financial assistance to facilitate the publication of non-print material concerning American music. Such material may include film, DVD, CD and other audio/visual formats, radio programs, website development, or other projects that further the Society's mission and goals. One subvention of up to $900 is awarded annually.
Irving Lowens Memorial Book and Article Awards
The Lowens Award is presented annually for an exceptional book and article that make important contributions to the study of American music or music in America.
Hampsong Education Fellowship in American Song
The Hampsong Fellowship supports projects developed by educators who wish to explore the repertory of American classic song as a means to understand the broader narrative of American history and culture.
Virgil Thomson Fellowship
SAM members who attended the business meeting in Little Rock greeted with enthusiasm President Kitty Preston’s announcement about a major initiative in the SAM 2.0 campaign. Funded by a generous gift from the Virgil Thomson Foundation (virgilthomson.org/), and in keeping with Thomson’s own contributions to American music, the new Virgil Thomson Fellowship is awarded competitively to SAM members at any phase of their careers whose interest is focused on the history, creation, and analysis of American music on stage and screen, including opera. The Fellowship may support research expenses, including but not limited to travel expenses, books, and media resources. Specific guidelines and application instructions are available on the SAM website: american-music.org/awards/ThomsonFellowship.php.
In 2011, via an online survey and at an open forum at the annual conference, our members clearly expressed that support for research was the most important element they would like the Society to offer. The Virgil Thomson Fellowship joins the Adrienne Fried Block Fellowship as the Society’s second fellowship to support specialized research.
The experience of the Development Committee at our recently concluded conference in Little Rock has convincingly demonstrated that we have the support of every constituency in the Society—graduate students, early career professionals, independent scholars, senior scholars, and retired scholars. Our new fellowship opportunities will broaden the scope and enhance the quality of scholarship in American music. We look forward to sharing news about further new opportunities as the campaign rolls out.