Going Beyond Genre on Basin Street: Dr. Suhadolnik Presents at Case Western Reserve University Center for Popular Music Studies Conference

Dr. Sarah Suhadolnik was among the presenters who gathered in Cleveland, Ohio for the “Beyond Genre: Jazz as Popular Music” conference at Case Western Reserve University in April. The conference was convened to explore “the middle ground between popular music and new jazz studies.” The program featured papers by David Brackett, Sherrie Tucker, and other scholars from the fields of jazz and popular music studies, and considered a diverse array of musical voices, ranging from the Original Dixieland Jazz Band, Fred Astaire, and Bing Crosby to NG La Banda, Solange Knowles, and Jason Moran. Pianist and composer David Ake and collaborators Ralph Alessi, Ben Monder, Drew Gress, and Mark Ferber closed the proceedings with brand new jazz/popular music, treating conference participants to music from their new release, Humanities

Dr. Suhadolnik’s talk, “Friendly Meetings Abroad: Navigating Geographies of Genre on Basin Street,” used the 2018 “United We Swing” release (see link above) by New York’s Jazz at Lincoln Center and the Wynton Marsalis Septet as a springboard for her place-based examination of popular arrangements of Spencer Williams’s “Basin Street Blues,” a tin-pan-alley-hit-turned-jazz-standard. Drawing from her book project, Navigating Jazz: Music, Place, and New Orleans, individual case studies—the 2007 duet rendition of “Basin Street Blues,” recorded by Wynton Marsalis and Willie Nelson, as well as arrangements recorded by Bing Crosby, Ella Fitzgerald, and Eric San (a.k.a. DJ Kid Koala)—demonstrated the ways in which differing notions of New Orleans as musical place have inflected the popular reception of recordings of “Basin Street Blues” with divisive notions of, and about, New Orleans music. In this vein, Suhadolnik’s presentation traced the connections between the varied representation of New Orleans in popular music, and the larger, multifaceted construction of New Orleans as an important “jazz city”.

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PhD students win award and fellowship

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Camp Algona Branch Band

Two musicology Ph.D. students have received special recognition for their ongoing research. Kelsey McGinnis accepted a Graduate Research Excellence Award from UI’s Research Council and Graduate College. Cited by the selection committee for her highly original work, Kelsey is writing a dissertation on the role of music in the U.S. military’s reeducation program for German POWs during WWII.

Hang Nguyen, whose dissertation explores the use of social media by American orchestras and opera companies, received a Ballard and Seashore Dissertation Fellowship. This competitive fellowship from UI’s Graduate College provides funding for students who are completing their dissertations.

Hearty congratulations to Hang and Kelsey!

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Alumna Now Music Librarian at Alabama

Katherine E. Ramsey, MA in Musicology (2015), has taken a position as the Research and Instructional Librarian for Music, the Arts, and the Performing Arts at Amelia Gayle Gorgas Library at the University of Alabama. Ms. Ramsey recently received a Master of Science degree in Library and Information Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She also holds bachelor’s degrees in flute and English. Ms. Ramsey has a special interest in fostering information literacy in the digital age.

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Winter updates: a job, an article, a podcast, and a book

Photograph of the South West corner of the State Historical Society of Iowa, Iowa City Offices, 402 Iowa Ave., Iowa City, IA 52240 - 319-335-3935

Hang Nguyen, a Ph.D. candidate in Musicology, was recently hired to work as an assistant librarian at the State Historical Society in Iowa City. Thus far, Hang’s duties have included working with an author to acquire materials for a forthcoming book, helping colleagues prepare for the Archives Crawl event on February 24th, 2018, assisting patrons with genealogy and Iowa history queries, and compiling finding aids and inventories for special collections materials. She is also writing her dissertation on the use of Twitter and Facebook Live in contemporary classical music events.

 

Katheryn Lawson’s article, “Girl Scout Contrafacta and Symbolic Soldiering in the Great War,” is featured in the most recent issue of American Music (Fall 2017). The research draws from her 2013 MA thesis in Musicology, “Little soldiers and orphans: musical childhoods lived and constructed in World War I.” Katheryn is now a Ph.D. student in American History and Museum Studies at the University of Delaware.

 

Dr. Trevor Harvey recently released his seventh episode for Ethnomusicology Today, a podcast that he hosts and produces for the Society of Ethnomusicology. In this episode, he interviews Dr. Maríe Abe on the mingling of Japanese chindon-ya (a musical advertising practice) and anti-nuclear power protests in the wake of the Fukushima disaster. You can listen to this episode and others from the series here.

 

 

Dr. Nathan Platte’s book Making Music in Selznick’s Hollywood was recently published by Oxford University Press. With the release, Nathan contributed a piece to the Oxford University Press blog: “Unanswered Questions in Gone With the Wind’s Main Title.” Special thanks to music librarian Katie Buehner, Dr. Sarah Suhadolnik, masters student Lisa Mumme, PhD student Megan Small, and Diane Platte, who offered editorial guidance.

Warren Sherk, Manager of Special
Collections for the research library of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, has posted a review and author interview. Copies of the book are available at Prairie Lights.

 

Fall Conference Highlights

 

With Thanksgiving break just around the corner, it’s a good time to acknowledge the many contributions of our students and faculty at recent conferences.

In mid-October, music librarian Katie Buehner hosted Midwest MLA (Music Library Association) in the UI’s Voxman building.

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Music librarians from across the region turned out en masse to see the new music library and share presentations. Katie Buehner and her predecessor, Ruthann McTyre (now at Yale University), offered a vivid account of the music library’s tribulations and ultimate triumph following the destructive flood of 2008. In her talk, “The Rare and the Ordinary: Teaching Music History with Archives and Special Collections,” Dr. Marian Wilson Kimber reflected on different student-directed projects she has devised for graduate seminars. MA student Cody Norling served as “posterchild” for Wilson Kimber’s presentation by sharing (via poster) research he had developed under Wilson Kimber’s mentorship: “The Boston Glee Book in Iowa City: A Primary-Source Case Study Midwestern Musical Uplift.”

In addition to hosting visitors at home, faculty also journeyed abroad. Dr. Christine Getz presented on “The Last Years of the Tini Press” at the Società Italiana di Musicologia meeting in Lucca, Italy. Dr. Daniel Thompson went to Puebla, Mexico, to present a paper titled “A Reassessment of Nattiez’s Musical Semiology” at the annual Semiotic Society for America conference. In his presentation, Thompson offered a rereading of Jean-Jacques Nattiez’s musical semiology through Lacanian psychoanalytic theory, thereby exploring the ideological preconditions for the existence of “music.”

That same weekend, Dr. Trevor Harvey and MA student Andrew Tubbs attended the Society for Ethnomusicology conference in Denver. Drawing from recent ethnographic research, Andrew gave a paper on a Denver-based theatrical group: “A Phamaly Affair: Advocacy and Cultural Participation through a Disabled Repositioning of Cabaret.” Dr. Harvey attended the Publications Advisory Committee, where he represents the SEM podcast series (currently at six episodes, with a seventh forthcoming).

At the American Musicological Society meeting this November, PhD student Kelsey McGinnis presented a paper titled, “‘Americanism is to be plugged!’: Music, POW Reeducation, and the United States’s ‘Intellectual Diversion Program’ during World War II.” Dr. Wilson Kimber gave another presentation titled “Women Composers at the White House: Phyllis Fergus and the Concerts of the National League of American Pen Women.” Dr. Christine Getz served as a panelist on a special session titled “Musicology and Digital Technologies: Access, Sustainability, Education, and Scholarly Communication.” Drs. Sarah Suhadolnik and Nathan Platte served on the AMS Committee on the Publication of American Music, which functions as an advisory board for the Music of the United States of America (MUSA) series.

These are (it bears emphasizing) only a selection of recent activities. Congratulations and many thanks for everyone’s efforts and accomplishments!

Young People’s Guides to the Orchestra

When 1400 fourth graders arrived at the UI School of Music for an orchestra concert in October, they met an ensemble with whom they had already been introduced. That introduction was made by PhD student Megan Small and UI music librarian Katie Buehner, who produced two short videos specially tailored for the program and its fourth-grade audience. Working with a very tight schedule, Megan and Katie filmed members of the orchestra, presented commentary on the featured composers and compositions, and gathered orchestral recordings from the University of Iowa’s audio archive. Teachers shared the videos with their classes before the concert, thereby giving students a personalized and engaging encounter with their local orchestra. Megan and Katie’s contributions to the event served a key role within an exciting partnership between area public schools and UI’s School of Music.

 

The Musical Thought and Spiritual Lives of Heinrich Schenker and Arnold Schoenberg by Matthew Arndt now published

The Musical Thought and Spiritual Lives of Heinrich Schenker and Arnold Schoenberg by Matthew Arndt, Associate Professor of Music Theory at the University of Iowa School of Music, has just been published by Routledge, the world’s leading academic publisher in the humanities and social sciences. The book is one of the first volumes of the series Ashgate Studies in Music After 1900. Daniel K. L. Chua, Professor and Chairperson of the Department of Music at The University of Hong Kong and President of the International Musicological Society, writes of the book: “Schenker and Schoenberg – often regarded as polar opposites who embody a fissure in the history of Western music and the collapse of a common language – are brilliantly reevaluated in Matthew Arndt’s scholarly debut. Through a meticulous analysis of notated and written sources and a virtuosic interplay of disciplines and methods, Arndt delves beneath the surface of the usual narrative to sound out the musical thought and spiritual beliefs that shape the theory and music of both thinkers. As a result, what modern scholarship has divided is reintegrated, not only by melding the technical and metaphysical elements to illumine each other, but by drawing Schoenberg and Schenker so tightly together that, like repellent magnets held in tension, their proximity reveals the secret of the other’s meaning. This is a bold, brave, brilliant book.” To order a copy, click here.

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Summer Highlights

In the spring, Jessica Kizzire and Greg Newbold successfully defended their graduate documents. Greg’s master’s thesis explores serial procedures in Benjamin Frankel’s music for the Hammer cult film, Curse of the Werewolf (1961). In her doctoral dissertation, Jessica Kizzire contemplates musical adaptations of Lewis Carroll’s Alice novels, with special emphasis placed on film and ballet. Congratulations to both on these major accomplishments!

Cody Norling spent time at the State Historical Society of Iowa researching the cultivation of music in Iowa City in the nineteenth century, specifically the efforts of early Iowa settler Robert Hutchinson. This topic is the subject of a paper to be given at the American Musicological Society Midwest Chapter meeting in September. He also wrote a book review for The Annals of Iowa.

This summer, Andrew Tubbs traveled to Denver and Washington, D.C., to conduct research in preparation for two conference papers. While in Washington, he visited the Library of Congress to work with the Aaron Copland collection for a project about Copland’s music for the film Of Mice and Men. Additionally, he was named Artistic Director for Combined Efforts, an all-ability artist group in Iowa City.

Nathan Platte presented on the symphonic score to The Wizard of Oz at the “Music and the Moving Image” conference, hosted annually at NYU. From there, he hopped the pond to the University of Huddersfield, where he participated in the international symposium “Sources and Archives in Screen Sound Studies.” Nathan served on the program committee and also contributed a presentation titled “Resonant Spaces or Echo Chambers? Listening to Hollywood’s Music Through Its Archives.”

Marian Wilson Kimber visited the FDR Presidential Library and Museum to examine the music sent by American citizens to First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt during the Great Depression.  In June she appeared with pianist Natalie Landowski, performing spoken-word compositions by Phyllis Fergus at the 120th anniversary celebration of the founding of the National League of American Pen Women in Washington, D.C. Wilson Kimber’s article about Fergus, who became the first musician president of the Pen Women in 1936, was published in their magazine.

With assistance from the University of Iowa School of Music and International Programs, Matthew Arndt presented a paper on modernism and organicism in Alban Berg’s Piano Sonata, op. 1, at the Music Theory Midwest Twenty-Eighth Annual Conference in Iowa City and at the Ninth European Music Analysis Conference in Strasbourg, France. He also corrected proofs for his book, The Musical Thought and Spiritual Lives of Heinrich Schenker and Arnold Schoenberg, coming out next month.

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Village of Obernai, France

Christine Getz Awarded Delmas Foundation Grant

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Professor Christine Getz was awarded a 2017 Venetian Programs Grant from the Gladys Kriebel Delmas Foundation to support research in Venice and Padova for the project, “Venetian Investors, Spanish Clients, and the Milanese Music Prints of Lomazzo and Tini.”  The research is part of a larger study of the investments, economic relationships, and marketing strategies of the printing houses of , the heirs of Simone Tini and Filippo Lomazzo, and the family Tradate, all prolific publishers of printed music books in early modern Milan.With the support of the Delmas Grant, Prof. Getz will examine notarial documents housed in the Archivio di Stato in Venice pertaining to business transactions between Venetian printers and vendors and the Tini and Tradate families. She also will study the only extant copy of a Lomazzo print recently acquired by the Conservatorio “Cesare Pollini” in Padova.

On the Road: Spring Conferences

DSC_3331+2.jpgThe spring conference season has been an especially active one for Iowans this year. The majority of the musicology faculty and students have been on the road at least once to present their research. Doctoral student Kelsey McGinnis presented “The Purest Pieces of Home: German POWs Making German Music in America” in Montréal at the Society for American Music meeting. Master’s students Andrew Tubbs and Arthur Scoleri also traveled to present papers, Tubbs at the conference Music and Action held at UCLA, where he gave “Reclaiming Their History: a Disabled Re-positioning of Cabaret.” Scoleri spoke on “Alcina and the Illusory Heart: Exploring Gender and Emotion in G.F. Handel’s Opera Seria” at NCounters: Engaging Music Research + Practice, held in Edmonton, Alberta. Two musicology students presented papers at the Midwest Graduate Music Consortium at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. Master’s student C.A. Norling gave “An Atmosphere of the West: Highlighting the Exotic in Puccini’s La fanciulla del west,” and Tubbs presented “Cripface: Overcoming Disability and Finding a Musical Voice in The King’s Speech.”

Closer to home, two Iowa faculty members and one student presented papers at the spring meeting of the Midwest Chapter of the American Musicological Society, held at Drake University on April 22.  Prof. Nathan Platte gave “‘Sounds Must Stir the Fantasy’: Underscore as Special Effect in The Wizard of Oz (1939),” and Prof. Marian Wilson Kimber’s paper was “Reciting Parsifal: Opera as Spoken Word Performance in America.” Kelsey McGinnis presented “‘Our thoughts were with those back home’: German POWs Making German Music in Iowa.”

The third annual Iowa Musicology Day took place on April 6 at Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids and featured two Iowa faculty and four student presentations, including:

Jared Hedges, “George Crumb’s ‘Attitudes of Variation’ in Eine Kleine Mitternachtmusik

David Lim, “Programmatic Considerations in Julius Reubke’s Organ Sonata on Psalm 94”

Andrew Tubbs, “In Search of Balance: Inversional Symmetry, Tonal Problems, and Disability Aesthetics in Schoenberg’s ‘Valse de Chopin’”

Prof. Trevor Harvey appeared on the culminating panel for the day, “Strengths and Challenges in Teaching College-Level ‘Music Appreciation’ as General Education Courses,” speaking about his “Great Musicians” course for general education students at the University of Iowa.

The last week of April, Prof. Wilson Kimber traveled to the University of Delaware to speak about Felix Mendelssohn’s string quartets before the final performance of the complete cycle of quartets, including the Octet, performed by the Calidore Quartet with Delaware’s Seraphim Quartet. The same week, Prof. Platte was a guest speaker for the Musicology Colloquium at Northwestern University, where he presented “The Trouble with Onscreen Orchestrators: Progeny and Compositional Crisis in the Four Daughters Films.”

[Photo courtesy of 42N Observations]