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.
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!
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.
Village of Obernai, France
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.
The 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]
Supported by the World Music Initiative, the UI School of Music joins the UI South Asian Studies Program (SASP) in presenting an evening of Kabir songs by the award-winning Prahlad Singh Tipanya group. This event is free and open to the public and will be held on Wednesday, April 5, 2017, at 7:30 p.m. in the Concert Hall of the Voxman Music Building.
Prahlad Singh Tipanya and his team will sing the poetry of Kabir, the great iconoclastic mystic of North India, in the vigorous and joyful folk style of Madhya Pradesh’s Malwa region. From his beginning as a village schoolteacher with no musical background, Mr. Tipanya has risen to receive the Padma Shri award, one of the highest honors bestowed by the Indian government. During the concert, Linda Hess, a leading scholar and translator of Kabir, will present translations of the powerful poetry that the musicians will sing.
Prahlad Singh Tipanya is one of the most popular and highly honored folk singers of North India. He lives in Lunyakhedi village, near Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh, where he was born in 1954. Playing the 5-stringed tambura and percussive kartal as he sings, he will be joined by five fellow musicians who play dholak (two-headed drum), violin, harmonium, and small finger-cymbals while accompanying him in singing. The “Kabir singers” toured the US in 2003 and 2009, to great acclaim.
This event is sponsored by the South Asian Studies Program, International Programs, Stanley-UI Foundation Support Organization, India Association of Iowa City Area (IAICA), School of Music, Kala Mandali, and the Chief Diversity Office.
A quartet of the Anchiskhati Choir, the world’s foremost practitioners of Georgian traditional choral music, is visiting Iowa City on February 25–26. The visit is the first stop of a US tour connected with a symposium at Yale University.
According to John Graham of Yale University, “members of the Anchiskhati Choir come from different regions of Georgia where they have absorbed the unique singing traditions of their parents and grandparents. Singing weekly in the famous sixth-century Anchiskhati church in Tbilisi, Georgia, the group collaborates as a group of expert and passionate ethnomusicologists, who teach, hold workshops and regularly perform in Georgia and abroad.” Since 1988, the group has been at the forefront of a revival of Georgian traditional three-voice chant, which was eradicated at the beginning of the twentieth century. Their chanting is informed by intensive study of original recordings and transcriptions from that period. “The precision of timbre, tuning, and other nuances of authentic practice in an Anchiskhati performance yield an exquisite blend of ethereal Orthodox prayer text with the hearty enthusiasm of the Caucasian folk-singing style.”
On February 25 at 4:30 pm, they will give a lecture-demonstration entitled “An Introduction to Georgian Traditional Music” at the University Capitol Center Recital Hall (1670 UCC) in Old Capitol Town Centre, assisted by Matthew Arndt of the University of Iowa School of Music. That evening at 7:30 pm, the group will give a concert of secular and sacred music featuring traditional instruments at St. Raphael Orthodox Church, 722 East College Street, followed by a reception with Georgian food. Both events are free and open to the public. Donations will be accepted at the concert and reception. On February 26, the singers will visit choruses at three high schools in town: City, West, and Regina.
The invited representatives of the choir are Davit Shughliashvili, Zaal Tsereteli, Levan Veshapidze, and Davit Zatiashvili. The visit is co-sponsored by the University of Iowa School of Music, the University of Iowa Department of Religious Studiesthe University of Iowa Department of Religious Studies, International Programs, the Obermann Center for Advanced Studies, Arts Share, and the Antiochian Orthodox Diocese of the Midwest.
Gregory Newbold, an MA student in musicology, spent the summer of 2015 reading five recent titles from the Film Score Guide series (Scarecrow Press). His review, just published in the Winter 2016 Society for American Music Bulletin, surveys research on an array of film composers and titles, including The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, A Streetcar Named Desire, The Godfather trilogy, Forbidden Planet, and The Adventures of Robin Hood. Newbold is now writing a “film score guide” of his own: his in-progress thesis contemplates Benjamin Frankel’s music for Curse of the Werewolf.
Two musicology students have recently had exciting achievements and experiences:
Ph.D. candidate Jessica Kizzire has a chapter titled “‘The Place I’ll Return to Someday’: Musical Nostalgia in Final Fantasy IX” in the recently published Music in Video Games: Studying Play (Routledge, 2014). The collection is edited by K.J. Donnelly, William Gibbons, and Neil Lerner. This chapter foreshadows her dissertation research, which involves video game music. Congratulations on this publication, Jessica!
Ph.D student Sarah Lucas recently travelled to Hungary for research concerning Bèla Bartók. Sarah worked in the Budapest Bartók Archive with the support of a Stanley Award for Graduate Research, where she examined correspondence between Bartók and his publisher, Universal Edition, regarding the first edition of his first Piano Concerto (1926). Sarah also had the opportunity to study several early versions of the score. Sarah has presented papers on Bartók and his music, with a special emphasis on the reception during his first concert tour of the United States (1927-1928), at AMS Midwest and at graduate student conferences at the University of Iowa and the University of Missouri. Congratulations on your award and this exciting research project, Sarah!
The annual meetings of the American Musicological Society (AMS), Society for Music Theory (SMT), and Society for Ethnomusicology (SEM) are great places to share new research and keep current with scholarship. They’re also great opportunities to reconnect with former students, colleagues, and old friends. Below are Iowa alums Kimberly Beck, Joseph Matson and Michael Accino at the annual meeting of the American Musicological Society in Pittsburgh in November. Please visit the “Alumni” tab to read more about where our former students have been placed and where they are now working.