The musicology program proudly recognizes our fall 2018 graduates: Ph.D. recipients, Dr. Sarah Lucas and Dr. Hang Nguyen, and master’s degree recipients, Lily Gaetgaeow and C.A. Norling. Congratulations on a job well done!
The musicology faculty and students at the University of Iowa are looking forward to the fourth annual Iowa Musicology Day, to be held on April 14. The conference will be held in Room 2 (the Choral Room) of the Voxman Music Building. The conference is free and open to Iowans interested in musicology.
9:00 Registration and morning refreshments
Megan Small, University of Iowa, “On the Sunset Trail: The West in Iowa”
11:30- 1:00 Box Lunch (see below)
Marian Wilson Kimber, University of Iowa, “‘It’s up to the women’: Women’s Peace Songs for Eleanor Roosevelt in the 1930s”
Nathan Platte, University of Iowa, “Jazz and the Ethics of Authenticity in I Want to Live!”
3:30- 4:30 Session 5: Introduction to the Arthur and Miriam Canter Rare Book Room, Katie Buehner, Music Librarian, Rita Benton Music Library
More Conference Information
Wednesday, March 21, 4 pm, in Vox 2. In cooperation with the European Studies program of the University of Iowa, the Musicology and Music Theory Colloquium will present a special lecture by Anna Leonard, Lecturer and curator Curator of European Art at the Smart Museum of Art of the University of Chicago. Leonard specializes in 19th-century European art, particularly that of France and Belgium. Her research interests include Symbolism and Wagnerism, attention and modes of aesthetic experience, time in painting, and nationalism and internationalism. A primary area of scholarly focus has been the relations between visual art and music, which are the subject of a book she co-edited with musicologist Tim Shephard, The Routledge Companion to Music and Visual Culture (2014), the first comprehensive reference work in this field. She has published six exhibition catalogues at the Smart Museum, chapters in several edited volumes, and an article in the Art Bulletin. Leonard’s presentation is entitled “Present at the Creation: The Romantic Iconography of the Turned Canvas,” and the abstract follows.
Abstract: This paper addresses the motif of the turned canvas or canvas seen from the back, found in certain portraits of artists at work c. 1810–25, as a manifestation of Romantic theories of the work of art. The turned canvas invited beholders to complete the concealed work of art in their imaginations, just as artistic creation itself was viewed at the time as a largely internal process rather than a physical or manual one. My presentation explores the implications of these ideas for Romantic representations of artists at work. It pays special consideration to what were perceived to be the raw materials of creative inspiration, not just for painters but for composers as well. Evidence shows that the conception of painting as an imitation of nature—prevalent in classical aesthetics from the Renaissance onward, and particularly the seventeenth century—underwent significant revision in the Romantic period, drawing closer to non-mimetic processes of musical creation. The phenomenon of Beethoven portraiture is brought in to show how understandings of his compositional process not only influenced the representation of pictorial artists but also encouraged a redefinition of the work of art, following musical paradigms, as something essentially immaterial and even invisible.
Musicology students and faculty attended the annual meeting of the Society for American Music, held in Kansas City, February 28 through March 4. Professor Sarah Suhadolnik appeared as a speaker for a workshop, organized by the Committee on the Conference, entitled “Strategies for Designing, Doing, and Discussing Digital Humanities Projects.” Professor Marian Wilson Kimber, along with doctoral piano student Natalie Landowski, presented a lecture-recital, “In a Woman’s Voice: Spoken-Word Compositions by American Women.” The recital highlighted compositions discussed in her recent book, The Elocutionists: Women, Music, and the Spoken Word (University of Illinois Press, 2017). At the student lunch and business meeting, master’s student Andrew Tubbs was elected co-chair of SAM’s student forum for the upcoming year. Congratulations Andrew!
The Music Theory and Musicology areas recently welcomed two new faculty members: Dr. Daniel J. Thompson and Dr. Sarah Suhadolnik. Among their wide-ranging teaching and research initiatives, both share interests in jazz history and contemporary performance. We are thrilled to have them join the UI community, and we look forward to sharing updates on their work in the future.
Sarah Suhadolnik joins the faculty at the University of Iowa as a scholar and teacher of American music, with special interests in jazz and popular music. She has presented papers at national and international conferences, including the American Musicological Society, the Society for American Music, the American Studies Association, and the International Musicological Society. Her publications include articles in The Grove Dictionary of American Music, 2nd Edition, and a study of the contemporary singer-songwriter Adele featured in the 2016 Cambridge Companion to the Singer-Songwriter. She has also served as a member of the editorial staff for both the Music of the United States of America series and the University of Michigan Gershwin Initiative, and acted as the managing editorial assistant for the Journal of Historical Research in Music Education (2015-2017). Suhadolnik’s teaching has been recognized by the University of Michigan (Glenn McGeoch Memorial Scholarship in Musicology), and includes extensive experience as a teaching consultant.
Suhadolnik received her Ph.D. from the University of Michigan, where her dissertation, Navigating Jazz: Music, Place, and New Orleans, was supported in part by the Lillian A. Ives Graduate Student Fellowship at the University of Michigan Institute for the Humanities, and is currently under contract with University of Michigan Press. Before joining the faculty at the University of Iowa in 2011, she taught at Michigan and Western Michigan University.
Daniel J. Thompson joined the University of Iowa School of Music in August of 2017 as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Music Theory. He teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in music theory and analysis—including courses in the undergraduate musicianship sequence, tonal analysis (Caplin), atonal theory, and fundamentals of music for non-majors.
Daniel received the Ph.D. in Music Theory and Composition from Florida State University in 2017 with a dissertation that recontextualizes the semiotic theories associated with musical “topics” (inferred style references taken as symbols of cultural themes) within hard bop—a widely celebrated Afro-modernist movement in American jazz (c. 1954–65). As a graduate assistant in both music theory and jazz studies at Florida State, Daniel taught undergraduate courses in music theory, aural skills, and jazz piano. He studied composition with Ladislav Kubík, Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, and Robert Mueller; digital music and computation with Mark Wingate and Clifton Callender; and jazz piano with Bill Peterson.
As a scholar, Daniel’s eclectic theoretical interests largely intersect with semiotics (sign systems), psychoanalytic theory, and cultural criticism. He has given talks at the national meetings of the Society for Music Theory (SMT) and the Semiotic Society of America (SSA), as well as several regional and graduate-student music conferences. His review of William Echard’s Psychedelic Popular Music: A History through Musical Topic Theory is forthcoming in Popular Music, and an article related to his dissertation is currently in peer review.
As a composer, Daniel’s work has been performed at the Dimenna Center for Classical Music and Spectrum (both in New York City) and at the Secret Theatre in Long Island City, NY. His miniature summoning a skeleton specter was performed by clarinetist Thomas Piercy and pianist Yusuke Satoh in the “Tokyo to New York” concert series (Tokyo, 2014); remnants—a work for clarinet and live electronics—premiered in 2017 at Florida State University’s Eighteenth Biennial Festival of New Music. Daniel’s ongoing creative work largely consists of electronic music (typically a blend of real-time synthesis, live processing, and sample manipulation in SuperCollider or Max/MSP)—taking the form of sound installations, works with live choreography, improvisations, and fixed media. Outside of the digital realm, Daniel also remains active as a jazz-piano soloist.
Professor of Musicology Marian Wilson Kimber was interviewed by the Associated Press about the 150th anniversary of the birthday of composer Amy Beach, and her comments appeared in an article in the Washington Post. Wilson Kimber was one of multiple scholars from American, Mexico, Chile, and Venezuela, who spoke at the American Women Pianist-Composers conference celebrating Amy Beach and Teresa Carreño, hosted by the University of New Hampshire on September 15-16. The University’s Milne Library and Dimond Special Collections houses the papers of Amy Beach and presented an exhibition of rare Beach materials in conjunction with the conference. Beach was the first American female composer to be successful in composing large forms, including her Gaelic Symphony. Wilson Kimber presented her research into Beach’s appearances at the White House in 1934 and 1936 in recitals for First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, along with other women composers from the National League of American Pen Women.
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]
New master’s student in musicology, Cody Norling, has won the National Opera Association’s 2016 Scholarly Paper Competition for “Puccini’s Grotesque West: Exoticism and Appropriating in La fanciulla del west.” He has been invited to read his paper at the NOA’s annual convention in Santa Barbara, California, in January 2017 and to publish his paper in its Opera Journal. Cody’s paper addresses American Indian depictions in Puccini’s Gold Rush drama, La fanciulla del west. In doing so, he highlights the opera’s two indigenous characters, Wowkle and Billy Jackrabbit, and compares their portrayal to the setting’s historical realities. He concludes that their text and music have little connection to the composer’s attempted authenticities but rather rely solely on a stereotyped exotic image.
Nathan Platte’s essay,”‘The Epic and Intimately Human’: Contemplating the Tara Theme in Gone With the Wind,” was just published in Music in Epic Film: Listening to Spectacle (Routledge, 2016). (https://www.routledge.com/Music-in-Epic-Film-Listening-to-Spectacle/Meyer-Lerner/p/book/9781315690025) In preparing this article, Platte visited three different archives: the Warner Bros. Archive at the University of Southern California, the Max Steiner Papers at Brigham Young University, and the David O. Selznick Collection at the Harry Ransom Center (University of Texas at Austin). By fitting together the archival pieces dispersed among these collections, Platte came to realize that “Hollywood’s best-known melody has a backstory of its own, replete with humble origins, daunting adversities, and startling transformations.” The essay has already been cited in Mark Richards’s ambitious study for Music Theory Online: “Film Music Themes: Analysis and Corpus Study.” (http://www.mtosmt.org/issues/mto.16.22.1/mto.16.22.1.richards.html)H
As fall classes get underway, we take a moment to share some of the activities our students and faculty pursued over the summer.
With the assistance of an Arts and Humanities Initiative Grant, Marian Wilson Kimber traveled to six libraries and archives to research the women composers’ concerts organized by Phyllis Fergus (pictured right) in the 1930s. The concerts took place under the auspices of the National League of American Pen Women, a professional organization for female writers, artists, and composers. To see the papers of various Pen Women branches, Wilson Kimber traveled to the Chicago History Museum, the University of Vermont, and the Minnesota History Center. She examined the papers of Pen Women composers Amy Beach at the University of New Hampshire and Frances Copthorne at the Sibley Library of the Eastman School of Music. The culmination of her summer travels was a visit to the FDR Presidential Library in Hyde Park, New York, to locate materials related to two concerts held at the White House for First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. Wilson Kimber has been awarded a career development award for fall 2016, during which she will continue her research as a fellow-in-residence at Iowa’s Obermann Center for Advanced Studies.
With help from School of Music Travel Awards and an International Programs Travel Award, Matthew Arndt presented a paper on harmony in Georgian chant at the Fourth International Analytical Approaches to World Music Conference in New York. He also presented a paper at the History–Theory–Pedagogy conference in Nottingham that applied Heinrich Schenker’s and Arnold Schoenberg’s theories to analysis of polyphonic music. The photo, from Salisbury Cathedral, was taken on Dr. Arndt’s way back from Nottingham.
Trevor Harvey assisted by University of Iowa School of Music students Grace Coleman and Todd Johnson, continued collaborating with KRUI to produce the podcast, Ethnomusicology Today. The series is published by the Society for Ethnomusicology and may be heard here.
Kelsey McGinnis, a PhD student in musicology, spent the summer in the National Archives undertaking research on the musical lives of German POWs interned in the U.S. during WWII. In August, she published an essay in Lacuna entitled “Singing with our ancestors and descendants: Music-making and intergenerational justice theory at COP21.”
Cody Norling, a new MA student in musicology, assisted with a forthcoming essay by transcribing passages from John Williams’ score to Catch Me If You Can. Cody also pushed ahead on a current research project addressing Puccini’s opera, La fanciulla del west.
Nathan Platte presented at “21st-Century Music School Design,” a College Music Society Summit hosted at the University of South Carolina. The intensive summit brought to together two hundred music professors and administrators from across the country to contemplate different strategies for adapting pedagogy, curricula, and degree programs to better prepare music students for dynamic careers in and beyond the arts.
Professor Christine Getz spent June and July 2016 in Northern Italy working on a new research project entitled Economic Partnerships, Marketing Strategies, and International Relations in the Music Prints of Filippo Lomazzo with the support of a 2016 Franklin Grant from the American Philosophical Society. On July 1 she presented a paper on the Lomazzo prints containing seventeenth-century sacred works by Conventual Franciscans from San Francesco Grande, Milano, at a conference sponsored by A.M.I.S. Como and the Centro Studi Antoniani at the Basilica del Santo in Padova, and on July 16 she presented a paper on the Lomazzo anthologies as travel writing at the 17th biennial International Conference on Baroque Music in Canterbury, Kent, UK. Professor Getz also finished the manuscript of a modern edition of Andrea Cima’s Il secondo libro delli concerti (1627) that is forthcoming in the series Recent Researches in Music of the Baroque Era published by A-R Editions.