Program and Abstracts

Download the program here


Watch the livestream here


Watch the livestream of the performance Keynote,
Noam Sivan at 5:30pm, March 23, 2018 here



FRIDAY, MARCH 23


12:00pm    Tour of the Schulich School of Music     Guide: Shanti Nachtergaele
    Elizabeth Wirth Music Building Lobby



1:00pm    Registration
    Wirth Music Building, 8th floor


1:30pm    Welcome Remarks
    Wirth Music Building, A-832
    Margaret Cormier and Kiersten van Vliet, Symposium Co-Chairs
        Traditional Territory Acknowledgement
    Dr. Brenda Ravenscroft, Dean of the Schulich School of Music
    Prof. Lena Weman, Associate Dean, Graduate Studies in Music



1:45pm     Feminist Histories and Identities in North American Musical Culture
    Chair: Prof. Lisa Barg
    A-832


“Refiguring the Romantic Body: Chinese Women Pianists in the American Conservatory”
Audrey Vardanega (Columbia University)

This article explores how Chinese women pianists in the American Conservatory refigure Romanticism through their embodied performances. Romantic paradigms traditionally demand the disappearance of the performer’s self in the service of conveying the composer’s ideals; however, Chinese women tacitly invert these expectations by making their particularity central to their performances. Using my own interviews of Chinese women enrolled in American conservatories, I examine how they straddle two relationships to the piano in China and the United States, both extending from Romantic logics of music’s sublimity. The post-Cultural Revolution Chinese state regulates a familial relationship to the piano; the piano served and continues to serve as a critical object of nuclear familial cohesion through projects like the one-child policy. The American Conservatory, however, disciplines an individual relationship to the piano through its institutional structure and its demand for solitary practice regimes, engendering salient feelings of loneliness in my respondents given their deep experiences of the Chinese context. By performing in alignment with the very means of their misrecognition, Chinese women attend to their own particularity; this act of performative inversion generates worlds in which Chinese women refigure norms by affirming the slippages within them.



“An Orchestra of Her Own: Ethel Leginska, Women Conductors, and Feminism in Interwar America”
Melissa Camp (Texas Christian University)

In a November 2017 interview with The Telegraph, conductor Mariss Jansons scoffed at the idea of women conductors on the podium, claiming that they were not his “cup of tea.” Although many classical music aficionados and practitioners were dumbfounded by Janson’s pat dismissal of women’s musicianship, his opinion is one with a long history that stretches across the Atlantic. In the United States, the question of whether women are fit to lead, or perform with, symphony orchestras has proved remarkable enduring. As scholars such as Judith Tick and Carol Neuls Bates have illustrated, for instance, in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, professional female musicians were confined to all-women’s orchestras, many of which attempted to prove their aptitude by performing works of the “great” male composers.

The self-described “world’s foremost woman orchestral leader,” Ethel Leginska (1886-1970) sought to disprove preconceived notions of women’s musical ability. After a distinguished career as a pianist and composer, she took on the leadership of the Boston Women’s Symphony Orchestra in 1927. During her three-year tenure with the BWSO, Leginska ceaselessly championed contemporary women composers, including performances of her own works.

Building on primary source materials and scholarly research on 1920s musical culture (e.g. Oja 2000; Broadbent 2002), this paper explores Leginska’s use of the conductor’s podium to provide a progressive outlet for women composers. Moreover, a critical reception study of local newspapers, such as the Boston Post, Boston Herald, Lowell Sun, and The New York Times, reveals a slow change in public opinion regarding women in the concert hall. Though largely lost to history, Leginska and the BWSO proved to be a crucial turning point for the advancement of women in American classical music— both on the stage and behind the pen.



“What is Good Music? Locating Agency in the Concert Programs of The Women’s Musical Club of Edmonton”
Jennifer Messelink (McGill University)

During the early 20th century women’s musical clubs guided and influenced local musical life through an allied promotion of “good” music. By 1919 there were more than six hundred clubs in the United States, and in Canada sixteen clubs were founded between 1889 and 1933. Edmonton was no exception, and the Women’s Musical Club of Edmonton was formed in 1908. Musical clubs across North America showed remarkable uniformity in their constitutions, public goals, and rhetorical persuasion. It is no coincidence that scholarship on women’s clubs has also tended to focus on similar patterns and customs. One commonly noted feature has been their practice of organizing concerts according to a particular theme.

This paper suggests that overlooking the historical significance of concert planning based on themes obscures strategic functions of categorizing music. I argue that theme concerts can be understood as part of a process of shaping social action. I will explore how concert programming played a role in shifting women’s position from the private to the public sphere. First I will situate Edmonton in the broader historical movement that linked aesthetics to moral and social value, and secondly examine the composers, repertory, nationalities, and genders represented in concert programs between 1911–1930.



3:15pm     BREAK


3:30pm     Theory and Practice of Improvisation and the Ruth Crawford Archive
    Chair: James Donaldson
    A-832


“Toward a New Edition of Ruth Crawford’s Preludes Nos. 6–9: An Analysis of Unpublished Revisions”
Rogério Barbosa (Columbia University)

The successful reception history of Ruth Crawford’s Preludes nos. 6–9 demonstrates their significance in the composer’s musical output. Despite their indisputable relevance, the Preludes are remarkably underperformed nowadays, partly due to several mistakes extant in the current edition. The autograph manuscript and Crawford’s annotated copies of the Prelude’s first edition, held in the Library of Congress, reveal that the composer’s revisions make changes that profoundly affect aspects of their performance and the interpretation of their formal structure. My paper explores the repercussions of such changes on our understanding of Crawford’s musical style and constitutes a first step toward a correct edition of the Preludes.

Revisions of Prelude 6 give it a new symmetrical formal organization, which highlights Crawford’s intricate conception of structure. Revisions of Prelude 7 demonstrate a refined treatment of vertical and horizontal repetitions of pitch, while revisions of hand placements in Preludes 7 and 8 show how the composer explores physicality as a primary element in their performance. Finally, revisions of Preludes 8 and 9 alter the motivic relationship within the internal structure of their corresponding sections, showing Crawford’s expertise in creating a coherent musical unit through the manipulation of musical motives.

The remarks made here are new to the literature about Ruth Crawford Seeger and contribute to a deeper comprehension of her under-discussed musical style, whose undeniable uniqueness and influence deserve more attention. My proposal of a new and correct edition of these Preludes is, therefore, a long- overdue step toward her acknowledgement as a central figure in the history of 20th-century American modernist music.



“Conceiving the Concept: Style and Practice in Eric Dolphy’s Applications of George Russell’s Lydian Chromatic Concept”
Clay Downham (University of Colorado Boulder)

George Russell’s Lydian Chromatic Concept of Tonal Organization, the most influential music-theoretical treatise to arise from African-American communities, establishes a universe of tonal possibilities for composers and improvisers to explore. Russell, an iconoclastic autodidact hardly recognized by academia, advanced his theory in part as a reaction to “oppressive” Western music theories and their concomitant ethics for how music ought to be composed, improvised, or listened to. Rejecting prescriptive music theories, Russell’s Concept offers instead a generative vocabulary for musicians to draw from and thereby develop their own musical systems. Since it refuses to promulgate a musical syntax, the Concept provides musicians with a theoretical infrastructure for relating seemingly disparate musical styles and integrating them in innovative ways. In effect, networks of practicing musicians collectively build upon previous styles through the Concept in order to furnish idiosyncratic musical dialects that transgress Western musical ethics.

Eric Dolphy, multi-instrumentalist, composer, and improviser, writes to Russell in 1961, “Trying to play the new concept with an outward bound feeling.” Dolphy’s omnivorous musical taste and voracious practice habits lead to him to realize a musical idiolect with virtuosic command that drew from twentieth-century Western modernists, Western classical icons, “world musics,” Charlie Parker, Thelonious Monk, Art Tatum, bird calls, and urban sounds. For example, Dolphy synthesized Monk’s system of tritone substitutions and Stravinsky’s polytonal techniques in his polytonal blues composition “Les,” as well as in his flute solo on “April Fool.” Dolphy and his music thus provide a rich case study of how Russell’s experimentalist and integrationist music theory can be applied. In this presentation, I demonstrate—based on my archival research with the Eric Dolphy Collection housed in the Library of Congress—how Dolphy extended and transformed knowledge embedded in jazz practice and diverse stylistic influences through the theoretical conduit of Russell’s Lydian Chromatic Concept.



“Affordances and Musical Improvisation: A Framework for Analysis”
Marc Hannaford (Columbia University)

In this paper I outline an analytical framework for musical improvisation based on the ecological concept of affordances. I argue that the concept of affordances facilities a robust hearing of improvisers’ responses to both one another and written material that precedes or follows their improvisation. The underpinnings of my framework derive from ecological psychology (Chemero 2011, Gibson [1979] 1986, Heft 1989), ecological anthropology (Ingold 1992, 2000, 2012, 2016), sociology (Bourdieu 1977, Goffman 1961, [1974] 1986, Kendon 1990) and cybernetics (Borgo 2007a, b, 2016a, b, Braasch 2011, Latour 2005). Improvisation, in my framework, unfolds within a dynamic sonic environment that contains sonic characteristics. Improvisers’ sonic gestures and written material generate sonic characteristics, which afford responses by improvisers. A musician-environment feedback loop thus emerges that generates new characteristics as others recede. Finally, I adapt Dora Hanninen’s concept of contextual criteria to represent affordance-relations in some analytical vignettes (Hanninen 2012, 160).

I concentrate on musical improvisation that is both “free”—in the sense that it does not unfold upon on a pre-composed “referent,” such as an AABA song form (Pressing [1988] 2001, 151)—and not “free”—in the sense that it is conditioned by notated material that precedes and/or follows it. My analytical framework also addresses the inflexibility of current analytical paradigms concerning interaction during musical improvisation identified by Benjamin Givan (Givan 2016). The concept of affordances represents the crux of my response to these issues. Just as affordances guide, rather than stipulate, perception and action in ecological psychology, so too do they provide conceptual flexibility in analyses: one can hear relations between sonic gestures, whether they are given by composed material or emerge during improvisation in multifarious ways.



5:00pm     BREAK


5:30pm    Performance Keynote
Dr. Noam Sivan (Juilliard School, Curtis Institute):
“The Art of Improvisation”

Introductory Remarks: Prof. Edward Klorman
Tanna Schulich Hall, Wirth Music Building

In this presentation, pianist-improviser Noam Sivan brings back the art of improvisation to the concert hall through live demonstrations in different styles, and calls for its revival in performance and music education. A notable pioneer of improvisation in the classical music world, Noam Sivan has appeared in three continents, giving full-length improvised piano recitals and conducting orchestral improvisations. He is on the faculties of the Juilliard School and the Curtis Institute, having founded improvisation courses and produced improvisation concerts in both conservatories.



6:30pm     Wine and Cheese Reception
    Wirth Music Building Lobby




SATURDAY, MARCH 24


8:30am    Registration
    Wirth Music Building, 8th floor


9:00am     Shaping Musical Identity in the Nation and in the Diaspora
    Chair: Prof. Beverley Diamond
    A-832


“‘Los Jarochos Hemos Hecho Historia’: The role of Mestizaje, Institutionalization, and Tradition in the Imaginings of the Mexican Nation”
Vicky Mogollón Montagne (University of Texas at Austin)

In the aftermath of the Mexican War of Independence (1810–1821) “a quest ensued for Mexican identity, especially within the country’s mestizo population. In most cases, mestizos [...] sought a means of expressing their newly acquired nationalist sentiment in a distinctly ‘Mexican’ way” (Loza 1992). This historical opportunity to create a national discourse that would clearly demarcate Mexico’s position in a shifting political scene resorted heavily to the concept of tradition “in an attempt to structure at least some parts of social life within it [the modern world] as unchanging and invariant” (Hobsbawm 1983). Thus, I argue that amidst the socio-political and identitarian reconfiguration of the time, the Son Jarocho tradition of music and dance was consciously manipulated by the state to sonically exemplify the narrative of mestizaje that animated the nation. The Son Jarocho’s forceful insertion into the Mexican public institution apparatus, and subsequent political instrumentalization substantially erased the histories of blacks’ and indigenous’ contributions to the tradition, and by extension to Mexican identity. My analysis points out that in modern Mexico, mestizaje is a narrative of division rather than unity, even if the state still presents it as innocuous and even indispensable for the construction of ‘Mexicaness.’ Through the creation of the collective Jarocho Power, recognized musicians simultaneously accept and contest the homogenizing effect of mestizaje, the efforts to imagine the nation from a single subject position (that of a certain type of mestizo), and the standardization and policing of tradition. Paradoxically then, the government envisions music as a vehicle for conformity, while the musicians employ it to redefine notions of citizenship and the relationship between the nation, the state, and the individual.



‘Problèmes de vivre-ensemble’: Traditional Music and Dance and the Negotiation of Unity among Cameroonian Grassfields Communities of Montreal”
Luke Fowlie (Université de Montréal)

This paper presents results from a University of Montreal research project conducted by the MUSE laboratory in ethnomusicology entitled Comment le musical permet-il le “Vivre ensemble”? Place et fonction de la musique parmi les communautés issues de l’immigration à Montréal. Over the last three decades, Montreal has become home to half of all Cameroonian emigrants to Canada, a fact reflected by a recent surge in the number of Cameroonian cultural associations. The majority of these are affiliated with Cameroon’s Grassfields, a cultural area formerly divided by British and French colonial rule. As hierarchical societies governed by a fon (sacred ruler) and various secret societies, Grassfields groups share a history of associational belonging and their allegiance to traditional institutions has often put them at odds with Cameroon’s central government (Beuvier, 2014). As the size and diversity of modern associations has increased in the diaspora they have come to mirror those in Cameroon where “cultural dances” and festivals are harnessed towards development. Grassfields associations in the diaspora are Janus faced in that they simultaneously seek to support the well being and integration of their members as new immigrants while providing aid to the rural home places that are still central to their cultural identity (Mercer et al, 2008). They must reconcile their place within the framework of Canadian “national” multiculturalism with their desire to maintain regional identities. This process is further complicated by Cameroon’s complex colonial legacy and post-colonial ethnic politics, which continues to spill over into the diaspora (Takoungang, 2014). We will show different ways that music and dance facilitate the negotiation of unity within and between Grassfields communities and function as tools in the promotion of integration and visibility among the wider population of Montreal.



10:00am     BREAK


10:15am     Musical Cultural Identity against the Grain
    Chair: Hester Bell Jordan
    A-832


“Feminist Discourse, Women’s Rights Activism, and the New Music Scene in Poland”
Marta Beszterda (McGill University)

Since 2016, the discourse surrounding the new music scene in Poland has experienced an unprecedented increase in awareness of gender inequality. On October 3, 2016—the day when the mass Czarny Protest (“Black Protest”) took place in Poland in reaction to the government’s proposed total ban on abortion—an official group manifesto was published by the young Warsaw-based editorial collective “Glissando,” explicitly requesting to introduce 50% gender quotas in the program of The Warsaw Autumn International Festival of Contemporary Music.

This presentation problematizes the co-occurrence of two processes: the mass revival of feminist awareness in Polish society under the rule of the current populist far-right government, and a remarkable discourse shift in music criticism within the circles involved in the new and experimental music scene in Poland. Drawing on Ewa Majewska’s application of Immanuel Wallerstein’s world-systems theory (particularly the category of semi-periphery), as well as from Benjamin Piekut’s interpretation of Bruno Latour’s Actor-Network Theory, the paper serves two purposes. On the one hand it accounts for specific geo-political circumstances in which the musicological discourse in Poland is currently being reshaped (actions taken by conservative populist government, mass protests, instability, emergence of new political forces); on the other hand, it looks beyond generalized causal connections between the political and the musical—leaving room for actors’ individual accounts—and reveals events, influences, and coincidences reaching far beyond such simple analogies (e.g. the impact of Ashley Fure’s “Gender Relations in Darmstadt” project during the 2016 International Summer Course for New Music in Darmstadt). In doing so, I employ the political reality in order to show how individuals come into view within the networks, and present the recent feminist thread unfolding in the new music scene’s discourse as a web of multiple actions, where the agencies of different actors (composers, festival curators, decision-makers, critics, audience) and events (political, musical, social) have various levels of contingency.



“Chromatic Bifurcation and the Philosophy of Disunity in Shostakovich”
Matthew Heck (Brandeis University)

In recent and seemingly disparate interpretations of Dmitri Shostakovich’s quartets, musicologists share a fundamental observation—they recognize disunity and disjunction in the way Shostakovich bends traditional forms to suit non-traditional elements and the way he manipulates themes and inserts dramatic interpolations that tear at the formal fabric of his works. Judith Kuhn (2010) describes these moments of disunity in sonata theory terms, as sonata form “failures.” For Sarah Reichardt (2008) they are “ruptures,” glimpses a Lacanian “real.” For Levon Hakobian (1998) they symbolize nothing less than the inevitable “decline” of the universe. I propose that just as Shostakovich’s forms and motivic development embody these “failures”, “ruptures”, and “declines”, so does, more generally, his flexible, semi-tonal triadic language, with its oblique harmonic-modal progressions and ambiguous centricity, and I aim to show this by focussing on one common technique that projects this disunity particularly strongly. In this technique musical components separated by semitone sound simultaneously in spite of one another, creating a bitonality (or bimodality) that suggests a contradiction in tones. These disruptive qualities combined— formal, motivic, and tonal—project a complicated humanist philosophy, full of irreconcilable paradox and opposed to the utopian maximalism of the Silver Age as well as the banal, triumphant narratives of Socialist Realism, a philosophy that instead resonates with an earlier perspective exemplified by Fyodor Dostoevsky.



“Don’t Expect Heresy: Murray Boren’s Book of Gold and the Sociology of Mormon Music”
Zach Milliman (McGill University)

Music, especially serious “art” music, has played a major role in the development and reification of a specific sociological, theological, and proselytizing project of the Mormon Church, one that sought to exonerate the church’s post-polygamy image and mobilize it. That program took on new dimensions when Spencer W. Kimball, the twelfth president [prophet] of the Mormon church asked in a now infamous 1968 speech at Brigham Young University: where are the Mormon Wagners, Verdis, and Bachs? His challenge and prophecy that Mormon artists and composers would come to be the greatest in the world was premised on an aesthetic valuation that equates the Western tradition of functional harmony with “appropriate” spirituality. This speech functioned as the rhetorical justification for the systematic churchwide “Correlation” program, which brought every area of the Mormon church, from the theological to the aesthetic to the social, under the direct supervision of the patriarchal “priesthood authority.”

To examine this, I discuss Murray Boren’s opera Book of Gold (2005), which chronicles the inception [restoration] of the Mormon Church—considered by Kimball and the leaders that followed as the quintessential theme Mormon artists should tackle—and situate it within the canon of large-scale Mormon compositions. While Book of Gold was a critical success and continued to air on BYUTV for years, the work conversely also incited a palpable negative response, due mostly to a predominance of abstract, non-functional harmonies and a perceived dissonant tonal language. The backlash effectively ended not only Boren’s long BYU career, but his compositional one as well. The opera provides a lens through which to view the function of music in Mormon identity formation and inculcation. I seek to uncover the epistemological foundations involved in the conception, production, and reception of Mormon music, as well as how those discursive technologies have been internalized by and deployed against musicians and works such as Murray Boren and Book of Gold.



11:45am     LUNCH


1:15pm    Research Keynote
Dr. William Cheng (Dartmouth College):
“‘His Music Was Not a Weapon’: Black Noise, Breakable Skin, and the Plundered Voice of Jordan Russell Davis”

Introductory Remarks: Prof. Lloyd Whitesell
A-832

On 23 November 2012, at a gas station in Jacksonville, FL, a 47-year-old white man named Michael Dunn fired ten bullets and killed 17-year-old unarmed black teen Jordan Davis . . . in an apparent dispute over Davis’s loud rap music. “I hate that thug music,” Dunn had complained to his fiancée minutes earlier. Dunn later claimed to have seen Davis brandishing a shotgun, or merely its barrel, or a pipe, or some dark object. Police never found any such weapon. So maybe Dunn lied. Or maybe that dark object was just Davis’s black body, a living weapon in the eyes of a racist.

Media ended up dubbing People v. Michael Dunn the Loud Music Trial. Yet this perplexed the public. Murder? Instigated by music?

Make no mistake: Jordan Davis’s rap music was a weapon. It’s just that Davis wasn’t the one wielding it. On the contrary, my lecture shows how Davis’s rap music became posthumously weaponized at the hands of Dunn’s defense lawyer, Cory Strolla, in efforts to exonerate his client on the basis of self- defense (and, nominally, Stand Your Ground). By emphasizing the sheer volume and cacophony of Davis’s music, Strolla detonated a sonic smokescreen in the courtroom, attempting to cast reasonable doubt over every word testified by Davis’s friends, who had witnessed the shooting at point-blank range. “But if the music was so loud, how can you be sure Jordan didn’t threaten to kill my client?” Strolla kept asking these boys. By investigating full court proceedings as well as copious materials that weren’t entered into formal evidence (Dunn’s handwritten letters, Dunn’s jailhouse calls, Strolla’s press statements), this lecture further demonstrates how People v. Michael Dunn—like numerous tragedies involving extrajudicial shootings of unarmed black individuals in the United States—implicitly subpoenaed blackness to stand on trial. By conflating blackness with bruteness, Dunn and Strolla worked to enchain black music, to discredit black testimonies, and to weaponize a deceased black body in service of white supremacist violence.



2:30pm     BREAK/POSTER PRESENTATIONS
“Edward Prime-Stevenson and Musical-Sexual Intertextuality”
Kristin Franseen (McGill University)

Better known to historians of sexuality as Xavier Mayne, the author of Imre: A Memorandum (1906) and The Intersexes (1908/9), Edward Prime-Stevenson (1858–1942) was professionally a freelance music critic acclaimed by colleagues in New York, London, and elsewhere. While his pioneering work on homosexuality has received recent analysis in histories of the gay novel, musicologists have largely neglected his criticism, and no one in either field has considered at length both facets of his research in dialogue. This is particularly unfortunate given the space in Imre and The Intersexes devoted to queer musical enjoyment and interpretation. This project aims to move towards filling this gap by examining the intertextual relationships between The Intersexes and Prime Stevenson’s compilations of his music criticism, Long-Haired Iopas: Old Chapters from Twenty-Five Years of Music-Criticism (1928).

While largely intended for broad mainstream readership, Prime-Stevenson’s musical writings contain some tantalizing overlaps with the discussions of music as a facet of male homosexuality in The Intersexes, especially a fascination with the lives and works of “bachelor composers” (especially Beethoven and Brahms, today not considered part of any queer musical canons) and the possibility of uncovering secret or hidden programs in symphonic and operatic works. Prime-Stevenson also dedicated each chapter of Long-Haired Iopas to a friend or colleague, several of whom were aware of and/or shared Prime-Stevenson’s interest in musicality as a facet of sexuality. Notable figures include philanthropist (and Prime-Stevenson’s ex-lover) Harry Harkness Flagler, aesthetician Vernon Lee, musicologist Edward Dent, and—in a surprising moment of authorial self-reference—Xavier Mayne. By examining shared themes and references in Prime-Stevenson’s/Mayne’s musical and sexual writings, I argue that his public musical tastes were largely shaped by his private views on the role of music in the history of sexuality (and vice versa).



“Timbre in the Communication of Emotions among Performers and Listeners from Western Art Music and Chinese Music Cultures”
Lena Heng (McGill University)

Timbre has been identified by music perception scholars as an important aspect in the communication of emotions in music. While its function as a carrier of perceptually useful information about sound source mechanics has been established, whether it functions as a carrier of syntactic information for communicating emotions in music is still uncertain. If timbre functioned as a carrier of syntax, how it is used may differ in different musical traditions and have to be learned by musicians.

To investigate whether there is a difference in timbral use by musicians of different musical traditions, two parallel groups of performers (erhu, violin, pipa, guitar, dizi, flute) from the Chinese and Western art music traditions are recorded as they perform excerpts to express different emotions (happy, sad, angry, and neutral). Three groups of listeners (trained in Chinese and Western art music traditions, and nonmusicians; 30 per group) listened to the recorded excerpts and classified the intended emotions performed. Listeners trained in different musical cultures showed a significant difference in their correct responses to musical intent (U = 168, p < .025, r = .54). It appears likely that certain aspects of timbre provide pertinent information in carrying syntax for musical communication.

Finally, sound profiles of the recorded excerpts were analyzed for aspects found to be correlated with timbral characteristics. Analysis of the sound profiles also revealed consistent manipulations of timbre by performers in their expression of emotions in music. It appears therefore that timbre not only functions as a carrier of information for musical communication, but is also implicated in syntactic organization which differs across musical traditions.



“GameSound: A Ludomusicological Database Prototype”
Michael Iantorno (Concordia University) & Melissa Mony (McGill University)

GameSound is a prototype database that aims to make the music and sound effects within video games accessible for musicological study. Our proposed poster describes the process of creating the database, its potential scholarly applications, and possible developments to advance the prototype to a fully-fledged academic resource.

Ludomusicology is an emerging sub-discipline of musicology that focuses on the academic study of the audio experienced in video games. As the field of study has only come to the attention of academic publications, journals, and research groups in recent years, GameSound’s goal is to foster further growth by providing an online database of technical and musicological information with dynamic search capabilities.

GameSound’s initial dataset is comprised of the audio files from Civilization IV, the fourth installment of the extremely successful turn-based strategy franchise. Civilization IV is an ideal case study for our prototype because its developers have enabled transparent access to game files, making both data extraction and interpretation simpler than in comparable titles. Additionally, Civilization IV was the first computer game to be nominated for (and win) a Grammy, giving it a special place in the history of ludomusicology and affirming its cultural significance.

As GameSound is still a prototype project, our poster documents some of the ongoing technical challenges Ludomusicologists face whilst studying video games and how they could potentially be addressed using a database tool. We also outline the possibility for big data analytics and quantitative approaches to video game analysis through the future expansion of our dataset. By presenting our poster at the McGill Music Graduate Symposium, we hope to engage with a diverse range of academics, opening a constructive and collaborative dialogue for the further development of our database tool and, more broadly, for data analytics in the musicological field as a whole.



“The KKPM Database: Revolutionizing Musical Instrument Training through Crowdsourced Data”
Katelyn Richardson & André Martins de Oliveira (McGill University)

The Kinetic-Kinematic-Physiological Musicians (KKPM) Database project combines postural and muscle function data in an unprecedented source for researchers to address a variety of questions related to the enhancement of music performance and injury prevention. Despite growing interest in movement and physiological analysis within music pedagogy, the paucity and inaccessibility of related data slows progress in the field. Currently, an archive dedicated to injury prevention research data does not exist. Publications related to this topic are limited and often lack an extensive sample size or a replicable methodology, inhibiting both the extraction of clear research conclusions and the ability to compare results. This research void, coupled with the fact that up to 85% of professional musicians experience debilitating pain during their careers, highlights the pressing need for systematic, musician- movement research in order to fully understand, evaluate, and improve musician playing techniques and music pedagogy. The KKPM Database begins satisfying this void by proposing a replicable methodology and platform to share measurements of musicians. In its initial phase (2017–2018) the main objectives are: (a) to choose a database capable of host multi-modal data on musicians; (b) to establish standardized collection methods, (c) to begin data collection, (d) and to promote the online release of the database for worldwide collaboration. The starting dataset will involve 15–20 violinists and 15–20 flutists recruited from the population of music majors in the Montreal area. Participants will be asked to play a series of basic exercises and standard repertoire. Musical gestures will be observed in conjunction with the activation of instrument specific primary musculature in a search for patterns and trends in the instrumentalists’ performance. Such a resource will support the necessary research for addressing the numerous “unknowns” surrounding function and ideal use of the body during music production.



“Rebuilding a Digital Musical Instrument – The Sponge”
Ajin Tom & Harish Venkatesan (McGill University)

Our research presents the approaches and challenges involved in rebuilding a pre-existing Digital Musical Instrument (DMI), The Sponge by Martin Marier in this case. Our rebuilt versions make use of improved technologies and customized design aspects like addition of vibro-tactile feedback and implementation of different mapping strategies to suit the idiosyncratic needs of the artist. It also discusses the implications of the strategy of embedding the sound synthesis component within the DMI by using the Prynth framework (developed in our lab) and further presents a comparison between this approach and an open architecture approach. As a result of the evaluation and comparison of the two rebuilt DMIs, we present a third version which combines the pros of both to strike a middle ground.

One of the many problems faced today in the DMI world is with regards to availability and longevity. There have been countless DMIs developed in the past, yet only a handful manage to break through the ceiling of obsolescence. In the case of traditional instruments such as piano, guitar, violin, etc., the artisanship of building the instrument have been passed on from generation to generation and it has come to state where the information of how to build is publicly available. Moreover, there is a constant supply of music written for and rendered using these instruments. Such is not the case with majority of DMIs as they are too specific to artistic needs or just not used anymore. Even if some DMIs are currently put in practice, due to their sparse popularity and lack of commercialization, they are not accessible to people who want to use them. This leads to a lack of interest towards these DMIs and eventually are forgotten.

Rebuilding a DMI is important for several reasons. Firstly, it helps us gain a better understanding of an existing DMI and realize the shortcomings of a certain methodology or of the instrument itself. Rebuilding not only helps in finding effective solutions to overcome the limitations of a DMI, but also facilitate innovation. Secondly, popular instruments weren’t built overnight. The development of an instrument takes place through multiple iterations of rebuilding it. Hence, rebuilding a DMI is necessary for its evolution into a complete and a widely accepted instrument.



3:00pm     Borders and Responsibilities of Musicology and Music Theory
    Chair: Dr. William Cheng
    A-832


“Canada 150+: Decolonizing Music(ology)”
Rena Roussin (University of Victoria)

Diversity, decolonization, and the practice of care in academia are growing areas of interest in musicological discourse. As musicologists strive to create a more diverse and intersectional community of scholars, a growing number of panels and publications have provided suggestions as to how music research might diversify both the types of music under study and the backgrounds of those who study music. These are important and vital developments. Yet as musicology begins to discuss the experiences of musicologists of colour in a “nation of immigrants,” it has remained curiously silent about the experiences of North America’s (Turtle Island’s) First Peoples.

In this paper, I will draw on my experiences as a Canadian musicologist of Métis and Haida background, weaving personal narrative with scholarly literature on indigenous studies and decolonization to discuss the challenge of being an aboriginal who studies European music, and the necessity of considering aboriginal perspectives in music research and performance. In many ways, music scholarship has much to learn from music performance, where attempts to include aboriginal music and representation in the opera house and concert hall are well underway. Using such examples as Vancouver Opera’s 2013 indigenized production of The Magic Flute, recent Canadian operas that communicate indigenous stories (Tobin Stokes’s Pauline and Brian Current’s Missing), and Toronto Symphony Orchestra’s recent performance of T. Patrick Carrabré’s Inuit Games, I will discuss how such performances open pathways to create decolonized music history classrooms and open space for decolonized dialogue in music discourse. In light of recent Canada 150+ celebrations, I ultimately use this presentation to look to the future of Canadian music scholarship and performance, striving to remember the voices we have forgotten and the ways we might include them moving forward.



“Julius Eastman: Limits on Subjective Expansion”
Kevin Schwenkler (Mills College)

Julius Eastman (1940–1990) has been, until recently, a highly marginal figure. His position as an openly gay, black man has colored his reception by the musical establishment. Having been led to this figure by my own intersectional identities, I feel an obligation to ensure he has a discursive life for posterity. In this paper, I take steps towards fulfilling this obligation. A particularly illustrative encounter between Eastman and the white avant-garde took place on June 4, 1975 in his controversial performance of John Cage’s “Solo for Voice no. 8” from Song Books. Eastman realized Cage’s highly indeterminate score by enacting a piece of highly sexualized camp performance art, much to Cage’s chagrin. I analyze the performance via a lens drawing on queer and black critical theory. My framework borrows heavily from the work of Henry Louis Gates, Jr. I identify discursive strategies for subjective expression that enabled Eastman to render his intersectional identities visible. I argue that although this act is in keeping with the spirit of the piece, it brought him into conflict with the Cagean program of queer silence. I critique this program following Lloyd Whitesell, who points out the avant-garde’s tendency to universalize a “default” white perspective, and Jonathan Katz, who argues that queer silence was necessitated by Cage’s oppressed position as a homosexual. In doing so, I argue in Foucauldian terms that the demands of the Cagean program represent an asymmetrical power relation that Eastman sought to undermine. This all points toward a large scale aspect of Eastman’s program, specifically, following Houston Baker, his deformation of mastery—a black discursive strategy for survival in white-dominated realms.



“Commas, Overtones, and Pain Play: Kinky Relationality in the Music of Georg Friedrich Haas”
Max Silva (University of Chicago)

Georg Friedrich Haas’s “coming out” as a kink dominant has already been connected to his music—specifically, some construe his use of completely darkened performance spaces as a means of putting the audience in submissive headspace. But is there something kinky about the sound itself?

Extending Cusick’s and Maus’s work on listening as pleasurable submission in general, I contend that Haas’s music affords a listening experience similar to the experience of submission in some kinds of BDSM scenes, specifically those where the dom focuses on crafting an overwhelming sensory experience for the sub. While much in Haas’s aesthetics of slowly savored sonorities could resonate with erotic sensation play, I focus on a particular technique: a pair of intervals, initially perceived as mistuned variants of each other, is gradually perceived radically differently through recognition of their derivation from separate overtone series. Like a BDSM session where the dom forces the sub to attend to the quality of the pain until it is transfigured into something radically different, Haas’s music transfigures irrational commas into meaningful overtone-quality transformations.

In both cases, the submissive position is not entirely passive: the breakthrough depends on the sub actively working to master the sensation through coming to know it. This suggests an intervention in existing theories of music analysis as domination. Whereas Maus has interpreted structuralist music theorizing as a defensive overreaction to the threat of emasculation when music penetrates and overpowers us, here music-theoretical self-domination enables us to fully inhabit submission. This self- mastery also enables both the music theorist and the S&M switch to share their experience by dominating others, lovingly helping them achieve the same breakthrough. I conclude by considering the resistant, transformative potential of this dialectical relationality in music-as-pain-play, both as it relates to larger modernist ethical projects, and to other discourses of S&M.



4:30pm     BREAK


5:00pm     Lecture-recital
    A-832


A Dialogue, In Absentia – Composition Applications of Bluetooth Implanted Trombones”
Andrew Watts (Stanford University)

Written in 2016 for Rage Thormbones (Weston Olencki and Matt Barbier), A Dialogue, In Absentia explores the means of shaping Bluetooth audio playback in real-time through utilizing the acoustics of the trombone. This work is a continuation of my research into the compositional applications of linguicide or “language death”, focusing on the ability to convey meaning through the voice even when syntax is lost, fragmented, or otherwise unintelligible. The premise is two giants of existentialist philosophy, Kierkegaard and Nietzsche, are conjured to debate on the topic of solitude (embodied by the trombone duo). After a number of excerpts from each philosopher on solitude have been selected, the prose is processed through different text-to-speech synthesizers. In the score, this text will be treated with a fragmentation procedure using the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA), initiating the transformation from “faceless” soloists into the purity of unattainable language. The goal is to strip the distance these intensely humanistic texts from natural expression, so that the duo can “hack” the playback and bring in added nuance and human expression.

Expression is achieved in modifying the playback by fitting a wireless Bluetooth speaker with cork affixed to the exterior firmly in the bell of the trombone. From an acoustic standpoint, “sealed” by the encapsulation with a mute, the audio sounds from the bell are directed back through the instrument, eventually becoming audible when at the other end, the mouthpiece. The sound is modulated in real-time before reaching the mouthpiece by the soloist adjusting the length of the tubes via the trombone slide. Once the sound exits the instrument through the mouthpiece it can be linguistically articulated by each soloist, respectively, using the space in the oral cavity to shape the vowels (i.e. changing the formants using the space within the mouth).



6:30pm     Symposium Dinner
    Vallier Bistro, 425 McGill St, Montreal, QC H2Y 2H1
    Please RSVP




SUNDAY, MARCH 25


9:00am     Issues of Inclusion in and between Music Education and Therapy
    Chair: Jack Flesher
    A-832


“Music Inclusion: Collaboration between Music Educators and Music Therapists”
Meghan Hopkins (Western University)

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a prevalent neurological disorder with effects on the varying developments of abilities and skills of students. Music educators are supposed to be equipped to teach students with ASD utilizing supplementary curriculum documents such as Special education in Ontario (2017) and Effective educational practices for students in Autism Spectrum disorder (2007) yet, tools and techniques from other professions may not be considered. This paper reports on a small-scale study undertaken as a capstone project intended to bridge the gap between music therapy and music education. Music therapy can greatly benefit autistic students by using music to improve mental, emotional, physical, and social deficiencies (Alvin & Warwick, 1991, Oldfield, 2006). Yet, there appears to be a gap between music therapy and music education, with few opportunities for communication between educators and therapists. The issue was confirmed by me through research and interviews with Southern Ontario music educators and music therapists. An Ontarian music educator mentioned the limited communication between therapists and educators was due to the restricted time the therapists had in the general music classroom. A music therapists confirmed this, stating they had little to no interaction with music educators.

My project is intended to begin to bridge the gap between therapists and music educators by implementing therapeutic and educational techniques in the classroom to create a more inclusive environment for students with ASD. Educational methods such as collaborative teaming and peer mediated instruction are proposed to benefit communication, behaviour, and engagement skills for students with ASD. My project concludes with a practical approach of a website and a Facebook forum to further the knowledge of how music therapy techniques can benefit the music classroom and allow music educators and music therapists a safe, virtual space for sharing, working, and communicating.



“Re-mixing Culture: A Case Study of Two Canadian Hip Hop Programs with Indigenous Youth”
Helen Roumeliotis (Carleton University)

For many Indigenous youth in Canada, issues of poverty, racism and colonialism render them particularly marginalized in mainstream society. Many presently face the disintegration of families, periods of homelessness, and other challenges which create gaps in their education and high incidences of teen pregnancy, alcohol and drug abuse (Lashua & Fox 2007, 144). In the past few years, there has been an increase in the use of hip hop related initiatives within this demographic in an effort to promote positive societal changes. This is correlated with the researched notion that hip hop has become the preferred music for many Indigenous youth. The utilization of hip hop related activities however coincides with the use of technology, particularly computer-assisted music making. By drawing on the rhythms of everyday discourse, as well as sounds of traditional music, and existing and emerging musical technology, the result is an oral and rhythmic culture which creates a soundtrack in a “high-tech world of rapid transformation and turbulent change” (Best & Kellner 1999, 1). This paper-presentation will in turn explore the use of technology in hip hop projects by Indigenous youth in Canada by providing a case study on two programs: The Beat of Boyle Street in Edmonton, and The Scott Collegiate/IMP Labs in Regina. It will also highlight the similarities and linkages between tradition and contemporary hip hop culture. This presentation will end with a discussion of advantages and disadvantages of both programs, while underscoring future implications and applicability.



“Expanding the Improvising Community across Abilities: AUMI in Practice and the Legacy of Pauline Oliveros’ Late Career”
Matthew Robidoux (Mills College)

AUMI (Deep Listening Institute designed Adaptive Use Musical Instrument), an open source interface for iPad, Mac and PC uses motion tracking with a device’s built-in camera to trigger a highly customizable palate of sound and motion sensitivity ranges. AUMI represents among the final legacies of Pauline Oliveros’ work during her lifetime, addressing issues idiosyncratic to her work: non hierarchical inclusivity, expansion of the improvising community (across abilities, demographics, geographies), sonic embodiment as therapeutic practice. This article cites accounts of using AUMI in music therapy sessions inclusive to a range of abilities, at Mills College (Adaptive Instrument Ensemble) and Disabled People’s Recreation Center (DPRC, Maya’s Music Therapy Group, Richmond, CA) and the benefits and disadvantages within the constructs of improvisation and “recognizable” song form. An integral component of the culture surrounding AUMI is open feedback between software developers and music therapists, concentrated annually at ISATMA (International Symposium on Adaptive Technology in Music and Art, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY). Principles of universal design, gestural sonic embodiment and modes of control intimacy are explored in relation to the AUMI interface. In conclusion is an exploration of the notion of disability culture and what is necessary to create an ability-fluid social field for session based improvisations. The improvisation-focused music therapy model, based on open communication and inclusion practices and the recognition and support of individual/collective creative agency suggests these potentials. In these “open” musical situations, AUMI’s approximate gestural control acts as an equalizer, non distinguishing between high level instrumentalists and individuals with a severely limited ranges of voluntary mobility. If the music performed is of similar non idiomatic fluidity, demonstrating a high level of musical and performative presences, there is potential for the ensemble to diverge from a solely therapeutic structure to a dynamic characteristic of a modern improvisation ensemble.



10:30am     BREAK


10:45am     Culture and Politics of Contemporary Popular Music
    Chair: Prof. David Brackett
    A-832


“NRA Country: How the NRA Harnessed the Power of Mainstream Country Music”
Hannah Buckley (Western University)

Following the October 1st massacre at Las Vegas’ Route 91 Harvest Festival, an annual country music event, in which fifty-nine victims were killed and several hundred others injured, a number of popular artists, including Lady Gaga, Ariana Grande, John Mayer, Carlos Santana, The Chainsmokers, and Moby, among others, took to social media to denounce the attack and call for stricter gun control. With few exceptions, mainstream country artists were largely missing from this discourse. Social media comments and calls for prayer among mainstream country artists refrained from mentioning the need for stricter gun control, even in the aftermath of the horrific attack against their fan base.

In this paper, I investigate the social, cultural and political environment in which a partnership between the mainstream country music industry and the NRA came to fruition. To this end, I examine Trump’s rural Red State America—the heartland that mainstream country music has come to symbolize—, and draw connections among ideas about identity, authenticity, community and the culture of mainstream country music. Expanding upon Nadine Hubbs’ argument in Rednecks, Queers and Country Music that representations in country music help to produce the white working-class in present day discourse, I elucidate how the performance of working-class identity in mainstream country music makes the country music community an ideal mouthpiece for the NRA.

Secondly, I employ Pierre Bourdieu’s theories of habitus and symbolic violence to substantiate my argument that the NRA deliberately capitalizes on rural American culture to legitimize its political agenda. I also consider Bourdieu’s theory that lifestyles can be seen as markers of social class differences in relation to NRA Country’s ‘lifestyle’ campaign. Lastly, and optimistically, I discuss how this relationship may be tentatively unraveling and posit that mainstream country artists could become the most effective advocates for gun control reform in America.



“What Dwells Beneath the Surface: Rhythm, Meter, Culture, and Meaning in Contemporary Metal Music”
Jose M. Garza, Jr. (Florida State University)

Although the body of scholarship on rhythm and meter in metal music has grown over the past decade, it is limited with regard to the types of artists and techniques covered. Writings by McCandless (2013 and 2009) address metrical processes in Dream Theater’s music, while literature by Pieslak (2007) and Smialek (2008) and conference presentations by Capuzzo (2014), Lennard (2016), and Lucas (2017) engage specific types of interactions between metrical layers in Meshuggah’s music. There are, however, other important artists and widely used manipulations of rhythm and meter in contemporary metal music that remain unexplored. In this paper, I examine the output of bands such as Between the Buried and Me, Zao, and Converge, whose music represents paradigmatic rhythmic and metric techniques that are characteristic of the contemporary metal repertoire. I focus on three types of techniques, which I call normalization, requantization, and displaced downbeats. Furthermore, I consider the roles these techniques play in metal culture and narratives of musical meaning. My analyses borrow from Krebs’s models of metrical dissonance (1999) and Almén’s theory of narrative (2008).



“Theorizing the Vibe: Mediation, Embodiment, and the Politics of Space/s on the Raving Dancefloor”
Jakub Marshall (Carleton University)

This paper attempts to sketch out a theoretical model of the “raving dancefloor” as a spatial category of analysis, incorporating the music itself, but remaining independent of it. The raving dancefloor (RDF) is shown to come together through a fusion of countercultural and psychedelic signification, which is enabled by synergistic mediations, including music, drugs, visual arrangements and audience interactions (Vitos, 2014). Of these mediatory agents, I am most interested in audience interactions as I share the thesis of Shepherd (1997) and McClary (1991) that music is primarily an embodied form and therefore body is the site for the “mediation of social and symbolic processes.” However, I disagree with Shepherd and McClary on the point that “music’s social content can be [solely] read directly from its structure” (Miles, 1997), as the network of mediations (Hennion, 2004) a musical text is embedded within often go unaddressed in their work. In order to bridge the gap between these two perspectives, I show how the embodied and the mediated (which I designate body and space) inform eachother, especially in rave culture as an object of study. My analysis spirals outwards from the body of an individual raver through the synergistic mediators through the space, or “vibe.” Following Ferreira (2008) I argue that the performance of electronic dance music arises equally from the participants (dancers) and the music (with the DJ as a facilitator between the two), and thus requires a different critical model than other musical forms. Finally, I arrive at a model that posits the RDF as existing at an intersection of psychedelic space—which as topical signifier can be further divided into psychedelic use, intent and style (Echard, 2016)—and countercultural space, which strives to elude formal systems of control (Bey, 1991).



12:15pm     LUNCH


1:30pm     Lecture-recital
    A-832


“Changing Aesthetic in Glenn Gould’s Recordings of Alban Berg’s Piano Sonata”
Michael Thibodeau (University of Toronto)

This lecture-recital will discuss Glenn Gould’s interpretative relationship with Alban Berg’s Piano Sonata, Op. 1 (1909). Eight recordings of the work exist between 1952 and 1974 in studio, radio, television, and live concert contexts. Spanning more than two decades of Gould’s career, they provide valuable insight into his evolving aesthetic. Two areas will be considered. First, Gould’s tendency towards the vertical misalignment of harmonies is present, demonstrating a usage extending beyond the pre-war fashion of disjunct hands. Gould held a predilection for the highly motivic and contrapuntal style of the Second Viennese School, and his frequent employment of manual asynchrony brings additional perspective to this language. Examination of Gould’s original approach will reveal his method. This analysis builds upon scholarship by Neal Peres da Costa (2012) regarding the application of manual asynchrony in early recordings. Secondly, Gould’s propensity towards unusual tempi appears. Using the application Sonic Visualiser, data on rubato was collected and visualized through graphs displaying shifting phrasal arcs. The later recordings exhibit increasingly slow approach and the temporal shape commonly associated with expert performance diminishes. Scholarship on Gould’s approach to tempo has been limited to Peter Martens’ (2007) study of temporal cohesiveness heard in the 1981 recording of Bach’s Goldberg Variations. This presentation has a number of outcomes. First, empirical evidence of Gould’s aesthetic evolution is located. Secondly, examination of Gould’s changing interpretation weakens belief in the singularity of composer’s intent while underlining the plurality of approach native to musical act. This research reflects recent interest in scholarship towards the study of performance. Recordings are a frequent primary source in performance studies, with their analysis revealing performers’ aesthetics and the systems used to bring the score into sound.



2:15pm     BREAK


2:30pm     Form and Function: Music Theory of the Common Practice Period
    Chair: Sam Howes
    A-832


“Fétis’s and Riemann’s Views on Sequences: A Reappraisal”
Marie-Ève Piché (McGill University)

For nearly two centuries, theorists have debated whether sequences are fundamentally harmonic or melodic events, and whether they can be analyzed as functional progressions. Historical accounts of these debates, such as those in Bass 1996, Ricci 2004, Auerbach 2013, and Waltham-Smith 2015, have quoted famous passages from Fétis’s and Riemann’s treatises in which they each claim that sequences are at odds with tonal syntax: “the law of uniformity in sequences suspends, until the moment of the cadence, the effects of the law of tonality” (Fétis 1844), “sequences ... are not really harmonic, but melodic formations” and “the tonal functions are suspended during the imitation of the sequence motive” (Riemann 1896). I show that these quotes have been widely misinterpreted: they do not reflect Fétis’s and Riemann’s views on sequences in general, but only on diatonic sequences. Fétis and Riemann both state that other sequence types, such as modulating sequences and sequences with applied chords, obey tonal syntax.

My paper proceeds in three parts: (1) I show that Fétis and Riemann understood sequences in a far more nuanced way than is often portrayed. (2) I argue that diatonic sequences, though “outside the realm of tonality,” led Fétis and Riemann to contribute to the definition of tonality in its modern sense. I compare their views on sequences with Gottfried Weber, exemplifying the profound opposition of their harmonic theories. (3) I show that Kurth followed Fétis and Riemann in characterizing some sequence types as violating tonal syntax, and yet, he inverted their categorization: for Kurth, it is modulating sequences that disrupt tonality. The different perspectives I discuss thus illustrate the paradox of sequences: although one of the most distinctive features of the common-practice repertoire, sequences are slippery phenomena that resist consensus, because they involve fundamental principles of tonality about which theorists have often disagreed.



“Benny Goes Round and Round Again: Harmonic Rotations in Benedetto Marcello’s Sonata in A Minor, s. 740”
Malcolm Sailor (McGill University)

The Venetian composer Benedetto Marcello (1686–1739) became famous in the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries (Selfridge-Field 1990), but is mostly forgotten today, known mostly for authoring the satirical pamphlet “Il Teatro alla Moda” (Marcello 1761). His music, however, shows both proto-galant charm and startling audacity, exhibiting such innovations as odd time signatures and symmetrical divisions of the octave. In this paper, I bring this music back to our attention with an analysis of two remarkable movements from Marcello’s Sonata in A Minor, s. 740. In so doing, I introduce the concept of “harmonic rotations,” a new tool for understanding form in thematically loose repertoires such as late-Baroque instrumental music.

The use of “rotations” is inspired by Hepokoski and Darcy (2006), but with the distinction that harmonic rotations are defined by purely harmonic, rather than thematic, criteria. A “harmonic rotation” is a full turn through a circular set of harmonically-defined formal categories. In my Marcello analysis, these categories are borrowed from Dreyfus’s (1996) “ideal ritornello” form (itself derived from Fischer [1915]): 1) a Vordersatz, which moves from a cadentially-defined tonic to a root-position dominant arrival, 2) a Fortspinnung, consisting of one or more tonally open sequential passages, and 3) an Epilog, a tonally closed passage ending with a cadence. (Such a harmonic rotation is “circular” because it ends where it began, with a cadentially-defined tonic. This tonic, however, is not necessarily that with which the rotation began.) I show how, remarkably, both Marcello movements follow this rotational scheme exactly and that, additionally, the second movement is developed according to Lester’s (2001) principle of “parallel sections with heightening levels of activity.” Finally, I explain how Marcello may have conceived one particularly audacious passage from his sonata by comparing it to Gjerdingen’s (2007) Pulcinella schema.



“Towards a Generalized Sonata Development”
Adrian Ling (University of Toronto)

The sonata “development” has long confounded theorists of musical form. As Webster (2001) states: “Hardly any rules can be laid down regarding the choice or treatment of material [in the development].” Indeed, a development section was traditionally referred to as “free fantasia” (Jadassohn 1892). In recent decades, many partial answers to this problem have been suggested. Hepokoski and Darcy (2006) believe that their “rotational” principle lays at the foundation of these areas, while Caplin (1998) states that his pre-core/core technique is “most characteristic” of development sections. Both authors nonetheless recognize the prevalence of developments that do not fit their theories.

The present paper proposes that these limited answers are specific compositional solutions to a deeper and remarkably consistent structure found in Classical development sections. I assert that the historical difficulty in finding basic developmental principles lies in the development’s multivalent construction, which consists of two separate layers: a three-part textural plan—the “calm,” the “storm,” and the “aftermath”—and a tonal plan leading towards III(#) in the major mode. The textural plan explains both the appearance of “rotation” and the frequent presence of a “false recapitulation” in these sections; it also provides a wider lens with which to view Caplin’s pre-core/core idea. The tonal plan explains the otherwise extraordinarily peculiar move from III# to I often seen at the end of developments (Beach 1983) and connects that technique more closely to the general practice. Drawing examples from a wide range of genres and composers between ca. 1750–1800, but focusing primarily on the symphonic repertoire, where the textural plan is most clearly articulated through the use of orchestrational techniques, I show how this framework underlies the seemingly endless variety of development procedures.



“Cadential Melodies: The Role of the Upper Voice in Form-Functional Cadential Articulation”
Kyle Hutchinson & Matthew Poon (University of Toronto)

One of Caplin’s (1998) aims in reviving the Formenlehre tradition is to emphasize the role harmony plays in form-functional analysis, especially in creating cadential functions. However, despite forming a crucial part of Caplin’s theory, certain cadential situations remain contentious. Although Caplin distinguishes between cadential content and cadential function—the latter results in cadential articulation, while the former is described as simply containing cadential harmony—one is often hard-pressed to find intrinsic musical cues differentiating the two when appealing only to music’s harmonic domain. For example, many presentation phrases—prohibited under Caplin’s theory from projecting cadential function—contain harmonic progressions that would, in other phrases, create cadential function. Caplin’s explanations of such cases occasionally results in circular logic: Caplin defines presentations as initiating functions which cannot have cadences, yet when cadential content exists in such phrases, Caplin engages his own definition of presentations to justify eschewing cadential identification, an issue Burstein (2014) problematizes.

We propose approaching such problematic situations by examining musical parameters often ignored in form-functional cadential analysis, namely structural melodic configurations. We suggest that structural melodic lines play a more salient role in cadential articulation than Caplin’s harmony-centric approach allows. Using principles borrowed from Schenkerian theory, and melodic tropes discussed by Gjerdingen (2007) and Meyer (1973), we argue that cadential articulation often results from a combination of cadential harmonic content and complementary structural upper-line descent that reinforces the “return to rest” (Marx, 1997 [1868]) that forms the rhetorical purpose of cadences. Although various authors (Caplin, 2004; Richards, 2010) invoke the melodic parameter in minor ways, its role in form-functional articulation has yet to be accorded in-depth scholarly exploration. Ultimately this paper reinforces Caplin’s broader claims by situating them in more intrinsic musical cues, encouraging a more symbiotic approach to the roles of harmony and melody in creating cadential function.




4:30pm    Closing Remarks
    Wirth Music Building, A-832
    Claire McLeish, MGSS President
    Margaret Cormier and Kiersten van Vliet, Symposium Co-Chairs