2019 Conference

(Photo: Michael Crawford)

Sixth Annual Graduate Conference
5–6 April 2019

The Temple University Theory, History, and Ethnomusicology Society (THEMUS) is pleased to announce the program for its sixth annual graduate conference on 5–6 April 2019. The conference program, location, and registration details are listed below: the program is free and open to the public.

Registrations completed by 1 April 2019 will ensure accurate orders of food, refreshments, programs, and other conference materials. Please direct any additional inquiries to Tim Gonzalez (tgonzalez@temple.edu), or follow us on Facebook for additional program information and updates as they become available.


Registration Form 2019

Conference Day One
Friday, 5 April 2019

Presser Hall, Room 142
2001 North 13th Street (main entrance on Norris Street)
Philadelphia, PA 19122

12 PM • Registration

1 PM • Keynote
Jointly sponsored by the Music Studies department’s Colloquium series

Music and Friendship in Late Eighteenth-Century Philadelphia:
The Salon of Elizabeth Graeme Fergusson
Rebecca Cypess | Rutgers University

In 1787 the American poet and salon hostess Elizabeth Graeme Fergusson created a “commonplace book”—a form of literary and personal diary—for her friend and fellow writer Annis Boudinot Stockton. This manuscript contains copies of poems, elegies, and correspondence by members of the circle that had gathered in Graeme’s home in Philadelphia in earlier decades, a group that Stockton had once described as “a knot of friends that seem’d to have but one heart.” One of the works in Graeme’s commonplace book is an elegy written by Francis Hopkinson—an amateur poet, musician, inventor, and signatory of the Declaration of Independence—in memory of his friend and teacher, the professional musician James Bremner. Both Hopkinson and Bremner had been part of Graeme’s salon circle, and her inclusion of this elegy in her commonplace book memorialized the friendship, poetry, and music that they had shared.

The place of music in Graeme’s salon, and in intellectual circles of eighteenth-century Philadelphia more broadly, has never been fully understood. As I will show, Hopkinson’s elegy for Bremner provides a point of entry for a new understanding of music’s role in fostering sociability, friendship, and memory. The same elegy appears in a version with notated music in one of Hopkinson’s own manuscripts, now housed in the Library of Congress; the elegy stands alongside a number of songs, duets, keyboard pieces, and transcriptions, including works by Bremner as well as European composers, and a handful by Hopkinson himself. I argue that this manuscript memorializes the social-aesthetic world in which Hopkinson, Bremner, and Graeme took an active part.

Hopkinson’s musical setting of the elegy is in two sections. The first, with newly composed music to complement his original poetry, forms a mournful introduction; in the second part, Hopkinson set his original text to a familiar Scottish folksong, “The Lass of Peatties Mill.” In an age when the simple and touching melodies of Scottish songs were in vogue on both sides of the Atlantic, it was appropriate that Bremner, a native of Scotland, should be memorialized through the music of his country. Moreover, in performance, the folksong emerges from Hopkinson’s doleful introduction as an old friend—a sonic avatar, perhaps, for Bremner himself—and the familiarity of the tune would have enabled anyone to join in the singing. The music, like the poem, offers a means of personal and communal remembrance.

This understanding of Hopkinson’s elegy opens the way to a new interpretation of his music manuscript as a whole: I argue that it may be understood as a musical analogue of the literary commonplace book. Like the commonplace books of writers such as Elizabeth Graeme Fergusson, Hopkinson’s music manuscript contains original works as well as those by musicians whom he admired and whose compositions could be shared in the company of friends. I present new archival evidence of music-making in Graeme’s salon to support the notion of Hopkinson’s manuscript as a diary of social-musical life in late eighteenth-century Philadelphia.

Rebecca Cypess is Associate Professor and Associate Director of the Department of Music at the Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University. She is the author of Curious and Modern Inventions: Instrumental Music as Discovery in Galileo’s Italy (University of Chicago Press, 2016) and co-editor of Sara Levy’s World: Gender, Judaism, and the Bach Tradition in Enlightenment Berlin (University of Rochester Press, 2018). A historical keyboardist, Cypess is the founder and director of the Raritan Players, whose first recording, In Sara Levy’s Salon (Acis Productions, 2017), has been called “simply mesmerizing” (Early Music America) and “a fascinating concept, brilliantly realised” (Classical Music). She received the 2018 Noah Greenberg Award from the American Musicological Society for her forthcoming recording, Sisters, Face-to-Face: The Bach Legacy in Women’s Hands. Cypess is currently at work on a book titled Women and Musical Salons in the Late Eighteenth Century.

2.15 PM • Reimagining Galant Style

The Leo: A Galant Schema and its Affective Content
Jonathan Salamon | Yale University

In his book Music in the Galant Style, Robert Gjerdingen introduces a framework for analyzing stock voice-leading patterns in eighteenth-century music. Gjerdingen calls these patterns “galant schemata” and derives them from partimenti and solfeggi, Neapolitan pedagogical tools that were widely dispersed throughout the eighteenth century. Budding musicians absorbed the patterns and deployed them in their own compositions, improvisations, and figured bass realizations. The galant schemata cut across traditionally constructed periods; for example, one can trace a stylistic lineage from Corelli to Beethoven through the schemata. Recently, scholars such as John A. Rice have contributed new schemata and described their usage in different repertoire, adding to what he terms the galant “schematicon.”

I propose a new schema, which I call the Leo, based on a pattern from one of Leonardo Leo’s solfeggi. The Leo is a relative of the Romanesca schema and features a stepwise descending bass beneath an ostinato in the treble. My examples illustrate the Leo’s dissemination in diverse repertoire, from works by Vivaldi to J.S. Bach, and to less well-known composers, such as Marianna Martines, Chevalier de Saint-Georges, and galant opera maestri, among others. I also examine how composers employ the Leo rhetorically and structurally, with either a commanding or soothing affect, and as a gesture of delay towards a cadence and, more rarely, as an opening. The addition of the Leo to the “schematicon” provides a new method to trace stylistic development across the eighteenth century.

Jonathan Salamon is a harpsichordist, pianist, and composer in his second year of the DMA program in harpsichord at the Yale School of Music, where he also earned his MM as a student of Arthur Haas. A native of Connecticut and New York, Jonathan received his BM from New York University. He teaches secondary harpsichord students at Yale and has presented lecture-recitals at the Yale Collection of Musical Instruments and at the Historical Keyboard Society of North America’s 2018 conference. His research and performance interests include classical improvisation, galant schemata theory, the music of J.S. Bach, and baroque performance practice. 

Towards a Historical Perception of Music: 
An Empirical Study of a Galant Schema
Sammy Gardner | University of North Texas

In his dissertation, Vasili Boyros references a critique of Beethoven’s third symphony that claims that the symphony should have modulated to the key of G minor during mm. 6–9. This hearing stands in opposition to more recent hearings that view this passage in E-flat major. The thesis of Byros’s dissertation is “schemata provide access to historical modes of listening today.” Schemata are musical voice-leading patterns found in eighteenth-century music. This begs the question: can a modern listener reconstruct a historical music perception? Problematizing this notion is that the people of today do not exist in eighteenth-century culture. So how could one possibly understand music in its original culture?

This paper explores the process of understanding the le-sol-fi-sol schema identified by Byros. I devised an experiment that tests musicians on how they hear the schema over a corpus of music, and gauge their expectation as the schema moves towards a cadence. I then deny their cadential expectations and track the results. I hypothesize that when this schema is primed for an expectation, and then denied, that one can better access a historically situated music perception by experiencing denied expectation that same way an eighteenth-century listener would have.

My experiment results are consistent with my hypothesis, finding that participants were able to build up the historically accurate expectation for the le-sol-fi-sol schema over a corpus of music. Further, when I denied their new-found expectation, participants indicated that they experienced denied expectations that are perhaps similar to that of an eighteenth-century listener.

Sammy Gardner is a native of Philadelphia and holds degrees in music theory from the University of North Texas. His research engages the intersection of music theory and cognitive science, particularly focusing on the embodiment of eighteenth-century music. He has presented his research throughout the United States, Europe, and Canada.

3.30 PM • Roundtable Discussion


Rebecca Cypess | Rutgers University
See biography above

Joyce Lindorff | Temple University

Joyce Lindorff has performed throughout the US, Europe, Russia, Japan and China, receiving solo recitalist awards from the Pro Musicis Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. She has performed with the early music ensembles Hesperus, Tempesta di Mare, Newberry Consort, Charbonnier Viol Ensemble, and the Waverly Consort. Based in New York for many years, she performed as keyboardist with the New York Philharmonic, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, and New York Chamber Symphony, and was a Teaching-Artist for the Lincoln Center Institute for the Arts in Education. Lindorff began her teaching career as a Mellon Postdoctoral Teaching and Research Fellow at Cornell University, later holding Fulbright Professorships in Taiwan and China, where she has been an honorary professor at the Shanghai Conservatory since 1992. Her resulting research on European music in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century China has been widely published, appearing in US, European, and Chinese journals.

Steven Zohn | Temple University

Steven Zohn is Laura H. Carnell Professor of Music History at Temple University. Zohn’s research interests focus on the music of Telemann and the Bach family, intersections of style and genre, print culture, music as intellectual property, reception history, source studies, and historical performance practices. Zohn has edited volumes for the C.P.E. Bach and Telemann critical editions, and for the series Recent Researches in the Music of the Baroque Era. His book Music for a Mixed Taste: Style, Genre, and Meaning in Telemann’s Instrumental Works (Oxford University Press, 2008) is the first major published study of the composer in English since the 1970s, and received the American Bach Society’s William H. Scheide Prize. As a performer on historical flutes, Zohn has appeared with numerous east-coast ensembles. From 1995 to 2004 he was founding Artistic Director of the period-instrument orchestra Publick Musick, and is currently a core member of the chamber ensemble Fioritura. His contribution to the study and performance of early music has been recognized by the American Musicological Society with its Noah Greenberg Award.

Conference Day Two
Saturday, 6 April 2019

Tuttleman Learning Center, Room 107
1809 North 13th Street (at West Montgomery Avenue)
Philadelphia, PA 19122


8.30 AM • Registration
Light refreshments provided

9 AM • Welcome and Opening Remarks

9.15 AM • Session I

Criticizing the Noble and Mourning the Persecuted: Locating Hindemith's Veiled Politics in the Sonata for Flute and Piano
Kirsten Westerman | University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music

Due to his seemingly ambivalent attitude towards the National Socialists, Paul Hindemith is often criticized by modern scholars for his silence on the atrocities committed by the Third Reich. Indeed, throughout his career, Hindemith’s relationship with the Nazi movement remained complex; in 1934 Joseph Goebbels praised Hindemith as “unquestionably, one of the most important talents in the younger generation of composers.” However, just two years later, after a performance of the Violin Sonata in E, Hindemith’s repertoire was banned in Germany and branded as “cultural Bolshevism.” Despite the censorship of his music, Hindemith remains castigated by modern scholars for his silence on Germany’s growing political turbulence during the 1930s. I challenge these modern conceptions of Hindemith’s political leanings by locating veiled criticisms of the Nazi movement in his Sonata for Flute and Piano, completed in 1936, the same year his music was banned from Germany.

By drawing on Robert Hatten’s semiotic approach, which asserts that musical meaning cannot be “referential,” but rather is found in the relationship between expression and content, this paper reconsiders the political narrative surrounding Hindemith. By investigating the third movement of his Sonata for Flute and Piano, this presentation employs Linda Hutcheon’s typology of ironic, parodic, and satiric ethos, and invites reconsiderations of Hindemith’s veiled political stance. It is precisely in his satirical treatment of pronounced, noble topics––specifically the military/hunt, and the march when juxtaposed against the elegiac presentation of the “Jewish” topic––that I challenge Hindemith’s purported ambivalence towards the regime that ultimately censored him and his music.

Kirsten Westerman is a second-year PhD student in musicology at the University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music (CCM). She received her MM in music history from the same institution, and earned her BM in flute performance from Ball State University, where she studied with Mihoko Watanabe. While at CCM, she continued her performance studies with DeMarre McGill and Heather Verbeck, and has performed in masterclasses with Jonathan Snowden, Martha Councell-Vargas, and Bonita Boyd. Her dissertation centers around music that occurred “behind closed doors” in Boston between 1865–1920, and how these groups were an integral component in cultivating and sustaining the Bostonian musical scene.

A Narrative Reading of Alois Hába's 
String Quartet no. 3 in the Quarter-Ton System, op. 12
Jennifer Harding | Florida State University

The microtonal string quartets of Alois Hába (1893–1973) offer two significant challenges to a musical narrative approach. First, the microtones themselves create an unfamiliar sonic landscape. Second, Hába’s music is athematic: no themes or motives are repeated or developed. Rather than inhibiting the listener from ascribing meaning to the music, such “musical prose” requires listeners to rely on extra-musical associations, suggesting that these works are representatives of Klein’s “neo-narrative” music: “music in search of new ways to tell stories.” I take Hába’s third string quartet as a case study to unravel not only the musical narrative, but how he constructs a narrative within his microtonal and athematic vocabulary.

Hába viewed the “old” scale (our typical twelve-tone equal-tempered scale) as “basic” and more stable than the “new” scale, its quarter-tone offset, which forms “points of tension.” These elements are seen at the first movement’s moment of crisis, where a chord of brilliant and jarring clarity from the old scale emerges from the tension of the microtonal harmonies. Catastrophically, it is not the C-major triad the music has been fighting to achieve, and the music careens back into the microtonal mire from whence it came.

Jennifer Harding is a PhD candidate in music theory at Florida State University. Her dissertation focuses on computer-aided analysis of microtonal music, with an emphasis on the string quartets of Alois Hába. Jennifer also holds an MM in violin performance from Northern Illinois University, and remains an active performer in the North Florida area. Her other interests include the music of Messiaen, music theory pedagogy, and ludomusicology.

"I will follow the way I choose": Revisiting the 

Ambiguities of Dmitry Shostakovich's Fifth Symphony Finale
Miklós Veszprémi | Yale University

Ever since its premiere, the coda to Dmitri Shostakovich’s Fifth Symphony in D minor, op. 47, has raised suspicions of the insincerity of the work’s unofficial subtitle, “a Soviet artist’s creative response to just criticism.” In the wake of Solomon Volkov’s controversial “Testimony” (1979), scholarly consensus has been that it is ambiguous whether to interpret the work as Shostakovich’s bowing to Stalin, or rather mocking him. Previous engagements have considered various historical (Fay, Taruskin, Barsova) or analytic perspectives (Sheinberg, Hinrichsen, McCreless) to argue for its ambiguity, but its form has not been addressed in this respect.

Although evidently a sonata, I demonstrate that the Finale resists reconciliation with characteristics of the “recapitulation” posited as definitional in the vast majority of theories of sonata form that Shostakovich studies, including those of A.B. Marx. But the ambiguities only emerge through the process of analysis. The exposition has two themes, but their relative status and exact delimitation becomes undeterminable when studied. The recapitulation is only experienced as having occurred when it has already passed, since the development section does not formally end at any point, and no alternative explanatory frameworks of Sonata Theory (Hepokoski/Darcy) are satisfactory. Without implying authorial intent, I take one of Shostakovich’s few unchallenged comments on the movement, “I am right. I will follow the way I choose,” as a cue to argue that these deeper formal ambiguities create a complex tension that is denied resolution by the coda. The entire work’s effectiveness depends crucially on this aspect.

Miklós Veszprémi was born in Barcelona and grew up in Basel. He studied piano at the Royal College of Music in London, graduating with a BM (Honors). He won competitions internationally as a pianist and composer and most recently was on tour with his compositions and arrangements in China and Malta. He is currently a PhD student in music theory at Yale University, working on a dissertation that investigates late nineteenth-century European intellectual networks of music philosophy. A special focus is the work of Edmund Gurney and late Victorian discourses of evolutionary theory and music psychology. His earlier work concerned György Ligeti and Elliott Carter, and current secondary interests are sonata theory and early twentieth-century music.

11.00 AM • Session II

March toujours: The Wandering Jew and 
Musical Materialism between Germany and France ca. 1850
Charlie Shrader | University of Pennsylvania

In his essay “Das Judenthum in der Musik,” Richard Wagner infamously associated vacuity and the excessive in music with being Jewish. The essay is well-known as a vitriolic yet unnamed attack on Giacomo Meyerbeer, whom Wagner accuses of creating a sort of “bazaar of artworks” through the genre of grand opera. This paper notes the fraught meanings of musical Judaism in 1840s and -50s Paris, especially the use of the words “Jew” and “Jewish” as exclusionary music-critical epithets that carry ill-defined overtones of the pervasive association of Jews with noisiness and economic greed. Thinking between scholars of varied disciplines, I will investigate the archetype of the Jew in music as an embodiment of the overlapping relationships of music, labor, and commodity.

This paper will take as a case study a little-discussed grand opera that was received well in its time but has seen no resurrection since: Le juif errant, composed by Jacques-Fromental Halévy to a libretto by J.H.V. de St.-Georges in 1852. The Jewish composer Halévy, best known for his La juive with librettist Eugene Scribe in the early 1830s, sat squarely at the intersection of operatic aesthetics and the exigencies of a capitalist market as both a composer and a member of the Paris Opéra administration in the 1840s. Apropos of Wagner’s essay, which invokes the legend of Ahasuerus (“The Wandering Jew”), I argue that Halévy’s Le juif errant stages the exclusion of an ambiguously assimilated and heroic Ahasuerus. Moreover, in the final scene, a representation of the Final Judgement vividly exposes the economic stakes of the opera. At least partially motivated by an agreement sealed with the instrument maker Adolphe Sax, the Final Judgement stages the Wandering Jew’s ultimate exclusion through the forces of musical market: a “chorus” of angels and demons decide the afterlives of the people of the world by playing the catalog of new Sax instruments onstage. In the end, Ahasuerus belongs neither to heaven nor to hell: the rhythm of a sentence to perpetual circulation (Marche toujours) sets in motion an affective overload of musical economies, a clash of ethical, aesthetic, and political economic values.

Charlie Shrader is a sixth-year graduate student in musicology at the University of Pennsylvania. His research considers the intersection of aesthetics, economics, and instrumentality as crucial to understanding notions of belonging in musical capitals of Europe during “the long nineteenth century.” In his dissertation, Shrader goes in search of historical affective practice by parsing relations between performance, criticism, political economy, and technology. Under this umbrella, his is interested in economics of music; traveling musicians; the “industry” of music criticism; the spectacle of (grand) opera; the theatricalization of music; production of instruments new and old; and the shifting values associated with music under the expanding regime of capitalism.

Three Species of Hemiola in Brahms
Jesse Gardner | The Graduate Center, City University of New York

The music theorist Viktor Zuckerkandl at one point describes his conception of musical meter as being “made of rubber not of steel.” This is an appropriate image for how this paper will attempt to think about meter in Brahms: as dynamic, affective, and flexible, rather than as a number game. Our case study will be the rhythmic figure of the hemiola.

The most traditional use of the hemiola in earlier music had been to add a degree of so-called “metric dissonance” prior to a cadence, but I argue that Brahms uses hemiolas in at least two other ways. I propose, then, that we adopt three categories: 1) the strict cadential hemiola (henceforth SCH), which is roughly equivalent to the traditional usage; 2) what I call the “dissolving hemiola,” wherein, rather than being highlighted and entrenched through dissonance, metric hierarchy is loosened or relinquished so that, as Carl Schachter writes, meter “almost disintegrates into mere pulse”; and 3) what I call the “rubber hemiola,”  wherein the hemiola figure retains its dissonant character but sheds the precise proportional relationship of 3:2. In the case of strict cadential hemiolas, another factor to consider is the placement of the hemiola and cadential resolution within the phrase and (hyper)metric structure.

We will examine examples of these three different species from the C-sharp major and G-sharp minor Waltzes, op. 39, nos. 6 and 14; the first movement of the second symphony; and the A-major Intermezzo, op. 118, no. 2, which illustrate the diverse ways in which Brahms employs these three species of hemiola.


Jesse Gardner is a music theorist whose work focuses on meter, voice leading, instrumental roles within ensembles, and issues of musical labor, in nineteenth-century music as well as jazz and free improvisation. He is currently in his second year in the music theory PhD program at the City University of New York, and teaches at Hunter College.

12.00 PM • Lunch
Provided with advance registration

1.15 PM • Keynote

"The Sweet Fragrance of Life": Mortality and Rebirth in 
Mahler's "Das Trinklied vom Jammer Erde"
Seth Monahan | Eastman School of Music

Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde opens with a dark image of human affairs. To the strains of a self-styled “drinking song,” a boozy, wild-eyed narrator reminds us that life is short and happiness ephemeral—then urges us to grab a chalice and join the epicurean carnival. Drunkenness, he insists, is the only way to stave off the horrors of Earthly existence. This crassly cynical “drinking song” marks a radical departure from the creative vision of Mahler’s early and middle-period works, as does Das Lied von der Erde as a whole. Gone are the vaulting metaphysics and fairy-tale excursions, the Wagnerian heroics and triumphs wrested from catastrophe. In their place are cryptic vignettes on ancient Chinese poems, all of which dwell on the transience of beauty and joy.

In this talk, I’ll explore Mahler’s “Drinking Song of the Sorrows of the Earth” in detail, asking how its musical construction both responds to and amplifies its poetic themes. I begin with a thoroughgoing look at the song’s form, which emerges from rotational or cyclical processes taking place on multiple scales at once and achieving a level of complexity unseen in Mahler’s earlier work. I then take special interest in the song’s third strophe, which pivots away from the prevailing dualism—sensuous gratification versus nonexistence—to contemplate two cyclical images: the infinite regeneration of the natural world, and the countdown clock of human mortality. For it is at this point that the song reaches beyond its own horizon, to link up with the core themes of the work’s epic song-finale, “Der Abschied” and ask whether humankind can find comfort in nature’s eternal rebirth. What we’ll find is that Mahler’s seemingly trivial changes to Hans Bethge’s original poetic texts have far-reaching consequences for both the musical setting itself and the transsymphonic unity of Das Lied von der Erde as a whole.

Seth Monahan is Associate Professor and Chair of Music Theory at the Eastman School of Music. His research focuses on questions of musical form, meaning, and epistemology. He earned his master’s in music theory from Temple in 2002 and completed his doctorate at Yale in 2008. Since then, he has published a book, several book chapters, and articles in most of the leading theory journals. He is also the only two-time winner of the Society for Music Theory’s Emerging Scholar Award––which he thinks is a great honor, despite all the wisecracks about how he could still be “emerging” well into middle age.


2.30 PM • Session III

"Un Ami si Fidelle": Homoerotic Devotion and Jesuit Spirituality in Marc-Antoine Charpentier's petits motets
Joshua Druckenmiller | Case Western Reserve University

Though much scholarly attention has been given to the large-scale grands motets of Marc-Antoine Charpentier (1643–1704), analyses of the petits motets reveal a more intimate and passionate expression of Jesuit spirituality. These motets, works for mass or paraliturgical use, represent the most interior moments of worship and inspire intense sentiments of devotion. Listeners are invited to place themselves into the sermonic narrative and dote on the sacrificial body and conjugal love of God. How can we interpret the resulting union when the bride of Christ, historically interpreted as the church, is represented by male characters and performers? I propose that the texts and music of the petits motets inherently contain images of homoerotic desire for Jesus. These scenarios are not truly subversive of traditional Christian views; rather, they are fully in keeping with practices of Jesuit spirituality.

In this presentation, I argue that we must move away from a sanitized image of a heteronormative marriage with the incarnate Christ and towards a more diverse understanding of the relationship with the divine as demonstrated in Charpentier’s music. Drawing from scholarship exploring sensuality in religion and sacred musical works, including the work of literary historian Richard Rambuss and musicologists C. Jane Gosine, Susan McClary, and others, I will analyze the petits motets by situating their texts and musical semantics within the foundational Ignatian teachings that form the core of Jesuit spirituality. The opera David et Jonathas (1688), a didactic Jesuit school drama that unmistakably exhibits homosexual themes in a biblical allegory, serves as a crux in my examination. In this reconsideration, I hope to explain the queered relationship with Jesus depicted in these compositions as a viable expressive tool used to foster meditative contemplation, amorous devotion, and spiritual union.

Joshua Druckenmiller is a first-year PhD student at Case Western Reserve University, studying musicology and historical performance practice. His research interests include seventeenth- and eighteenth-century performance practices, vocal technique and pedagogy, opera, gender and sexuality, and the intersections of music with dance, language, and philosophy. Joshua graduated summa cum laude from Susquehanna University with his BA in music with a concentration in voice, and he completed his MA in musicology at Rutgers University, where he also studied opera performance. Joshua has presented his research at the Rutgers University Musicological Society, the City University of New York Graduate Student Conference, and most recently, the “Rethinking Music in France during the Baroque Era” conference in Paris.

From Parody to "Pornophony": Evolving Representations of Soviet Femininity in Shostakovich's Operas
Justin T. Gregg | Columbia University

Central among the attacks on Shostakovich’s Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District in the notorious Pravda article of 1936 was the anonymous reviewer’s condemnation of the overt sexuality depicted throughout the piece. Even outside of the Soviet Union, Lady Macbeth was cast as “pornophony.” Shostakovich’s characterization of Katerina—the work’s protagonist—emphasizes her sexual agency as one way of creating a natural role which Rosamund Bartlett has described as that of “a true heroine … in fact the only sympathetic character” in the opera. In itself, there is nothing unusual about an empowered female heroine in the operatic world; however, the character of Katerina is starkly contrasted to the female roles in Shostakovich’s earlier opera, The Nose. In this work, which was composed less than five years prior to Lady Macbeth, the female characters generally serve as distractions––both for apparent comedy and to allow for key plot elements to occur behind them––and in one particularly disturbing scene, a woman selling bread is assaulted by a group of police officers for little ostensible reason.

In this paper, I examine the roles of female characters in The Nose and Lady Macbeth, assessing the changing conceptions of femininity and female sexuality evoked through both music and text in the two operas. Broadly, I suggest that the evolving notions of femininity in these operas are reflective of societal changes in the Soviet Union during the 1920s and -30s, when the creation of the so-called “New Soviet Woman” ranked among the major ideological goals of the emerging nation.

Justin T. Gregg is a PhD student in historical musicology at Columbia University. He completed bachelor’s degrees in music and biology at Georgetown University, and earned a master’s degree in music history and theory from the University of Hartford. While a master’s student, he served as both a teaching assistant and teaching fellow in the Department of Music History. His research interests include fin-de-siècle Vienna, the musical landscape of the Soviet Union, and issues of music cognition and perception.

4.30 PM • Session IV

Beats and Brotherhood:
The DIY Hip-Hop Recording Studio as Black Public Sphere
Jasmine Henry | Rutgers University

In recent years, the proliferation of affordable do-it-yourself (DIY) recording technologies, practices, and spaces has assisted young black music-makers in combatting the financial, geographic, and technological constraints traditionally associated with studio recording. However, the existing body of DIY music-making scholarship continuously centers on white males, thus overlooking the crucial role minorities have played in pioneering DIY music communities and practices. Drawing upon participant observation and Michel de Certeau’s theory of “space as a practiced place,” this paper examines recording practices, social rituals, and placemaking within the context of a contemporary DIY hip-hop recording studio operated by two young black males in the United States. I argue that in the process of transforming a rented office space into a DIY recording studio, the participants created a safe and un-surveilled space where blackness and brotherhood is openly negotiated and practiced. My findings illuminate the socio-musical significance of young black males engaging in entrepreneurial and technological roles such as audio engineering and studio management. To conclude, I suggest considering the DIY hip-hop recording studio as part of the black public sphere alongside spaces such as the barbershop and church where commodity exchange and community-building intersect and serve a primary role in protecting young black male bodies. By examining diverse DIY music-making communities and spaces, we can decentralize the predominantly white image of DIY music-making while unearthing the extra-musical meanings underground spaces and practices hold for minoritized populations.

Jasmine Henry is a third-year musicology PhD student and part-time lecturer at Rutgers University. Her dissertation research focuses on DIY music-making practices in contemporary hip-hop/R&B music. In November she presented at the AMS “Rethinking Amateurism” session. You may find her forthcoming publications in the Journal of the Society for American Music and Journal of Pan African Studies. As an audio engineer, she has gained on-set and backstage experience from critically acclaimed productions such as HBO’s The Newsroom, Broadway’s Chicago, and the Blue Man Group.

Instruments of Change: Musical Decolonization and 
Bolivia's Orquesta de Instrumentos Nativos
Rachel Horner | Rutgers University

With zampoñas in hand and wankaras positioned at the back of the stage, the Orquesta Experimental de Instrumentos Nativos (OEIN) does not match the image of a typical contemporary music ensemble. Established in 1980 in Bolivia, where nearly half of the population is of indigenous origin, the OEIN strives to reconcile its participation in the Western art music tradition with the complex sociocultural tensions of everyday reality. To do so, the OEIN consults indigenous musicians and luthiers in the careful study and adoption of indigenous Andean musical practices and cosmologies. However, the group does not seek to replicate these practices; as founder Cergio Prudencio makes clear, it “incorporate[s] structural concepts and factors of indigenous Andean music in contemporary aesthetics and pedagogy.”

I argue that the OEIN provides a pedagogical and artistic model that successfully recognizes the cultural context of its practitioners. Grounded in indigenous Andean practices, the OEIN decenters the conventions of Western art music and pursues musical decolonization in three primary ways: (1) through education, with workshops, classes, and musicological research centered around the history and current realizations of Andean music; (2) through composition, with works created exclusively for the orchestra that push the boundaries of traditional art music; and (3) through performances that incorporate the theoretical and practical aspects that these fundamental activities encompass. Through experimental techniques and sonorities, the OEIN engages in an experimental performativity that navigates between and outside of the musical idioms that inform its practices. Unlike Venezuela’s El Sistema whose instrumentation and repertoire reinforce the dominance of the Eurocentric canon in their efforts to effect social change, the OEIN is rooted in local practices that serve as the foundation for a decolonized musical future.

Rachel Horner is a graduate student pursuing a master’s degree in musicology at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. She also holds a BM degree from Rutgers, where she studied Spanish and music education. In her research, Rachel explores the intersections between music, sound, language, and identity. Her master’s thesis, the result of an ongoing ethnographic project, argues for a focus on music and sound as central components of the creation and maintenance of regional identity within the Fallas festival in València, Spain.

4.45 PM • Closing Remarks and Reception

6 PM • Afterword

Travel To and From Campus

There is usually some street parking available on campus during the weekends. We suggest looking for spaces in an area marked by Cecil B. Moore Avenue to the south, West Norris Street to the north, North 10th Street to the east, and Broad Street to the west. If you would prefer a campus lot, daily and hourly rates are listed at the Campus Operations website.

Public Transportation
The local Broad Street Line serves Temple University from the Cecil B. Moore station. Be sure to take a Local train, as Express service will bypass campus. In addition, all regional rail lines that pass through center city Philadelphia stop at Temple, including the Airport line. The SEPTA website has a complete set of maps and schedules.