Archive for February, 2013

Karishmeh Felfeli’s recent radio documentary

“It is not every day that documentaries about music theory in education are made, discussing matters that are highly relevant to our profession and featuring people that you may well know. This is exactly what Karishmeh Felfeli has done.” I wrote this in an email circular to members, urging them (you) to tune in or listen to the podcasts after the event. As well as being a broadcaster, Karishmeh is an insider to the world of music analysis: she is, in fact, a member of the SMA and a PhD student at University College Dublin where she studies with Julian Horton. She is therefore uniquely placed to make such a documentary, which centres on Irish tertiary education but is widely applicable to other countries, not least the UK, as you will see, or rather hear.

If, like me, you are biased against programmes about music (for obvious reasons), you will be pleasantly surprised. I exchange with Karishmeh only a couple of emails and do not know her well, so please believe my disinterestedness when I say that, in the depressing landscape of current programme making, she is a force for good. This documentary is obviously for a wider audience but it compromises nothing. It turns around notions of elitism and challenges some fashionable presumptions about accessibility exposing them for what they are – a way of keeping music theory the preserve of the few. It exposes the consumerism in higher education and raises the familiar problem of undergraduate expectations and the impoverished culture of performance studies. And as for touching on technical aspects of music (a taboo), it does what it preaches and shows what ‘accessibility’ could really be like: for example, I confess to being surprised when Schenker’s motivic parallelism (!) came up. I think it was Steven Laitz from Eastman – forgive me if I misremember – who on this occasion managed to convey it with elegant simplicity, in a way sometimes programmes of particle physics manage to somehow make complex theories widely comprehensible; and it was done as part of a wider argument about literacy (this comes towards the end of part 1. There are some excellent points made by Julian Horton as well).

What I find uplifting about this programme, then, is its anti-populist democratic spirit, if I can put it that way; the idea that like general language literacy, music literacy should really spread, as it is important in itself and beyond the world of Western classical music with which it is usually associated (there are several good arguments made about that in the second part, countering the usual trendy arguments against score-centred learning). Some may say this is Bildung repackaged, the old civilizing mission of the high bourgeoisie in a new guise. Let them. Listen and make up your own minds.

Link to the two podcasts:

Posted on 8th February 2013 by Shay Loya in Sister Organizations, Uncategorized No comments » Tags:

CFP from the journal ‘Pyschomusicology’

The journal Psychomusicology: Music, Mind and Brain encourages submissions for a special issue on the topic: “Interactions between Emotion and Cognition in Music”.

This call for papers is stimulated by the growing interest in emotion and music, and by the need to more fully consider the role of cognition in emotional responses to music as well as the influences of emotional responses on cognitive processing of music.

Scholars conducting relevant research are encouraged to submit an expression of interest before 1st of March 2013, and a full research paper by the 15th of May 2013.

For more details click here.

Posted on 7th February 2013 by Shay Loya in CFPs, Sister Organizations No comments » Tags:

CFP: Can we talk of a passacaglia principle?

The recent revival of Formenlehre devoted substantial efforts to the discussion of sonata form(s), often from opposed – and sometimes conflicting – angles. Different theories have been developed concerning what we might call the “sonata principle”.

This special issue of Rivista di Analisi e Teoria Musicale is intended to address a similar topic in respect of the passacaglia.

We invite the submission of abstracts which will address this issue from any perspective and with respect to any repertory. You may wish to respond to one of the following possibilities:

  • Is it worthwhile distinguishing between passacaglia and chaconne (cf. Couperin’s ‘Chaconne ou Passacaille’)? Does a common “principle” (what we have provisionally called “passacaglia principle”) exist in both genres? Which elements can be considered distinctive features?
  • What is the relationship between the passacaglia principle and variation form?
  • How pervasive is the combination of passacaglia and lament (cf. Purcell’s ‘When I am laid in earth’, Ligeti’s Horn trio)? Is this connection essential to the principle?
  • Is a teleological/narrative process intrinsic to the principle, or is it a later development (cf. Brahms IV, last movement)?
  • What is to be gained from viewing popular song’s harmonic loops as passacaglia-derived (cf. My Chemical Romance’s ‘Famous last words’)?
  • Does a relationship exist between the passacaglia principle and the practices of oral tradition? Is it worthwhile connecting this relationship to the question of the origin of the passacaglia principle?

Deadline for submission of abstracts is May 2013. If selected, you will be asked to submit your paper by January 2014. Submitted papers will then be subject to the normal refereeing process.

Abstracts (in English or Italian, 800-1000 words, bibliography excluded) should be sent by attachement (in PDF format) to:

Posted on 2nd February 2013 by Shay Loya in CFPs, Sister Organizations No comments » Tags: