April 2015



April 18, 2015

Grove City College Grove City, Pennsylvania


9:00 a.m. MORNING PRESENTATIONS I: Music, Patriotism, Politics, and War

Derek Stauff, Indiana University

The Political Context of Schütz’s Saul, was verfolgst du mich

For early-modern Lutherans, Schütz’s Saul, Saul, was verfolgst du mich? would have evoked fears of religious persecution. His text from Acts 9 appears in seventeenth-century writings about persecution. Recently uncovered archival evidence also shows that Schütz performed his concerto in 1632 at a festival marking the first anniversary of the battle of Breitenfeld. Here Schütz’s listeners would have heard in his text and vivid music a parallel to victory they celebrated and the persecution they feared from their Catholic and Imperial adversaries. This performance of Saul shows how his music reinforced confessional divisions fueling the Thirty Years’ War.

James A. Davis, School of Music, SUNY Fredonia

Locating Patriotism in Civil War Songs

This paper examines the lyrics and reception history of popular songs to uncover the different ways that music reflected notions of American patriotism and its relation to the warring geopolitical entities during the Civil War. Patriotism requires a locus of identity, and this was something both the North and the South struggled to define throughout the war. As a result, works such as “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” “Maryland, My Maryland,” and “Dixie” were forced to define ambiguous patriotic spaces as opposed to more determinate geopolitical places in order to succeed.

10:15 a.m. COFFEE

10: 45 a.m. MORNING PRESENTATIONS II: The Influence of Art on Music: Collage and Site-Specificity in Music of the Second Half of the Twentieth-Century

Michael Boyd, Chatham University

Score-Based Site-Specificity in the Music of John Cage

Traditional conceptions of site-specific art typically fall into two general categories: objects that are inseparable from their setting or unique, non-replicable events. The notion of site-specificity, though, might also be applied to certain score-based experimental music compositions that, through realization, become wedded to their surroundings. John Cage’s work is, at times, notable for engaging with space and environment in such a way. This paper surveys Cage’s work, locating compositions such as Variations IV and 49 Waltzes for the Five Boroughs that become site-specific through performance, and identifies connections between such pieces and the broader context of the composer’s creative output.

Christopher M Culp, University at Buffalo, SUNY

Surrealist Music: The Ontology of Collage within Temporal Arts

Has there ever been a Surrealist music? Two works stand out: Luciano Berio’s Sinfonia and Bernd Alois Zimmermann’s Musique pour les soupers du Roi Ubu. Both employ collage as their primary aesthetic framework and both also engage in the avant-garde/Surrealist tradition of critiquing the bourgeois. Both Berio and Zimmermann’s works imply a musicliterate audience. Through collage, both pieces destabilize ontology of music from idealism and phenomenology in order to refigure and critique the bourgeois natural attitude in each. This dissolves linear time in musical ontology and shakes the bourgeois attitude of its ideological rigidity, giving access to Surrealist critique.


2:00 p.m. AFTERNOON PRESENTATIONS I: Technical Aspects of Medieval and Renaissance Music

Jonathan C. Ligrani, The Pennsylvania State University

Harmony through Dissonance: Oppositional Discourse in Twelfth-Century Polyphony

This paper considers the philosophical potency of oppositional discourse in twelfth-century scholasticism, concerning its influence upon polyphony’s stylistic evolution. Manuscripts from the Abbey of St. Martial of Limoges reveal increased intervallic variety, contrasting textures, and melodic flexibility in the vocal lines, indicating an aesthetic preference for greater dissonance and contrary motion over the restrained parallelism of earlier organum. This highlighted contrast between two elements, and its use for magnifying liturgical text, mirrors Peter Abelard’s dialectic in Sic et Non. Viewing polyphony as part of a larger intellectual trend provides indispensable cultural grounding for the study of this significant musical innovation.

Andrew Farina, The Ohio State University

On the Temporal Organization of Mensural Music

Notation remains a foremost consideration in mensural music studies, and a limited number of analyses have undertaken how this music exists in temporal space. This paper reflects on the perspectives of Edward Houghton and Graeme Boone to position the incongruence of meter and mensuration as a backdrop. The focus then shifts to revealing a second-order organization derived from the musical events but not dependent upon the notated schema. The divergence of these layers can then be used to inform analysis. Thus, the music reveals its own emergent temporal properties, which may or may not align with the mensural scheme.


3:45 p.m. AFTERNOON PRESENTATIONS II: Music and Space: Vienna, Russia and the Appalachian Mountains

Robert Fallon, Carnegie Mellon University

Topography and Manifest Destiny in Appalachian Spring

Through genealogical research and other evidence, I show that the fictional and allegedly indeterminate location of the unfinished house in Appalachian Spring is based on a still-standing house thirty miles north of Pittsburgh and still owned by choreographer Martha Graham’s in-laws. The topography of this farm, however, undermines the ballet’s theme supporting Manifest Destiny, thereby suggesting that the theme of westward expansion is inorganically overlaid onto the story. I show how this theme derives, instead, largely from Hart Crane’s poem The Bridge, which provided not only the ballet’s title, but also many of its allusions to American history.

Mark Ferraguto, The Pennsylvania State University

Music and Diplomacy at the Palais Rasumofsky

This paper considers the place of music in the private and professional life of Andrey Razumovsky (1752– 1836), Russian ambassador to Austria during the Napoleonic Wars. Examining sources such as Razumovsky’s correspondence and estate papers, contemporary travel reports and memoirs, and published scores dedicated to the ambassador, it places the diplomat’s patronage of such figures as Beethoven in a wider social and political context. Razumovsky’s varied musical activities not only reflect his cosmopolitan sensibility, but also his commitment to publicizing an image of Russia as a modern European state in tune with the cultural values of its allies.


One thought on “April 2015

  1. Pingback: April 2015 – Spring Meeting | AMS Allegheny Chapter

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