October 2015

Allegheny Chapter of the American Musicological Society Saturday, October 17, 2015 ö West Virginia University, Morgantown, West Virginia

Program Fall Meeting

8:30 AM Registration and Refreshments

9:00 AM Opening Remarks by Paul Kreider, Dean of the College of Creative Arts, and Chapter President, Christopher Wilkinson Innovative

Trends in Jazz and Film Music of the 1950s and 1960s

Chair: Michael Baumgartner (Cleveland State University)

Brian F. Wright (Fairmont State University) Stigmatizing the Electric Bass in Jazz in the 1950s

This paper traces the early history of the electric bass in jazz, focusing on pioneering bassist Monk Montgomery. Despite being the person most associated with the instrument, Montgomery was a reluctant trailblazer who struggled with the idea of playing an electric bass. While he was quickly won over by the instrument, many of his contemporaries remained vehemently opposed to it. These critics repudiated Montgomery as an outsider; yet, this marginal status functioned as a lucrative marketing opportunity. Building on the work of Erving Goffman, this paper explores how the stigma surrounding the electric bass influenced Montgomery’s career and historical position.

Mark Durrand (University of Buffalo) The Menace of Music in Sergio Leone’s Once Upon a Time in the West (1968): Exploring Implications of Embodied Music and a Musical Embodiment

Music and violence as a conflicting yet conflated pair are woven finely into the diegesis of director Sergio Leone’s Once Upon a Time in the West, a cinematic collusion aided in no small part by Ennio Morricone’s idiosyncratic musical score. Especially of note is a terse melody played on a harmonica by one nameless character that circulates throughout the film portending a rough justice that remains unrealized until the film’s denouement. In this paper, I explore the fashion in which Leone and Morricone invent a film world incorporating the mythic implications of anonymity, violence, musicality, death, and—perhaps—the prospect of redemption.

 

Folk and Pre-Classic Influences in Nineteenth-Century Music

Chair: Andrew Farina (Butler University)

Hyun Joo Kim (Indiana University) Liszt’s Conscientious and Creative Renderings of Cimbalom Playing in his Hungarian Rhapsodies

Liszt effectively captures the multifaceted aspects of cimbalom playing in his inventive pianistic renderings throughout his Hungarian Rhapsodies, I–XV. A contemporary article about the cimbalom evocations and a method book for the instrument provide useful examples to explore essential techniques of the cimbalom. Liszt’s renderings evoke salient features of the instrument’s timbres and techniques, including visually stunning cimbalom trills, rapid repetition and rebounding of hammers on the cimbalom, and cimbalom ornamentation and improvisation. All of his evocations reveal a skillful coalescence of his sensitive attention to the integrity of the instrument and his creative pianistic solutions.

Jane Hines (Princeton University) Brahms the Modernist: Historical Influence in the First Sextet

The second movement of Brahms’s Sextet No. 1 in B-flat major (1860) is loosely based on the chaconne, a Baroque bass-variation genre. The frequent use of bass variations in Brahms’s work contributed to his reputation as an oldfashioned composer. Arnold Schoenberg and subsequent scholarship have since transformed Brahms’s reputation by demonstrating the ways in which his music was forward-thinking, or even early modernist. To explicate Brahms’s position as a modernist, I use literary theories of influence by T. S. Eliot and Harold Bloom to analyze the second movement of the First Sextet as an example of Brahms’s modernist tendencies.

12:00 PM Lunch Break

2:00 PM Business Meeting

Plenary Session: Current Issues of Music History Pedagogy: a Regional Perspective

Moderator: Christopher Wilkinson (West Virginia University)

Matt Baumer (Indiana University of Pennsylvania) “Same as it ever was?” The Content of Undergraduate Music History Curricula in 2011–2012

Ewelina Boczkowska and Randy Goldberg (Youngstown State University) Reinventing the Music History Core Sequence: Goals and Strategies

Travis Stimeling (West Virginia University) Literacy, Critical Thinking, and the Graduate Music History Classroom

 

Crossing Borders: Genre Transformation and Socio-Historical Conditions

Chair: Michael Baumgartner

Jonathan Shold (University of Pittsburgh) Is Nothing Sacred? Rossini’s Mosè in Egitto (1818) as a Secular Requiem

In proclaiming liberation from physical and spiritual bondage, the Exodus and Requiem narratives represented dangerous political weapons during Naples’s turbulent Bourbon Restoration. These themes converge in Rossini’s Lenten opera Mosè in Egitto (1818), a retelling of the Exodus that bears striking textual and musical similarities to nineteenth-century settings of the “Dies irae” sequence. Interpreting Mosè as a stylized Requiem challenges the common associations of Lenten opera with mere diversion or moral didacticism. As nationalism emerged as a “secular religion” across Italy, Neapolitan loyalists and liberals alike sought to sanctify their agendas through Mosè’s religious messages.

Jon Churchill (The Pennsylvania State University) Vaughan Williams and Musical Safety: The Locus Amoenus in Symphony No. 3

This paper considers elements of musical safety and their contribution to the composer’s personal locus amoenus in Ralph Vaughan Williams’s Pastoral Symphony, a work first conceived in the trenches of WWI. By examining formal circularity, harmonic stasis, and references to prelapsarian England in terms of larger cultural trends and specific battlefield reprieves, it redefines these elements as manifestations of safety. Then, through a comparison with facets of the traditional locus amoenus, they are shown to comprise a WWI-era locus. Through this fresh viewpoint, we gain insight into the mechanisms by which a composer may find solace from war.

 

3 4:45 PM Reception in the Museum Education Center

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