Allegheny Chapter of the American Musicological Society
Saturday, October 15, 2016 • University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Program Fall Meeting
8:30 AM Registration and Refreshments
9:00 AM Opening Remarks by Chapter President, Christopher Wilkinson
Gender Studies in Popular Music and Jazz
Chair: Michael Boyd (Chatham University)
• Brian F. Wright (Fairmont State University)
Writing the History of Motown: The James Jamerson / Carol Kaye Controversy
• Andrea Marie Keil (Columbus, OH)
Finding the Erotic in the History of Women-in-Jazz: Audre Lorde’s “Uses of the Erotic” and the Writings of Sherrie Tucker
• Steven Moon (University of Pittsburgh)
“Building a Home for Ourselves”: Hip Hop, Queer Expression, and Our Place in Musicology
Music and Environment
Chair: Michael Baumgartner (Cleveland State University)
• Emilie Coakley (University of Pittsburgh)
For Whom the Bells Toll: Nostalgia, Memory, and Change in a City Soundscape
12:00 PM Lunch Break
2:00 PM Business Meeting
Music and Media
Chair: Michael Baumgartner (Cleveland State University)
• Rebecca Fülöp (Oberlin, OH)
A “most authentic American folk music”: Nostalgia and Colonialism in the Soundtrack of The Man in the High Castle
Opera in Paris and Naples in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century
Chair: Christopher Wilkinson (West Virginia University)
• Devin Burke (University of Louisville)
Musical Idolatry: The Monuments of Louis XIV and the Living Statues of the Opéra
• John Romey (Case Western Reserve University)
Parody Chaconnes as a Subversive Discourse at the Comédie-Italienne
• Jonathan Shold (University of Pittsburgh)
Lenten Opera and Theater Fasts in Naples, 1818–1830
4:45 PM Informal Get-Together
• Brian F. Wright: Writing the History of Motown: The James Jamerson / Carol Kaye Controversy
L.A. session bassist Carol Kaye claims to have played on numerous well-known Motown hits. Historians and critics fiercely dispute these claims, suggesting either that she played solely on re-recorded versions or that she is simply lying. Drawing on never-before-seen LA session contracts, I document that Kaye played on over 150 songs for Motown, including as many as seven hit singles. These contracts demonstrate that Kaye’s place in Motown history is larger than her critics would have us believe; however, they also complicate many of Kaye’s own claims.
• Andrea Marie Keil: Finding the Erotic in the History of Women-in-Jazz: Audre Lorde’s “Uses of the Erotic” and the Writings of Sherrie Tucker
Audre Lorde redefined the erotic as an untapped and often suppressed source of power available to all women, stating: “When I speak of the erotic, then, I speak of it as an assertion of the lifeforce of women; of that creative energy empowered, the knowledge and use of which we are now reclaiming…” In recent decades, a reclamation of the history of women-in-jazz has occurred through the works of Sherrie Tucker and other historical ethnographers. I will show how Lorde’s conception of the erotic can be a powerful theoretical framework for understanding both Tucker’s writings and the history of women-in-jazz.
• Steven Moon: “Building a Home for Ourselves”: Hip Hop, Queer Expression, and Our Place in Musicology
At a glance, hip-hop culture and rap music seem referential solely to an essentialized Black masculinity, replete with queerphobia and misogyny. For queer listeners or artists, this draws significant boundaries guarding participation and association. In order to create room in the genre and the field alike, I examine queerness as not only an identity, but also a process of listening and analysis. Joining queer methodology and hip-hop studies, this paper interrogates the ways in which musicological research can engage with queerness and corporeal hermeneutics as a performative practice, even in the musical mainstream.
• Emilie Coakley: For Whom the Bells Toll: Nostalgia, Memory, and Change in a City Soundscape
This paper will interrogate a contemporary shift in the public perception of religiously coded sounds through a case study of bells at St. Paul Cathedral in Oakland, PA. Through on-the-street interviews, conversations with local liturgical specialists and scholars, and archival research, I posit that public perception of this sound has become increasingly personalized and secularized. Following Marita Sturken’s work on historical memory and Michael Bull’s ideas of auditory nostalgia, I will track how the ringing bells have come to occupy a contested sound-space, shifting from a hegemonically coded aural presence to a site of optional and individualized association.
• Rebecca Fülöp: A “most authentic American folk music”: Nostalgia and Colonialism in the Soundtrack of The Man in the High Castle
The Man in the High Castle (Philip K. Dick, 1962), an alternate history in which the Nazis and Japanese won WWII, parodies American colonialism by showing America colonized by a caricature of itself (Cassie Carter, 1995). The 2015 Amazon Studios show, however, translates the novel’s representation of imperialism within the context of present day anxieties about race, nostalgia, and post-colonialism, portraying a past alternate reality rather than a Cold War parable. Drawing on Svetlana Boym (2001), and Caryl Flinn (1992), this paper explores how the show’s musical choices help to undermine Dick’s deconstruction of American imperialism and “authentic” American culture.
• Devin Burke: Musical Idolatry: The Monuments of Louis XIV and the Living Statues of the Opéra
At the turn of the eighteenth century, statues that spring musically to life suddenly became remarkably prevalent at the Paris Opéra. In the Opéra’s first twenty-seven years (1669-1696), living statues appeared in only four works, but between 1697 and 1707 they appeared in new works almost yearly. Musically, the later productions featured strikingly new treatments of the trope. In this paper, I argue that the recurring use of animated statues can be understood as commentary on the controversies surrounding Louis XIV’s monument construction projects of the 1680s and 1690s, which were widely criticized as idolatrous and blasphemous monstrosities.
• John Romey: Parody Chaconnes as a Subversive Discourse at the Comédie-Italienne
The Comédie-Italienne, the Parisian commedia-dell’arte troupe, parodied several chaconnes from Lully’s operas in the years before 1692. In this presentation, I will discuss how Fatouville’s Arlequin Jason—a parody of both Corneille’s La Toison d’or and the chaconne from Lully’s Amadis—deconstructs the official royal image of Louis XIV as formed through the tragédie en musique and the classical French spoken tragedy at the Comédie-Française. I will then contrast representations of the King in official almanacs with the iconography of Arlequin Jason from Bonnart’s calendar-almanac to further illuminate how complex political allusions subverted the official propaganda of heroism.
• Jonathan Shold: Lenten Opera and Theater Fasts in Naples, 1818–1830
This paper explores theater-based fasting as a meaningful Lenten observance for opera-goers in early nineteenth-century Naples. While musicologists have often equated Lenten opera with sacred drama and oratorio, archival evidence reveals that these musical genres represented only a small fraction of Lenten operatic performances in Naples between 1818 and 1830. Opera in general was instead framed as “Lenten” by abstaining from dancing and gambling within Naples’ theaters, as well as by occasionally closing the theaters themselves. Viewing these abstinences as fasts situates Lenten opera as a dynamic Neapolitan social practice, rather than as a static “sacred” musical genre.