AMSGNY Meetings


Fall 2016 Meeting - Abstracts

“Expression and Discrètion: Froberger and Traditions of Freedom in Keyboard Performance”
David Schulenberg (Wagner College)

Discoveries made during the last 15 years have added to the list of keyboard pieces by Froberger whose headings call for discrètion in performance, prompting a reexamination of the term. Clearly related to expression, the word  is associated with certain unusual programmatic or autobiographical pieces, especially as preserved in relatively late sources disseminated beyond the composer’s immediate circle. Although present-day harpsichordists have achieved convincing interpretations of these scores, exactly how Froberger’s mature music is expressive, also how his notation and style relate to those of his contemporaries and later composers, has not previously been demonstrated.

On the Two Misleading Notions Regarding Haydn’s L’incontro improvviso
Oak Joo Yap (Brooklyn College)

Never thought of Haydn as an opera composer? He has almost twenty operas under his belt and his comic operas alone represent all the major plot types of dramma giocoso. L'incontro improvviso (1775), for example, along with Mozart’s Die Entführung aus dem Serail, is representative of Turkish operas, the eighteenth-century "Turcomania" products. Despite this designation, however, the degree or the nature of Turkishness of L'incontro improvviso has been questioned by some commentators. This paper demonstrates that Turkishness and Oriental exoticism are expressed in L'incontro improvviso in no lesser degree than in other Turkish operas. It also disputes the notion of the “lack of drama” in this opera that some critics have suggested, pointing out “unexciting recitatives” for one. Heavily favoring arias or recitativo accompagnato over "dry" recitativo semplice, listeners of today tend to ignore the latter's important function in conveying expressive qualities of the text and music. We will thus examine how Haydn, a man of his own era, follows the recitative conventions achieving effective musico-dramatic presentations.

I Maesti Cantori:  Is German Art Still Holy When Presented in Italian?
Gwen D'Amico (Brooklyn and Baruch Colleges)

What happens when “die heil’ge deutsche Kunst” becomes “l'arte sacra tedesca?”  In 1891, New York’s Metropolitan Opera presented Richard Wagner’s popular Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg in Italian as I Maestri Cantori di Norimberga. This change came after six successful years of the work presented in its original German to highly favorable reviews and high profits.  Why the sudden change? Especially with this highly charged and controversial piece, did the Italian language alter its perceived German-ness, and by extension, the German Nationalism?  This paper will examine the forces (economic and cultural) that contributed to this change particularly including a polarized New York press willing to fan the fired of controversy.

"Riding the Waves of Feminism: The Impact of the Great Depression and the Popular Press on the Reception of American Women Modernist Composers."
Tonia Passwater (CUNY Graduate Center)

During the years surrounding the Great Depression, the United States experienced an ideological shift from first-wave feminism back to the Victorianism of an earlier time. This shift altered views concerning acceptable roles for women. In this paper, I use critical and popular reception history to illustrate the impact of the era’s “contesting ideologies of womanhood” on the careers of women modernist composers.

The Influence of Zen Buddhism on the Music of Valentin Silvestrov, Ukrainian Avant-Garde Composer in the USSR
Oksana Nesterenko (SUNY Stony Brook)

In this paper, I discuss how Silvestrov’s interest in Eastern beliefs shaped his musical philosophy in the 1970’s. When asked about extra-musical influences on his work, he refers to only one philosophical source – Zen Buddhism, which he encountered in the 1970’s by reading D. T. Suzuki’s lectures. He particularly stresses the importance of the idea of “freeing oneself from all kinds of ideological schemes” that appealed to him because he was fed up with Communist ideology. I argue that it was the engagement with Zen that led Silvestrov to believe that one needs to be free from “all pre-conceived ideas – particularly those of the avant-garde” and, possibly,  to consider using neo-Romantic style of his music.

Schoenberg’s Resonant Voice in Peter Ablinger’s Letter from Arnold Schoenberg
Katherine Kaiser (Independent Scholar)

Peter Ablinger’s Letter from Arnold Schoenberg (2006) converts a 1940s Dictaphone recording of Schoenberg’s voice into a midi piano file. The timbre of Schoenberg’s voice is replaced by rapid strikes of the player piano. The rhythms and vowels of his speech emerge with the aid of an accompanying textual transcription, in which Schoenberg accuses the director of Dial Records of ignoring his compositional wishes in releasing a recording of Schoenberg’s op 41, Ode to Napoleon, with a woman’s voice. Like Schoenberg’s letter, Ablinger’s piece explores themes of authorial intent and the voice.  My study looks beyond Ablinger’s transformations to consider the transmission path of the vocal recording, including close analysis of Schoenberg’s original voice recording and the technology of the Webster Wire Recorder with which it was recorded. What remains of this history and Schoenberg’s voice in Ablinger’s piece? What is absent? In the end, this transmission study probes at the boundaries of voice and music, humanity and technology, to consider the resonances between Ablinger’s work and Schoenberg’s own.  

Fall 2016 Meeting Details

The Fall 2016 meeting of the AMS-GNY will take place on Sunday, October 23, 2016 from 2PM-6PM.

The meeting will be held at Arnhold Hall's Glass Box Theatre at the Mannes College of Music/New School University at 55 West 13th Street.  It is located to the left of the entrance, as soon as you go past the security desk.

Note the change from the usual day of the week and starting time.

Fall 2016 Meeting - CFP

The next meeting of the AMSGNY will take place on Sunday, October 23, 2016 from 2PM-6PM at Arnhold Hall's Glass Box Theater (55 West 13th Street), part of the Mannes College of Music.   Proposals (approximately 250 words)  for presentations on any musical topic may be submitted to both DrJSDailey@aol.com and jonathan.waxman@gmail.com by September 1st.  Please do not include any attachments—write the proposal in the e mail and include both your e mail and telephone contact information.

Spring 2016 Meeting

The Spring Meeting of the AMSGNY will take place on Saturday, April 30th, at the Center for Remembering and Sharing, 123 Fourth Avenue, in Manhattan.  The location is just south of Union Square, between 12th and 13th Streets.  We will be meeting in the studio on the second floor.



Session I (12-1:30)

A Curious Case of Inculturation: Jean Langlais, Joseph Gelineau, and Vatican II

Vincent E. Rone (St. Peter’s University)



This paper examines how conflicting liturgical-reform movements within the Catholic Church manifest themselves in Parisian church music, specifically the works of Jean Langlais and Joseph Gelineau. Their music and debates reveal the age-old issues of tradition vs. progress and what constitutes appropriate music within liturgical contexts. As the volatile 20th century wore on, however, things came to a head with the The Second Vatican Council’s decree on Sacred Music and caused critical, long-term effects that still play out in churches today.Reinforcing Femininity: The 

The Saga of John J. Swick: A Colorful Episode in the History of American Piano Manufacturing and Music Trade Journalism

William E. Hettrick (Hofstra University)



John J. Swick was a relatively obscure piano maker and dealer during the heyday of piano manufacturing in New York City. The story of his career and personal life was told largely in the pages of the trade press. A colorful mixture of success and failure, acclaim and ridicule, enthusiasm and tragedy, it is a thread in the complex historical fabric of a great industry.



The Urban Routes of Boieldieu’s La dame blanche in Nineteenth-Century Paris

Nicole Vilkner (Rutgers University)



In 1828, a fleet of white omnibuses drawn by white horses appeared on the streets of Paris. These public transportation vehicles were called the Dames Blanches, named and fashioned after François-Adrien Boieldieu’s popular comic opera. Their rear doors were decorated with scenes of the Scottish countryside, their flanks were painted with gesturing opera characters, and their custom-made mechanical horns trumpeted the opera’s melodies throughout the city. While these carriages have remained a whimsical anecdote in the urban history of Paris, I argue that the omnibuses were an essential part of the musical and cultural reception of Boieldieu’s La dame blanche (1825).



Business Meeting (1:30-2:00)



Special Presentation—The Other Mozart (2-2:30)

In 2015, Sylvia Milo’s play, The Other Mozart, about Nannerl Mozart, premiered in New York City.  It has since been performed, to great acclaim, around the world, and is scheduled for another New York run next month.  Ms. Milo and members of her creative team will talk about the play, its inception, and its reception.



Session 2 (2:30-4)

Counting Musical Elements: Corpus Analysis in Musicology

Lawrence Ferrara (New York University)



Over the last fifty years, numerous books and articles have been published regarding quantitative methodologies in literary studies (“Corpus Linguistics”).  Following corpus linguistics, "corpus analysis" in music is currently used in music theory, studies in popular music, ethnomusicology, and music copyright. This presentation includes an overview of examples of corpus analyses of music within the context of computational musicology, and draws connections with research in Music Information Retrieval (MIR).



Delving Into the Archives: Reassessing Brahms’ Letters and the Hunt for More  

Styra Avins (New York, NY)



How accurate are those editions of Brahms’s letters published long ago, in the early decades of the 20th century?   An impressive campaign to alert his major friends and colleagues to gather their correspondence for publication was set in motion almost immediately following his death in 1897. In 1906 the first volumes had appeared, with enough energy left to complete 19 volumes by 1933, despite a World War and the desperate condition of Germany and Austria afterwards.  These volumes have formed the basis of most biographies of the composer, since a large part of what can be reliably known about him comes from his correspondence.  Hence the question:  how accurate are the editions?   And one more question:  are there unknown letters lurking out there?



Outer Limits and The Musical Undermining of Women’s Agency

Reba Wissner (Montclair State University)



The Outer Limits was one of the most progressive television shows of its time in terms of its portrayal of women. This portrayal of women on the small screen was consistent with the general thoughts about women in real life. On the heels of her seminal 1962 book, The Feminine Mystique, Betty Friedan published a two-part essay in TV Guide in 1963 and 1964 respectively. Friedan resented television’s portrayal of women as a merely “moronic housewife” rather than as an educated woman who works outside the home. Considering that this was the prevailing view of women on television—and, to a certain extent, women in general—of the time, it is no wonder that The Outer Limits’ portrayal of women was so revolutionary. Though women in the series are often portrayed as strong and independent, the composition of musical cues to represent women concretizes the portrayal of the women as feminized object, all while acting the part of obedient wife, daughter, or employee. This paper examines how the portrayal of women in The Outer Limits proves to be in step with the most progressive views on women then available but how at the same time the women in the series are musically scored according to tradition, yet they act in spite of it.




© 2008 American Musicological Society of Greater New York
Blogger Templates by GeckoandFly | Blog customization by Jeff C. Li and Philip D. Reid.
Image © 2008 mawel. Used under Creative Commons license.
No part of the content or the blog may be reproduced without prior written permission.