AMSGNY Meetings

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.

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