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"Everybody understands what musicology is, at least in a general way."
--Joseph Kerman (1985)

Current Month
Mar. 26th, 2006 @ 07:09 pm Funny word (mis)usage
Today I went to Panera for the first time in years (not sure that they exist in the Bay Area). Their available coffee sizes are:

And considering the service I got, that last one's not so far off...
Feb. 3rd, 2006 @ 02:01 pm Diabolus in musica
Current Mood: dismayed
I always knew opera was evil...

(x-posted to my own journal)
sweet tooth
Feb. 3rd, 2006 @ 02:08 pm Gounod's 'Faust' Banned for Satanic Content!
Current Mood: artistic
Current Music: Binchois Consort -- Agnus Dei
Oh dear Zeus. The evangelicals are at it again ...

'Faust' Opera Video Stirs Angry Parents news story on Yahoo! News ... link provided by the American Musicological Society listserv.

Here are some choice quotes to get your appetites wet:

' "Any adult with common sense would not think that video was appropriate for a young person to see. I'm not sure it's appropriate for a high school student," Robby Warner said after two of her children saw the video.'

'Another parent, Casey Goodwin, said, "I think it glorifies Satan in some way".'

Good grief. I can't help but be reminded of the South Park parents. *tuts in aggravation*

x-posted to musicology_grad and my own journal
noelle picard, picard thinks
Jan. 19th, 2006 @ 08:58 pm EUREKAAAAA!!!!
Current Mood: amusedamused
How to explain cantus firmi in Renaissance masses to undergraduate non-majors.

Compare Ray Charles' I Got A Woman in Kanye West's Golddigger to the chant (Gloria) in Pope Marcellus.

It made my day. And it worked!

Xposted to my lj
Dec. 24th, 2005 @ 03:16 pm Musicology comprehensive exams
Current Mood: calmcalm
Current Music: Music to the film 'A Long Kiss Goodnight' (I'm watching it)
Hello everyone! I know this is a strange time to ask about exams, but I'm curious and bored because I finished all of my work for the semester. So, does anyone have any recommendations or suggestions for how to study and prepare well for musicology comprehensive exams? I know each university is different, but mine will have a take-home research essay (duh, know how to do this), score IDs and analysis, and three timed essay questions. Obviously, I'll need to do a complete review of current and recent scholarship, and also do a total review of music history...

Thanks for any help!!M
noelle picard, picard thinks
Nov. 30th, 2005 @ 05:24 pm Call for submissions
Current Mood: busy
Current Music: Rufus Wainwright: Go or go ahead
Since we're pretty much posting this everywhere, why not here?
repercussions Call for submissions:

This journal invites submissions in the field of music as most broadly conceived. repercussions provides a forum for critical and innovative work within and between the sub-disciplines of musicology, ethnomusicology, and theory, as well as other humanities and social sciences. There are no set formats for contributions; we welcome submissions from a full range of critical and methodological perspectives, including (though not limited to) those of an unconventional nature. Proposals for reviews of scholarly publications, recordings and events are also considered.

Prospective contributors should submit either two (2) copies of their manuscripts by mail or one copy by electronic mail, to the attention of the submissions editors. Submissions are reviewed anonymously, so authors should include a separate cover sheet with contact information and remove any identifying information from pages within the submission. All submissions must be in Microsoft Word (or a compatible format) and double-spaced, including footnotes, quotations, and extracts. Contributors are responsible for obtaining all permissions to quote extracts or to reproduce photographs.

For inclusion in the Spring 2006 issue, submissions must be received by 15 January 2006. Any items received after that date may be considered for future issues. Please send submissions to:

Department of Music
107 Morrison Hall #1200
University of California
Berkeley, CA 94720-1200

repercussions follows the style guidelines given in the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th ed. (University of Chicago Press, 2003). For other style matters, contributors should consult D. Kern Holoman, Writing about Music: A Style Sheet by the Editors of 19th-Century Music (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1988).
Josephine Baker (feathers)
Nov. 28th, 2005 @ 11:35 pm Recordings as the Texts of Rock Music
Current Mood: mellowmellow
Current Music: Oingo Boingo
Hi everyone. I've noticed that the board hasn't been too active of late (probably because we are all super-active in our oh-so-interesting research [!]), and I wanted to throw out a discussion topic... I'm auditing a 'Intro to Musical Research' class (for kicks and also to get better acquainted with the person I'd like for my dissertation supervisor), and today we had a guest lecturer come to discuss the role of recordings in musicological research. I wanted to know what the graduate musicologist community thought of recordings as the main 'texts' and mediums of discourse for academic discussion of rock music. I don't know a lot about rock musicology, and I know there are quite a few UCLA grad students here. I'd love to learn more about it and hear some expert opinions on this topic. :)

noelle picard, picard thinks
Nov. 26th, 2005 @ 07:55 pm From Sammee the Musicologist
Current Mood: geeky
Current Music: Harvey Danger
Hello everyone! I wanted to introduce myself to the community, being that I just joined and all. My blog is actually in its infancy; I am hoping to do some creative writing on it, or perhaps bounce research ideas off other musicologists. I'm excited to network, too. I'm Samantha, a Graduate Fellow and Ph.D. student in Musicology at Rutgers University, New Brunswick. I have a Master of Studies in Musicology from Merton College, the University of Oxford, England, where I studied with Jonathan Cross, Julian Johnson, Suzannah Clark, and even a bit with Reinhard Strohm, on a more personal level as advisor or supervisor. I had seminars with Emanuele Senici, Suzie Clark, Julian Johnson, Strohm, Bojan Bujic, and Susan Wollenberg. It was a fun ride. I wrote a dissertation entitled "Messiaen, Modernism, and an Idea of the Sacred." My current research interests are in the relationship between music and politics in the English Reformation (I've done work on Tudor composers from the Eton Choirbook to William Byrd and beyond), John Marbeck, Monteverdi's madrigal settings of Petrarch, Jane Austen and the Self vs. the Individual (not a musicological paper, but still vv. interesting), attribution problems for female troubadours, and 19th-20th c. French Aesthetics of Music.
          On the dreaded question: I loved bay_bus_rider's description. For me, reactions normally consist of black stares followed by questions like, "What does that mean?" and "What instrument do you play?" I usually tell them and then they change the subject. I hate that I have to make it so simplistic, but I guess philosophers and literary theorists have the same problem...
noelle picard, picard thinks
Jul. 18th, 2005 @ 03:26 pm The dreaded question
Current Mood: sillysilly
Current Music: I-580, pre-rush hour
Today, as I visited a pretentious cookware store to spend money that I don't have, I was once again asked the dreaded question. This time the response was funnier than usual:
Since I was already behaving out of character (see above), it seemed like a good idea to give my e-mail address to the friendly clerk. The address I gave him is clearly from my university, so naturally he asked me what I study. Now, usually at this point, I have to decide a) how familiar the person I'm speaking with is likely to be with esoteric academic disciplines and b) how much I care if they understand what I do. My answer was the honest one, based primarily on letter b. "Musicology," I said.
"Really? That's great! Can I ask you what I should do about the shooting pain in my back?"
Clearly he'd misunderstood, but it was more amusing not to correct him. "Listen to more Beethoven?" I offered.
The bright customer service smiled dimmed, but only slightly. "Oh, so you're saying I need to relax more?"
"Sure, that might work."
Maybe he just assumed that I wasn't very far in the program.

(X-posted to my own journal)
midnight robber
May. 15th, 2005 @ 02:48 pm Fun with modern music
Friday night I attended a concert in San Francisco. The program was rather odd, and maybe it might make more sense if I thought about it critically, but maybe I could think at all if I weren't so fried from the end of the semester...
Bernstein, Symphony No. 2, "The Age of Anxiety"
Grisey, Modulations
Haydn, Symphony No. 104, "London"

Needless to say, much of the aging audience was inclined to appreciate the first and third pieces more than the second. Apparently, conductor David Robertson wanted to bridge the gap between old folks and new music, but I'm not sure what I think of his method. Before the Grisey, he turned to address the audience. He said a few engaging yet factually suspect things about spectral music (disingenuously, I believe, since he seems to be partial to 20th-21st century music), then closed with this zinger: "Have you ever noticed how when you put a piece of Brahms chamber music on the stereo, the dog decides that's a good time to go into the garden? Well, when you hear this piece, you'll understand how Brahms sounds to your dog." (Which seems to imply, of course, that we should all wander outside and piss on the plants. Thankfully, no one did.)

This got me to thinking about the number of times that I've seen contemporary (or should I say "modern," since some of it is from the early 20th c?) music given this kind of weird disclaimer/explanation. For audiences unfamiliar with newer works, what does this do? Does it give them more of a chance to gird themselves against the expected onslaught of shrieking dissonances? Does it marginalize the works, setting them aside like the boxed bios of female composers in music history texts? Or are such introductions more useful? If so, how? I realize that I'm generalizing a great deal here, but I would love to hear other people's views and experiences with these same kinds of talks.

Sorry that I have been so silent thus far in the community I co-created. This was partly by design; I wanted to wait until membership got a little higher so we could have better discussions. (Hopefully that will work!) I've also been crazy with the semester, as always. Now I am procrastinating enough to have time to post!
Josephine Baker (feathers)