American Musicological Society

Capital Chapter

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Spring 2005 Program

Program

9:30 a.m. - Coffee and tea

Morning session (Lowens papers)
10 a.m. - Karen Cook, Peabody Conservatory: "Mysterious Morales: Why is He Virtually Unknown?"

10:30 a.m. - Allison Robbins, University of Virginia: "Henry Ford and the Mass Production of Old Time Music and Dance."

11 a.m. - Bryan Wright, William and Mary: "Makin' Glory: 'Cile Turner's Contribution to the Preservation and Development of African-American Traditional Music."

11:45 - 1 p.m. - Lunch

1 p.m. - Performance followed by Business Meeting

Afternoon Session:

2 p.m. - Stuart Cheney, "Transcriptions for Solo Viol of the Music of Jean-Baptiste Lully"

2:30 p.m. - Katherine Preston, "Confronting the Stereotypes, Confounding Cultural Hierarchy: An Unexplored Web of American Musical Life, 1876-1880"

3 p.m. - Samuel Schmitt, "The Paston Manuscripts as a Window on the English Recusant Community"


Abstracts

Karen Cook, Peabody Conservatory: "Mysterious Morales: Why is He
Virtually Unknown?"

Early 16th-century Spain was a tumultuous era, one that coincided with the life of composer Cristobal de Morales. Born close to 1500, little is known of his early years except that he declared himself a native of Seville. Morales was a prolific composer of sacred music; among his most well-known compositions are two books of Masses, 88 motets, and 8 Magnificats. He was revered during his lifetime as a master composer, and as late as the mid-18th century he was still understood as one of the most influential composers in music history. Only he was placed alongside of the famed Josquin des Prez in compilations and treatises. Several important questions are raised by these statements. Why was Morales, unlike other Spanish composers, considered to be so important? Why is he so closely linked with Josquin? And why is it Morales, and not other Spanish composers like Victoria, who fades from history? The answers to these questions lie in his use of the widely practiced compositional technique of borrowing. Two of Morales' compositions will be specifically discussed: his Missa 'Mille regretz' and his setting of the antiphon 'Salve Regina.' This paper will argue three things: that Morales borrowed from Josquin; that he did so not out of purely musical interest but also had political and religious motives; and that his use of imitation as it relates to non-Spanish composers such as Josquin may be the reason why Morales remains a figure in the shadows.

Allison Robbins, University of Virginia: "Henry Ford and the Mass Production of Old Time Music and Dance."
This paper explores issues of standardization and the construction of Anglo-American identity in the early 20th century by examining Henry Ford's revival of "old time" music and dance. In 1926, Ford published a manual outlining nineteenth century social dances, distributed recordings of his personal dance band, and sponsored "old time" fiddling contests across the United States. He publicly stated that he was reintroducing the music and dance of his youth to teach America's public good manners; however, Richard Peterson (1996) places the revival within "a well established movement to preserve and propagate pure Anglo-Saxon musical forms," a movement that was guided by "ideological choices" rather than accurate representations of the past. Peterson points to several ideologies guiding the revival - namely Ford's xenophobia and industrial philosophy - but leaves their implications largely unexplored. I examine how Ford's antisemitism and mass production philosophy shaped the revival. Ford attempted to standardize nineteenth century entertainment by specifying the movements of vague dance calls and providing "standardized" piano arrangements of fiddle tunes to accompany the dances. While providing explicit directions for proper social dancing, Ford also criticizes the music and dance of modern dance halls. These comments parallel articles in Ford's paper the Dearborn Independent, which explictly label Tin Pan Alley music as "Jewish Jazz" and accuse Irving Berlin and other Jewish composers of manufacturing vulgar songs to corrupt Anglo-American culture. Paradoxically, Ford accuses the "Jewish songtrust" of employing the mass production concepts that he himself relied on to construct his old time revival.

Bryan Wright, William and Mary: "Makin' Glory: 'Cile Turner's Contribution to the Preservation and Development of African-American Traditional Music."
Lucille ('Cile) Turner, a young singer from southern Virginia, became fascinated with African-American music while attending the New England Conservatory of Music in the mid-1910s There she attracted attention by singing of African-American songs she had learned as a child from workers on her parents' farm. By the 1920s, she was touring the Eastern United States giving programs of "Songs From The South," later hosting a popular weekly fifteen-minute radio program on NBC's coast-to-coast network. What began as a hobby for Turner evolved into a full-time profession for the next forty years as she traveled through the South collecting African-American songs and stories to present on radio, records, live performances, and later on her own syndicated television show. Turner believed that she could contribute to the public good by documenting what she saw as a vanishing tradition. This study examines her role as a collector and performer of African-American folk music and as a participant in the culture of nostalgia-seeking to escape to the "good old days." Also interesting is her position as a white "Virginia lady" championing the music of African-Americans in the still-segregated South, juggling life as a traveling performer with the responsibilities of raising a family. An unlikely interpreter of African-American music, Turner attracted racially-mixed audiences in the early twentieth century that applauded her as one of the music's most convincing and authoritative performers. Turner adds a new twist to the fascination with African-American art and music in the Harlem Renaissance.

Stuart Cheney, "Transcriptions for Solo Viol of the Music of Jean-Baptiste Lully"
A testament to the wide popularity of Jean-Baptiste Lully's music is the over 400 transcriptions and arrangements of his works for contemporaneous solo instruments such as lute, guitar, harpsichord, or organ. More such arrangements have inevitably surfaced since 1981, the year that Herbert Schneider's catalog of the composer's work (LWV) appeared. Apparently unknown to Lully's cataloguers at that time were at least fifty transcriptions and arrangements for solo unaccompanied viol found in twelve manuscripts. These transcriptions are based primarily on stage works ranging chronologically from the Ballet de l'Impatience (1661) to Armide and Acis et Galatée (1686), including selections from eleven of the tragédies lyriques. They include both vocal works (choruses, airs) and instrumental pieces (dances, overtures, preludes, marches, ritournelles). All the manuscripts seem to date from Lully's lifetime and into the first two decades of the eighteenth century. Thirty-two of the fifty transcriptions are found in six of the Kassel viol tablatures, an enormous source of arrangements for viol of French music originally conceived for harpsichord, lute, and large ensembles; the unfigured bass parts that appear with six of these pieces were almost certainly added by someone associated with the compilation of the manuscripts and seem not to derive from the original bass lines. Besides the Kassel tablatures, three Swedish manuscripts contain fifteen transcrip tions employing five different viol tunings. Unlike sources for the arrangements of Lully's music for harpsichord and lute, none of the sources for the viol transcriptions shows signs of French provenance. The quality of all the settings varies according to the manuscript sources and individual pieces: some are sophisticated and may have been prepared by professional viol players associated with the courts at Kassel, Stockholm, and elsewhere. The paper discusses the genres that were transcribed for viol, compares the transcriptions to the originals, then examines the possible routes of transmission of the pieces in order to shed light on the reception of Lully's works outside France, the art of transcription, and the unaccompanied viola da gamba repertoire in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. The study derives from my preparation of an edition of these pieces.

Katherine Preston, "Confronting the Stereotypes, Confounding Cultural Hierarchy: An Unexplored Web of American Musical Life, 1876-1880."
American cultural life during the second half of the nineteenth century was both incredibly complex and astonishingly interconnected. Musicians, actors, and dancers-independently and in troupes-moved from city to town, from venue to venue, sometimes from genre to genre with an alacrity that would astonish most performers and audiences in our modern era of "niche" marketing. This remarkable and almost completely forgotten level of fluidity among nineteenth-century performers belies our 21st-century assumptions about the modernity of a mobile community; it likewise contradicts the convenient and facile stereotypes we so readily project onto earlier historical periods. In this paper I will focus on one small group of musicians active in New York-and very much elsewhere-during the period 1876 through 1880. These musicians were members of the Boston Ideal Opera Company, a fairly new itinerant troupe that would eventually become one of the most popular and longest-lived English opera companies active in the United States during the last third of the century. The opera troupe itself-with its decidedly heterogeneous audiences and its mixed repertory (of old-fashioned English operas, new-fangled operettas and operas bouffes, and translated new and old continental operas)-stubbornly resists any attempts to position it retroactively within a clear-cut late-century cultural hierarchy. The extra-company activities of the musicians themselves, however, are even more revealing of the fluidity characteristic of a career on the American musical stage during this period; these activities are the focus of this paper.

Samuel Schmitt, "The Paston Manuscripts as a Window on the English Recusant Community"
The music books compiled by the English Catholic gentleman Edward Paston (1550-1630) form one of the most extensive English manuscript collections of the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. The collection is best known as a source of music by William Byrd; less has been said, however, about its repertoire of sacred music by continental composers. An inve stigation of this portion of Paston's collection offers fresh insight into many of the conclusions concerning the English recusant community which scholars have drawn exclusively through a study of Byrd's life and music. The sources and scope of the continental sacred music in the manuscripts reveal on Paston's part a familiarity with this repertoire that is remarkable for an Englishman of the time. Although it does not appear that Paston intended the sacred vocal works in his collection to be used in a liturgical context, he was conscious of their liturgical significance. Moreover, the presence of these works in the manuscripts constitutes an important witness to the continued interest in such music in Renaissance England at a time when most opportunities for its liturgical performance were proscribed. Paston's concern for the continuing vitality of the tradition of Latin-texted sacred music in England was matched only by William Byrd. Paston and Byrd's shared interest in this tradition is best understood within the context of the recusant community's relationship to the Jesuit order in England, which in turn links them to the larger European Counter-Reformation.


 

 

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