Jason Stell, Princeton University, The Flat-7th Scale Degree
and the Rhetoric of Beginning
Individual scale degrees are rarely singled out for attention, particularly
when one is trying to address broad historical issues and style changes
in music. The primary danger, it would seem, is that an overly narrow
perspective will cause us to lose the forest for the sake of the trees.
The flat-7th or subtonic scale degree has previously been studied for
jazz, blues, and rock styles, but no one has yet come to terms with
its pivotal role in the musical language of 18th and 19th-century Europe.
(Indeed, the current picture situates the flat-7th as a marker of stylistic
‘otherness' in relation to the classical tradition of Mozart and
A study of the subtonic degree illuminates numerous concepts which
are central to an understanding of tonal music, ranging from a historical
dialectic between flat-7th and natural 7th (the leading tone), the major-minor
seventh chord, flatward key change and its effect, and the crucial relationship
between non-diatonic pitches and form. In this paper I focus on beginning
gestures that include flat-7, drawing on instrumental works from J.S.
Bach to Chopin. I will introduce expressive categories that help to
synthesize the flat-7th's impact on how a work gets started, and how
a momentary inflection toward IV may affect the conventional tonic/dominant
Beth Bullard, George Mason University, The Gralla–Barcelona's
Shawm With Nationalistic Overtones
Medieval-style shawms survive as folk instruments in many parts of Europe.
The gralla, a shawm of Spanish Catalonia (with Barcelona as its urban
center), has seen a resurgence during the last third of the twentieth
century. Today, gralla bands, many of them comprised of school children,
once again bolster regional pride and ethnic identity, especially at
the festivals that reemerged in Catalonia after decades of repression
by the government of Generalissimo Franco. In Barcelona, gralla music
is essential to outdoor celebratory activities: for processions and
parades, for dances, and for the competitive community "sport"
of building human "castles." Like the historical instrument
itself, some of the music at these festivities harkens back stylistically
to the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, while music that features
modernized, keyed grallas is kin to European band music of the nineteenth
and early twentieth centuries. Both kinds of instruments and the genres
of music played by them foster dreams of retrieving an idealized past
Christina Taylor Gibson, University of Maryland, College Park, Ponce's
Music in New York, 1925-1932
A typical review of Manuel M. Ponce's March 27, 1916 solo piano recital
held in New York's Aeolian Hall called his music "pointless and
inconsequential" (Musical America , April 1, 1916). The review
referred to a program of post-Romantic works, several based on Mexican
folksongs. Similar concerts in Havana and Mexico City had established
Ponce's career in those metropolises. Did New York critics react differently
because anti-Mexican sentiment created an unreceptive New York public.
The remarkable contrast found in reviews of Ponce's music from the
late 1920s, suggests that the political environment might have influenced
the reception of Ponce's solo concert. While the 1916 recital occurred
at the height of U.S. dissatisfaction with the Mexican Revolution, by
1925, New York was undergoing what scholars have called the "Mexico
Vogue." Others have established the remarkable influence of the
Vogue on the U.S. reception of Mexican visual art and folk culture,
yet the affect of the Vogue on musical life in the U.S. remains little
Through Clarita Sanchez and Andrés Segovia, two recitalists performing
Ponce's music in the late 1920s and early 1930s, we may begin to trace
the influence of the Vogue in the New York music community. While Sanchez
capitalized on the Vogue through performances of Ponce's folk songs,
Segovia performed Ponce's music without reference to nationality. Using
their performances as case studies, this paper examines the affect of
the Mexico Vogue on Ponce's New York reception from 1925 to 1932.
Elizabeth Yackley, University of Maryland, College Park, Mrs. MacDowell
and Financing the MacDowell Colony: ‘Concertizing' for a Purpose
The MacDowell Colony, an artists' community established in Peterboro,
New Hampshire, has hosted well over 5,500 composers, architects, painters,
sculptors, writers, poets, and film makers from its founding in 1907
to the present day. Although the Colony receives a significant amount
of publicity on these artists and the creative work they accomplish
while residents, the invaluable work its founder, Marian Nevins MacDowell
did to support and sustain the Colony is greatly overlooked. Without
her persistence in raising funds for all aspects of the MacDowell Colony,
from its expansion and buildings, to fellowships and operating costs,
the Colony would not be successful and thriving like it is in 2005.
The members of MacDowell Clubs her husband, Edward MacDowell started,
provided the main financial support for the Colony.
Mrs. MacDowell toured around the United States, "concertizing"
(a term she coined) at these clubs, playing her husband's piano music
and informing audiences about the Colony, the philosophy behind it,
and the support it needed to continue to prosper. Mrs. MacDowell spread
the word to many, and in turn, raised more money than any one donor
gave to the Colony in a lifetime. During her forty years of "concertizing,"
she visited clubs of all sizes in cities like Boston, Oklahoma City,
Janesville, Wisconsin, and New York. In her memoirs, Mrs. MacDowell
wrote every cabin or house on the Colony property could not have been
built or bought without the money she made "concertizing."
This aspect of the MacDowell Colony history is extremely important and
even more significant due to the fact that a woman accomplished these
feats in the early 20th century, a time when women seldom left their
private, domestic sphere.
Using primary sources in the Edward and Marion MacDowell Collection
at the Library of Congress (annual reports of the Edward MacDowell Memorial
Association, records and papers of the MacDowell Clubs, and Marian MacDowell's
correspondence and memoirs), I plan to document Marian Nevins MacDowell's
relationships with the MacDowell Clubs and other music clubs. This study
will add to our knowledge of women patrons in the first half of the
twentieth century. I will illuminate the crucial role Marion Nevins
Macdowell played in establishing and strengthening an enduring American
Loren Ludwig, University of Virginia, Did Simeon Play the Viol?:
Robert White, Music for Voices and Viols, and a New Look at the Music
of the Chester Mystery Plays
Evidence is slim concerning the music that played an integral role in
the Chester mystery plays, spectacular pageants presented annually by
Chester's trade guilds until 1575. Though the texts of the plays have
kept literary scholars busy for generations, music's role in the productions
must be inferred from a handful of stage directions, a few marginal
notes in surviving manuscripts, and the guilds' spotty expense accounts.
What repertory was played, and on what combination of voices and instruments,
in the sixteenth-century performances of the cycle? How did music help
shape the reception of this large-scale paraliturgical spectacle? How
did the musical practices associated with the plays relate to contemporary
and later dramatic and musical traditions?
This paper seeks answers to these questions by drawing on a new body
of research on the contemporary development of a tradition of polyphonic
music for voices and viols. This little-known repertory was a central
part of the musical training of choristers in cathedral schools and
was performed in the "choirboy plays" fashionable in and around
London during the 1550s and 60s. An important connection between this
tradition and Chester's paraliturgical drama is composer and singer
Robert White, who served as the Master of the Choristers of Chester
Cathedral during the 1560s and was hired to provide music for the mystery
play performances of 1567 and 1568. Significantly, White is also known
for a surviving handful of polyphonic compositions for voices and viols.
This project combines research on the Chester mystery plays and sixteenth-century
polyphony for voices and viols to suggest some answers about music's
role in the cycle as well as shed some light on the origins of England's
vibrant consort tradition.
Emily Robertson, The George Washington University, Missa Jouyssance
vous donneray: An Unknown 16th-Century Mass
The National Institutes of Health's Library of Medicine houses many
intriguing documents. Among the most unusual in its History of Medicine
Division is the "Bathtub Collection," an assortment of fragments
retrieved by the former curator, Dr. Dorothy Schullian, from bookbindings.
Among its many varied fragments are four music pages extracted from
Giovanni Andrea della Croce's Chururgiae … liber septem (Venice,
1573), three of which contain musical notation with much of their contents
still legible. Based on watermark dating, these pages appear to have
been copied in Bavaria in the 1560s and early 1570s. The music consists
of Latin-texted bicinia, including a Crucifixus, Et resurrexit, and
Agnus Dei II of a Missa Jouyssance vous donneray , ascribed in the margin
to Joannes Sarton.
Sarton left only this one piece, which was printed by Jacques Moderne
in his Liber decem missarum (RISM 15328 and 15401). It is based upon
Claudin de Sermisy's Jouyssance vous donneray, deservedly one of the
most popular chansons of the sixteenth century. Motivic analysis of
Sarton's parody mass reveals that his use of motives from his famous
model does not necessarily follow expectations. For example, he uses
the second phrase of the chanson almost three times as often as the
opening phrase. Chanson motives are quoted, inverted, and expanded,
as one would expect, but there are also examples of retrograde inversion
and chained sequences. These compositional techniques are remarkable
in a piece of music composed c.1530 and contribute significantly to
the value of Sarton's unique parody mass.
Elizabeth Titrington, University of Maryland, College Park,
Jesus Christ Superstar: How Religious Controversy Shaped a Cultural
Jesus Christ Superstar, first a rock opera concept album, then a Broadway
production, then a film, captured the public's attention with its controversial
treatment of a religious topic. "Jesus Christ, who are you?"
the lyrics asked, stating the theme of this work which examined Jesus
and the other characters of the Passion as human beings rather than
as saints, villains, and the Messiah. Jesus Christ Superstar received
almost constant media attention from 1970, when the concept album was
released, to 1973, the year of the film's premier, and it was enormously
popular with the public. While the music and lyrics of the Jesus Christ
Superstar original recording are excellent, they alone cannot explain
the overwhelming popularity of the album and the resulting show and
This paper examines the abundant and varied reactions to Jesus Christ
Superstar by critics, audiences, and religious communities, chronicling
the religious and artistic debate over the work against the background
of America at the turn of the 1970s. The findings demonstrate that the
controversial religious themes of Jesus Christ Superstar and the unorthodox
treatment of those themes helped make it such a significant cultural
phenomenon of its time. Critical examination of the religious and historical
factors affecting the reception of Jesus Christ Superstar has greater
implications for how societal forces influence our assessment of art.