Philadelphia Program Selection

Report by Tamara Levitz, 2009 Program Committee Chair

(Parts of this report first appeared in the August 2009 AMS Newsletter.)

The program committee, the Board of Directors, and I all felt dissatisfied with the categorization process used by program committees for logistical purposes in the past. For this reason, I decided to approach the question differently this year. Submitters were not requested to make any categorization at all. The committee then prepared for the selection meeting by entering keywords for abstracts as they read them. In order to create these statistics, I went through the submissions after the selection process had been completed and organized them according to keywords entered by the committee, as well as according to what emerged from the abstracts themselves. I soon realized, however, that the game of categorization is a tricky one, because it depends both on the subjective capacities of the person categorizing, and on the overall aim and framework of the task.

It became immediately evident to me that most people had conceptualized their abstracts according to chronology (dates rather than stylistic periods), or in terms of an author (usually a composer), or a musical work. As I noted in the AMS Newsletter, geography also emerged as a very prominent means of organization. (There, I chose to use national designations even for the periods before these countries were modern nations, because the abstracts clearly divided geographically in this way, based on modern research.) Certain themes also recurred such as politics, popular music, and technology. But these became too diffuse to categorize effectively without spending considerable time analyzing each abstract thoroughly. I spent quite a bit of time tabulating methodologies, but stopped when I realized that almost all the abstracts were based on historical and archival research or hermeneutics. They gave very little evidence of critical theory or philosophy as central aspects of our discipline. Only a miniscule minority of abstracts mentioned critical theory at all. Also, only a tiny minority of abstracts referred to musical analysis as a basis of research. I was likewise surprised to see how few abstracts there were on Jazz and Popular music. And I noted that Film Music seems to have found a special niche.

Table 1 (also published in the August 2009 AMS Newsletter) reports the submission / acceptance rate according to chronology, nationality or geography, and the most salient topics only. Where submissions cross boundaries or fall into two or more groupings, they are counted twice; thus the totals add up to more than the 590 proposals actually submitted.

In Table 2, I list all the composers and prominent figures who figured in the abstracts submitted this fall. I list only those people who were presented as the main subject of study of the abstract, and not those who were mentioned only in passing.  I include the very occasional genre (if it was the central subject of study), as well as philosophers, writers, and musicologists. If a person was a subject of study more than once, I noted that number after their name (Monteverdi 4x, for example).

This exercise left me with several strong impressions about this year's submissions. First, it appears that people who submitted abstracts felt relatively relaxed about what might constitute a "canon" in musicology. One of the most striking aspects of composer list is its impression of diversity within a certain frame. Few composers are studied more than a few times, with the exceptions of Haydn, Mendelssohn, and Wagner (and that, I think, may be nothing more than a coincidence, related in two cases to anniversary years). Clearly, if this chart is any indication, authors who submitted abstracts for the 2009 national meeting of the AMS were not too worried about maintaining a canon of "great masters." In contrast, I noticed a strong interest in music by individuals who work in local contexts. This diversification might reflect how recorded music is currently disseminated on the internet. It seemed to me that it is based very much based on the principle of valuing unique, individual listening tastes over hegemonic canonical norms.

On closer inspection, however, I began to notice the list's "limits." In spite of a flexible attitude towards the canon, authors expressed a deep, I would say profound, investment in the musical work as the basis of scholarly research. There was little attempt to move beyond the work into the realms of performance, production, society, or music-making. The works scholars chose to study also constituted an eclectic list, and reflected a strong emphasis on individual scholars' research proclivities and personal taste.

I also noticed a distinct patriarchal frame to the composer list: there are very few women on it. When women were forefronted in the abstracts, they were often cordoned off in their own category of research, or considered primarily as singers and pianists. I used the rubric "Women in Music" to describe this category in the newsletter, because the authors within it discussed just that, women who make or compose music, rather than feminist theory of any kind. Similarily, there were only a tiny handful of abstracts submitted on issues of gender and sexuality, or LGBTQ history. The list was also very circumscribed in terms of race and class.

I was particularly struck by the difference between the relatively relaxed canon in evidence on the list of composers, and its carefully circumscribed and limited geographical frame. It appeared to me that if this list is any indication, members of the AMS who submitted abstracts for the 2009 meeting are much more invested in geography (Europe and the USA) than in the Western canon of classical music. In other words, "Western" has survived as the foundation of our discipline longer than "classical music" or the canon has. Germany, the United States, and (in the twentieth century) France dominated the statistics in a manner that completely took me aback.

Any exercise of this kind is necessarily subjective. I undertook it because I thought such data might be of interest to members of the AMS. Given the difficulty of the task, however, there is always the danger of human error. I may have made mistakes or omitted names by accident. But even so, I hope that the statistics give some overall impression of approximately what kind of scholarship was submitted for review to this year's program committee. Hopefully, this is interesting to see!

Thanks for the honor of reading these abstracts!

Table 1: Chronology

Era (submitted / accepted)

Broad chronology (3 / 1)

Thirteenth century and earlier (18 / 11)

Fourteenth century (5 / 0)
France 5

Fifteenth century (19 / 11)

General 3
France 4
Germany 2
Italy 9
Spain 1

Sixteenth century (23 / 8)

General 1
England 3
France & Flanders 3
Germany 2
Italy 10
Japan 1
Spain 3

Seventeenth century (38 / 9)

General 1
Austria 2
England 8
France 9
Germany 3
Italy 13
Spain 2

Eighteenth century (59 / 13)

General 1
Austria 20
Brazil 1
England 9
Europe 1
France 9
Germany 12
Italy 2
Spain 2

Nineteenth century (103 / 20)

Algeria-France 1
Austria 16
England 7
Europe 2
France 10
Germany 45
Italy 7
Madagascar 1
Palestine 1
Poland 1
Russia 2
USA 10

Twentieth century (296 / 70)

General 11
Asia-USA 1
Austria 13
Brazil 5
England 15
Canada 7
China 1
Czech Republic 3
Denmark 2
Europe 4
Europe-USA 3
France 31
Germany 30
Hungary 1
Israel 1
Italy 6
Japan 3
Korea 1
Mexico 1
Netherlands 2
Norway 1
Poland 2
Russia 5
Soviet Union 14
Spain 2
Sweden 1
USA 128

Twenty-first century (14 / 1)

General 8
Germany 2
USA-Europe 1

Important areas of research

Film 33
Jazz 13
Popular music 35
Women in music 16

Table 2: Names

Achron, Joseph
Adorno, Theodor W. 2x
Aggro Berlin [Record Company Hip Hop]
Alexandrov, Grigory
Algarotti, Francesco
Anderson, Hans Christian
Andersson, Earnest
Andriessen, Louis
Aquinas, Thomas
Armstrong, Louis 2x
Art Ensemble of Chicago
Aureli, Aurelio

Bach, Johann Sebastian 4x
Bakhtin, Mikhail 2x
Balanchine, George
Ballets Russes
Barrès, Maurice
Bartók, Béla
Basiron, Philippe
Batteux, Charles
Bayona, Juan Antonio
Beach, Amy
Beaumarchais, Pierre
Bechet, Sidney
Beckett, Samuel
Beethoven 10x
Beissel, Conrad
Bekker, Paul
Bellini, Vincenzo 2x
Benjamin, Walter
Berberian, Cathy
Berg, Alban 3x
Berger, Karol
Bergman, Ingman
Berio, Luciano 3x
Berkeley, Busby
Berlioz, Hector
Bernstein, Leonard 3x
Bezón, Matheo
Bingen, Hildegard von
Bizet, Georges
Bloch, Ernst
Bracegirdle, Anne
Braham, John J.
Brahms, Johannes 3x
Brecht, Bertolt
Bridge, Frank
Brooks, John Benson
Browne, David
Bruckner, Anton
Brunelleschi, Filippo
Bryne, Albertus
Buchwald, Anna von
Burroughs, William S. 2x
Bush, Alan
Busoni, Ferruccio 2x
Buxtehude, Dietrich

Caffarelli, Gaetano Majorano
Cage, John 7x
Caillois, Roger
Carissimi, Giacomo
Carmichael, Hoagy
Carné, Marcel
Caron, Fremin le
Carter, Elliot
Cash, Johnny
Cavalli, Francesco
Chabrol, Claude
Champollion, Jean-François
Chanson lascive
Charpentier, Marc-Antoine 2x
Cherubini, Luigi
Chopin, Frédéric 2x
Composers Collective:
Adomian, Lan
Blitzstein, Marc
Cazden, Norman
Leland Clarke, Henry
Seeger, Charles
Siegmeister, Elie
Robinson, Earl
Confrey, Zez
Conover, Willis
Copland, Aaron 3x
Coppola, Francis Ford
Corigliano, John
Corteccia, Francesco
Cowell, Henry 2x
Cukor, George
Cunningham, Merce
Cuomo, Rivers
Czernowin, Chaya

Dahlhaus, Carl
Dalman, Gustav
Daniélou, Alain
De Falla, Manuel
De Rore, Cipriano
Debussy, Claude 7x
Delibes, Léo
Derbyshire, Delia
Devi, Ratan
Diderot, Denis
Dietrich, Marlene
Doni, Antonfrancesco
Dr. Dre
Drunken Tiger
Dufay, Guillaume 2x
Dujardin, Édouard
Dunaevsky, Isaak
Dvorák, Antonín

Eastman, George
Eastman, Julius
Eccles, John
Eddy, Nelson
Eggebrecht, Hans Heinrich
Egoyan, Adam
Eisenstein, Sergei
Eliade, Mircea
Elias, Nobert
Ellington, Duke 3x
Elmbren, Michael-Dragset, Ingar
Elmendorf, Dwight
Ernesaks, Gustav
Estonian National Men’s Chorus

Famery, Christiane Poinsch
Farina, Carlo
Farinelli (Carlo Broschi)
Feldman, Morton
Fend, Michael
Finizio, Darren
Fischinger, Oskar
Fleisher, Edwin Adler
Fleming, Victor
Flonzaley Quartet
Form, Nicolas
Franchetti, Alberto
Frank, Arnold
Frank, César
Freeman, Betty
Freud, Sigmund
Fuller, Loïe

Gabrieli, Andrea
Galli-Curci, Amelita
García, Manuel Patricio Rodríguez
Gascongne, Mathieu
Gay, John
Gaye, Marvin
Gehry, Frank
Gell, Alfred
Germania Musical Society
Gershwin, George 3x
Gervais, Charles Hubert
Gittoes, George
Glinka, Mikhail
Gluck, Christoph Willibald 4x
Golijov, Osvaldo
Gomes, Carlos
Gonzaga, Guglielmo, Duke of Mantua
Gordon, Michael
Gottschalk of Orbais
Gould, Glenn
Greenaway, Peter
Greenfield, Elizabeth Taylor (singer)
Gubaidulina, Sofia

Hahn, Reynaldo
Handel, George Frideric 8x
Hanslick, Eduard 2x
Harrer, Gottlob
Harris, Roy
Hartmann, Arthur
Haydn, Joseph 17x
Heifetz, Jascha
Heinrich, Anthony Philip
Hell, Johann Heinrich
Hendrix, Jimi 2x
Henze, Hans Werner
Herheim, Stefan
Hermann, Bernard
Hertz, Alfred
Higginson, Henry Lee
Hiller, Lejaren
Hindemith, Paul 2x
Hoare, Julia Lucy
Hoffmann, ETA
Holiday, Billy
Holst, Gustav
Honegger, Arthur
Horace 2x
Hubbard and Dowd Company
Hugo, Victor
Huiyong, Yu
Hustler Symphony Orchestra
Huston, John

Ikeda, Ryoji
Inglese, Anna
Isaac, Heinrich
Ishiguro, Kazuo
Ives, Charles 2x

Jackson, Peter
Jacquot, Benoit
Janácek, Leos 2x
Jankélévitch, Vladimir
Jay-Z 2x
Joachim, Joseph 2x
Josquin des Prez

Kafka, Franz
Kagel, Mauricio
Kar-wai, Wong
Kircher, Athanasius 3x
Kirchner, Leon
Koch, Heinrich Christoph
Kokoschka, Oskar
Kopiski, Jozef
Kosma, Joseph
Krenek, Ernst
Kurtág, György

Lachenmann, Helmut
Lalande, Michel-Richard de
Laloy, Louis
Lambert, Constant
Lavista, Mario
Leclerc, Félix
Lee, Ang
Leibowitz, René
Lerner, Jay
Les Paul
Ligeti, György 3x
Liszt, Franz 4x
Loeffler, Charles Martin
Loewe, Frederick
Logier, Johann Bernhard
Lombardo, Guy
Luhrmann, Baz
Lully, Jean-Baptiste 4x

MacDonald, Jeanette
MacDowell, Edward
Machaut, Guillaume de 2x
Madin, Henry
Madonna del parto
Mahler, Gustav 9x
Mahler, Alma
Mamas and the Papas
Mamoulian, Ruben
Mandyczewski, Eusebius
Marini, Biagio 2x
Martini, Johannes
Mayo, Archie
Mayrhofer, Manfred
Mendelssohn, Felix 11x
Mendelssohn, Fanny
Mercadante, Saverio
Mercury, Freddy
Merleau-Ponty, Maurice
Messiaen, Olivier 2x
Metropolitan Police Minstrals
Mildenburg, Anna von
Miller, Mitch
Mompou, Frederic
Monteverdi, Claudio 4x
Moorman, Charlotte
Moross, Jerome
Morris, Mark
Morrison, Bill
Moscheles, Ignaz
Motyl, Vladimir
Mozart 6x
Muffat, Gottlieb
Mumma, Gordon
Murphy, Dudley
Muris, Johannes de

Nabakov, Nicolas
Navarro, Miguel
Newton, Isaac
Nicholson, Charles (flautist)
Nielson, Carl 2x
Nietzsche, Friedrich
Nijinska, Bronislava

Obama, Barack
Ockeghem, Johannes
Old Hispanic Chant
Oliveros, Pauline
Ono, Yoko

Padberg, Harriet
Padilla, Juan Gutiérrez de
Pagin, André-Noël
Palavicino, Horatio
Palestrina, Giovanni Pierluigi da
Papa Charlie Jackson
Pärt, Arvo
Partch, Harry
Parton, Dolly
Pasqualini, Marc Antonio
Penderecki, Krzysztof
Pepoli, Carlo
Pfitzner, Hans
Pierné, Gabriel
Piperno, Franco
Playford, John
Plessner, Helmuth
Policreti, Giuseppe
Popper, Karl
Portmann, Johann Gottlieb
Poulenc, Francis
Prévost, André
Price, Leontyne
Prokofiev, Sergei 2x
Prosperi, Carlo
Proust, Marcel 2x
Puccini, Giacomo 3x
Purcell, Henry 3x

Queen’s Hall Orchestra of London
Quesnot de la Chênée, Jean-Jacques

Rachmaninoff, Sergei
Radano, Ronald
Raff, Joachim
Rameau, Jean-Philippe 4x
Ravel, Maurice 4x
Relâche Ensemble
Respighi, Ottorino
Reynolds, Roger
Rhau, Georg
Ricordi, Giulio
Rihm, Wolfgang 3x
Rimsky-Korsakov, Nikolai 2x
Rodrigo, Joaquín
Roller, Alfred
Rolling Stones
Romburg, Sigmund
Rosetti, Antonio
Rossini, Giachino 4x
Rousseau, Jean-Jacques
Rozsa, Miklos
Russell, George

Saal, Therese (singer)
Saariaho, Kaija
Sacher-Masoch, Leopold
Saint-Saëns, Camille
Salieri, Antonio
Salvador Daniel, Francisco
Sances, Giovanni Felice
Sanderson, James
Sartorio, Antonio
Sartre, Jean-Paul
Satie, Eric
Scarlatti, Domenico
Schaeffer, Pierre
Schafer, R. Murray
Schalk, Franz
Schat, Peter
Schleiermacher, Friedrich
Schneemann, Carolee
Schneider, Ludwig
Schnittke, Alfred 3x
Schoenberg, Arnold 4x
Schubert, Franz 2x
Schulhoff, Erwin
Schuman, William
Schumann, Robert 8x
Schumann, Clara 2x
Schünemann, Georg
Schuppanzigh, Ignaz
Schütz, Heinrich
Scriabin, Alexander
Segovia, Andrés
Seter, Mordecai
Séverac, Déodat de
Shostakovich, Dmitri 4x
Sibelius, Jean
Small, Christopher
Smith, Bessie
Smyth, Ethel
Soler, Antonio 2x
Sondheim, Stephen
Spohr, Ludwig
Spontini, Gaspare
St. Laurent, Yves
Stampiglia, Silvio
Stefani, Gwen
Steiner, Max
Steynsel, Guillaume
Stone, Oliver
Stradal, August
Strauss, Richard 5x
Stravinsky, Igor 10x
Sullivan, Arthur

Takemitsu, Toru
Talma, Louise
Tan Dun
Taruskin, Richard
Taymor, Julie
Tenney, James
Thomson, Virgil
Tobler, Titus
Tudor, David
Turner, J.M.W.
Tykwer, Tom

Ugolino of Orvieto 2x
Umlauf, Ignaz

Vallas, Léon
Van Dyke, W. S.
Varèse, Edgard 2x
Vargas, Getúlio
Vaughan Williams, Ralph
Vecchi, Orazio
Vélazquez, Fernando
Velluti, Giovanni
Vérard, Antoine
Verdi, Giuseppe 3x
Villa-Lobos, Heitor 4x
Villon, François
Vitry, Philippe de 2x
Volkonsky, Andre

Wagner, Richard 13x
Wainright, Rufus
Walsh, Raoul
Weber, Max
Webern, Anton
Weill, Kurt 3x
Whitehead, Alfred North
Wilder, Thornton
Willeart, Adrian
Wolpe, Stefan 2x
Woodforde-Finden, Amy

Young, La Monte

Zelter, Carl Friedrich


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