40th Annual Conference, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, 5–9 March 2014

Elizabethtown College
Elizabethtown College

It is my privilege to invite you to the fortieth annual conference of the Society for American Music, hosted by Elizabethtown College in Lancaster, PA, on March 5–9, 2014.

One of the oldest inland cities in North America, Lancaster was settled in 1709 by German immigrants known as “Pennsylvania Dutch” [Deutsch]. The city is named after Lancaster, England, and welcomed a diverse group of settlers in search of the independence and religious freedom promised by William Penn. The city served as the national capital for one day on September 27, 1777, and as capital of Pennsylvania from 1799 to 1812. Lancaster was home to James Buchanan and Thaddeus Stevens during the Civil War era. Today, Lancaster is a thriving city of 60,000 surrounded by the rich farmland of Lancaster County. Attendees will see architectural styles from the Colonial Era to the present and will find a variety of restaurants and galleries along with the country’s oldest continuously operating farmer’s market just steps from the convention center.

The program committee, led by Chris Wilkinson, has selected a rich variety of papers, poster sessions, and lecture-recitals on topics ranging from eighteenth-century sacred music to twenty-first century hip-hop. Dr. Jeff Bach of Elizabethtown College’s Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies will deliver a plenary talk on Thursday afternoon introducing the unique history of southeastern Pennsylvania and its musical traditions. A highlight of the conference will be the Friday afternoon induction of Ellen Taaffe Zwilich as honorary member. The Pulitzer Prize-winning composer will be present to hear performances of her chamber works and a talk by Denise Von Glahn. The Saturday evening banquet will include a toast of Benjamin Franklin’s famous “shrub” in honor of the society’s fortieth conference; Grammy-winning guitarist David Cullen will provide entertainment.

On Thursday evening, attendees will have a rare opportunity to hear authentic performances of music by seven distinct Anabaptist groups, including Old Order Amish and Old Order River Brethren. Buses will depart the Vine Street exit of the Convention Center at 6:00 pm. Photography and recording are strictly prohibited.

Ephrata Cloister
Ephrata Cloister

Friday afternoon excursions will offer close-up views of three important historical facets of the region. Lititz was one of three main settlements of Moravian Brethren in the eighteenth century, and was voted “America’s Coolest Small Town” in 2013. Dr. Jeffrey Gemmell, director of music ministries at the Lititz Moravian Church, will introduce the music of Johannes Herbst, demonstrate the church’s two Tannenberg organs, and lead a tour of eighteenth-century sites. Ephrata Cloister was founded in 1732 by German immigrants seeking separation and religious freedom, and was the source of the earliest book of original printed music in North America. Guests will tour the eighteenth-century complex and hear the music of Conrad Beissel in the hall for which it was written. The third excursion will explore Lancaster’s nineteenth-century history with visits to the law offices and gravesite of Thaddeus Stevens, a guided tour of President James Buchanan’s Wheatland mansion, and a bus tour of Underground Railroad sites.

March weather in the mid-Atlantic region can be changeable; please check the forecast before leaving home. More details about the area and its attractions are on the web site and will be updated throughout the conference. On behalf of the Local Arrangements Committee and the Program Committee we look forward to seeing you in Lancaster for a memorable fortieth conference.

E. Douglas Bomberger
Local Arrangements Chair

National Endowment for the Humanities Awards $150,000 Challenge Grant to Society!

The Development Committee is pleased to announce that the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) has awarded the Society a prestigious Challenge Grant for the SAM/2.0 Campaign. To receive the full amount of the $150,000 challenge award, we must raise $450,000 in non-federal contributions. Members of the Development Committee crafted our application, titled Promoting New Scholarship on Music of the Americas, between March and May 2013. With this Challenge Grant, the NEH has recognized the Society’s long-term contributions to the humanities.

What this Challenge Grant means for members of the Society is that the NEH will match your contribution at a rate of one-to-three. If, for example, you pledge $900 to SAM/2.0, the NEH will match your contribution with an additional $300, making your total donation $1,200! All contributions received between 1 December 2012 and 31 July 2017 will be counted against this challenge. Even though the SAM/2.0 Campaign is set to conclude in March 2016, you can still spread your pledge out over the next thirty-six months.

As academics, composers, independent scholars, librarians, performers, and students, most of us do not consider ourselves wealthy or with substantial disposable income. Yet spreading a manageable monthly contribution over the next thirty-six months can yield a significant donation, as this table demonstrates:

Monthly Donation for 36 months YieldsTotal PledgeNEH MatchesTotal Donation
$10.00$360$120$480
$25.00$900$300$1,200
$50.00$1,800$600$2,400
$75.00$2,700$900$3,600

The focus of SAM/2.0 is support for new research on music of the Americas, which underscores the central place that research has in the life of the Society. Securing adequate funding for such research is a significant challenge, hence the primary focus of this endowment campaign. New endowments for specialized research and short-term research residencies at major archives and libraries form the centerpiece of the SAM/2.0 Campaign.

Although we have raised $659,543 to date towards our $1-million goal, only $279,213 of that amount can be counted towards the NEH Challenge Grant. This is because neither donations received prior to December 2012 nor bequests received at any time are eligible under the conditions of the challenge grant program. On July 31, 2014, we will make our first certification of contributions to the NEH. We are expecting that for the current $279,213 of eligible funds, we will receive a match of $93,071, which will boost SAM/2.0 to over $750,000!

As always, the Development Committee thanks every member and friend of the Society who has made a contribution. With the awarding of our NEH Challenge Grant, SAM/2.0 has entered a new and important phase. This remarkable opportunity will reap dividends for decades to come and will ensure the stability and growth of the Society. The need for every member of the Society to participate in this endowment campaign has never been greater. If we are to achieve our common goal, we all must participate. Help us reach our $1 million goal by going to www.SAM2point0.net and pledging generously to SAM/2.0!

bruce d. mcclung
Chair, Development Committee

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SAM/2.0 Student Challenge Fund

In honor of the Society’s legacy of student support, past and present office holders of SAM’s Board of Directors and other committees are pledging to support a student donation challenge fund. Each donor to the fund promises to add an additional dollar to every student donation made to the SAM/2.0 endowment campaign. So, if a student member of the Society pledges $50 to the fund, each challenge fund donor will add an additional $1. Thus, if 100 donors commit to the fund, the original $50 student donation becomes a $150 donation. Qualifying student contributions can be made at any time and in any amount. The Society for American Music will thus celebrate the vital contribution made to its intellectual, research, and collegial missions made by its student members, while encouraging each and every student member to make a personal investment in the Society’s long-term success.

As a graduate student, I presented one of my first national papers at the 1997 Sonneck Society meeting in Seattle. Today I still recall the warm glow of welcome I felt at my first SAM meeting: leading scholars of the field took time to talk with me, other graduate students that I met that weekend have remained close intellectual and personal friends. I also remember well being introduced to treasurer William Everett, who gave me a check from the Society to help defray my travel expenses. This support meant a lot to me. The immediate professional and personal embrace I received from SAM members—leaders, authors, and thinkers too numerous to mention—became my collective professional compass, helping me to find my bearings and to establish a career in the field. For me, the Society’s support of its graduate students was as critical as it was comprehensive. I know too that my experience was typical...

The SAM/2.0 Student Challenge Fund helps secure a productive future not only for the Society for American Music, but for the legacy of student support that has been so paramount to the organization’s collegial spirit. If all 160+ student members of the Society pledge an average of $25 and 100 former officers pledge $1 for each, we would easily raise over $20,000 toward that future. Even if you’ve already donated, please add your name to the rolls of challenge grant guarantors. If you’re a graduate student, know that your contribution will pay dividends for decades to come. Your contribution makes a difference! To pledge your support, please email claguem@umich.edu. For general information on the campaign see www.SAM2point0.net. Thanks for your support.

Mark Clague (University of Michigan)
Member-at-Large, Society for American Music Board

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From the President

Judy Tsou, President of SAM
Judy Tsou, SAM President

December 2013

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

The Society ends the year with much good news and an exciting program for the upcoming conference (March 5–9, 2014) in Lancaster, PA. I am very pleased to announce that the Society just received word that we have been awarded a $150,000 National Endowment for Humanities Challenge Grant for our SAM/2.0 Endowment Campaign. Kudos to the Development Committee for a job well done! The Challenge Grant requires the Society to raise three times the amount of the grant ($450,000) to receive the $150,000 from NEH. Although the campaign total so far is at $660,000, not all can be counted towards the challenge grant: bequests and money raised before December 2012 cannot be credited towards the $450,000 goal. bruce mcclung, the able chair of our Development Committee, has written an article elsewhere in the Bulletin detailing the grant and the campaign.

This fall, SAM was invited to join the George and Ira Gershwin Critical Edition as a partner. The Edition is based in the University of Michigan’s American Music Institute with SAM Board Member Mark Clague as the Editor-in-Chief. We are very pleased with this partnership, especially because many SAM members will be contributing to this Critical Edition.

Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, 2014 SAM Honorary Member
Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, 2014 SAM Honorary Member

We have an exciting program for the Society’s 40th Anniversary Conference in Lancaster this March, put together by the Program Committee under the leadership of Chris Wilkinson (other members: Dale Cockrell, Tracy Laird, Leta Miller, Sherrie Tucker, and Graham Wood). The committee has planned a diverse series of paper sessions, topical panels, seminars, lecture-recitals, and a plenary session on early Pennsylvania religious groups. There are sessions covering transnationalism, participatory technology, and gender construction, among many other stimulating topics. Many genres of music will be included in these sessions: tunebooks and shape-note music, 19th-century orchestral music, Broadway musicals, Appalachian and Canadian country, Black metal, and many more. The Society is pleased and excited to induct Pulitzer-prize-winning composer Ellen Taaffe Zwilich as the Society’s next Honorary Member on March 8 (Saturday, 12:30–1:30) during the conference. The ceremony will include a short concert of works by Zwilich, a short talk by Denise von Glahn, and Zwilich herself will also give a speech. Please be sure to join us for this exciting one-hour session.

In addition to Ellen Zwilich, another exciting guest at the conference will be the folk music singer and activist Pete Seeger, if his health is good enough for him to travel. If he comes to Lancaster, we will plan an event around him. Stay tuned.

The conference will be hosted by Elizabethtown College, under the able leadership of Douglas Bomberger, the Chair of the Local Arrangements Committee. Doug secured generous donations from Franklin and Marshall College and Lebanon Valley College for a student luncheon. He also persuaded the Reifsnyder’s Piano Company to supply a grand piano for the conference’s use. The Local Arrangements Committee has also arranged many exciting events to ensure the conference attendees experience quintessential Pennsylvania. On Thursday evening, members are invited to a rare visit of the singing by seven Anabaptist groups in the Amish/Mennonite community in Martindale. Because this community does not normally allow visitors, it is a very special event. There is also a plethora of Friday afternoon tours to learn about Pennsylvania and United States history. The first is a visit to the Moravian Church in Lititz, where you will hear the music of Johannes Herbst and attend a demonstration of the Tannenberg organs. The group will also see other 18th-century sites in the area. The second tour will visit the 18th-century Ephrata Cloister; their music is the source of the earliest printed music in America. The guided tour will include music by Conrad Beissel in the hall for which it was written. The third tour will be of the Underground Railroad and the home of two important 19th-century politicians, Thaddeus Stevens and President James Buchanan.

There will be a celebration in Lancaster for the 40th anniversary of the Society’s founding. Many of our founding members will be there. Yes, there will be a shrub toast, cake, and other celebrations. Be sure to attend the banquet!

This year, we shifted our election schedule to November. I am pleased to announce that Charles Hiroshi Garrett will be our next president-elect, and we have re-elected our Secretary, Neil Lerner, for another term. Our new members-at-large are Leta Miller and Sherrie Tucker. The newly elected Board members will begin their terms on Sunday, March 2, immediately after the Lancaster conference. Congratulations! Thanks to all who agreed to run for election.

Judy Tsou

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Student Forum

Notes on Submitting a Proposal to SAM: Talking Conference Abstracts with Dr. Christopher Wilkinson
by Sarah Suhadolnik

Gearing up for a Society for American Music conference is always exciting. As one of the society’s many student members, I always have cheap (if sometimes crowded) travel arrangements to make, and meetings with professors, friends, and colleagues to plan. I also always look forward to the appearance of a finalized conference schedule, even when it is a time to reflect on why that seemingly perfect abstract wasn’t accepted this time around. For those wondering about why their paper did not make the cut, or are looking ahead to refining future SAM abstracts, here are some words of advice from Dr. Christopher Wilkinson, the chair of the 2013-2014 SAM Program Committee.

As Program Committee chair, Dr. Wilkinson coordinated the six-person two-day program planning process for this year’s SAM Meeting in Lancaster. Each year, all SAM proposals (300 total submissions for approximately 140 slots) are stripped of any identification information, read by all six members of the SAM Program Committee, and initially ranked on a scale from 1 to 5. Once all the proposals are read, and a mean score for each proposal is calculated, the committee determines a numerical cutoff point separating proposals to be included from those to be excluded and organizes the accepted papers into sessions for the Conference.

Once this process was complete, Dr. Wilkinson assembled a series of helpful Do’s and Don’ts for SAM Student Members, particularly those who want to turn a seminar paper into a successful conference proposal.

General Recommendations
Although there is no tried and true formula for successful conference abstracts, Dr. Wilkinson recommends that proposals should seek to achieve the following:

Writing out a two-paragraph proposal that addresses tasks one and two in the first paragraph, and task three in the second, is a solid strategy, as it will help you assemble the necessary building blocks for your abstract.

Dr. Wilkinson is confident that seminar papers and dissertation chapters can be turned into great conference papers, but certain adjustments must be made. He wants to remind students that neither attending the seminar nor reading the entire dissertation should be prerequisites for the program committee to understand your conference abstract. Please avoid jargon where possible, and incorporate references only when they will feel relevant to a general audience. The Program Committee won’t have the luxury of closely researching your paper topic to decide upon its value to SAM audiences.

Additionally, for those applying for the first time, Dr. Wilkinson offers the following tips. These additional steps can help you develop your proposal into an attention-grabbing abstract strong enough to win a spot on the program.

The major takeaway here is that SAM wholeheartedly supports the research of its student members, and is therefore a great place to share your work. However, it is important to remember that SAM, as is the case with any other academic organization, represents a specific audience that you want to take some time to understand before drafting an abstract.

Student Forum Announcements

It’s that time of year again! Time to begin thinking about what you can donate to the 2014 Silent Auction. New or used, any items of interest to the SAM membership will be accepted. Books, which tend to increase revenue substantially, are especially welcome. All donations are tax deductible, and all of the auction’s proceeds benefit the Student Travel Endowment. Items should be brought with you to the conference in March. Contact Megan MacDonald (cmm10h@my.fsu.edu) or SAM Executive Director Mariana Whitmer for more information.

The annual meeting in Lancaster is fast approaching! The Student Forum organizes several events, and we are always looking for volunteers to help. A Student Forum Luncheon will take place on Thursday, March 6th. Check the program for the time and location. It will be a great opportunity to connect with other students at the conference!

The Student Forum Business Meeting will be Friday, March 7th to elect a new co-chair and discuss student ideas and issues. Check the program for the time and location. After the meeting, we will all relax at an informal Student Forum dinner. We hope to see you all there!

If you have questions or would like to get involved with any of these happenings, contact co-chairs Megan MacDonald (cmm10h@my.fsu.edu) or Sarah Suhadolnik (sarezesu@umich.edu).

Students who will be presenting a paper at the conference are eligible to compete for the 2014 Mark Tucker Award. For information on where and when to submit applications, please check the society website: www.american-music.org. Submissions are due January 15, 2014.

Help stretch your travel budget and get to know a fellow SAM student member by participating in the Student Forum roommate search. If you would like help finding a roommate for Lancaster, check the Student Forum Facebook page, or contact the Student Forum co-chairs.

We look forward to seeing you in Lancaster in March!

Megan MacDonald and Sarah Suhadolnik, Student Forum Co-Chairs

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Journal of the Society for American Music

Volume 8, Number 1 (January 2014)

Contributors

Articles
“What Happens in the Cabin...”: An Arts-Based Autoethnography of Underground Hip-Hop Song-Making
Anthony Kwame Harrison

Paul’s Boutique and Fear of a Black Planet: Digital Sampling and Musical Style
Amanda Sewell

The Dixie Chicks’ “Lubbock or Leave It”: Negotiating Identity and Place in Country Song
Jada Watson

Articulating and Contesting Cultural Hierarchies: Guatemalan, Mexican, and Native American Music at the Panama-Pacific International Exposition (1915)
Amanda Cannata

Reviews

Books
Virgil Thomson and Gertrude Stein, Four Saints in Three Acts, ed. H. Wiley Hitchcock and Charles Fussell
Steve Swayne

Larry Stempel, Showtime: A History of the Broadway Musical Theater
Paul Laird

Barry Mazor, Meeting Jimmie Rodgers: How America’s Original Roots Music Hero Changed the Pop Sounds of a Century
Jocelyn R. Neal, The Songs of Jimmie Rodgers: A Legacy in Country Music
Kevin E. Mooney

Keith Negus, Bob Dylan; The Cambridge Companion to Bob Dylan, Kevin J. H. Dettmar, ed.
Matthew Thomas

Recordings
George Perle, String Quartets 2, 5, & 8, and Molto Adagio
Dave Headlam

Gaudete Brass, Chicago Moves
Kevin Sanders

Multimedia
Million Song Dataset
Christopher Doll

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JSAM and SAM Bulletin Reviewers Needed

The Journal of the Society for American Music and the SAM Bulletin are always seeking reviewers for books, recordings, and multimedia publications. If you are interested in serving as a reviewer for either publication, please send your name, email address, and areas of expertise to Katherine Preston, Chair of the SAM Publications Committee, at kkpres@wm.edu.

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New Members

The Society is pleased to welcome these new members:

Brandon Robinson, Nashville, TN
Sarah Tomlinson, Skaneateles, NY
Kari Medina, Seattle, WA
Mike Esfahani, Irvine, CA
Richard Miller, New York, NY
Marcella Calabi, New York, NY
William Lee, Hixson, TN
James MacDonald, Chicago, IL
Laurel Zucker, Gig Harbor, WA
Iain Quinn, Tallahassee, FL
Alexander Stein, Hoboken, NJ
Garrett L. Johnson, Tempe, AZ
Philip Siblo-Landsman, Buffalo, NY
Sean Nye, Los Angeles, CA
Jamie Blake, Provo, UT
Edward Landin, Philadelphia, PA
Nicholas Stevens, Cleveland, OH
Joanna Bosse, East Lansing, MI
Brian Tuttle, Waterville, NY
Erin Sheedy, Ottawa, ON CANADA
Lee Martin, Toledo, OH
Daniel Kerlee, Seattle, WA
Jeffrey Gemmell, Landisville, PA
Nicholas Rinner, Placentia, CA
Anoosua Mukherjee, New York, NY
William McNally, Rego Park, NY
Jacob Somers, Hobart, IN
Riccardo La Spina, Castro Valley, CA
Eric Davis, Los Angeles, CA
Randy Drake, La Crescenta, CA
Derek Katz, Goleta, CA
Allison Martin, Bowie, MD
Nathan Miller, Lexington, KY
Emilio Audissino, Southampton, UNITED KINGDOM
Jada Watson, Ottawa, ON CANADA
Christopher Johnson-Roberson, Providence, RI

Affiliate Members:
Pendragon Press, Hillsdale, NY
American Century Music, Boston, MA

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Reviews

Soul Music: Tracking the Spiritual Roots of Pop from Plato to Motown, Joel Rudinow, University of Michigan Press, 2010. 264pp. ISBN-978-0-47205-108-3. Paper.
   Kathleen Higgins

Joel Rudinow’s Soul Music: Tracking the Spiritual Roots of Pop from Plato to Motown, traces the tradition of African American music commonly described as “soul” by focusing on its spiritual character, and drawing attention to both the music’s energy and its imbedded messages. Rudinow considers the prevalence of cryptic lyrical content, hidden and double meanings, and messages communicated in code. He also explores the roles that race and music have jointly played both in delineating and in transgressing cultural barriers between African Americans and their white compatriots. In this connection, Rudinow considers the grounds for claiming authentic membership in a musical tradition. Although he acknowledges what Amiri Baraka has termed the “great music robbery”—the theft of African American music by whites—Rudinow defends the possibility of white musicians being authentic performers of the blues and other styles with origins in black traditions. Along the way, Rudinow defends the idea that music is an expression of the human soul, and he sees recognition of this spiritual aspect of music as essential to a full understanding of its power. He urges that attention to music’s spiritual character replace the prevailing psychopharmacological explanatory models for music therapy. In addition to its physical impact, music can heal the soul.

Rudinow’s book has many merits. He is invested in what he writes about, and this is evident from the first page. The book’s stylistic immediacy, besides making it enjoyable to read, is apt for the subject matter: the soul-to-soul communication Rudinow sees in pop music. His fair-mindedness also deserves commendation. He is willing to meet viewpoints of all sorts on their own terms. He does not assume the stance of academic disdain, which may amuse but shuts down the spirit of shared inquiry. Rudinow does not yield to the temptation many of us might feel to dismiss references to the devil and black magic in connection with the blues as superstitious and unworthy of serious discussion. He takes mission to be to make sense of what people are claiming before passing judgment.

Rudinow’s fair-mindedness extends to views that he targets. Even though musical formalism is among the views he criticizes, Rudinow grants its value, at least to a point. The problem, as he sees it, is that formalism does not really acknowledge that, “Audible harmony...only approximates formal relationships” (102). At the same time, Rudinow does not whitewash views with which he feels more affinity. He indicates the limitations of sociopolitical analysis of music, even though he employs a sociopolitical lens in his discussion of the blues and authenticity.

Turning to more specific content, I applaud Rudinow’s emphasis on music’s physicality and the emotional energy that is essential to the experience of the repertoire he considers. Unlike many who discuss popular music, he seems to take live (not recorded) music as his paradigm, and his notion of emotional energy is clearly most at home in live performance. This idea, however, is also useful for analyzing the vicarious sense of being part of a larger audience, an audience that is especially present while listening to recordings, most forcefully when they are broadcast.

The idea of “emotional energy,” as opposed to emotion as such, is, I think, a particularly useful contribution to the discussion of how emotion is linked to music. Typically, the emotion-music connection is fleshed out in terms of arousal or expression (or both). These conceptions place the listener in a passive role, as either recognizing expression or being stirred to emotion. Rudinow’s idea of emotional energy draws attention to the way that the audience contributes to the musical experience in live contexts.

My criticisms have to do with two matters: 1) Rudinow’s interpretation of the spiritual significance of the blues, and 2) his ideal of authenticity. The spiritual significance of the blues, according to Rudinow, is that they reflect a crisis of faith on the part of post-Reconstruction African Americans, and that they in fact pose the problem of evil. After being promised freedom, African Americans found themselves in a world where they were subjected to a pattern of mistreatment. This led to a crisis of faith: “How could an omnipotent, omniscient, and benevolent God so forsake and betray his faithful people?...How is it logically possible for injustice to prevail in a world created and overseen by a benevolent Supreme Being?” (67).

Taking the phenomenon of the blues collectively, this characterization seems reasonable enough. But it is worth noting that many blues songs do not explicitly reflect the political matrix that prompted the birth of the genre. In many blues songs the lyricist laments a situation brought about by his own misdeeds. A contemporary example is the Robert Cray Band’s “Right Next Door (Because of Me),” in which the lyrical narrator describes a fight between a husband and wife who live next door, a fight caused by the narrator’s philandering with the wife. In many songs, the lyricist describes a bad situation as his own fault, or someone else is told to recognize that “what goes around comes around.” According to musicologist Jon Michael Spencer, whose approaches African American music through the perspective of theology, this “reaping what you sow” motif, in fact, amounts to a blues theodicy.

All in all Rudinow is too dismissive of Spencer’s analysis of the blues as offering theodicies as well as statements of the problem of evil. I agree with Spencer that the blues offer some degree of response to the problem of evil, without eliminating that problem. But the blues do not simply state it, either. In this music, we see efforts to process as well as express. Besides the “reap what you sow” theodicy, there is another meaning: immersion in blues music enabled a move to or renewal of Christian belief in that the crucifixion represented God being with us even while we suffer. This may or may not have blunted the political agenda that many hope to find in the blues, but it was a response to oppression.

Spencer concurs with Rudinow that some blues music expresses the pain of being the target of injustice, and it also gestures toward the institutional causes of the troubles. He cites as a case in point Minnie Wallace’s “The Cockeyed World,” in which she sings “This old cockeyed world will make your good man treat you mean.” Lyrics such as this point to the larger political context of what seem to be personal problems, indicating where change should occur. If the blues do direct listeners to recognize the institutional causes of their problems, this, too, is a response to the question of why the injustice has happened. In this case, once again, humanly caused evil is the explanation of suffering. An answer to the problem of at least some evil is thereby suggested: to get rid of the evil, political change has to come. True, the blues are not protest songs for the most part, but they do think through the situation. In this respect, Rudinow and Spencer agree to a large extent. The blues represent a “thinking through” that eventually culminated in action aimed at social change.

The response to the problem of evil that I see in the blues is a bit different, and it is in keeping with Rudinow’s emphasis on the psychophysical impact of music. I submit that blues music provides a theodicy of sorts by prompting an experience of the feeling of support that one sometimes discovers when one has hit bottom. I take inspiration here from The Birth of Tragedy, in which Friedrich Nietzsche argues that the religious significance of Greek tragedy was to enable its audience to recognize something in addition to the individual’s vulnerability to the whims of fate and the inevitability of suffering and death. Underneath their horror, audience members (at least optimally) become aware that they ultimately value life in spite of suffering. They have confronted images that give them no escape from recognizing the ultimately tragic fate of any individual, but being a part of the powerful flow of life is something so joyous, so intrinsically valuable, that they feel renewed enthusiasm for life, not its contrary. According to Nietzsche, the enabler for this response is music, which transmits a sense of group participation. Music makes it possible for audience members to feel their interconnection and their oneness with the flow of life. Music is responsible for leading viewers of tragic drama, which brings out the disturbing aspects of human existence, to feel all the more appreciative of life.

The music of the blues does something similar. The lyrics present images of hitting bottom, of things going radically wrong. And yet the music buoys one up. It is cheering on a physical level. Its steady rhythm and its use of lower registers convey a sense of support. Listening to the blues, we do not distance ourselves from the persona of the singer; we feel there at the bottom with him or her. The blues remind us that the singer is not the only one who suffers, and we can all relate. At this bottom, besides relating to the persona’s hard times, we are joined by the recognition that we are all part of this same life, which we experience with hearts similarly pumping, our lungs similarly drawing breath. We are part of the same vibrant life, and despite facing awful prospects (at least in the long run), we appreciate the solace that life itself provides. We are still breathing, still somehow sustained.

What I am suggesting here is that while the blues certainly have political significance, they have existential import as well, and, admittedly, these aims are in some tension with each other. The agenda of pointing to the evils of racist institutions and those made powerful by them is at odds with the feeling of human kinship that comes from a sense of sharing the human condition. Different blues lyrics place emphasis on one of these poles more than the other. The music itself, however, encourages a sense of camaraderie in times of troubles.

The tensions between affiliation and political position are relevant to the second area of Rudinow’s analysis on which I want to comment, the problem of authenticity in the blues. I think Rudinow is quite right that the issue of authenticity is particularly fraught in connection with the blues and other music that originated in the African American community, precisely because race is directly involved. While musical appropriation is one of the basic means of musical evolution, the history of white appropriation of black musical forms is particularly ugly. Restitution has never been made for the great music robbery, and Rudinow admirably considers what the appropriate response should be.

The problem of how whites should ethically relate to music that was robbed from the African American community is formally akin to other ethical issues about material that was problematically acquired. How should we relate to knowledge that was acquired through unethical means—experimentation of the sort engaged in by Dr. Mengele at Auschwitz, or intelligence obtained through torture? Political redress for the great music robbery would involve judicial and legal means of ensuring that the originators of a musical form are fairly compensated. It is difficult to imagine quite how this would work, given our current temporal distance from the original development of much of the relevant music. Rudinow, however, is concerned with a different issue: he wants to consider how a white musician who wants to perform the blues can do so ethically. His answer is that the white musician can do this by being authentic in relating to the blues tradition.

Rudinow distinguishes several ways in which the music might be authentic. One is racial authenticity: music might be considered authentic when its practitioners derive from the racial group that originally developed it. In this regard, one might wonder whether the community that “owns” the blues should not be defined more restrictively than the whole black race. A second sense of authenticity is having the right pedigree, the “credibility that comes from having the appropriate relationship to the original source” (133). While Rudinow takes this kind of authenticity seriously, he proposes authenticity of third sort. Such authenticity is a matter of “being true to yourself,” acknowledging one’s sources and not trying to be someone you are not. This is a matter of being a person of integrity and self-transparency. By being sincere, clear on one’s intentions, and appreciative toward the tradition, one appropriately responds with respect toward one’s musical predecessors. Rudinow compares authentically relating to the blues tradition in this way to call and response, an African form, as a model for musical interaction. The authentic musician is also engaged in the project of finding an individual “voice,” an achievement that Rudinow describes as a rite of passage in a communal enterprise.

This is where I see a possible problem with Rudinow’s notion of authenticity. His ideal of authenticity in the third sense absolutely requires that one does not simply “rip off” someone else’s musical form or style. One legitimately engages in the form by adding one’s own contribution. But Rudinow’s model of “true to yourself” authenticity may be too idealistic, too high a bar for ethical musicianship. If he means this only as a regulative ideal, there is no problem. But when he suggests that this kind of authenticity requires putting one’s self into the performance (146), I wonder what the criterion of success would be, and whether this aim admits of degrees. The problem is akin to that of authenticity as an existentialist ideal. How does one really achieve this, and how would you know if you did?

I also think that Rudinow does not acknowledge the difference between being honest with oneself and “displaying” this honesty. To perform without conveying real concern for the music, or conveying the impression of ironic distance from what one is doing, would be an aesthetic as well as an ethical failing. But to require that one’s self be fully involved in the performance is a very high bar. It seems at odds with the demand of musicianship at times when one is personally in an emotional state not much in keeping with the mood of the music one is performing. At times like that, the real musician draws on his or her experience tout court, and conveys a state of mind that is different from his or her current condition. Granted, to perform spirited music when one is not feeling spirited might lighten one’s emotional state. But arguably, this is not investing your whole self in the performance. Rudinow acknowledges that some of musical performance is like play-acting. The corollary should be that the play-acting performer, while not the perfect model of authenticity, is often as authentic as we can reasonably require.

But reference to reasonable requirements is not where I want to end my comments, because the impact of this book has nothing to do with thresholds and basic criteria. The book is Dionysian, immediate in tone and overflowing with enthusiasm. There is no doubt that Rudinow has put his self into this book, exhibiting as a writer the authenticity he calls for in music. If call and response is the model, the response to this book should be resounding.

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Jazz Matters: Sound, Place, and Time Since Bebop, David Ake, University of California Press, 2010. 199pp. ISBN-978-0-52026-689-6. Paper.
   Benjamin Givan

The last two decades have seen the emergence of a UCLA school of Americanist musicology, with many of that institution’s faculty and graduates exploring the music of the United States not primarily via archival research that focuses on illustrious individuals, but rather by confronting the entire spectrum of twentieth-century American musical genres from many critical perspectives. Among this school’s leading graduates to specialize in jazz is David Ake, whose excellent second book, Jazz Matters: Sound, Place, and Time Since Bebop, appeared in 2010. Like many books by UCLA-trained musicologists, the volume is a set of wide-ranging essays rather than a narrowly focused monograph. As with his 2002 book, Jazz Cultures, Ake finds that questions of identity come most clearly into focus in the liminal realms where conventional wisdom about jazz and its practitioners is cast into doubt. Engagingly written, the book is replete with keen, sometimes provocative, insights that will set many readers’ minds a-whirring.

Ake’s opening essay, “Being (and Becoming) John Coltrane,” is the least directly concerned with questioning received assumptions; it proposes that the structural trajectories of instrumental jazz improvisations can articulate various temporal or relational modes of identity formation. Coltrane’s recorded saxophone solos of the late 1950s and 1960s, Ake contends, may embody one of three different subjectivities. The first, which he calls “Being,” is exemplified by solos such as the famous 1959 harmonic tour-de-force “Giant Steps,” in which Coltrane sustains a fairly stable energy level throughout: dynamics and melodic density are so consistent that the solo “would suffer no damage to its comprehensibility or jaw-dropping bravura if we shuffled the order of his choruses” (p. 21). A different, more dynamic overarching design, which Ake labels “Becoming,” is often heard in the classic Coltrane Quartet’s performances of the early 1960s, with pianist McCoy Tyner routinely taking the first solo and the saxophonist subsequently entering with an improvisation that steadily intensifies toward an emphatic climax—a live recording of “Afro-Blue” is a case in point. A third mode of subjectivity, termed “Transcendence,” involves Coltrane, mainly in his late, avant-garde period, subordinating his individual role within dense ensemble textures such that his instrument becomes nearly inaudible.

Ake’s multifaceted interpretation raises some especially crucial questions for anyone who seeks to analyze how jazz improvisations are musically organized. If the order of choruses in a jazz improvisation is relatively inconsequential, whether because the solo is in key respects static or because its choruses are seemingly interchangeable or even to a degree expendable (as Ake claims in some instances), maybe we should not treat each such performance as an independent entity with a structurally essential beginning, middle, and end. Furthermore, even a captivating virtuosic display such as “Giant Steps” derives most of its social significance and communicative power not from its particular details so much as from its totalizing expression of Coltrane’s unique musical persona—the heroic “Trane” of the popular imagination whose discursive construction Ake trenchantly surveys. Perhaps, for these reasons, analytical studies of jazz should focus less attention on the fleeting idiosyncrasies of individual solos and instead take a step back to better apprehend each player’s signature stylistic idiom—the personal “sound” comprised of features and strategies that recur from one improvisation to the next. Jazz theorists, as well as musicologists concerned with issues of identity, creativity, and expression, have much to gain from reading this essay.

Each of the book’s remaining chapters delves into some aspect of jazz that Ake believes has not received scholarly attention commensurate with its import or prevalence. Chapter 2 explores how an ambient creaking sound that can be heard on the Miles Davis Quintet’s 1961 studio recording of “Old Folks,” far from being merely an extraneous non-musical intrusion, authenticates the track’s live spontaneity and signals a player’s physical human presence. Humor and irreverence—two tendencies that Ake rightly notes have often lately been downplayed by a jazz world seeking to be taken seriously—are the focus of Chapter 3, which applies Mikhail Bakhtin’s concept of the “Carnivalesque” to Sex Mob’s music and mirthful stage presentation. And in Chapter 4, Ake reflects upon how musicians such as Pat Metheny and Keith Jarrett have deployed pastoral, middle-American musical aesthetics and album-cover imagery at odds with the prevailing notion of jazz as an urban art form.

But it is above all in his fifth chapter that Ake most determinedly sets out to correct misconceptions by revisiting a topic—college-level jazz education—that, a decade ago, he was one of the first musicologists to tackle in print, and which has since become a vibrant research field thanks also to writers such as David Borgo, John Murphy, and Ken Prouty. Ake argues persuasively that jazz is no longer a mainly urban subcultural music, learned through informal mentoring; today the music is typically taught in universities and conservatories, many of which are located in United States college towns. This is, in his view, a “cause for celebration,” (p. 120) and he fairly critiques those skeptics who appear to idealize willful ignorance or who unrealistically expect the music to survive free of institutional support without yielding to commercialism. I wholeheartedly agree.

Still, I am rather less sanguine than Ake that the present state of affairs has on balance been good for the music or, more importantly, for its community of players. It is worth keeping in mind that it is still quite possible to pursue a career playing jazz without studying the music in college. Some of today’s most successful jazz musicians, such as Wynton Marsalis and Christian McBride, enrolled in classical conservatory programs. Others received bachelors degrees in non-musical disciplines, including the Ivy Leaguers Joshua Redman, who holds a Harvard degree in Social Studies, and Vijay Iyer, who majored in Math and Physics at Yale. Biréli Lagrène is among the few who never attended college at all. But what of those who diligently practiced for juries, fulfilled their distribution requirements, rehearsed for graduation recitals, and earned their diplomas in jazz performance? Many are undoubtedly fine creative musicians, even if, as Ake has previously written, institutional mandates for clearly defined learning outcomes can lead jazz educators to overemphasize quantifiable musical skills such as the ability to navigate complex post-bop harmonies. The real loss brought about by the rise of college jazz degrees is not musical but social: it is a loss of community and of access to knowledge.

In earlier times, experienced jazz players might freely share their musical expertise with neophytes who were, at the same time, motivated to figure many things out for themselves. It seems to me that, with the institutionalization of jazz education in colleges, these communal values have been supplanted by a transactional system: students pay tuition dollars in return for instruction and a credential. To be sure, musicians in college often receive valuable extracurricular mentoring and professional opportunities from their instructors (and fellow students), as Ake—and also Murphy—have noted, but these ancillary informal networks are only available to those who matriculate. Higher education in the United States is, needless to say, very expensive, and although grants and scholarships are available, the demographics of jazz have shifted accordingly in recent decades. Whereas jazz musicians once might easily be the offspring of shoemakers (Sidney Bechet) or turpentine factory workers (Louis Armstrong), today they are much more likely to be the children of district attorneys (Harry Connick, Jr.) or investment bankers (Jason Moran). Colleges and conservatories have undoubtedly helped sustain the artistic craft of jazz, but they have done little to preserve the music’s former cultural functions and meanings, and they have erected financial barriers to participation. (Naturally, the same basic critique could be made of classical conservatory study, but I won’t go there.)

The book’s final essay is the fruit of fieldwork that Ake conducted in 2002 with American jazz musicians based in Paris. Ake’s informants told him that they are drawn to live and work in the French capital by its cultural charm, the society’s comparatively respectful attitude toward jazz, a national welfare system relatively hospitable to freelance artists, and the city’s proximity to further performance opportunities throughout Europe and northern Africa. Some expatriates participate actively in the Parisian jazz scene, collaborating with local musicians and seeking to become fluent in French. Others, whom Ake terms “Americanists,” mainly play with other Americans, in some cases regarding themselves as more musically authentic than their native French counterparts. Ake makes the reasonable point that American jazz can be more thoroughly understood when viewed from without as well as from within. “Americanness in jazz,” he writes, “remains largely invisible to us when dealing with American musicians within their own country of origin” (p. 122). Yet, for all that he offers a trenchant, enlightening analysis of American expatriate musicians’ attitudes, and for all that he should be commended for seeking to geographically decenter jazz scholarship, the chapter strikes me as a somewhat tentative step toward his larger disciplinary goal.

Ake’s principal stated rationale for studying non-American jazz—that it profitably contextualizes our knowledge of American jazz—itself seems somewhat United States-centric; one could say, by the same token, that American jazz provides a productive backdrop for studying non-American jazz. And although he ought not to be faulted for the chosen scope of his research topic, the author’s perspective would have been more decisively global had he focused on non-American jazz musicians rather than on American expatriates. That aside, it still seems a pity, given his eloquent advocacy of external interpretive perspectives, that he apparently did not consult any of the French musicians or listeners who likely cross paths with expatriates each day; French views are only reported second-hand by his American interviewees. It would have been interesting, for example, to have learned what French locals make of those American players who address spectators in English from the bandstand. (How often, I wonder, do touring French performers speak to stateside audiences only in French?)

But these sorts of occasional quibbles are to be expected—indeed, they are among the rewards gained from encountering a book so multifarious and thought-provoking as Jazz Cultures. Ake has made another vibrant contribution to contemporary jazz studies, one that sets very high standards of scholarly rigor and intellectual versatility, and that will continually spur readers of many disciplinary persuasions to question what they think they know.

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Stan Kenton: This is an Orchestra, Michael Sparke, University of North Texas Press, 2010. 384pp. ISBN-978-1-57441-284-0. Hardcover.
   Russ Spiegel

The pianist, composer, arranger, bandleader, and entrepreneur Stan Kenton (1912–79) is often overlooked for his contributions to jazz, jazz education, and American music in general. In Ken Burns’s 2000 PBS documentary and accompanying book and CDs—perhaps the most popular series on the history and development of jazz—Kenton remains conspicuously absent. In many texts, Kenton, if discussed at all, is treated as a mere footnote in a jazz history centered on bandleaders such as Fletcher Henderson, Count Basie, and Duke Ellington. J. Bradford Robinson’s assessment of Kenton’s career in the Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians is typical:

[Kenton’s] obvious success with the public at large was offset by almost universal condemnation from the jazz critical establishment. At its worst (in his Innovations orchestra) the progressive-jazz movement he initiated was vacuous and pretentious; at its best it served as a vehicle for some of the most sensitive and inventive big-band scores of the post-swing era.

Further damage was done to Kenton’s legacy recently by a memoir published by his daughter, Leslie (Love Affair, St. Martin’s Press, 2011), which purports that Kenton had an incestuous relationship with her. The story was taken up by the press, most notably in David Hajdu’s scourging article “Remembering the Monstrous Stan Kenton” in The New Republic (December 9, 2011), where he echoed the sentiments above, charging Kenton with “ostentation, gimmickry, and bloat.” Hajdu goes on to state provocatively, “Stan Kenton gave pretentiousness a bad name.”

Kenton, however, has also had his adherents. There are those critics, musicians, and fans that were touched by the man and his music and have fought to keep his memory alive. In the forward to William F. Lee’s edited volume, Stan Kenton: Artistry in Rhythm (Creative Press, 1980), Mort Sahl stated, “We are all his children. He changed the lives of everyone he met.” On his centennial on December 15, 2011, there was a sudden resurgence of articles in the press about Kenton and concerts of his music were performed at a number of notable venues, including the Lincoln Center in New York. However, since that time, Kenton’s name has again for the most part vanished into obscurity.

Perhaps in response to the various negative views and lack of attention paid to Kenton at least one devotee has turned author in an attempt to promote a reassessment of Kenton’s accomplishments and contributions to the jazz world. The London-based Michael Sparke is a longtime enthusiast of Kenton and makes no excuses for advocating his musical idol. In Sparke’s book, Stan Kenton: This is an Orchestra (published as part of the University of North Texas Press’s series North Texas Lives of Musicians) the author attempts to assess and advance Kenton’s importance.

This is an Orchestra spans Kenton’s entire career and is filled with minutiae from every period of the bandleader’s life. It is organized chronologically, beginning with Kenton’s introduction to music, following the musician’s career through to his death in 1979, and surveying his posthumous legacy. Sparke is a man well acquainted with Kenton’s vast musical output and his study benefits from interviews personally conducted by the author with Kenton and a number of Kenton’s musicians, arrangers, friends, and family.

The book successfully argues for Kenton’s place in the jazz pantheon, as the author brings to light a number of important facts about the bandleader’s career. His central thesis is to remind us that Kenton was—from the early 1940s to the late 1950s—one of America’s most successful bandleaders, finding popularity on the national and international stage with such hits as “Artistry in Rhythm” (1943), “Eager Beaver” (1943), “Intermission Riff” (1945), and “The Peanut Vendor” (1947). Sparke views Kenton as a man of both vision and ideals, crediting him with the expansion of the jazz idiom through such projects as his Innovations Orchestra—which combined a jazz big band with orchestral instruments—to his exploration of Latin styles and unusual time signatures. Along the way, Kenton promoted and supported many highly regarded jazz composers and arrangers from the swinging Bill Holman, to the adventurous Johnny Richards and Pete Rugulo, to the avant-garde works of the enigmatic Robert Graettinger. Performers, too, advanced their careers through Kenton’s ensembles: Anita O’Day, June Christy, Shelly Manne, Maynard Ferguson, Art Pepper, Lee Konitz, and Stan Getz all benefitted through their association with Kenton. Finally, Sparke documents Kenton’s efforts as a jazz educator who appeared with his ensemble in secondary schools and universities around the country, with his jazz clinics becoming an important forerunner to modern jazz education in the United States.

After documenting Kenton’s career, This is an Orchestra goes on to examine his legacy. An important fact the reader discovers is that, unlike most other major big band leaders, Kenton insisted that after his death there be no “ghost band” to continue performing under his name. This, of course, took the bandleader and his music out of the public eye. Kenton and his music might have faded into complete obscurity had it not been that he bequeathed his entire music library to the University of North Texas, the institution where Kenton initiated the lab band system—where young jazz students learn to master their craft playing big band music and receiving instruction from established jazz masters.

Throughout the book the author walks us through the development of Kenton’s musical approaches and concepts. We become acquainted with the various changes of the band’s personnel, as well as getting to know highlights of his personal and professional life. Sparke discusses each of Kenton’s numerous projects and recordings in great detail, and includes information how the man fared at each step on the business-end of his career. In all, This is an Orchestra succeeds in painting a complete picture of Kenton’s professional life.

The book, however, suffers from authorial inexperience. In his bio on the dust jacket we learn that Sparke is a retired teacher and that, apart from some liner notes on several Kenton CDs, his only other publications are the Kenton discographies Kenton on Capitol (Tiare Pubns, 1994) and The Studio Sessions (Balboa Books, 1998), both written in conjunction with the Dutch discographer Pete Venudor. Sparke’s greenness as a book-length author, unfortunately, leads to a number of problems with This is an Orchestra, some which might have been mitigated by a more thorough editing.

Throughout the book the author is inclined to be overly reliant on quotations—with almost every paragraph in a chapter incorporating at least one. He tends to casually express numerous subjective opinions and judgments about musicians, arrangers, arrangements, recordings, and performances. Further, Sparke has a tendency to make comments about Kenton’s attitudes and motivations without properly qualifying the bases for such pronouncements.

For a volume professing to cover all aspects of his career and personal life, there are some noticeable gaps in Sparke’s work, as he generally steers clear of confronting the darker side of Kenton’s life. Apart from a discussion of Kenton’s infamous attack on black musicians receiving most of the Down Beat Critic’s Awards for 1956 (and Leonard Feather’s famous rebuttal pp. 140–41), he glosses over Kenton’s alcoholism and its deleterious effects on Kenton’s health, personal relations, and professional activity throughout a good deal of his career. This is surprising, especially as this topic is directly addressed in Carol Easton’s excellent Straight Ahead: The Story of Stan Kenton (William Morrow, 1973), which Sparke cites in his book. The recent claim by Kenton’s daughter however, appears to have been made public after this biography was published.

While it may be lacking a completely objective analysis of Kenton's impact, influence, and legacy, Stan Kenton: This is an Orchestra offers readers—especially students of jazz, jazz history, and musicology in general—an immense amount of information about Kenton, his bands and projects, his musicians, and his recordings.

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Bulletin Board

Oxford University Press is proud to announce the publication of the second edition of The Grove Dictionary of American Music. With more than 9,300 new and updated entries, this 8-volume set is the largest and most comprehensive reference work on American music ever published. None of it would have been possible without the more than 1,400 contributors and more than two dozen editors, many of whom are also Society members. Thanks to the Society’s partnership with the Press, the Dictionary is being offered at a 20% discount off its introductory price ($956.00) on the SAM partnership webstore through the Press’s website. The Press is also happy to donate a copy of Amerigrove towards the SAM 2.0 Campaign. Please direct any questions about Grove or the SAM partnership towards Taylor Coe (Taylor.Coe@oup.com).

Carol J. Oja has been named the New York Philharmonic’s Leonard Bernstein Scholar-in-Residence for the 2013-14 Season. Her work for the Philharmonic will include giving a public lecture on April 7, 2014; moderating panels for the orchestra’s “Biennial” of new music; and publishing research from the Philharmonic’s Archive.

Sandra Graham, Babson College, and the Center for Popular Music at Middle Tennessee State University have collaborated to present “The Songs of Sam Lucas,” twelve original recordings of Lucas’s songs (dating from the last quarter of the nineteenth century), accompanied by a background essay, detailed liner notes, images, and links to online sheet music. This may be of interest to those who research or teach blackface minstrelsy, theater, or (African) American music survey courses. Available at popmusic.mtsu.edu/Lucas/lucas.html.

Recent publications by Gillian Anderson include “D. W. Griffith’s Intolerance: Revisiting a Reconstructed Text” in Film History 25:3 and her translation of Ennio Morricone and Sergio Miceli, Composing for the Cinema (Scarecrow Press, 2013).

Flutist Peter H. Bloom and pianist/harpist Mary Jane Rupert (the Duo “2”) concertized across the Midwest and Southeastern United States in fall 2013, performing music by active American composers Richard Nelson (Play of Light, 2010) and Elizabeth Vercoe (Kleemation, 2003, and Butterfly Effects, 2008), the rarely-heard Sonata, Opus 22, by Marion Bauer (transcribed for alto flute by Peter Bloom), and songs by Amy Beach (with mezzo-soprano D’Anna Fortunato). In December 2013, Bloom, a 35-year veteran of the Aardvark Jazz Orchestra, performed in the band’s 41st Annual Christmas Concert, featuring the Duke Ellington/Billy Strayhorn Nutcracker Suite. Email phbloom@comcast.net or visit www.americasmusicworks.com.

During the nineteenth century, New Orleans thrived as the epicenter of classical music in America, outshining New York, Boston, and San Francisco before the Civil War and rivaling them thereafter. While other cities offered few if any operatic productions, New Orleans gained renown for its glorious opera seasons. Resident composers, performers, publishers, teachers, instrument makers, and dealers fed the public’s voracious cultural appetite. Tourists came from across the United States to experience the city’s thriving musical scene. Until now, no study has offered a thorough history of this exciting and momentous era in American musical performance history. John H. Baron’s Concert Life in Nineteenth-Century New Orleans impressively fills that gap. Baron’s exhaustively researched work details all aspects of New Orleans’s nineteenth-century musical renditions, including the development of orchestras; the surrounding social, political, and economic conditions; and the individuals who collectively made the city a premier destination for world-class musicians. Baron includes a wide-ranging chronological discussion of nearly every documented concert that took place in the Crescent City in the 1800s, establishing Concert Life in Nineteenth-Century New Orleans as an indispensable reference volume. See more at: lsupress.org/books/detail/concert-life-in-nineteenth-century-new-orleans/.

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Conference Calendar

SAM members are encouraged to periodically check the Golden Pages website (goldenpages.jpehs.co.uk/conferences/) for updated information about additional forthcoming conferences in musicology.

Calls for Papers and Contributions

CFP: Sounds of Wars and Victories: Images of Military Musicians on Battlefields and Promenades. The thirteenth conference of the Research Center for Music Iconography, City University of New York, The Graduate Center, commemorating the centennial of World War I. New York, November 11–13, 2014. Abstracts of 200–300 words may be submitted before May 1, 2014, to Zdravko Blažekovi? (zblazekovic@gc.cuny.edu).

CFP: The Society for Ethnomusicology will hold its 59th Annual Meeting on November 13–16, 2014, at the Wyndham Grand Pittsburgh Downtown, hosted by the University of Pittsburgh. The University of Pittsburgh will present a Pre-Conference Symposium, titled “Music and Labor,” on November 12. In order to create an inclusive environment for presenting new research, there will be no theme or specified topics for the SEM 2014 Annual Meeting. Potential presenters are encouraged to submit their best work on any topic related to ethnomusicology and to be creative with presentation formats. In addition, SEM sections, special interest groups, committees, and other constituent units are encouraged to sponsor organized sessions, though the Program Committee will not give any preference to sponsored sessions. The online deadline for submission of all proposals is February 17, 2014. See www.indiana.edu/~semhome/2014/call.shtml for further details.

CFP: The Wizard of Oz and the Western Cultural Imagination: A Conference celebrating and interrogating 75 years of the MGM Musical. Faculty of Arts, University of Brighton, November 21–22, 2014. Please submit a 300 word abstract to ozat75@gmail.com by March 1, 2014. See tinyurl.com/ne66j97 for further details.

Upcoming Conferences and Events

Memory in Post-1980s Music: History, Form, Perception. Music Research Centre, University of York, Februrary 22, 2014. Guest speaker Michael Zev Gordon (Birmingham); performance by Joseph Houston, piano.

Society for American Music, 40th Annual Conference, Lancaster, PA, 5–9 March 2014. Please see the SAM website page american-music.org/conferences/Lancaster/index.php for full details.

The Music Composition Centre (Music Department, Trinity College Dublin) in association with the New Music Dublin Festival 2014, invites composers, musicologists and practitioners to an International Conference & Festival entitled Composition in the 21st Century that will take place in Dublin in March 2014. Visit www.tcd.ie/music-composition/composition-21st-century/ for further information.

Creative Diaspora: Émigré Composers From The Former USSR. Seattle Symphony at Benaroya Hall, March 22-23, 2014. Featured speakers include musicologists Richard Taruskin, Laurel Fay, Claudia R. Jensen, Peter Schmelz, Marina Ritzarev, Natalie Zelensky and Elena Dubinets. See blog.seattlesymphony.org/?p=5520 for further details.

“Straight From the Heart”: A Conference on Love and Rock Music. Université Paul-Valéry, Montpellier 3 (France). April 16–17, 2014. A joint production of University of Chester (United Kingdom) and Université Paul-Valéry, Montpellier 3 (France).

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Remembrances

Dena J. Epstein (1916–2013)

Dena Epstein was a music scholar-librarian whose name SAM members will recognize as the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society and as cofounder—with her husband, Morton—of the Music Library Association’s Dena Epstein Award for Archival and Library Research in American Music.

Dena is best known for her groundbreaking research on slave music in America. Her twenty-five years of work in an area that had been previously all but ignored resulted in Sinful Tunes and Spirituals: Black Folk Music to the Civil War (1977), still the definitive study in its field. Among her earlier publications are important scholarly articles on African music in colonial America and a documentary history of the folk banjo, in which she established that the instrument, far from being an invention of white Americans, was brought to the New World by West African slaves as early as the 17th century. She is the subject of The Librarian and the Banjo (2013), a one-hour documentary by Jim Carrier that tells the story of her work on the folk banjo and how her studies helped spark the revival of black string band music.

Dena’s 1943 M.A. thesis was one of the first studies of an American music publisher—the firm of Root and Cady. She liked to tell about her oral exam for the degree, following which one of the examining professors congratulated her as “Doctor Epstein,” thinking she had written a doctoral dissertation. She also enjoyed relating that Richard S. Hill, then-editor of Notes, sent for a copy of the thesis and began publishing it in the journal without ever having told her (“I forgot,” she quoted him as saying). The study appeared in book form as Music Publishing in Chicago before 1871 (1969).

She published important articles on Lucy McKim Garrison, a 19th-century song collector who wrote on African-American spirituals; Theodore F. Seward and the Fisk Jubilee Singers; and Frederick Stock, long-time Chicago Symphony Orchestra conductor. She also edited I Came a Stranger: The Story of a Hull House Girl (1979), an autobiographical volume written by her mother, Hilda Satt Polacheck. Dena explains in her preface that she had to reconstruct and assemble the manuscript from seven incomplete versions and loose sheets she found among Hilda’s papers.

Early in her career, Dena worked as a librarian at the University of Illinois, the Newark Public Library, and the Library of Congress. Beginning in 1964 she served as curator of recordings and assistant music librarian at the University of Chicago. She served as president of the Music Library Association from 1977 to 1979 and holds an MLA citation, the organization’s highest honor. After retiring in 1986, she worked on cataloging the Chicago Symphony Orchestra archives and The Theodore Thomas Collection at the Newberry Library, which also holds her papers on Root and Cady. And she served on the international advisory board of the Center for Black Music Research, whose archives contain her papers from 1947 onward.

But aside from her long, productive career and stellar professional achievements, those of us who knew Dena personally as a dear friend and colleague will fondly remember her joyful and unassuming presence at numerous MLA meetings. She was loved by everyone for her warmth, her kindness, her cheerful demeanor, her humor, and her mentoring of many younger music librarians, this writer included. Members of both SAM and MLA owe her a deep debt of gratitude, and she will be sorely missed.

Michael Ochs

Ed. Note: Dena’s daughter Suzanne announces that a memorial gathering in Chicago is being planned for May. Any members who would like further details should contact the editor at lmpruett@bellsouth.net.

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The Bulletin of the Society for American Music

The Bulletin is published in the Winter (January), Spring (May), and Summer (September) by the Society for American Music. Copyright 2014 by the Society for American Music, ISSN 0196-7967.

Editorial Board
Editor: Laura Moore Pruett (lmpruett@bellsouth.net)
Reviews Editor: Ryan Bañagale (Ryan.Banagale@ColoradoCollege.edu)
Design and Layout: Ryan Ebright (rebright@email.unc.edu)

Items for submission should be submitted to Laura Moore Pruett as an attachment to e-mail. Photographs or other graphic materials should be accompanied by captions and desired location in the text. Deadlines for submission of materials are 15 December, 15 April, and 15 August.

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Awards, Fellowships, and Subventions of the Society

Further information is available at the website (american-music.org) or by contacting the SAM office [sam@american-music.org].

Student Travel Grants
Available for student members who wish to attend the annual conference of the Society for American Music and intended to help with the cost of travel. Students receiving funds must be members of the Society and enrolled at a college or university.

Mark Tucker Award
Awarded at the annual SAM conference recognizing a student who has written an outstanding paper for presentation at that conference.

Cambridge University Press Award
This award is presented to an international scholar (not a student) for an outstanding paper presented at the annual conference.

Adrienne Fried Block Fellowship
The Block Fellowship supports scholarly research leading to publication on topics that illuminate musical life in large urban communities, focusing on the interconnections and the wide range of genres present in these metropolitan settings.

Wiley Housewright Dissertation Award
The Wiley Housewright Dissertation Award annually recognizes a single dissertation on American music for its exceptional depth, clarity, significance, and overall contribution to the field.

H. Earle Johnson Bequest for Book Publication Subvention
The Johnson Subvention is given to support the costs of the publication of a significant monograph on an important topic in American Music. Two subventions of up to $2,500 may be awarded annually.

Sight and Sound Subvention
The Sight and Sound Subvention provides financial assistance to facilitate the publication of non-print material concerning American music. Such material may include film, DVD, CD and other audio/visual formats, radio programs, website development, or other projects that further the Society’s mission and goals. One subvention of up to $900 is awarded annually.

Irving Lowens Memorial Book and Article Awards
The Lowens Award is presented annually for an exceptional book and article that make important contributions to the study of American music or music in America.

Judith Tick Fellowship
This fellowship, endowed in honor of Judith Tick, is awarded competitively to scholars at any phase of their careers to support scholarly research leading to publication on topics that have been the focus of Prof. Tick’s distinguished career: women’s music-making across time and musical genres, musical biography, and source studies in American music.

Hampsong Education Fellowship in American Song
The Hampsong Fellowship supports projects developed by educators who wish to explore the repertory of American classic song as a means to understand the broader narrative of American history and culture.

Virgil Thomson Fellowship
The Virgil Thomson Fellowship is awarded competitively to scholars at any phase of their careers whose interest is focused on the history, creation, and analysis of American music on stage and screen, including opera.

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