SAM/2.0 Campaign Finishes in Boston:
$1 Million Goal Surpassed
At the Society's 42nd Annual Conference in Boston, MA, members donated $15,277 in just four days! The conference concluded the fourth and final year of the SAM/2.0 Campaign, an endeavor to enhance the Society's ability to fund, promote, and recognize new scholarship in all music of the Americas. The Development Committee is grateful to those members who made a SAM/2.0 donation with their registration for the conference or who purchased a raffle ticket at the SAM/2.0 booth in the Exhibits.
In Boston conference attendees purchased over 500 raffle tickets. A hearty congratulations to those who won prizes: Leta Miller, Thomas Riis, and Judy Tsou (sets of the Star Spangled Banner Music Foundation's Star Spangled Songbook and Poets and Patriots CD); Katherine Preston (four titles from the University Michigan Press); Judy Tsou (Thomas Hampson's Song of America Radio Series CD collection); Megan Murph ($250 in music from A-R Editions); Tim Brooks and Leta Miller (free suite upgrades at next year's conference hotel in Montréal, QC); Nathan Platte (one free week at a Naples, FL condominium), and Eric Hung (The New Grove Dictionary of American Music, 2nd ed.). Thanks to the foundations, publishers, hotel, and individuals who donated these prizes.
SAM/2.0 Campaign began with Long-Range Planning and Online Survey
The SAM/2.0 Campaign began with Past President Thomas Riis calling a retreat of all past presidents of the Society. From that conclave in Ottawa, ON came the Long-Range Planning Committee and a 2011 online membership survey. Katherine Preston, who took over as President at that year's annual meeting in Cincinnati, made an endowment campaign a priority, and the data from the online membership survey created the funding priorities for the Campaign and a new vision for the Society—the "2.0" in SAM/2.0. Judy Tsou, the next President of the Society was instrumental in taking Campaign fundraising to new heights; both of these Presidents helped to write multiple foundation grants and appeals. Most recently, President Charles Garrett ensured that the Society completed the Campaign on time and on target. We collectively owe a debt of gratitude to these visionary presidents of the Society.
Additional members of the Development Committee included Maribeth Clark, James Cassaro, Susan Key, Denise Von Glahn, and Mariana Whitmer. Douglas Bomberger and James Deaville played key roles on the Committee during the Campaign's planning and leadership phases. The Society also thanks graphic designer Jackie Schaiper and Executive Director Mariana Whitmer who processed Campaign pledges and donations. The ten-member Development Committee has been a dream team with a very deep bench.
Society Partnered with NEH and Foundations
As a Society we are grateful to the National Endowment for the Humanities for a $175,000 Challenge Grant for the SAM/2.0 Campaign. During the meeting in Boston, we completed raising $525,000 in non-federal donations to complete the Challenge Grant. Thus far, we have received $125,000 from the NEH for Years 1–3 of the Campaign, and have yet to receive the final $50,000 installment, which will be made available in August 2017. This $50,000 will be added to the final SAM/2.0 Campaign total. We also acknowledge generous support from The Aaron Copland Fund for Music ($20,000), the Edward T. Cone Foundation ($50,000), the Hampsong Foundation ($25,000), and the Virgil Thomson Foundation ($120,000). These partnerships have created new funding opportunities for research, education, and performance of music by contemporary American composers at our annual conferences.
Generosity of Members and Friends
The success of the SAM/2.0 Campaign was due to the generosity and passion that members and friends have for the Society. The Campaign represents 846 separate contributions, including sixty by student members as part of a challenge from the current and former board members. Mark Clague hatched the idea of a Student Challenge Fund, and he and Gillian Roger spearheaded the effort. Maribeth Clark was instrumental guiding this Challenge Fund during the final months of the Campaign. The enthusiasm that SAM Student Forum members had throughout the Campaign bodes well for the Society's future.
SAM/2.0 Campaign Results in Eleven New Endowments
In the four years of the SAM/2.0 Campaign, eleven new funds have been endowed: the Diversity Fund, Hampsong Education Fellowship in American Music, Paul Charosh Independent Scholar Fellowship, Judy Tsou President's Fund, and fellowships named for John and Roberta Graziano Fellowship, Margery Morgan Lowens, Judith McCulloh, Anne Dhu McLucas, Vivian Perlis, Virgil Thomson, and Judith Tick. Information about applying for these fellowships is available on the Society's webpage under "Awards and Fellowships"
Six Funds Remain in Process
Six funds remain in process: those for Richard Crawford, Charles Hamm, Wayne Shirley, Eileen Southern, and Robert Stevenson, as well as a short-term research residency at the American Antiquarian Society. During the meeting in Boston, a member established a $1,000 match for the Charles Hamm Fund, which will support a short-term research residency at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's library and archives. The Hamm Fund is in partnership with the Center for Popular Music Studies at Case Western Reserve University, which is matching all donations dollar-for-dollar! Donations to any of these funds can still be made at www.SAM2point0.net.
A final SAM/2.0 report and donor list will soon be prepared. There will be ample time to correct any oversights and add new names to the preliminary donor list. Members should send any emendations by the end of August to the Development Committee chair (email@example.com).
At the beginning of the 42nd annual conference, the Campaign stood at $998,751. The member who took the Society over the $1-million mark and who received three free nights at the conference hotel was Past President Deane Root. The generosity of members in Boston topped previous conference giving in Sacramento, Lancaster, Little Rock, and Charlotte. The SAM/2.0 Campaign crossed the finish line on Saturday, March 13, 2016 at $1,027,003. That figure was greeted at the annual meeting with a standing ovation and collective huzzah!
bruce d. mcclung
Chair, Development Committee
Reports from 42nd Annual Conference | Boston, MA | 9-13 March 2016
|Honorary Member Terri Lyne Carrington|
Honorary Membership Award to Terri Lyne Carrington in recognition of her remarkable contributions to American musical culture as a drummer, composer, producer, musical collaborator, and teacher—balancing global artistry while championing local music-making.
Lifetime Achievement Award to Dale Cockrell in recognition of his pioneering scholarship—propelled by intellectual innovation, remarkable breadth, and a deep sensitivity for his subjects—that has resonated throughout American musical studies.
|Dale Cockrell accepts the Lifetime Achievement Award|
Dale Cockrell is a scholar of the nineteenth-century American South, from the Hutchinson Family Singers to minstrelsy. His work focuses sensitively on the working class, and it is based in deep primary research. His love for the music of this period shines through on every page. His first book, Excelsior: Journals of the Hutchinson Family Singers, 1842-1846 (1989), received SAM's Irving Lowens Award for best book in American music. His second book, Demons of Disorder: Early Blackface Minstrels and Their World (1997), received the Hugh Holman Award from the Society for the Study of Southern Literature as the best book of scholarship or literary criticism in the field of Southern literature. That book in particular established Cockrell's reputation as a scholar of probing intellect, able to craft new narratives through which race and class intersect in original ways. One of Cockrell's most recent projects centers around music in a literary classic of American childhood, Laura Ingalls Wilder's series of books, the first of which, Little House on the Prairie, is her best known. Recordings and publications which have been issued from this work testify to his versatility in reaching a wider public. Some years ago Cockrell published his article "Can American Music Studies Develop a Method?" (American Music 22/2 (Summer, 2004):272-83). He clearly has answered his own question through the breadth and quality of his own exemplary scholarship.
Distinguished Service Award to Thomas Riis in recognition of his many outstanding contributions as a scholar of American music and his exemplary service to the Society.
|Thomas Riis accepts the Distinguished Service Award|
Thomas L. Riis has been an outstanding member of the Society of American Music for many years. In his most visible role Tom served as SAM's president from 2009-2010. But his service reaches back into the 1980s and 90s as well. Is there a committee that Tom Riis has not served on? Never mind the committees that have a final cadence, like the Lowens Awards Committee. Tom has contributed to the most challenging work in our Society, taking on responsibilities in Fund Raising and Development, Conference Site Selections, and Program Committee Service. We admire Tom Riis for the measured way he has handled so many responsibilities for SAM and we respect him for his loyalty and dedication to our discipline and its scholarship. He has handled many challenges within SAM as it grew from the Sonneck Society to the Society for American Music with evenhanded grace and commitment. We are grateful to him for his loving service to scholarship and collegiality.
Irving Lowens Book Award to Thomas Brothers, Louis Armstrong: Master of Modernism (W. W. Norton, 2014).
|Doug Shadle and Charles Garrett|
Irving Lowens Article Award to Douglas Shadle, "How Santa Claus Became a Slave Driver: The Work of Print Culture in a Nineteenth-Century Musical Controversy," Journal of the Society for American Music, volume 8, issue 4 (2014).
Analyzing the aesthetic controversy surrounding the 1853 premiere of Fry's Santa Claus: Christmas Symphony, Shadle's article highlights the ways print culture shaped meaning in transnational literate musical communities. The essay features a compelling theoretical frame and makes a major contribution to scholarly conversations about material culture and transnationalism. Ambitious, creative, and meticulous, his article brings together diverse source material into a richly contextualized and elegantly written piece that will have broad resonance.
|Christopher Wells, Eric Hung, and Charles Garrett|
Wiley Housewright Dissertation Award to Christopher J. Wells, "Go Harlem"! Chick Webb and his Dancing Audience during the Great Depression (University of North Carolina, 2014).
Cambridge University Press Award to Kate Galloway, "Soundscaping the Radio: Experimental Soundwork and Hildegard Westerkamp's Community Soundwalking on Vancouver Co-op Radio."
Galloway's paper, "Soundscaping the Radio," weaves biographical information for under-recognized Canadian composer Hildegard Westerkamp with ideas about usefulness of radio in forming "cultural environments." Galloway's thesis is argued consistently throughout the paper, which develops as a clear narrative. The illustrations are interesting, capturing well the provocative potential of soundscapes (which often go unnoticed).
Mark Tucker Award to Samuel Parler, Harvard University, "Racial Nationalism and Class Ambivalence in Carson Robison's World War II Songs."
|Lauron Kehrer, Elizabeth Wollman, and Charles Garrett|
Adrienne Fried Block Fellowship: Lauron Kehrer, "Beyond Beyoncé: Intersections of Race, Gender and Sexuality in Contemporary American Hip-Hop (ca. 2004-2014)."
Paul Charosh Independent Scholar Fellowship: Felicia Miyakawa
In recognition of her commitment to advancing the study of American music as an independent scholar, the committee was unanimous in its decision to award the first Paul Charosh Independent Scholar Fellowship to Felicia Miyakawa because of her firm commitment to pursuing a scholarly life outside the academy, a commitment demonstrated by the fact that she willingly walked away from a tenured position, and by her strong advocacy for others who are working in the field of Public Musicology.
|Kristen Turner, Josephine Wright, and Charles Garrett|
John and Roberta Graziano Fellowship: Kristen Turner, Opera on the American Popular Stage (1890-1914).
Hampsong Education Fellowship: Tim and Joanna Smolko, Atomic Tunes: The Cold War in American and British Popular Music.
The Hampsong Award Committee is pleased to announce that the recipients of the third annual Hampsong Education Fellowship in American Song are Tim and Joanna Smolko.
The award will support the creation of sample lesson plans for K-12 educators related to their book Atomic Tunes: The Cold War in American and British Popular Music, which is an in-depth examination of the lyrics and music of over five hundred popular songs written during the Cold War (1945-1991). These will be complemented by an online database that will dovetail nicely with American-song information on the "Voices Across Time" and "American Song" websites. The "Atomic Songs" database will be available to the general public, scholars, and teachers. Congratulations to the Smolkos.
Katherine Preston, Chair
Virgil Thomson Fellowship: Elizabeth Titrington Craft, Yankee Doodle Dandy: George M. Cohan and the Making of American Identity and Marianne Betz, Musikgeshichte der USA.
The Virgil Thomson Fellowship Committee, consisting of Tom Riis as chair, Elizabeth Wells, and Mary Simonson, considered and discussed 8 separate proposals and unanimously agreed to forward two of them to receive the award, divided equally between them.
|Marianne Betz, Thomas Riis, Elizabeth Titrington Craft, and Charles Garrett|
Elizabeth Craft presented a carefully shaped and well-written proposal informed by a number of complementary disciplinary perspectives and critical methodologies applied to an under-studied but important area of the pre-Golden Age Broadway musical, works produced during an era for which the meanings of such basic terms as "American," "Broadway," and "musical comedy" are problematical and contested; Craft's work promises to deliver a probing analysis that explores fundamental concepts at a crucial period of development in U.S. theatre history.
Marianne Betz is a mature and accomplished international scholar, whose writing in English on various aspects and personalities of American music is well established. This project, a new German-language history of US music, a single volume, is part of a larger series Musikgeschichte der Länder (Music History of Many Lands) and will, it is hoped, have an impact in regions that may know comparatively little about Broadway and its related forms. The author proposes to dig deeply into non-canonical as well as familiar works of musical theatre in order to provide a fresh perspective on a very American genre. It thus represents a potentially global outreach to a diverse audience on behalf of American music in general.
Judith Tick Fellowship: Candace Bailey, A Southern Musical Miscellany: Women, Music, and the Performance of Culture in the U.S. South, 1840-1880.
The Judith Tick Fellowship committee has decided to award the 2016 Fellowship to Dr. Candace Bailey (North Carolina Central University) for her book project A Southern Musical Miscellany: Women, Music, and the Performance of Culture in the U.S. South, 1840-1880. This year the Judith Tick Fellowship Committee received eleven applications for the Fellowship. The Committee found Dr. Bailey's proposal "exceptionally worthy" and that it "fits squarely within Judith [Tick]'s mandate." Dr. Bailey's exploration of the musical practices and cultures of Southern women, and the significance of music in the creation of "ideal Southern womanhood" is an important areas of study, opening doors to our greater understanding of the roles music, race, and gender played in the lives and society of the antebellum American South. Dr. Bailey's proposed project represents scholarship on a topic for which materials are only just becoming known and available to researchers and likely contain a wealth of information on the ways in which female musicians of the period negotiated what Bailey describes as the "cultural codes of music" and "spaces of cultural production."
The Fellowship will support Dr. Bailey's research for her book project, allowing her to travel to Louisiana to examine archival materials in New Orleans and Baton Rouge. These materials include music in several collections, documenting the musical education of free women of color in Louisiana; women composers; music in women's academies; and professional female musicians. Dr. Bailey's findings will comprise a chapter of her proposed book. The Committee is pleased to recommend support for this project, so close to and inspired by Judith Tick's own work in women, gender, and biography in music.
H. Earle Johnson Print Subvention: The Cole Porter Companion, eds. Don Michael Randel, Matthew Shaftel and Susan Forcher Weiss (University of Illinois Press) and Michael Heller, New York Loft Jazz in the 1970s (University of California Press).
The committee singled out two books that were particularly outstanding and worthy of the Subvention award this year. The Cole Porter Companion, edited by Don Michael Randel, Matthew Shaftel and Susan Forcher Weiss (The University of Illinois Press) offers a wealth of information and gives depth and complexity to a well-known yet under appreciated American composer—Cole Porter. The scope of the book is luxurious, covering a huge chunk of Porter's output, American music theater and popular song in seventeen well written essays. The diversity of methodologies represented in the collection is exemplary, framing essential questions of style, form, gender, sexuality, and politics in Porter's music from a range of archival, analytical, and ethnological perspectives. It is a model for the study of a popular composer and for the study of the "popular" in music. The committee also admired the methodological diversity of Michael Heller's book New York Loft Jazz in the 1970s (University of California Press). Eminently readable, Heller's work effortlessly marries ethnological practices, including a wealth of first person interviews, with traditional historical archival work. It charts a rich, socio-political history of one of the least studied and understood periods in jazz history. By privileging space Heller writes a compelling history of the intersection of urban development and art in New York in the 1970s reminding us that jazz is not just a style but a sound conditioned as much by the racial politics of real estate as by the lineage and pedagogy of its performers and composers.
Sight & Sound Subvention: Kendra Preston Leonard, "Recordings of Silent Film Repertoire from the Silent Film Sound and Music Archive."
The Sight and Sound Subvention Committee is pleased to announce that out of a body of very strong applications this year's Subvention goes to Kendra Preston Leonard for her project: Recordings of Silent Film Repertoire from the Silent Film Sound and Music Archive. She will collaborate professional silent film accompanist Ethan Uslan to create twenty-five easily accessible and downloadable recordings of music for silent films. The resulting recordings will accompany the sheet music for each selected piece on the Silent Film Sound and Music Archive website. The committee was impressed with Dr. Leonard's proposal both for its value to the field and for its well-thought-out plan for implementation and dissemination.
The 2016 Annual Business Meeting of the Society for American Music took place on Saturday, March 12, in the Charles View Ballroom of the Hyatt Regency Cambridge. The SAM members assembled there enjoyed the view of a beautiful sunny afternoon, a weather scene that characterized the unseasonably warm days we enjoyed at the conference (a welcome change from the wintry blizzard narratives some of us had imagined in advance of this conference). President Charles Garrett opened the meeting by welcoming everyone and noting the perhaps record attendance numbers at not just this Business Meeting but also at the entire conference. Garrett spoke about the SAM/2.0 campaign and the various new initiatives that are arising from it: at this conference we had the inaugural Vivian Perlis concert and we will recognize the first winners of the Judith McCulloh Fellowship and the Paul Charosh Independent Scholar Fellowship. Next year in Montreal we will award three new fellowships (named for Edward T. Cone, Margary Morgan Lowens, and Anne Dhu McLucas; more information on all three will be forthcoming). Garrett also announced that at our conference in Montreal, we will recognize Dr. Beverly Diamond as an Honorary Member.
Shifting into the general state of the Society, Garrett reported on our robust membership numbers. In December 2015, we had 983 members, a slight increase over the previous figure, which may be a sign of good retention. The Board recently conducted its first meeting virtually via digital teleconferencing, and we will continue to explore this way of meeting as a way to save money for both the Society as well as the individual Board members. Garrett explained that our Society's commitment to diversity and inclusivity extends past a few committees and rather marks a critical issue that runs throughout the Society. He encouraged us to spread the word with our non-SAM colleagues who do work that falls underneath the capacious umbrella of "American music and music of the Americas," asking us to try and get these people to share their work with SAM.
After concluding his formal remarks, Garrett turned to the next item on the agenda, which was the approval of Secretary Neil Lerner's Minutes from the 2015 Annual Business Meeting (published in Bulletin XLI/3). The minutes were offered as a motion from Lerner and were seconded by Daniel Goldmark; all voted in favor of the motion. Treasurer Sabine Feisst then presented a report on the Society's financial condition, which happily is strong. We experienced some minor setbacks with taxes that turned out not to be refundable after the Sacramento conference and also our endowments withstood some losses after the recent downturn in the stock market, but because of the revenue from membership dues, a surplus from the conference in Lancaster, a budget surplus from the 2015 budget, and many generous donations, the Society is in the black. Feisst noted that the figures in the report distributed at the meeting did not include fourth quarter contributions.
Karen Ahlquist, editor of the Journal of the Society for American Music, began her report by thanking her editorial board members and the peer reviewers for their work reviewing submissions, and she reiterated the plea of editors all over in asking us to respond to her emails and to follow through with our commitments. She assured us that even if we have an article on a topic seemingly off the beaten path, she would still find it a reader. Laura Moore Pruett, the editor of the Bulletin, gave her fourth and final report about the state of the Bulletin by thanking several people before announcing her successor (Elizabeth Ann Lindau; see Bulletin XLII/1 for the full list and bios of the new editorial team).
The meeting next moved to the recognition of a significant moment in the history of the Society, the successful (and quite recent) completion of the SAM/2.0 fundraising campaign. The chair of the Development committee, bruce mcclung, gave a brief history of the campaign's leadership and a series of presidents that went back to Thomas Riis calling a retreat of past Society presidents in Ottawa, then the establishment of a Long Range Planning Committee that met and surveyed the entire Society, and from that survey Katherine Preston made an endowment campaign a top priority for the new vision (the 2.0 in the campaign's title) of SAM. Judy Tsou furthered this work as a tenacious fundraiser and finally Garrett kept us on task as we crossed the finish line. mcclung announced that at that moment, there had been 846 separate contributions including 60 by student members, and mcclung explained that current and previous members of the SAM board have pledged one dollar for each student who donated (an idea from Mark Clague), and mcclung invited anyone who wanted to join the board members to sign up at the campaign table. He said that as a result of the campaign we have endowed 11 funds that did not exist before 2012, and that there are 6 more still waiting to be completed. He gave us the information that all donations and pledge payments made through July, 2017, would count towards our NEH challenge grant, a grant that will add further funds to our final total. And the final total will be a historic one: mcclung said that at the time of the opening reception of this conference, our campaign total was $998,751, and that he was thrilled beyond measure to report that the campaign had been successfully completed at the conference with a current total of $1,024,667. As mcclung appropriately stated: huzzah! A hearty standing ovation followed, though more were to occur only a moment later, as current members of the Development Committee (James Cassaro, Maribeth Clark, Susan Key, Katherine Preston, Tom Riis, Judy Tsou, Denise Von Glahn, and Maribeth Whitmer; and there was recognition made of earlier committee members Douglas Bomberger and James Deaville) came to the podium to offer their thanks (as well as gifts and balloons) to mcclung, in recognition of his leadership with the campaign.
The next committee report was from Everett Smith on behalf of the Public Relations committee. Smith announced a recently completed video, created by the Membership committee, that was now available on the Society's YouTube page. There are also links to social media sites, and soon there will be an Instagram account for more informal images. Smith encouraged more nominations of the young Hats Off campaign that is designed to recognize local work that engaged with American music outside of the academy. On behalf of Travis Stimeling, chair of the Education committee, Douglas Shadle next spoke and described his committee's efforts to engage SAM more with K-12 and university instruction. They have an exciting new plan for a series of online videos on topics relating to American music. These lectures should be aimed at a lay audience and be 10-15 minutes in length, and to recognize the effort that will go into preparing these videos, the Board recently approved $500 awards for the top 3 proposals.
Dana Gorzelany-Mostak, co-chair of the Forum for Early-Career Professionals, described a recently held panel on engaging the wider public and an upcoming column in the Bulletin before welcoming new co-chair Kate Galloway (who will join ongoing co-chairs Dan Blim and Sarah Gerk). On behalf of the Student Forum, Megan Murph and Jamie Blake thanked the donors who provided the Thursday lunch for the students at the conference and to the scholars who volunteered to talk with students during breaks throughout the conference. They welcomed Kate Sutton as their new co-chair before thanking Megan Murph for her service.
Sandra Graham, the chair of the Boston Local Arrangements committee (also the incoming SAM President), thanked her committee (Paula Bishop, Carolyn Brunelle, Rebecca Marchand, Laura Moore Pruett, Emmett Price, Ann Sears, and Paul Wells) before the chair of the Program Committee, Lydia Hamessley, did the same (her committee included Dale Chapman, James Deaville, Stephanie Jensen-Moulton, Nancy Newman, and Steve Swayne). Hamessley announced that there had been over 400 abstracts and that the committee had met for 2 days over the summer to put together the program. She also offered a special note of thanks to Glenn Pillsbury for his help wrangling the data and dealing with the website. Looking ahead to next year's conference, the co-chair (with Lloyd Whitesell) of the 2017 Local Arrangements committee, Lisa Barg, described her city of Montreal as a linguistically and culturally vibrant place that she looked forward to sharing with the Society, who would be holding a meeting for the first time there. Barg predicted a favorable exchange rate for those coming from the US and also joked (?) about a willingness to provide information about Canadian immigration policies depending on the results of the next US election cycle. On behalf of next year's Program Committee, chair Steve Swayne invited proposals to the Montreal conference and expressed his hope to have a robust poster session. He advised everyone to watch for the call for papers, which would invite some different kinds of possibilities stemming from innovations proposed by the Committee on the Conference (such as panels in which performances elements are integrated into the panels themselves and a new presentation mode to be called a workshop). Swayne shared that two topics have been selected for the 2017 conference: one on festivals and musical life and one on music and North American electoral politics. And finally, speaking on behalf of the chair of the Site Selection committee, Sarah Gerk declared that the 2018 conference will take place in Kansas City and that the committee will propose that the 2019 conference might take place in New Orleans (an announcement that brought enthusiastic applause).
Next, Garrett thanked the various SAM members whose service to the Society, via work on the Board and with our numerous committees, was coming to an end as of this business meeting: JSAM Editorial Board members: Marva Carter, Kim Kowalke, David Nicholls, John Spitzer, and Albin Zak; Committee on the Conference: Patrick Warfield (chair); Committee on Cultural Diversity: Mark Burford (chair), Gabriel Solis; Education Committee: Doug Shadle; Membership Committee: Jessica Sternfeld (chair); Nominating Committee: Naomi André, Christina Baade (chair), Douglas Bomberger, Daniel Goldmark, and Paul Laird; Forum for Early Career Professionals: Dana Gorzelany-Mostak (co-chair); Student Forum: Megan Murph (co-chair); Sight and Sound Subvention: Will Cheng; Mark Tucker Award: Steven Baur; Cambridge University Press Award: Ceclia Sun; Adrienne Fried Block Award: Stephanie Jensen-Moulton; John and Roberta Graziano Award: Josephine Wright (chair); Judith Tick Fellowship: Drew Massey; Housewright Dissertation Award: Gwynne Browne, Glenda Goodman, Eric Hung (chair); Lowens Article Award: Monica Hairston O'Connell (chair); Lowens Book Award: Scott DeVeaux, Leonora Saavedra (chair); and Service and Achievement Awards: Judith Tick (chair). John Koegel and Trudi Wright both completed terms as Members-at-Large on the Board, and Judy Tsou will be stepping down as Past President with the arrival of our new President Elect, Sandra Graham. Danielle Fosler-Lussier and Cecilia Sun were elected as Members-at-Large, and Neil Lerner was re-elected to his fourth term as Secretary. Garrett thanked them all and there was vigorous applause for their many hours of volunteer service.
The next segment of the meeting was occupied with the recognition of the numerous (and growing) honors and awards bestowed by the Society. The names of these recipients, along with descriptions and the various committee members, has been recorded elsewhere in the Bulletin and on the Society website.
Finally, Garrett opened the floor for new business, and hearing none he opened the floor for announcements. Tracey Laird stole one of Garrett's announcements by offering praise to Graham and her committee for staging such a lovely conference, and Garrett also thanked the educational institutions that made generous donations in support of the conference: Babson College and Northeastern University (the co-hosts), Berklee College of Music, Harvard University, Merrimack College, and Wheaton College. He also thanked the efforts of Joice Gibson, our Associate Conference manager, and Mariana Whitmer, both of whom work tirelessly behind the scenes to make each conference happen. Garrett then entertained a motion for adjournment, which was made by Paul Laird and quickly seconded by many people who included Daniel Goldmark. With all votes in affirmation of the motion, we adjourned at 6:11 pm.
Neil Lerner, SAM Secretary
Brass Band Performs for the 25th Time
A little-noticed milestone during the 2016 SAM conference was the 25th performance by the SAM Brass Band. The idea of having a brass band play during the Society's annual reception resulted from a conversation between Robert Copeland, Dianna Eiland, George Foreman, and Craig B. Parker on a bus ride to Old Economy Village during the 1986 Sonneck Society conference in Pittsburgh. Intended to be a one-time event at the 1987 conference in Danville, Kentucky, the band has performed at every annual Sonneck Society/SAM conference since except for 1989 (Nashville), 1991 (Hampton, Virginia), 1993 (Pacific Grove, California), and 2001 (Trinidad and Tobago). Craig B. Parker has served as director of the band for each performance except in 2003 (Tempe, Arizona), when Dianna Eiland assumed the directorship.
Since its inaugural performance, the band has focused upon the 19th-century American brass band repertoire as well as the compositions of John Philip Sousa and his colleagues. Music by composers who had lived in or near the city where the conference was being held has also been a major component of the band's programming. In addition, the SAM Brass Band has played several original band compositions by Al Blatter and numerous arrangements written especially for the band by George Ferencz.
|Craig B. Parker (left) and the SAM Brass Band|
The SAM Brass Band's 2016 repertoire featured six works by composers who lived in or around Boston: Igor Stravinsky (his infamous 1941 harmonization of The Star-Spangled Banner), Patrick S. Gilmore (Columbia), George W. Chadwick (The New Hail Columbia Marching Song), Jean Marie Missud ("Mañana": Chilian Dance), John Harrison Woods (Boston Subway March), and Herbert L. Clarke (New England's Finest). Other compositions on the program included Crystal Schottische by G. W. E. Friedrich, Revival March by Sousa, A la belle étoile—Valse Boston by Kenneth E. H. Underwood, and America, I Love You by Archie Gottler. Both the Boston Subway March and A la belle étoile—Valse Boston were imaginatively arranged from their original piano versions by George Ferencz especially for this event. The band's performance ended with its traditional closer, W S. Ripley's Fireman's Polka, accompanied by the massed voices of SAM conventioneers.
Trumpeters in the 2016 band were Jim Aagaard (University of Wisconsin-Richland), Josh Gailey (Yale University), Monica Hershberger (Harvard University), Craig B. Parker (Kansas State University), Deane Root (University of Pittsburgh/Grove Music), Kate Sutton (Florida State University), and Robert Walser (Case Western University). Alto horn players Al Blatter (Curtis Institute) and Raoul Camus (retired, Queensborough Community College; director emeritus, Queens Symphonic Band) provided the obligatory off-beats as well as the occasional lyrical moment. George Ferencz (University of Wisconsin-Whitewater) offered his velvet tones throughout, especially in the essential euphonium solo in The Fireman's Polka. Trombonists John Gabriel (Harvard), Sara Gulgas (University of Pittsburgh), Nathan Platte (University of Iowa), and Linda Pohly (Ball State University) provided the requisite countermelodies and glissandos. The band was blessed with three tuba players: Karen Claman (City University of New York), Grace Edgar (Harvard), and John Koegel (California State University, Fullerton). Providing the rhythmic drive for the conductor-less band were bass drummer Steven Baur (Dalhousie University), cymbal player Carolyn Bryant (President, American Musical Instrument Society), and snare drummer Haley Nutt (Florida State University). Musicians performing with the SAM Brass Band for the first time were Karen Claman, Grace Edgar, John Gailey, Sara Gulgas, Monica Hershberger, and Haley Nutt.
The SAM Brass Band always welcomes new members. Those wishing to perform with this group in Montreal or at future SAM conferences should contact Craig B. Parker (firstname.lastname@example.org) so that a folder can be prepared for you.
Craig B. Parker
Kansas State University
Society for American Music Establishes New Fellowship in Honor of Anne Dhu McLucas
|Anne Dhu McLucas|
The Society for American Music is pleased to announce the establishment of a new fellowship for graduate students in honor of the late Anne Dhu McLucas. McLucas was a brilliant polymath with wide-ranging interests in all things musical, a wonderful teacher, a gifted and supportive mentor, and a path-breaking scholar. The fellowship honors Prof. McLucas' primary areas of scholarly interest by providing support to a graduate student conducting research (archival or fieldwork) on traditional music (music in the oral tradition) or Native American/First Nations music. The fellowship is open to students currently enrolled in a graduate program in Ethnomusicology, Musicology, Folklore, Anthropology, or other relevant discipline. The fellowship may support research expenses, including but not limited to travel, lodging, media resources, and duplication expenses. The maximum award is $1,000.00.
Interested applicants should submit: a one-page letter of application with contact information; a narrative of three-to-five pages (double-spaced) that describes the scope of the project and the need for funding; a current CV; a one-page budget for the project; and one letter of reference from a scholar who is familiar with your work (the letter should be sent separately by your recommender to the committee chair). Application materials should be submitted electronically to Paul F. Wells (email@example.com), Chair of the McLucas Fellowship Committee. Deadline for submissions is November 1, 2016.
A one-page budget and final report are to be submitted by the recipient to the Executive Director of the Society no more than one year after the award is presented.
Information about the fellowship is also available on the SAM website.
From the President
|Charles Hiroshi Garrett, SAM President|
The Society's 42nd annual conference, held in Boston, Massachusetts, proved to be a landmark meeting, attracting record attendance, prompting lively intellectual exchanges, featuring numerous special events, and marking the resounding triumph of the four-year SAM/2.0 Campaign. We all owe thanks to Sandra Graham (Local Arrangements Chair), Lydia Hamessley (Program Chair), the members of their respective committees, all of the conference volunteers, everyone who contributed to SAM/2.0, Joice Gibson (Associate Conference Manager), and Mariana Whitmer (Executive Director). We are especially thankful to the educational institutions that made generous donations to help fund the conference: co-hosts Babson College and Northeastern University, Berklee College of Music, Harvard University, Merrimack College, and Wheaton College. Thanks as well to those who donated raffle prizes, including The Star Spangled Banner Music Foundation, the University of Michigan Press, the Hampsong Foundation, A-R Editions, and Oxford University Press.
Thanks to the efforts of our program committee, the conference percolated with a diversity of presentations, topics, and scholarly approaches—as well as the welcome return of research posters. From freedom songs to avant-garde electronica, soca music to the music of Sesame Street, Cannonball Adderley to Trombone Shorty, the meeting had a great deal of range to offer. Special events populated the entire conference. Elizabeth Hudson, Dean of the College of Arts, Media and Design at Northeastern University offered a kind welcome at the opening reception, where we honored Felicia Miyakawa, the inaugural awardee of the Paul Charosh Independent Scholar Fellowship. The Honorary Member Ceremony recognized the achievements of Terri Lyne Carrington "in recognition of your remarkable contributions to American musical culture as a drummer, composer, producer, musical collaborator, and teacher— balancing global artistry while championing local music-making." Carrington spoke thoughtfully about her musical memories and mentors, and fondly described her time taking a look through recent articles in JSAM. A spectacularly talented quartet of her Berklee College jazz students enlivened the ceremony, which was followed later in the evening by a festive pub sing, led by George Emlen of Boston Revels. Friday night featured a remarkable performance by the Florestan Recital Project, which designed their program specifically to honor (and incorporate audio examples from) the work of Vivian Perlis in the inaugural Perlis Concert. In addition to performing songs by Ives, Copland, Thomson, and Carter, among many others, the group brought the entire audience together in a collective and improvisatory performance of the music of Pauline Oliveros. On Saturday night musical entertainment began with the SAM brass band and continued with a lively performance by fiddler Frank Ferrell, pianist Janine Randall and caller Mary McGillivray. Thanks as well go to Raoul Camus for supplying the shrub for the banquet!
More awards, fellowships, and subventions were presented in Boston than at any previous conference, a growing total that soon will be surpassed in Montreal 2017. Congratulations go to Dale Cockrell (Lifetime Achievement Award) in recognition of his pioneering scholarship and to Thomas Riis (Distinguished Service Award) for his exemplary service to the Society. We also celebrated Thomas Brothers (Irving Lowens Book Award), Douglas Shadle (Irving Lowens Article Award), Christopher Wells (Wiley Housewright Dissertation Award), Samuel Parler (Mark Tucker Award), and Kate Galloway (Cambridge University Press Award). A complete list of fellowship and subvention recipients can be found on the front page of the SAM website.
We will always remember the Boston 2016 conference as the gathering when the SAM/2.0 Campaign sailed past its $1-million fundraising goal and generated another round of new fellowships and initiatives. The Campaign has greatly enhanced the Society's ability to fund, promote, and reward new scholarship in all music of the Americas. We are tremendously grateful to bruce mcclung, the inspirational chair of the Development Committee, whose article in the Bulletin documents the full set of SAM/2.0 accomplishments and its path forward from here. His innovative ideas, buoyant optimism, firm focus, and unwavering commitment to the Society turned a lofty, perhaps impossible, goal into a welcome and enormously fruitful destination. I also wish to recognize Doug Bomberger, James Cassaro, Maribeth Clark, James Deaville, Susan Key, Katherine Preston, Thomas Riis, Judy Tsou, Denise Von Glahn, and Mariana Whitmer for their innumerable contributions through the Development Committee. What they accomplished collectively is truly amazing, and SAM members in the years to come all will benefit from their extraordinary efforts.
In Boston, the SAM/2.0 campaign brought us the inaugural Vivian Perlis Concert, the Judith McCulloh Fellowship, and the Paul Charosh Independent Scholar Fellowship. Next year in Montreal, again as a result of SAM/2.0, we will award three new fellowships. Please help us spread the word about these new opportunities!
Anne Dhu McLucas Fellowship
This fellowship recognizes Anne Dhu McLucas's contributions to American music studies and her selfless service to the Society, including her tenure as President. It provides support to a graduate student conducting research (archival or fieldwork) on traditional music (music in the oral tradition) or Native American/First Nation music. The maximum award is $1,000. The submission deadline is November 1, 2016.
Margery Morgan Lowens Dissertation Research Fellowship
In honor of Margery Morgan Lowens, a founding member of the Sonneck Society for American Music, this fellowship supports student research at the early stages of the dissertation process. The maximum award is $4,000. The submission deadline is June 1, 2016. Please note the early deadline and inform your students.
Edward T. Cone Fellowship
Thanks to a generous gift from the Edward T. Cone Foundation, recognizing Cone's contributions to American music as a composer, musicologist, and theorist, this fellowship supports scholarly research on the history, creation, and analysis of American concert music. The maximum award is $4,000. The submission deadline is November 1, 2016.
Many SAM committees have been extremely active, and much of their work can be characterized as engaging with new forms of outreach, exploring emerging technologies, and seeking to promote diversity. I wish to bring to attention two specific initiatives spearheaded by individual SAM committees.
1. The Education Committee has circulated a CFP for Society for American Music Digital Lectures in American Music. They are soliciting proposals for a new series of online video lectures on American music topics. Designed for general audiences, these lectures may address any topic or theme in American music studies. Each "Digital Lecture in American Music" should be between 10 and 15 minutes in length. Three proposals will be awarded an honorarium of $500 upon completion of the project. The lectures will be hosted on the Society's webpage and its YouTube channel. The submission deadline is May 15, 2016.
2. The Membership Committee has produced a "Why SAM?" video, which is poised to go viral worldwide with your help. It's a terrific production entirely produced, filmed, edited, and polished by volunteer efforts, and it's now available on the Society's YouTube channel. If anyone asks you about SAM, forward this link!
Given that our Society is "dedicated to the study, teaching, creation and dissemination of all musics in the Americas," I want to underscore the importance of building a more diverse Society, not only in terms of our membership—an issue that remains vital—but also in terms of fostering an even wider range of scholarship, whether in terms of subject, time period, scholarly approach, or geographic region, among other concerns. In this light, I have a general request for all members. When you're having conversations in class or during other conferences, when you engage with colleagues from other disciplines, when you encounter important work that falls under the umbrella of "all musics in the Americas," please encourage those you speak with to consider the Society for American Music and JSAM as venues to present their work. Issues involving diversity and outreach present major challenges for our Society, and they can only be met by working together.
Looking ahead to next year, the 43rd Annual Conference will be held in Montreal, Québec (22-26 March 2017), hosted by McGill University, with Lisa Barg serving as Local Arrangements Chair and Steve Swayne serving as Program Chair. Please see the Call for Papers for full information; submissions are due on 1 June 2016. We welcome proposals involving all facets of musical life throughout the Americas and about American music and aspects of its cultures anywhere in the world. We especially welcome submissions that emphasize the cultural diversity in Québec and eastern Canada, with their long history of separate and intersecting streams of francophone, anglophone, indigenous, and other musical traditions in all genres. And we look forward to proposals related to the wide-ranging musical activities and interests of our 2017 honorary member: Beverley Diamond, Canada Research Chair in Ethnomusicology at Memorial University of Newfoundland and director of the Research Centre for the Study of Music, Media, and Place.
See you in Montreal!
Charles Hiroshi Garrett
Forum for Early Career Professionals (FECP)
The Forum for Early Career Professionals had a productive weekend at the Society for American Music's 2016 meeting in Boston. On Thursday morning, we sponsored a panel and discussion titled "Take it Outside: Engaging the Public, Broaching the Political." Panelists included Eric Hung, Associate Professor of Music History at Westminster Choir College of Rider University; Jason Hanley, Vice President of Education and Visitor Engagement at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame; and Sheryl Kaskowitz, independent scholar and editor at the Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University; and moderated by FECP co-chair Dana Gorzelany-Mostak. Our panelists discussed a variety of topics, including designing classroom activities, weighing options for publishing research, bolstering institutional support for public scholarship, maintaining a public image, and handling public criticism. Our full audience joined in for a lively discussion, and panelists provided attendees with handouts offering resources, readings, and activities for teaching and research. These handouts will be made widely available on the FECP Facebook Page. We also encourage readers to read Sheryl Kaskowitz's contribution to our column, printed in this Bulletin, which extends the conversation begun in our panel.
On Friday, the FECP conducted its annual business meeting. After introductions, we held an activity and discussion centered around how we prioritize tasks in research, teaching, and service, and strategizing how to best apply our time and energy as early career professionals. Members shared strategies and considerations they had found useful in our own career paths. Finally, the FECP elected Kate Galloway to serve as the incoming co-chair for the Forum, and thanked outgoing co-chair Dana Gorzelany-Mostak for her three years of energetic leadership.
Academic Publishing and Public Scholarship: Some Considerations
by Sheryl Kaskowitz
Ed. Note: The Forum for Early Career Professionals runs a regular column for the Society, addressing important issues facing members in the early stage of their careers. Any readers who would like to continue the conversation begun by Sheryl's essay are welcome to post comments, share stories, or ask questions at the FECP Facebook Page. Non-Facebook users may send their feedback to the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org and/or FECP co-chairs Dan Blim, Sarah Gerk, and Kate Galloway at email@example.com. The following column emerges from the FECP's panel at the 2016 meeting of the Society in Boston: "Take it Outside: Engaging the Public, Broaching the Politial."
Do you think nonacademics would maybe like to read your book—regular people, other than friends or family who are obligated to read it? Here are some things to consider as you navigate publishing for the public and the academy:
1) Does your topic have public appeal?
Try this test: find a few non-academic friends or (distant) relatives who generally like to read nonfiction books but aren't experts in your field. Describe your topic to them, and see how they react. If their eyes glaze over or they have little to say about it, your topic (as it currently stands, anyway) may be might be best suited for an academic audience. If it sparks a conversation, then it's probably also fit for public consumption.
2) How does publishing your book fit in with your career goals?
If you're a junior scholar on the tenure track—or would like to be—your safest bet is to go with an academic press, since most senior scholars will tell you that a trade book won't "count" in the tenure game. If tenure has no relevance to your life and your goal is for lots of people to buy (and, of course, to read) your book, then publishing with a trade press could be a good option.
3) Is your book a trade animal?
Many trade publishers will ask you to remove—or drastically cut—your footnotes. (There are certainly exceptions to this; for example, in her history of Wonder Woman published by Knopf, Jill Lepore was able to keep her hefty endnotes section, but—well, we're not all Jill Lepore.) If the thought of losing those beloved footnotes is just too painful, then an academic press might be the best fit for your project.
For me, the decision to stick with an academic press mostly came down to this question—my book started out as my dissertation, and while I was willing to do certain things to make it more accessible to a general audience (cutting out and reshaping some of the theory, reorganizing it chronologically, etc.), I just couldn't imagine cutting all of those footnotes. (Of course, academic presses often require you to cut down notes as well, but don't require a full "footnotectomy").4) What about the money?
I published my book with a large academic press that also has a trade arm, which means my book got some publicity and was priced to sell alongside other trade nonfiction books. Some people actually read it, and I got to be interviewed on All Things Considered, so what else could one ask for? The sacrifice—and it's a big one for independent scholars—is the money. Academic publishers are built upon the assumption that authors are writing for tenure (and the greater good and all of that), not financial compensation. If you're an independent scholar, it's worth keeping that in mind.
5) How do I find an academic publisher who can help bring my book to the public?
Consider a publisher's capacity for reaching beyond the academy when deciding on an academic press. Talk to potential editors about your interest in reaching an educated general audience and see what they say. Do they have a budget for publicity and marketing? Do their books ever get reviewed in newspapers or other prominent nonacademic places? Do they place books in big-box bookstores? How many copies of your book would they print? What would the price be?
Of course, there are things you can do independently to reach a public audience, but having support from your press can make a huge difference.
Sheryl Kaskowitz is an independent scholar and the author of God Bless America: The Surprising History of an Iconic Song (Oxford University Press, 2013).
|Student Forum members from Florida State University|
The Student Forum wishes to thank all those that donated to and participated in the annual silent auction in Boston. The auction was a great success, and we appreciate your encouragement and generosity. We also wish to thank those that donated their time to our scholar meet and greets. We received positive feedback from many students, and hope to make these a regular conference tradition. Finally, we wish to thank the donors that made our student forum luncheon possible. We recognize and appreciate the support and encouragement we receive as SAM student members and look forward to another great year!
Be sure to check the Student Forum Facebook page for future announcements and email the Student Forum co-chairs with any news, concerns, or questions.
Megan Murph and Jamie Blake, Student Forum Co-Chairs
An American Mission
When Gloriæ Dei Cantores (Singers to the Glory of God) was founded twenty-eight years ago, it soon became evident that American music would be a priority for performance and recording. Why? When the musical staff looked at many familiar and unfamiliar American composers and their sacred choral repertoire, it became clear that there was a sizable amount of literature that was under-performed and never recorded. Most of the Boston Classicists (Paine, Foote, Parker, Chadwick), works of Copland and Thomson, the American mystic Alan Hovhaness, Howard Hanson, Leo Sowerby, and two prominent Jewish composers, Samuel Adler and Robert Starer, along with numerous others, were sadly neglected by choirs. This rich treasure of sacred choral music was waiting to be discovered and, over the last twenty-five years, Gloriæ Dei has created one of the most comprehensive discographies preserving this literature and making it accessible for music-loving audiences throughout the world. Their American Collection has become a must-have treasury of 20th-century American sacred choral music.
In plumbing the depths of this Collection, perhaps Gloriæ Dei Cantores' mission is most focused in their series of three CDs of American Psalmody. From 1998-2002 these recordings were made at the Methuen Memorial Music Hall (a venue steeped in American musical history), and the choir's home, The Church of the Transfiguration in Orleans, Massachusetts. Each program was selected to give voice to a variety of musical styles and periods and represent both well-known American composers and those that perhaps should be better known. The first volume, Make His Praise Glorious, includes works of Adler, Hovhaness, Pinkham, Hanson, and Randall Thompson, as well as "Psalm 90" of Charles Ives. Four brief psalm settings of Daniel Pinkham are little jewels in his attractive and direct style, while the lush setting of Psalm 23 for choir and harp by Randall Thompson shows another side of the composer best known for his iconic setting of "Alleluia." "Make a Joyful Noise" is a great discovery: a mini cantata by Alan Hovhaness with brass that shows the many influences that coalesce into a very personal statement. Finally, Robert Starer's diptych, "Psalms of Woe and Joy" is a study of contrasts in texture and mood that delights the listener and includes an idiomatic piano accompaniment.
A year later, Gloriæ Dei Cantores produced a second volume entitled By the Rivers of Babylon, which expanded upon the parameters of the first volume. Here there are not only American composers but also a German composer who lived in America for a substantial time, Arnold Schoenberg. He is represented by his magnificent setting of Psalm 130, "De profundis." Milton Babbitt, Schoenberg's successor in the realm of serial music, acclaimed this as the finest performance of the work he had heard. Gloriæ Dei also recorded a virtually unknown work by a composer who was well known in the early twentieth century but fell into great neglect for the next hundred years: Charles Loeffler. His lushly elegant setting of Psalm 137 (giving the title to this recording), is set for four-part women's voices, cello, harp, two flutes, and organ, creating a rich and unusually beautiful sonority that shows a great influence from contemporary French composers. We have mentioned the distinguished pedagogue and composer Samuel Adler, and here he is represented by his 1998 composition, "A Psalm Trilogy."
The third and final volume of the American Psalmody series takes its title from the most famous psalm: The Lord Is My Shepherd. This was the first choral recording to be made in the choir's home venue, the Church of the Transfiguration, a magnificent stone church modeled after early Christian basilicas. Again, the parameters are expanded a bit here to include a composer who spent much time in America, Darius Milhaud. Indeed, he is included in the New Grove Dictionary of American Music! His three-movement "Cantata from Proverbs" is a rarely performed work, yet has all the hallmarks of Milhaud's style: chamber music-like writing with rich melodic lines for the singers and unusual yet effective instrumentation. Here Milhaud sets the texts for three-part women's choir, oboe, cello, and harp, creating a most intriguing sonority for these texts. Another highlight of this CD is the only available recording of Ned Rorem's "Two Psalms and a Proverb," written in 1963. Interestingly, the piece was written under a grant to Daniel Pinkham who conducted the premiere. Pinkham himself contributed a new work (2000) for the choir: "The House of the Lord" (from Psalm 122) that was recorded here for the first time and shows off his penchant for exciting vocal writing and rhythmic vitality. Other composers included in this volume are Conrad Susa, Ives, Hovhaness, Starer, Adler, Philip James, and Bruce Neswick, all worthy composers for the concert hall as well as the worship service.
Gloriae Dei Cantores' collaboration with Grammy award-winning violinist Mark O' Connor, Appalachian Sketches, also deserves special note. The centerpiece of this recording is a commissioned work for choir and violin based on Charles Wesley's famous hymn, "Let Us Move"—one of only two vocal compositions by O'Connor. The violin riffs on the hymn tune and responds in a virtuosic way to the variety of rich choral writing based on the hymn tune. It is a real barn-stormer, a great match to the numerous 19th-century hymn arrangements found on this recording arranged by Robert Shaw and Alice Parker. Thus the CD gives a broad picture of sacred hymnody from the American South.
Gloriæ Dei Cantores American Collection includes CDs of Adler, Hovhaness, and Copland and Thomson, all with fascinating and rarely performed music—a must-have discography and rich legacy of music for American music enthusiasts.
by David Chalmers
Journal of the Society for American Music
Volume 10, Number 2 (May 2016)
"Common Joys, Sorrows, Adventures, and Struggles": Transnational Encounters in Amy Beach's "Gaelic" Symphony
Constructed Melodies: Building the Score into the Set
Musics of Latin America. Edited by Robin Moore and Walter Aaron Clark
Passamaquoddy Ceremonial Songs: Aesthetics and Survival. By Ann Morrison Spinney
Aboriginal Music in Contemporary Canada: Echoes and Exchanges. Edited by Anna Hoefnagels and Beverley Diamond
The Jazz Image: Seeing Music through Herman Leonard's Photography; The Ghosts of Harlem: Sessions with Jazz Legends. By K. Heather Pinson
The Beautiful Music All Around Us: Field Recordings and the American Experience. By Stephen Wade
Country Music: A Cultural and Stylistic History. By Jocelyn R. Neal
The Sounds of Capitalism: Advertising, Music, and the Conquest of Culture. By Timothy D. Taylor
Roomful of Teeth. By Roomful of Teeth
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 the review editors, Christina Baade (JSAM, firstname.lastname@example.org) and/or Esther Morgan-Ellis (Bulletin, email@example.com).
Calling All Multi-Media Reviewers!
Do you use any scholarly databases, websites, DVDs or other multi-media items in your research or teaching that would be of interest to our SAM community? Please share your findings in a multi-media review for JSAM! Also, if you are interested in writing a review, but do not have a particular multi-media item in mind, we have opportunities for you too! Please contact the multi-media editors, Trudi Wright (JSAM, firstname.lastname@example.org) and/or Elizabeth Ozmet (Bulletin, email@example.com) for more information.
The Society for American Music is pleased to welcome these new members:
Dylan Principi, Yardley, PA
Nathan Buckner, Kearney, NE
Mary Natvig, Bowling Green, OH
Gui-Hwan Lee, Incheon, South Korea
Isaac Maupin, Lexington, KY
Trudy Williams, New York, NY
Sarah Neill, Whitsett, NC
Zakee Shabazz, San Diego, CA
Anne Stickley, Fairfax, VA
Drew Griffin, Tallahassee, FL
Erik Broess, Medford, MA
Mary Caton Lingold, Durham, NC
Adam Folvag, Fort Worth, TX
David Kjar, Chicago, IL
Alejandro Garcia Sudo, Los Angeles, CA
Gibb Schreffler, Claremont, CA
Corey Blake, Riverside, CA
Laura Schwartz, Carlsbad, CA
Sean Peterson, Eugene, OR
Emily Allen, Tallahassee, FL
Natalia Perez, Tallahassee, FL
Jordan Musser, Ithaca, NY
Ari Weinberg, Williamsburg, VA
Albert Diaz, Los Angeles, CA
Victoria Visceglia, York, PA
Aaron McPeck, Cleveland, OH
Michael Allemana, Chicago, IL
Haley Nutt, Waxahachie, TX
Natalie Oshukany, Brooklyn, NY
Kai West, Ann Arbor, MI
Randall Keith Horton, Jamaica, NY
Alannah Taylor, Tallahassee, FL
Maribeth Anderson Payne, Nowalk, CT
Are you a graduate advisor with the perfect student (or group of students) to review selections from our list of currently available titles? The "mentored" book review process offers an opportunity for faculty to incorporate the book review experience into coursework for graduate students, transforming a typical book-review assignment into an authentic publishing opportunity. Interested advisor/advisee duos, as well as those with an interest but without a pairing (such as faculty at undergraduate-only institutions), are encouraged to contact incoming Bulletin Reviews Editor Esther Morgan-Ellis (firstname.lastname@example.org) for a list of currently available books.
Recording Culture: Powwow Music and the Aboriginal Recording Industry on the Northern Plains. Christopher A. Scales. Durham and London: Duke University Press. 2012. 368 pp. ISBN: 978-0-8223-5338-6. Paper.
Victoria Lindsay Levine, Colorado College
Powwow scholarship has come a long way since its origin in the 1950s.1 Although a handful of powwow studies appeared in the second half of the twentieth century, they have emerged since 2000 as a central focus in the ethnomusicology of Native North America.2 Seminal books by Tara Browner and Clyde Ellis, numerous articles, and an important collection edited by Ellis with Luke Lassiter and Gary Dunham, brought depth and breadth to powwow studies. Textbooks by Beverly Diamond and John-Carlos Perea related powwow music to other intertribal genres, such as Native flute music and contemporary styles.3 The foundation laid by these recent authors paved the way for a new understanding of powwows not as reflections of acculturation, as earlier writers asserted, but as particular expressions of Indigenous modernity. Christopher Scales clearly articulates this new understanding in Recording Culture, his masterful study of the Native American/First Nations recording industry. Scales possesses a unique set of qualifications for this project; he is an ethnomusicologist with experience as a recording engineer and record producer. His book therefore brings the ethnomusicology of Native North America into dialogue with music industry studies.
Scales explains in his introduction that Native Americans have participated in recording their songs since the late nineteenth century. Yet the process of recording "is laced through with politics and filled with moments of social and technological mediations," and Native recording artists actively discuss tradition, modernity, and intertribal Indian identity with non-Native record producers and sound engineers (2). Scales therefore uses the phrase "recording culture" in reference to both the processes of powwow recording, which transform cultural practices into cultural products, and the aesthetic concepts and musical lives of Native recording artists (3). He documents the ways in which powwow songs and musical values are transformed as drum groups move between powwow grounds and recording studios, arguing persuasively that the powwow recording industry developed alongside the growth of competition powwows. He characterizes powwow record labels as "intercultural contact zones" where divergent concepts about music and social relations undergo continual negotiation (21).
Part I, "Northern Plains Powwow Culture," differentiates competition and traditional powwows, discusses the style, ethics, and aesthetics of singing powwow songs, and narrates the stories of two drum groups traveling on the powwow circuit in 1999 and 2000. Scales discusses the interwoven social factors that create personal meanings among powwow participants. His comparison between a competition powwow held at the Assiniboine reservation and a traditional Ojibwa powwow demonstrates the complex interrelationships between the two kinds of cultural performances. His rich descriptions bring powwows to life for readers and shed light on the esoteric protocols and judging criteria that even seasoned powwow spectators may not have grasped. Scales explains the central components of powwow musical style and demonstrates how individual, local, and regional stylistic variations continue to evolve. He offers the most detailed information to date on the distinctive vocal production used by Northern Plains powwow singers, the loose relationship between the drumbeat and melody, the placement of honor beats, and the diverse song genres. This information is among the most useful and important aspects of the book. Scales views powwows as part of popular culture, and his comparative case studies shed light on the role of summer travel for singers following the powwow trail. His anecdotes include an unforgettable story about the time members of a drum group took turns riding in the trunk of their car due to lack of space inside the vehicle. The story reflects Indian humor, but also celebrates the culture of travel among powwow participants. Scales concludes that fixed judging criteria used in competition powwows have deeply influenced the powwow recording industry.
Part II, "The Mediation of Powwows," traces the rise of the powwow recording industry, explores recording studios as sites for the creation of Native music, considers production and recording practices, and examines what motivates drum groups to record their songs. Scales compares three powwow labels active in Winnipeg during the 1990s—Sunshine Records, Studio 11, and Arbor Records—and explains how they differed from mainstream labels in terms of distribution and marketing strategies. He defines the genre categories used to market Native recordings—Traditional and Contemporary—and contrasts the roles of musicians and sound engineers in the production of each genre. Whereas recordings by Contemporary Native artists may be shaped in part by the producers with whom they collaborate, powwow drum groups maintain tight control and cultural authority over their recordings. The methods of electronic manipulation used to master powwow recordings include the addition of reverb, compression, and equalization, which create the sound of live performance valued by drum groups. Scales points out that drum groups make recordings to supplement income, build their reputation on the powwow circuit, and preserve their songs for future generations. He proffers larger lessons for ethnomusicology, writing that "we must always engage critically in recording as both a process and a text that produces knowledge, theory, and argument. In so doing we may understand 'recording culture' as one of the many different ways in which we can engage in the practice of ethnomusicology" (267). Scales touches on the sea change that occurred in the recording industry following his research, and its impact on the powwow record industry, in the book's coda.
The accompanying CD is thirty-five minutes long with nine carefully-chosen powwow songs compiled from recordings produced by Arbor Records. All of the songs were composed by Scales' friend and research consultant, Gabe Desrosiers, and performed by the Northern Wind Singers, an Ojibwa drum group from the Lake of the Woods area of northern Ontario. The songs are virtuosic representations of a range of powwow musical styles and studio recording techniques. Notes for each track explicate details of formal structure, meter, tempo, and style components specific to certain song categories (such as trick endings, codas, or ambiguous meters).
Scales is to be commended for this well-written and thoughtful book. He has made a significant contribution to powwow scholarship, and I hope his work will inspire further research on the Native American/First Nations recording industry.
1 James H. Howard, "Pan-Indian Culture in Oklahoma," The Scientific Monthly 81/5 (1955): 215-20; "Pan-Indianism in Native American Music and Dance," Ethnomusicology 28/1 (1983): 71-82.
2 See Orin T. Hatton, "Performance Practices of Northern Plains Pow-wow Singing Groups," Yearbook for Inter-American Musical Research 10 (1974): 123-37 and "In the Tradition: Grass Dance Musical Style and Female Pow-wow Singers," Ethnomusicology 30/2 (1986): 197-222; Bruno Nettl, Blackfoot Musical Thought: Comparative Perspectives (Kent: Kent State University Press, 1989); William K. Powers, War Dance: Plains Indian Musical Performance (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1990); Judith Vander, Songprints: The Musical Experience of Five Shoshone Women (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1988); and Thomas Vennum, The Ojibwa Dance Drum: Its History and Construction (Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Folklife Studies no. 2, 1982).
3 Tara Browner, Heartbeat of the People: Music and Dance of the Northern Pow-wow (Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2002) and Songs from "A New Circle of Voices": The Sixteenth Annual Pow-wow at UCLA (Middleton, WI: A-R Editions, Inc., 2009); Clyde Ellis, A Dancing People: Powwow Culture on the Southern Plains (Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2003); Clyde Ellis, Luke Eric Lassiter, and Gary H. Dunham, eds., Powwow (Lincoln and London: University of Nebraska Press, 2005); Beverley Diamond, Native American Music in Eastern North America: Experiencing Music, Expressing Culture (New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008); and John-Carlos Perea, Intertribal Native American Music in the United States: Experiencing Music, Expressing Culture (New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014). See also Chris Goertzen, "Powwows and Identity on the Piedmont and Coastal Plains of North Carolina," Ethnomusicology 45/1 (2001): 58-88; Anna Hoefnagels, "Powwow Songs: Traveling Songs and Changing Protocol," The World of Music 44/1 (2002): 227-36; Lynn Whidden, Essential Song: Three Decades of Northern Cree Music (Waterloo, ON: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2007); Byron Dueck, Musical Intimacies and Indigenous Imaginaries: Aboriginal Music and Dance in Public Performance (New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013).
Opera at the Bandstand: Then and Now. George W. Martin. The Scarecrow Press, Inc., 2014. 254 pp. ISBN: 978-0-81088-853-1. Hardcover.
Molly L. Barnes, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Opera has suffered no dearth of study by musicologists in recent years. But George W. Martin's Opera at the Bandstand: Then and Now proves distinctive for linking opera with an oft-neglected ensemble: the concert band. In tracing the history of the United States concert band tradition since the nineteenth century, Martin shows how bands gave many their first taste of operatic music, but have steadily performed less of this repertory. His book then becomes a "heartfelt plea for the bands of today to play more excerpts from the operas of today" (xiii).
Martin begins with a chapter on the earliest U.S. bands, which until the 1830s were chiefly military and theater bands. By 1834 Allen Dodworth had established in New York City what might have been the country's first independent all-brass band. By the 1850s it was presenting public concerts that included excerpts from the operas of Verdi and Donizetti. This band and similar ensembles found encouragement, argues Martin, in the European orchestras then touring the country. Louis-Antoine Jullien's orchestra in particular enjoyed a fantastically successful U.S. tour in 1853-54. The charismatic French conductor's success, Martin maintains, demonstrated that a large ensemble could flourish unconnected to the military, that concert tours combatted audience ennui, and that operatic excerpts found an enthusiastic reception.
The next five chapters focus on two giants of U.S. concert band history. The first, Irish cornetist Patrick S. Gilmore, launched ambitious musical events in the 1860s and 1870s called "jubilees." These "monster concerts" introduced thousands of Americans to opera. The "Anvil Chorus" from Verdi's Il Trovatore, and works by Wagner, Rossini, Meyerbeer, Weber, Flotow, and others, proved initially popular, but audience demand for opera gradually diminished. Martin attributes this decline to the fact that after the Civil War, theaters began specializing in certain genres, offering fewer potpourri programs. Concertgoers increasingly expected to hear opera only within the opera house, hence opera's slow disappearance from band repertory.
In 1873 Gilmore set out to create a preeminent military band in New York's 22nd Regiment Band, wherein "his aim was to soften the brassiness of his band, and bring within its scope the softness, smoothness, and flexibility of a symphony orchestra" (53). He achieved this sound partly through a larger wind section, imitating Paris's Garde Républicaine. But broader shifts separating "light" (Italian) from "serious" (German) repertory threatened Gilmore's goals. The operatic works of Rossini, Bellini, and Donizetti, popular during the 1850s, gave way to Wagner and symphonies by Mendelssohn and Beethoven by the 1870s. Entertainment venues became generically divided, leaving bands that performed a mix of genres in a precarious position.
Chapters 4 through 7 treat the other giant of the American concert band: John Philip Sousa, Gilmore's symbolic heir. Martin offers a vivid portrait of the "March King" as man and musician here, describing his physical appearance, conducting habits, and aesthetic preferences. Sousa became the conductor of the U.S. Marine Band in 1880—Martin notes Sousa was its "most well-rounded" leader yet—and later recruited his own civilian band. Like Gilmore, Martin observes approvingly, Sousa modernized the band's repertory, sought primarily to entertain, and mixed "serious" and "popular" music, "always questioning the truth of the distinction" (66). The band arguably reached its height with summer concerts at Willow Grove Park, Pennsylvania, between 1901 and 1928. With Sousa's death in 1932, the band folded. But Sousa had left an indelible mark on the concert band tradition: he made the march into an art, composed operettas, modeled excellent band conducting, and introduced much operatic music to Americans. Martin makes a convincing case that 1890-1910—1910 being the peak year—marked a golden age for the popularity of U.S. concert bands.
The last four chapters depict a decidedly new era for U.S. concert bands. Advances in transportation, radio, and recording technology were rendering band concerts less convenient, while changing musical tastes and the dance crazes of the 1920s and 1930s helped dance bands to flourish. Opera offered nothing for dance bands, with their mandate to play straightforward melodies and steady beats in popular song forms such as the standard AABA, thirty-two bar refrain. Furthermore, the Depression prevented bands from touring. The reader has the sense that if Martin's main goal is to illustrate how U.S. concert bands disseminated opera, he might have cut his losses and ended the book in the 1930s. But Martin obviously wishes to tell a more comprehensive history of U.S. bands.
Martin mentions several dance bands—including those of Vincent Lopez and Guy Lombardo—before discussing Paul Whiteman, whose band played standalone concerts and dances. He also took advantage of recording technology, but was criticized for mixed programs and for "'jazzing' some of the classics" (112). These critiques again reflected the hardening boundaries between "popular" and "classical" music. The Long Beach Municipal Band, an ensemble more properly designated a "concert band," formed in California in 1909 and was led by Herbert L. Clarke, celebrated cornetist and chief successor to Gilmore and Sousa. Clarke programmed music much like his predecessors, but also lighter selections for beach tourists. Martin emphasizes that when Clarke died in 1945, the concert band that toured and performed opera regularly also began to disappear.
After World War II, a few civilian concert bands remained active, but their repertory began to depart from that of earlier eras. By contrast, the U.S. Marine Band, of which Martin gives a brief historical overview, carried on the tradition of Sousa and Clarke and consistently included at least one operatic selection on almost every concert. Martin devotes a chapter to the civilian Goldman Band, active between 1911 and 2005 and led most prominently by Edward Franko Goldman. Goldman commissioned works from living composers, insisted that concert bands deserved their own repertory, and largely ignored contemporary opera, popular music and musical theater. His penchant for programming abstract, modernist works led to difficulties attracting large summer crowds. His son Richard, who took over leadership of the band, shared his father's fascination with new music but was even more uninterested in contemporary popular or theatrical music. Harold Schonberg of the New York Times censured the younger Goldman in 1962 for going "highbrow" in programming original band music by modernist composers (153).
But in the ivory tower of the mid-twentieth century, bands were becoming further removed from contemporary popular music. Martin describes the career of Frederick Fennell, a professor at the Eastman School of Music who founded the Eastman Wind Ensemble. Fennell programmed works of contemporary modernists (Riegger, Hindemith) and few operatic excerpts. Martin implicitly agrees with composer and jazz musician Gunther Schuller, who in 1981 took academics like Fennell to task for remaining in a "cocoon." Schuller argued that if wind bands wanted audiences, they should establish non-academic professional ensembles and choose repertory originally composed for other forces, including popular music groups (158). In the academy and to a large extent the wider musical landscape, the programming trend Martin describes still reigns: non-eclecticism and an aversion to arrangements. Martin concludes by lamenting the loss of opera from band programs, the emphasis on often inaccessible "new" music in the academy, and amateur bands wallowing in the dated popular music of Sousa and Suppé.
Martin includes several extra features that supplement his historical narrative. Seventeen appendices list the repertory of the main ensembles treated in the book and provide concert bands with suggestions of operatic or theatrical repertory composed between 1940 and 1980. Many might quibble with Martin's choices here, because his list does not include operatic music by recent composers with postmodern tastes such as Adams or Reich. But his suggestions at least provide an initial collection of ideas on which to draw.1 Forty-one images reproduce concert programs, sheet music covers, and photos of major bands and their leaders.
The book is not without considerable flaws. The reader loses sight of Martin's overall argument when presented with minor details about bands themselves that are often irrelevant to the broader discussion about operatic repertory. Moreover, if Martin wants U.S. concertgoers to hear more opera—contemporary or not—why would he argue for concert bands as viable sources? Martin evidently harbors nostalgia for concert bands and opera, and hopes to see the two united again. He gives the impression that he wishes to return to halcyon days when "popular" and "high" culture shared the bill, when Americans gathered on the town green to enjoy contemporary popular music and operatic excerpts at a summer band concert.
An attorney by training and a writer by trade, Martin clearly took on this project as a labor of love. The author's zeal for the subject is obvious, and it is refreshing to read a scholarly book that eschews academic jargon and theory. Martin has surely filled a need in connecting the history of opera with the U.S. concert band tradition. Meticulously researched with extensive endnotes, there is much to commend this study, not least that it condenses a great deal of information, primary sources, and secondary literature not heretofore offered in a single book. In that sense, Martin has produced an interpretive reference work useful for historians of U.S. concert life and for those interested in the relatively little-known concert band tradition.
1 It is odd, for example, that Martin suggests Sondheim's Sweeney Todd as a potential resource but no theatrical music by Bernstein.
Rhyme's Challenge: Hip Hop, Poetry, and Contemporary Rhyming Culture. David Caplan. New York: Oxford University Press, 2014. 192pp. ISBN 978-0195337136. Paper.
Kai West, University of Michigan
Anyone familiar with hip hop will know that rhyming is an integral part of the genre, to the extent that MCs often refer to their lyrics collectively as rhymes. The rapper Murs sums up the essence of this art: "I've never come to a point where I couldn't express how I feel and make it rhyme at the same time."1 Those acquainted with the history of poetry will be aware that the ability to rhyme was long seen as a key element, one often indicative of poetic skill. Within contemporary American poetry and literary criticism, rhyming technique has largely fallen away, treated as an arcane relic of the art form, no longer relevant or vital. David Caplan's compelling book Rhyme's Challenge: Hip Hop, Poetry, and Contemporary Rhyming Culture confronts those beliefs, offering persuasive evidence that the power of rhyme merits reevaluation by poets and critics, and that hip hop illuminates the relevance of rhyming in today's world. Rhyme's Challenge surveys a multitude of sources including poetry, prose, music, law, and politics, to illustrate the prevalence and vitality of rhyming within contemporary American culture.
In an introduction that begins with the all-caps assertion "WE LIVE IN A RHYME DRENCHED era," Caplan demonstrates how rhymes abound in popular music, and indeed many facets of modern American life, referring to what he calls "contemporary rhyming culture" (1). The book aims to inspire further scholarship on "how rhyme functions within and across specific musical and literary genres, not just in individual artists' works, and how it operates in the popular culture, not just in the most prestigious forms of print-based poetry" (3). This highlights the notion that Rhyme's Challenge, while a contribution to both poetry and hip hop scholarship, is also about the broader significance of rhyming culture. The introduction establishes both historical and current attitudes toward rhyming within what Caplan often refers to as "the most prestigious forms of print-based poetry," a moniker that seems to gently prod the art form of which he is both a devotee and an expert. He then draws attention to some of the more close-minded arguments from poets, critics, and scholars regarding both the use of rhyming techniques and hip hop's relationship to poetry. Though Caplan never explicitly asserts that hip hop rhymes should be considered as poetry, he does cite and support literary critic and hip hop scholar Adam Bradley, who persuasively makes this argument.2 What Caplan does claim is that hip hop rhymes are firmly rooted in and committed to "the contemporary moment," and he uses this assertion to contrast the belief within formalist poetry circles that rhyming is old-fashioned or nostalgic (148, note 3). He also makes a point of differentiating between the types of rhyming techniques used by hip hop artists and print-based poets, alluding to a divide between the two. In addition to revealing Caplan's command of literary scholarship, the introduction also demonstrates a sensitive awareness of hip hop and spoken word studies.
The book features four primary chapters bookended by an introduction and conclusion. The first three chapters focus on specific rhyming techniques descending from poetics that appear in hip hop. "Reduced to Rhyme" (chapter one) centers on "doggerel," a form of comic verse which is poorly written, either unintentionally or deliberately. Those unfamiliar with poetic theory may find this concept less approachable than others although Caplan applies it to hip hop in a clear and plausible manner. The chapter opens with an amusing anecdote of a state supreme court justice who was criticized by his colleagues for writing a dissenting opinion in rhyming verse. Their concern was that rhyme cheapened the opinion and undercut the court's authority. Caplan analyzes the somewhat insolent verse and declares it to be doggerel, which he explains is often used as a "pejorative, referring to bad or inept poetry" (32). He uses this legal example to launch a discussion on the current state of rhyming in public perception, which demonstrates the broad scope of his research.
"The Art of the Rhymed Insult" (chapter two) explores hip hop's use of "diss" rhymes and the seemingly endless ability of rappers to deride adversaries in their lyrics. Here Caplan offers complex poetic-analytical readings of hip hop lyrics, outlining the construction of the rhymes and how such techniques influence their meanings. Particularly absorbing is an analysis of several diss songs between female MCs Foxy Brown and Lil'Kim that showcases their rivalry and examines the poetic effectiveness of specific rhymes. Those interested in Caplan's attention to insult rhyming may also appreciate Elijah Wald's The Dozens: A History of Rap's Mama, an intricate text that traces the tradition of verbal jousting within African American culture, and emphasizes rhyming as an influential facet.3
"Making Love in Mirrors" (chapter three) introduces the technique of "seduction rhyme" and illustrates the ways rappers employ this strategy. As Caplan writes, "rhyme establishes the seducer's sexual credentials. To rhyme well, wittily, inventively, and confidently is to promise sexual mastery" (85). He contrasts this technique to that of the previous chapter: where insult rhyme casts an inherent opposition between writer and subject, seduction rhyme creates a sensual bond between the two. Caplan draws a comparison between Elizabethan sonnets and hip hop rhymes, alluding to "love charms" that exist in both. He illustrates this with an analysis of the song "Promiscuous," in which Nelly Furtado and Timbaland trade seductive verses to entice one another (87).
"The Inheritors of Hip Hop" (chapter four) focuses on the influence of hip hop music and rhymes on the emerging generation of contemporary print-based poets. Positioning hip hop artists as poetic agents enables Caplan to present illuminating readings of several modern poems that reference hip hop as a source of inspiration. This chapter also briefly touches on race, otherwise largely absent from the discussion, as Caplan brings up the issue of "white listenership" to a primarily black music, citing the work of Tricia Rose.4 Caplan explains that today's poets grew up in a time when print-based poetry, for the most part, did not rhyme, but notes that their progression also paralleled hip hop's embrace of rhyme. He optimistically suggests that new generations of poets may go on to reclaim and reinvigorate rhyming techniques. Caplan presents his challenge in the book's concluding paragraph: hip hop represents the art of rhyming in its most vital and relevant contemporary form. His final phrase elegantly drops the mic: "We live in an era of virtuoso rhyming, awaiting only the print-based poets' full contribution" (138). Challenge issued.
Finely articulated, Rhyme's Challenge demonstrates Caplan's creativity, command of language, and rich and varied use of sources. For example, a set of notes in chapter two comprise citations of Wu Tang Clan's "Triumph," Schopenhauer's The World as Will and Idea, and Wyclef Jean's "Masquerade." In the words of Dr. Dre, such scholarship is designed to "keep their heads ringin'."5 Caplan's handling of hip hop materials is well informed, although he limits this treatment to mainstream rappers such as Kanye West, Jay-Z and Eminem. Rhyme's Challenge could prove a useful model in examining some of hip hop's more complex lyricists such as Aceyalone, Kendrick Lamar, and Aesop Rock, as well as the vibrant and lyrically exceptional scenes associated with "underground" hip hop.
Music scholars will note that Caplan does not examine how hip hop lyrics are projected over musical beats and how this relates to the construction of rhymes. He briefly mentions rhythmic devices existing in poetry, but largely ignores the musical elements that define hip hop poetics, a methodological choice that opens up territory for future scholars. For those who wish to move in that direction, Oliver Kaunty and Kyle Adams offer chapters in the recent Cambridge Companion to Hip Hop that focus on lyrics and flow and analytical methods respectively: both authors call for greater attention to rhyme schemes and vocal delivery within the developing field of hip hop musical analysis.6
Rhyme's Challenge will no doubt be of interest to poetry scholars as it addresses a controversial and neglected topic. Hip hop scholars studying the construction, flow, and musicality of rap vocals may also find this poetical approach useful in pinning down rhyming techniques. Those looking to follow the path carved out by Adam Bradley, which elevates hip hop rhymes to the status of poetry, will certainly find encouragement here. In the end Caplan presents a thoughtful, intricate, and persuasive text that will serve as a catalyst for scholars willing to accept his challenge.
1 Paul Edwards, How to Rap: The Art and Science of the Hip-Hop MC (Chicago: Chicago Review Press, 2009), 82. This book presents an overview of how MCs compose and deliver their rhymes, told mainly through interviews.
2 Adam Bradley, Book of Rhymes: The Poetics of Hip Hop (New York: Basic Books, 2009). Also see Bradley's follow-up, The Anthology of Rap. Adam Bradley and Andrew Dubois, eds., The Anthology of Rap (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2010).
3 Elijah Wald, The Dozens: A History of Rap's Mama (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012).
4 Tricia Rose, The Hip Hop Wars: What We Talk About When We Talk about Hip Hop—and Why It Matters (New York: Basic, 2008).
5 Dr. Dre, "Keep Their Heads Ringin'," in Friday (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack), Priority Records, 1995, CD.
6 The Cambridge Companion to Hip-Hop, edited by Justin A. Williams, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015).
Why We Left: Untold Stories and Songs of America's First Immigrants. Joanna Brooks. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2013. 208pp. ISBN 978-0816681259. Cloth.
Natalie Oshukany, CUNY Graduate Center
English and Anglo-American folk ballads have long been the object of study for many academic disciplines. Folklorists, literary and music scholars, among others, have contributed unique perspectives to the topic, resulting in a breadth of information and approaches, from early studies of ballad evolution, origin, and categorization, to more recent preoccupations with the intersection of balladry and immigrant identity, as well as questions of production and reception.1 Significant interest in American ballads also exists outside the academy, with music journalist and cultural critic Greil Marcus’ writings being perhaps the best-known publications on the topic intended for a popular readership.2
As a study of the social and historical context of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century English migration to North America through the lens of folk ballads, literary scholar Joanna Brooks’ Why We Left is in line with more recent approaches to ballad scholarship engaging critical theory. The bulk of the book focuses on ballads collected by folklorists in America during the first half of the twentieth century. Four of the five chapters are named after and center on individual ballads, which serve as entry points into specific aspects of colonial history as experienced by peasants. Brooks emphasizes the function of these songs as repositories of cultural memory. Specifically, she is interested in the subjective experiences of the working-class English who first immigrated to America in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, experiencing "internal colonization" at the hands of the English Crown. "Given that very few early English laboring-class migrants wrote about their experiences," Brooks asks, "what archives might I consult? What texts of early Anglo-American peasant consciousness could I locate?" (3). She approaches the ballad repertoire as an entry point into an alternative history, one that—if understood in conjunction with historical context—offers contemporary readers and listeners insight into the complicated and often harrowing experiences of America’s first immigrants.
The book’s title, Why We Left, succinctly summarizes the crux of Brooks’ inquiry; rather than asking what drew English peasants and working classes to American soil, Brooks focuses on the factors that compelled—or pushed—these populations to leave their homes. Under what historical conditions did these people leave their birthplaces, and how can we understand the nature of their agency? Anglo-American ballads, Brooks argues, tell us the personal, emotional story of globalization’s effects on England’s lower classes. They elucidate the painful consequences of the transition from feudalism and subsistence living to mercantile capitalism, narrating stories of betrayal, abandonment, and injury. Brooks works against popular histories that depict English immigration to America as an advantageous, optimistic move. She writes that "[t]he phrase ‘land of opportunity’ continues to dominate our national imagination of immigration from the seventeenth century down through the present day, so much so that professional historians continue to wrestle with its influence and meaning" (8). After weaving through a history of England’s colonization of the Americas, using circulating folk ballads as her guide through the subjective experiences of these laboring masses, however, Brooks presents us with an alternate history, one that powerfully rejects the "land of opportunity" narrative. "This story," she argues in her epilogue, "...was spun and promoted by American industrialists in the early twentieth century. It is not a story that those early migrants would have told about themselves" (165).
Given her explicit interest in historical subjectivity, Brooks’ prose parallels her subject matter. By the second page we learn that Brooks is a descendent of some of the earliest working-class immigrants to America, and she explicitly acknowledges her personal relationship to the subject matter throughout the book. She often employs the collective "we" when writing about these immigrants’ experiences, and frequently references her "Brooks ancestors." With these rhetorical moves, she inserts herself (and the reader) into the writing, at once making a statement about her own heritage and demanding a greater humanistic understanding on the part of the reader. Brooks is an engaging author, writing imaginatively and with an expressivity not always common in academic studies. At times her colorful prose is almost song-like, as in her description of a family member in the introduction: "My uncle Norm is the guardian of Brooks family memory. Before a series of disabling strokes, Norm stood six feet five, raven-haired, beak-nosed, a Johnny Cash sort of handsome, with Cash-like menacing swagger and Cash-like bloodlines" (3).
The majority of the book’s chapters revolve around a single ballad, opening with the genesis of its recording in the twentieth century, before offering a reading of the ballad based on detailed historical research. In the opening scene of Chapter Two, "Murder the Brother Who Killed the Tree," for example, Brooks brings us to the town of Galax in southwestern Virginia in the year 1937, at a recording session with Alan Lomax, Davy Crockett Ward and his Bogtrotters, and his wife Mrs. Lina Crockett Ward. It was here that Lina recorded a rendition of the famous Anglo-American ballad "Edward," in which a man murders his own brother for cutting down a tree. From there, Brooks takes us through a brief history and description of the ballad’s inception, and introduces several other versions with lyrical variants. But the main argument Brooks makes is interpretive; rather than accepting readings of the ballad that treat the tree metaphorically and understand the text as a narrative about incest, Brooks suggests that we consider "the potential virtues of surface reading" (52). In other words, understanding the tree in the ballad as a tree points to a specific historical experience for Anglo-American peasants—the brutal social and economic consequences of deforestation and environmental destruction, and the displacement of thousands of English peasants. Brooks enriches this reading with a wealth of information about royal forest systems beginning as early as 1066, hunting laws, and the painful processes that depleted English woodlands. Brooks provides a rich contextual background through which we can understand "Edward" in a different light—as a document attesting to "a profound sense of loss at the emotional core of colonial outmigration" (74).
Each of the remaining ballad-based chapters follow a similar structure, opening with the recording history of a specific ballad and some remarks on the performance style of a particular recording, before broadening the scope to consider a historical context that may inform our understanding of the ballad in question. Chapter Three, "Two Sisters and a Beaver Hat," tells the story of colonial commodity culture, offering a wealth of information highlighting the effects of the North American fur industry on the lower classes. The ballad "The Two Sisters" expresses the deep social schisms, environmental damage, and economic transformations arising from status goods and the middle class’ accumulation of social and cultural capital at the expense of peasant well being. Chapter Four, "To Sink It in the Lonesome Sea," centers on a ballad alternately named "The Golden Vanity" or "The Sweet Trinity." The ballad’s text tells the story of a young cabin boy drowning after being abandoned by the ship’s captain—an allegory, Brooks suggests, for the common Englishman’s perception of the colonial project as a betrayal of one’s own people. In Chapter Five, "Seduction of the House Carpenter’s Wife," we are introduced to colonial history from a female perspective. Brooks argues that the ballad known in different versions as either "James Harris," "The House Carpenter," or "The Demon Lover" is an expression of loss of family and community structures in the face of colonization. Here we are introduced to peasant expression of the colonial experience as one of abandonment. In the epilogue, titled "Ballad of the Laboring Poor," Brooks reiterates a goal stated in her introduction: in her effort to understand the experience and emotional lives of Anglo-American peasants through these ballads, Brooks hopes to not only offer an alternative way of understanding the effects of globalization for this population, but also interrogate the experiences of these people—as colonizers—and the dispositions and values shaped by their experiences. In short, Brooks understands her work as an ethical project, with potential repercussions for our modern world. She writes: "I hope these stories of why we left communicate solidarity to anyone leaving behind catastrophes wrought in the name of economic progress and moving toward that dream of a stateless commons where everyone gets what they need" (171).
Carefully researched and enjoyable to read, Why We Left has wide appeal as both a contribution to the academic study of Anglo-American ballads, as well as an engaging book for anyone interested in Anglo-American folk music or, indeed, histories of colonization, globalization, and the interplay of cultural production and memorialization more generally. In each chapter Brooks makes convincing interpretive arguments, bolstered by the breadth and depth of her research. She moves seamlessly from peasant and nobility writings, to historical law documents, to contemporary publications on British colonial officials, the North American fur trade, and, of course, English and Anglo-American balladry. She does not treat these ballads as objective records of peasant subjectivity, but rather as starting points for further research, establishing paths that point to the experiences of those marginalized in most historical texts. However, for a book focused on the social and historical meaning of these songs for early Anglo-American migrants, very little outside of the domain of song emerges. While she offers evocative descriptions of the recorded performances of the four main ballads, there is little information about the contexts in which Anglo-American peasants or their ancestors performed, listened to, or otherwise engaged with these songs. Many of her interpretive arguments, for example, emphasize the critiques of capitalism and commodity culture present in these ballads, but these ballads were involved in these structures themselves, with broadside ballads printed and sold in large numbers in both England and America (a point Brooks briefly mentions in her introduction). Although this observation does not undermine Brooks’ interpretive arguments, it certainly adds an important dimension to any consideration of the social function of these songs. A deeper discussion of performance context and reception history would enrich how people engaged with and expressed themselves through these ballads.
Music scholars need no reminders that songs and their texts constitute a viable, important, and indeed indispensible archive for studying the historical and the social. As a source, however, Brooks’ detailed historical research greatly enhances our understanding of the social and historical context of the Anglo-American immigration in which balladry flourished. Drawing masterfully and creatively from a wide array of historical and contemporary sources, Brooks provides a rich contextual basis through which we can understand the meaning of these songs more deeply and, perhaps, more empathetically. Methodologically, we might seek to emulate Brooks’ deft interdisciplinarity. Personally, we may also choose to follow Brooks’ ethical project, asking ourselves how what kinds of lessons our scholarship can offer our contemporary world.
1 For an overview of predominant paradigms in the study of Anglo-American folk song see James Porter, "Muddying the Crystal Spring: From Idealism and Realism to Marxism in the Study of English and American Folk Song," in Comparative Musicology and Anthropology of Music: Essays on the History of Ethnomusicology, ed. Bruno Nettl and Philip V. Bohlman (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1991): 113–130. For representative examples of tune analysis and classification, see George Foss, "A Methodology for the Description and Classification of Anglo-American Traditional Tunes," Journal of the Folklore Institute 4/1 (June 1967): 102–126, and Norman Cazden, "A Simplified Mode Classification for Traditional Anglo-American Song Tunes," Yearbook of the International Folk Music Council 3 (1971): 45–78. For more recent examples focused on performance contexts and the roles of singers and collectors, see C. J. Bearman, "Who Were the Folk? The Demography of Cecil Sharp’s Somerset Folk Singers," The Historical Journal 43/4 (September 2000): 751–775, and James Porter and W. F. H. Nicolaisen, "Ballad Explanations, Ballad Reality, and the Singer’s Epistemics," Western Folklore 45/2 (April 1986): 110–127.
2 See Sean Wilentz and Greil Marcus, eds., The Rose & the Briar: Death, Love, and Liberty in the American Ballad (New York: W.W. Norton, 2005).
Thomas W. Jacobsen's most recent publication, The New Orleans Jazz Scene Today: A Guide to the Musicians, Live Jazz Venues, and More (Bluebird Publishing) is a comprehensive look at today's New Orleans jazz. Enhanced with nearly 70 photographs by the author, the book reveals New Orleans as a leading U.S. center for live jazz performances and jazz education. Jacobsen, professor emeritus of Indiana University, has spent a quarter of a century in New Orleans as a keen observer of the jazz scene. His previous two books were Traditional New Orleans Jazz: Conversations with the Men Who Make the Music and The New Orleans Jazz Scene, 1970-2000.
|Thomas J. Kernan|
The Abraham Lincoln Association and Abraham Lincoln Institute awarded the 2016 Hay-Nicolay Prize to Thomas J. Kernan, Assistant Professor of Music History at Roosevelt University, for his dissertation, "Sounding 'The Mystic Chords of Memory': Musical Memorials for Abraham Lincoln, 1865–2009," (University of Cincinnati, 2014, advised by bruce d. mcclung). The prize, named for the late president's personal secretaries and biographers, John Hay and John Nicolay, recognizes the most consequential Lincoln-related dissertation, from any academic discipline, defended during the 2014 or 2015 calendar years.
Ralph P. Locke has published a "prequel" to his widely used book Musical Exoticism: Images and Reflections (which is now available from Cambridge University Press as a paperback, in a lightly corrected edition). The new book, published by Cambridge in summer 2015, is entitled Music and the Exotic from the Renaissance to Mozart. It is available in hardcover and as an e-book. The book considers, among other topics, the ways in which various cultural products that made use of music—including operas, instrumental dance-suites, plays with incidental music, and comic ballets—reflected the growing awareness of regions beyond Europe, not least the New World. Instances involving the New World include Purcell's The Indian Queen, a broadside ballad from ca. 1762 (about three Cherokee chiefs visiting London), and eighteenth-century Italian, French, and English comic operas that dealt with colonialism, slavery, democratic manners, and other features of life in North America and the Caribbean. Locke discussed his now-complete two-book project in a post on the AMS's blog.
The Center for Popular Music at Middle Tennessee State University has received a grant from the GRAMMY Foundation in the amount of $19,537 to process the contents of the Marvin Hedrick audio collection. Acquired by the CPM in 2015 and comprised of 167 original open-reel tape recordings from Brown County, Indiana, the Hedrick collection is one of the most historically and culturally significant assemblages of live hillbilly music and bluegrass recordings in existence. The project is to preserve, catalog, digitize, and disseminate the tapes and their contents via a dedicated website and the center's documentary label, Spring Fed Records. www.mtsu.edu/popmusic
Roger Lee Hall, Director and Album Producer of the American Music Recordings Archive (AMRA), has announced the release of six new CD titles on the AMRC label. A Dedication Concert, featuring music by American composers from the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries, was performed by soloists and chorus from the Old Stoughton Musical Society. Two choral works by 19th century New England composer, Edwin Arthur Jones, include Song of Our Saviour (0029), a cantata for soloists, chorus, organ and orchestra; and Easter Concert (0030), an oratorio for soloists, chorus and piano. And finally, three new compilations have been released, American Places: Musical Travels (0028), with music by 19th and 20th century composers with pianist Margaret Ulmer and bass-baritone, Eric Sosman; "Chester": The Stoughton Harmony (0031); and "The Liberty Song": From the Pilgrims’ Landing to World War I (0032). These new releases are listed with other AMRC titles here.
David Hildebrand has been awarded a 3-month residential fellowship for 2016-17 at Mount Vernon’s Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington as one of 17 scholar selected to undertake "advanced research focused on the life and leadership of George Washington, and his place in the development of American civic life and culture." This work will continue the extensive research done in 1998-99 by former SAM Executive Director Kate Van Winkle Keller. Click here for further information.
Julie Hubbert was awarded a 2016 NEH Summer Stipend for her book project entitled The Auteur as Audiophile: Music in New Hollywood Film. Hubbert is an Associate Professor in the School of Music and the Film and Media Arts Program at the University of South Carolina. Her previous publications include Celluloid Symphonies: Texts and Contexts in Film Music History (University of California Press, 2011).
The Bulletin is published in the Winter (January), Spring (May), and Summer (September) by the Society for American Music. Copyright 2016 by the Society for American Music, ISSN 0196-7967.
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.
SAM MEMBERSHIP POLICY CHANGESThe Society's membership year has been changed to run from April 1st through March 31st. Dues received after February 1st will be directed to the following membership year. If you join mid-year, you will still receive all four issues of the Journal of the Society for American Music, the Bulletin, and the Directory. Any members who joined between January 1, 2016 and March 31, 2016 will have their membership terms extended through March 31, 2017. International members will no longer be charged an extra $5 to cover mailing costs. All SAM members upon joining/renewing now have the option to receive JSAM in both print and online (or as online publication only).
Awards, Fellowships, and Subventions of the Society
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.
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.
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.
Paul Charosh Independent Scholar Fellowship
The Paul Charosh Independent Scholar Fellowship is intended to foster research by independent scholars, and to encourage their participation in Society conferences. For purposes of this award, an "independent scholar" is someone who does not teach at an institution of higher learning, or who does so with a non-renewable contract of one year or less.
John and Roberta Graziano Fellowship
This fellowship shall be given to support scholarly research in all genres of music that originated in the United States in the nineteenth century, as well as other music performed in North America during that historical period.
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.
Judith McCulloh Fellowship
The fellowship is given annually to support a short-term research residency at the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage. Awarded competitively to scholars at any phase of their careers, the fellowship may be used to support expenses associated with the residency, such as travel expenses, lodging, and duplication expenses at the center.
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.
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.