University Libraries


UA MUSIC LIBRARY READING ROOM NOTES



No. 4-5 (2001-03)

Compiled by the Music Library Staff



Mark Germer, Music Librarian; Lars Halle & Aaron Meicht, Circulation Supervisors



(To contact the editor see the end of this page.)


Included in this issue:

The Origins and Development of Jazz at UArts: Conversations with School of Music Faculty
Lars Halle: Who's Afraid of the Big Band Wolf?
Aaron Meicht: CCMIX 2001-02
In Retrospect, by Maria Ezerman Drake
Mark Germer: The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, 2nd Edition: A Review



Words of Introduction by CPA Dean Richard Lawn:

I grew up in suburban Philadelphia and I remember as a teenager frequenting the Villanova Jazz Festival and listening to many of the performers mentioned in the remembrances that follow: Michael Pedicin, Stanley Clarke, Evan Solot, and others. While my memory isn't specific, I recall being impressed by what I heard. At the time I was already completely sold on jazz, though I also studied classical clarinet with Jules Serpentini, then a retired member of the Philadelphia Orchestra. Occasionally I arrived for my lesson with my clarinet packed in my saxophone case, and Jules would proceed to curse the saxophone, lecturing me about how I really didn't need that "awful" instrument. As I planned for my collegiate experience, I considered a number of schools, including Temple University, West Chester University, Oberlin College, Eastman School of Music, and, of course, the Philadelphia Music Academy. I was determined to major in saxophone performance and to be involved in a program that recognized jazz as a legitimate field of activity.

As our UArts faculty point out in the reminiscences that follow, there were unfortunately very few institutions in the '60s that gave credence to either of my preferred pursuits, and consequently I ruled out all my options but the Eastman School of Music. While ESM recognized the saxophone as a legitimate instrument for study, Eastman's jazz experience in those days was "extra-curricular", at least during my first year or so of study. Many schools were debating the credibility of jazz studies programs, and many of us in the decades that followed continued to wage the argument for legitimacy. I'm proud now to be Dean at an institution that has not only survived this struggle, but also recognizes the appropriateness of serious study of American music generally, validating its place in higher education.

The UA School of Music, led by some of those same musicians that I heard years ago at the Villanova Festival, has become a jewel in the University's crown and offers living proof that jazz and American musics can serve as the foundation of a solid music education. In addition to its music majors, the School offers instruction to hundreds of non-majors each year, and the UA Music Library also serves as a valuable central resource, integrated into the teaching and learning functions of the School. The students who have gone through our programs learn that they have become members of a close-knit family of friends and life-long colleagues--a benefit afforded by only a small group of professional schools. I am pleased now to be part of this long-established, rich tradition, and I look forward to celebrating many more anniversaries here.



The Origins and Development of Jazz at UArts: Conversations with School of Music Faculty

On four different occasions between May and November 2002, the Music Library staff asked individual members of the full-time music faculty to reminisce about the development of jazz performance and instruction in the School of Music. The same questions were put to Profs. Evan Solot, Ron Kerber, Bill Zaccagni, and Marc Dicciani, although our conversations were separate, and the responses naturally emphasized different areas of interest. Here we have compiled their answers, editing them for concision and clarity. Also we have spelled out abbreviated titles and corrected a few names without comment, and reconciled conflicting dates when we could identify them. Throughout we have tried to preserve the informal tone of the conversations.


We asked about the early years.

MD: More than anybody, Evan Solot is the single person credited with championing the jazz program. And championing is probably a suitable descriptor because during those years there was a great sentiment against such things. There was a lot of resistance to it early on, mostly philosophical, not so much budgetary. Certainly in those days jazz was not a respected area of conservatory study.

ES: I came to the Philadelphia Musical Academy as a student during the years 1962 through 1967. When I was a student there was some jazz but it was not officially recognized by the school. The saxophonist Vince Trombetta and the trumpet player Mike Natale were both at the school. They were students already playing jazz. We were always trying to start something. I had experience in starting big bands from when I was a junior in high school. There was a University of Pennsylvania graduate [student] named Jimmy DePreist [now well-known as an orchestra conductor] who was also a drummer. When I was in high school I called him, and he said he would get together a youth band if we would take care of auditioning. We put up notices in all the high schools around the city and set up auditions. Vince Trombetta played in that band. So, when I came to PMA, I worked toward two degrees, a music education degree with a trumpet major and an applied music degree with a composition major. I was studying composition with [Professor] Joseph Castaldo. During my senior year we talked him into letting us have a big band for no credit under the guidance of a faculty member, Peter Lewis, a theory teacher who played some jazz piano.

MD: When I was in high school one of the best jazz festivals in the country was held nearby at Villanova [University]. I went out there on two occasions to hear the PMA Big Band play, and they won the festival [competition]. They also had a small group; Mike Pedicin, Evan, Jimmy Paxson, Stanley Clarke, Sunnie Paxson and maybe a few other students also played. But that was a student-organized thing. They won the festival competition for small group too, and that was a pretty prestigious thing. They had also gone to the Glassboro Jazz Festival. I knew of the PMA Big Band because I was keenly interested in coming to the School; my teacher, Paul Patterson, was also the teacher of Jimmy Paxson, in those days a legend. [University of] Notre Dame at that point hosted the "finals" of college jazz festivals. It was one of the most important [competitions] in the country and the PMA Big Band went there a couple of times.

BZ: I knew Evan Solot from when I was in high school. Evan studied trumpet with my high school band director who was on faculty at PMA--Tony Marchione--and Evan used to write arrangements for our high school jazz band.


We then asked how the program began to take formal shape.

ES: The year after I graduated, Castaldo decided to experiment and offer the Big Band for credit. I was teaching in the Philadelphia Public Schools, and came down here two afternoons a week and rehearsed the band offered for credit for the first time. Well, what happened was that we had all this success in the first year, with magazines writing about and praising our great band! Castaldo was looking for a worthy pursuit as another extension of getting the school's name "out there" and attracting people.

MD: The band was pretty famous then, and they brought a lot of notoriety to the School, not all of which was well received by the rest of the faculty. Some of them were becoming concerned that PMA was becoming known as a school that promoted or condoned this "jazz" thing. This is the time that the festival we are now planning is designed to commemorate. So, 35 years ago the students had a band, but what they wanted to have was the imprimatur from the School, as in the official name Philadelphia Musical Academy Festival Band. They were playing and rehearsing, but they weren't going out and representing the school and they wanted to. 1967 was the year that they asked for and got the official "ok" from the School to use the name. Joseph Castaldo, who was president during those years, was first and foremost a composer and didn't really have anything against jazz. He liked Evan a lot and he liked the people who were playing and teaching jazz. So he kind of took up the charge a little bit and allowed it to grow.

BZ: I was still in college at Temple University at the time. In 1967 they didn't have a saxophone major at PMA. It wasn't until the next year that Vince Trombetta started the saxophone major. Until then, if students wanted to play saxophone they would come in as clarinet majors with a saxophone minor. There were few college jazz programs around at that point; basically, North Texas State [University] had a program since 1947--they had the "Dance Band" major, as it was called--and Berklee [College of Music] was already in existence. As far as I know there were not many schools of music trying to build any kind of jazz program. I was envious, being at Temple, because we were barely allowed to say the word [jazz] there.

RK: Vince Trombetta's background was "classical", but he was a great jazz musician and commercial musician, so when he started the sax major it was an "American Saxophone" major as opposed to a classical or jazz major. You learned how to play saxophone and woodwinds in order to make a living. I started as a student here in the fall of 1975. But I'd made my mind up in ninth grade that I wanted to be part of that. The faculty always had a reputation, and it still does: those are the guys who are playing. The guys who are teaching are also the guys performing throughout the area. At least in terms of jazz and commercial music. This was a place that there was a lot of buzz about. It was the place where there were ensembles performing really good jazz, and where the teachers were good jazz musicians.

ES: There was even a time when we had three big bands and lots of small groups. And the thing that was different then--that I miss--is that the same people who played in the Big Band also played in the orchestra, and that was such a wonderful thing to have. It was so much richer. In those days there were more people, say woodwind players, who were more interested in being "doublers" than they are today, because they could make a living in the theater. I remember a saxophone player named Alfie Williams--he later played with Mongo Santamaria--who also played flute and bassoon. The classical teachers who were sensitive to jazz--such as Adeline Tomassone, a flute player--taught a lot of jazz performance majors. So, for instance, I could write for four flutes and bassoon in the sax section and know that they were going to be played by people who were seriously studying those instruments.

MD: We were known at one point as a school that really taught and embraced all kinds of contemporary music. Andrew Rudin, Castaldo, Theodore Antoniou, going all the way back to Vincent Persichetti: all of those people were obviously very "pro 20th century". Their focus was not conservative. Even when we had the orchestra it was programming some pretty novel pieces. There were always "two different kinds of mindsets" coexisting, maybe uncomfortably, but I think to the benefit of the students. Just being in that stimulating environment was something you can't get from a recording or a score or a book.

RK: There was a division. There is still a division. As open-minded as this school was, there was a division that often happens when people are fearful of their own territory. There was a jazz snobbery, and what I would call a "classical" snobbery that existed in the mid '70s and later. There were so-called "legitters" and "jazzers", but there were also good musicians who crossed over, playing in both jazz groups and in new music ensembles and in the orchestra.


As the program continued to evolve, local interest from outside the School grew.

BZ: I left school and went on the road for a year with a bus-and-truck-tour Broadway show called Promises, Promises. I came back and led the Big Band at Temple University for one year, for no pay, in 1972-73. Jim Herbert was the guy who had been in charge of it. I wound up conducting the band and writing for it. We had a great trumpet section: Earl Gardner, Stu Satalof, Rick Kerber, Jeff Jarvis, and Kevin Rogers.

ES: I remember hearing Bill's band at Temple for the first time. They blew me away--how good that Temple band was. I was just really impressed with what he was doing.

BZ: In the mid '70s Evan called me and asked me to come in and sub for a guy named John Davis, who was on faculty, with the third big band. As a matter of fact, Mike Quaile, who is now on the faculty, was the guitar player in that band. I was eventually hired in 1979, when [Dean] Clem Petrillo was still head of the school, to lead the Big Band and to teach Jazz History. I was not [yet] a saxophone teacher.


We were curious about rehearsal facilities.

MD: We rehearsed in the 313 S. Broad St. building, which no longer exists. On the second floor there was a big rehearsal room. In those early days there was only one drum set--which wasn't even four pieces of the same set--that we had to take out of the closet to play and then put back. Outside of when the ensemble was rehearsing we weren't allowed to play the drums. There was no drum set in any practice room.

RK: I have fond memories of also rehearsing in a [former] carriage house behind the music building [313]. It's where Evan's office was and it's where the jazz bands rehearsed. It was a carriage house for [what had been] a hotel. It was basically a big garage, and it was the jazz "getaway."

ES: We rehearsed there because it was a separate building and the noise didn't bother anybody else. At one point we also rehearsed in the basement of 313, and when you turned the lights on the roaches would all scatter.

BZ: When I first came on we were in 313, Music Library and all. We rehearsed in the basement which had no air conditioning and no heat, and every time it rained the rugs got moldy. It was a brutal place to rehearse.

MD: I remember playing on the roof one day [at 313] in December when it started to snow flurry. I brought a snare drum up and was playing with brushes and Stanley Clarke was playing bass. Allen Goldenberg brought his alto [saxophone] up and the three of us were playing on the roof because we weren't allowed to go into a practice room and play jazz.

ES: I have an early recollection of the first time we asked for a jazz group to play in Performance Hour--the equivalent of what we now call First Wednesday. It was a weekly thing. It was a chance for people to play in front of their peers, and the first instance of jazz at the school, officially, was a jazz group playing [in] Performance Hour and [then assistant dean, and original PMA president] Maria Ezerman-Drake rang the fire alarm--emptied the whole school onto the street. She didn't want to hear that music in the School.


A full curriculum slowly started to gel, beginning with the ensembles as a locus of jazz education.

MD: Initially the only jazz opportunity [formally] was to play in the big band; then after some years there came to be a second big band. That was a period when maybe jazz wasn't yet so worthy of study at a very deep level in a university setting. I think the way that we've promoted or grown the jazz program today makes a lot of sense now. I don't know how much sense it would have made to have had a full-blown jazz program in a college or university setting in those days. We started with just the [Big] Band, and I think by the time I was a junior they offered a jazz history class and a jazz arranging class. Evan taught them both.

ES: When I became a full-time faculty member in 1970-71, Larry McKenna and Mike Natale taught jazz improvisation. I taught a jazz history course the first time soon after that.

BZ: There were some supplemental theory and composition courses that had a jazz slant to them.

ES: We started adding courses and got to the point where we put enough courses together to have what we called Jazz Emphasis, which was a two-year program.

MD: The first year we had a Jazz Emphasis was 1976. There were more courses and it was ok to take lessons with a teacher who also played jazz, and you could take those lessons as part of your instrument major. People like Bob DiNardo and Vince Trombetta were jazz players, though they were classically trained, and they were teaching "classical" music as well, but they were allowed to incorporate more jazz into their lessons. But you still couldn't be a jazz major, and the jury requirements were all classically based.

BZ: We started to move towards a jazz major in the early-to-mid '80s. And at that point some people came on specifically to teach drum set. Joe Nero came in to teach drums and percussion. Domenick Fiore came on to teach bass. Ed Flanagan, who is now the head of the [jazz] program at Temple, was on the guitar faculty here.

ES: There seemed to be enough interest to put more things together and get a whole four-year jazz program. So the Jazz Emphasis billowed out and became a Jazz Major. Many of the best former students were asked to stay on as teachers: Ron Kerber, Tony Salicondro, Dennis Wasko, Edward Simon, Marc Dicciani; and later Steve Beskrone, Sam Dockery, Tony Miceli and Chris Farr.

BZ: George Akerley was here as a student and played piano in Evan's band. He was comfortable doing anything, from figured bass on the harpsichord to Moog synthesizers. George wound up on the faculty here. The trombonist Robin Eubanks also comes to mind as a former student who is comfortable in a lot of different idioms.

RK: By the time I graduated it was a foregone conclusion that a jazz major was going to happen. It's what the School excelled at. The classical programs had great teachers and great musicians, but in an age of specialization, our students weren't graduating and playing in major symphonic orchestras. If you were going to specialize in that, there were other places to go. But the players who were coming out of this School were in the commercial world. You could look around in any pit orchestra and see the musicians were trained at PMA/PCPA. And many of the people who were going to be performing in the commercial world were graduating from this School.

BZ: To this day--and this is no exaggeration--any gig I go on, fifty to seventy-five percent of the orchestra or band has an association with this School.


The School endured some difficult times.

RK: By the time I was a student in the mid '70s, there were 35-36 saxophone majors at a very small school. And I think this is interesting historically: by the early '80s it was "broken". For various reasons the school was broken, and at a low point, in many ways, I think. And it didn't have the identity it once had. The energy wasn't there, the spark wasn't there. But by the mid '80s there was what I would call the "second generation" of the jazz program. We got very serious about recruitment. It was really a lot of the will [on the part] of the faculty to go out to different high schools and festivals for recruitment, trying to bring in a better level of student, and also trying to raise the bar while they were here. And by the early '90s there were thirty-some saxophone majors again, and the same thing was happening with guitar and percussion.

BZ: We [the jazz faculty] were trying to go out and perform as much as we could, to make that impact, and to make the connections. We also had former students, now going out and teaching or working with jazz bands in the local schools, or getting full-time jobs in area school districts.

MD: As the director, Castaldo was using a different prism to try to understand what was going on. There was a disconnect with respect to jazz. But he was always supportive of the jazz program and he was a really great guy. I think the program was in place by the time Don Chittum came in as director.

RK: Although you may not consider him jazz faculty, Don Chittum was always the one who had the most open of minds, and just wanted to nurture people in any way that they needed to be nurtured. When he was director, he took that to the next level. When Marc Dicciani took over as director, he had some very difficult [economic] decisions to make. Sleepless nights. That whole period was difficult. But I really think that the problem turned into an opportunity.

MD: When we had to let go of the orchestral programs, we all considered it a loss because of how much both populations really benefited from each other.


We asked how the jazz program today continues to evolve.

BZ: There have been some very crucial and very basic changes to the program, as we keep trying to make sure we're on the same page. Now, as the curriculum has developed we've been able to make adjustments and move at our own pace. I'd like to believe we can get away from referring to courses as having a "jazz" prefix in front of them. We are who we are at this point. The educational values are still there.

MD: We're trying to help people to become educated and trained in music, but also to be educated and trained in a larger context. We've made curricular changes, and we're not done making curricular changes, to try to create this balance of skills. We are training people who are going to go out and, for the rest of their lives, work in music, so we need to give them those basic skills. We've enhanced those skills, but in so doing we've tried to put more critical thought into the individual training process. If you look at where we are now, we're in this continuum of redefining what a music school should do, what our social responsibilities are. When I look at the jazz program now, I don't want to separate it from music education--I don't want to separate it from a university education. One of the foremost things we are trying to do is produce critical thinkers who can assimilate into society and be successful.

BZ: The real question is, "Why is a jazz program necessary?" What does it offer? I think [jazz] has become a huge umbrella that covers many styles.

MD: We are really talking about supporting the individual, letting people think differently, providing opportunities for them to find out not only what kind of music they want to make, but also what kind of people they want to be. Only three-quarters of our students' studies are in music; inside of the understanding and analysis of music [that this part of their curriculum offers] is also an understanding and analysis of the individual. A jazz program can help build the inner voice, build individual confidence, through improvisation, composition, musical creativity.

There are a lot of fundamental differences between ours and an orchestral training program, but the basis for the difference really is that we use, as a body of information, literature--to form technique and all the elements of control on your instrument and development and style and interpretation and theory and eartraining and composition and form and analysis--we use, instead of the European tradition, a hundred years of a jazz tradition as the foundation.

BZ: It's important to remember that there's nothing wrong with a traditional approach, with paying tribute to what has happened in keeping the music alive. But, you have to be careful that the message you're sending is not that we have to go back and do this over again. When traditionalism becomes the main focus, that is a problem.

MD: The arts require encouraging our students to take risks. Being conservative and traditional is not our mission, was not our mission before, but especially not now in a university setting. If that were our goal, then we'd better change our name to A University of Some of the Arts. I don't think that's what we're supposed to be doing. We're The University of the Arts--what a bold name that is--and we'd better live up to our name.


Lars Halle: Who's Afraid of the Big Band Wolf?

I was eleven years old when I first decided that I wanted to write big band music. I had been studying drums for a year, and my teacher had been the drummer with the local big band since its start in 1968. I started to tag along to rehearsals and as soon as I saw the process, I knew I wanted to be a part of it. I can't explain why I knew. It was just an inherent recognition--as if it were meant to be. I didn't just want to play--I wanted to be responsible for the entire entity of sound. I wanted to have control over the sounds that the instruments would produce, and that the audience would perceive. So, I started to write. But, at eleven years old I had a lot to learn, and no experience to act as a foundation. My first attempts were sonic fiascos, but with the support of the band and a fire in my belly, I set out to fix my errors and keep trying. Years later, writing for big band has become part of my identity. Whether I am arranging a popular standard or composing my own big band creation, I take pride in that part of my musical soul is affecting not only the musicians in performance, but also the audience. And it is particularly gratifying to realize how the music has profoundly affected the audience, whether on a deeper level, or just on the surface. I am often approached by listeners, acquainted or not, who express their experiences with my music, and though I have no particular impact in mind while composing, I find it interesting and enlightening to see how it may have inspired someone. There is no greater reward to a composer than having brightened someone's day with a composition, even if just for a moment.

Granted, my ambitions have changed over the years, as I grew to realize that I had the ability to develop these skills into a considerable part of my musical career. Having built a library of arrangements and compositions, I decided to put together a big band of my own. Since its first rehearsal in 2000 the Lars Halle Jazz Orchestra has achieved a sound that is definitively its own--an extension of the music on the page. And having the talent made available to me, I have been able to expand my horizons and develop my musical ideas particularly for the band, but simultaneously pushing the band to new limits and new sounds. While the musicians in the band are showcased as soloists, as well as part of the ensemble, these compositions become the ultimate solo performance for the writer. Making music is something that I, as a person, cannot fathom being without, unless I settled for a miserable and utterly pointless life. I have chosen the big band as a medium because I feel that I can express myself most effectively through that particular ensemble.

In the spring of 2002 I stepped into the commercial world of big band writing by joining the long list of arrangers and composers published by Kendor Music. My first published composition, Switching Gears, hit high school music stands last summer and have led to the approval of a second composition, Sonidos de la Calle, coming out this spring. Now, writing for the high school ensemble proves to be a challenge if you have gotten used to a nearly flawless ensemble whose musicians have virtuostic abilities and exceptional sightreading skills. Writing "easier" music has inherently changed my writing as a whole, perhaps trying to find a common ground between the two extremes. But my aesthetic reasons for writing have not changed, and I feel that no matter what I produce, there is without question a part of me in the final product. And whereas some might scorn a composer for writing music for "entertainment," I feel that if people walk away having been touched by my music--call it entertainment, enlightenment, therapy, philosophy, spirituality, or just plain listening joy--that's alright with me.


Lars reviews two Big Band sound recordings recently acquired by the Music Library

Dave Holland Big Band. What Goes Around. (CD4165)

The first thing that struck me upon listening to the Dave Holland Big Band was the uncanny ability of the ensemble to balance the sound of a big band and a small group, because you get the feeling that you are listening to both simultaneously. Much of this, of course, must be credited to the togetherness of the rhythm section which is yanked out of Holland's preexisting quintet which has issued several recordings previously. The other two members of the quintet, saxophonist Chris Potter and the former UArts student Robin Eubanks, have taken spots in the somewhat downsized big band horn sections. The 13-piece band is brimming with outstanding soloists, and this recording does not fail to relish their individual talents, though it could have easily focused the spotlight on chosen players. The recording is a nice balance between European influence, more modern sound and a traditional American sound, while the ensemble writing is as strong as the playing. At times, the lack of a bass trombone cheats the band's sonic girth in places where perhaps one were intended, although some compensation is found in Gary Smulyan's baritone saxophone, which fills the bottom of the band with groundshaking low notes. Though only in existence for a short period of time, the Dave Holland Big Band plays like a group that has taken years to cohere. Holland fans and big band fans alike will find this recording a rejuvenating and rewarding listening experience.
Satoko Fujii Orchestra. Jo. (CD3362)
This recording immediately kicks off with the title work, which at once commands the attention of every listener, as it clearly captured that of the players. The writing is very dense and complex and utilizes the band's musicians to their utmost abilities. Though there are some "cameos" of traditionalism, this listening experience thrives on the intensity of the collective improvisations and free spirit of the ensemble playing. Dense and daring harmonies create sheets of sound which become release points for creative improvisations, whether collective or more soloistic. Though the composing seems to play the main role here, there are times when one wishes that the improvisations were permitted further development. That said, pianist Satoko Fujii has been unusually successful in balancing the compositional and improvisational aspects of a project of this size, and she never fails to ensnare your ears' and mind's attention. The trumpeter Natsuki Tamura incorporates incidental comic relief in his two compositional contributions, perhaps in a conscious attempt to startle the listener back to "reality" from the arguably sinister and dark-spirited, yet enticing journeys this recording makes.


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Aaron Meicht: CCMIX 2001-02

Le Centre de Creation Musicale Iannis Xenakis (CCMIX) is a center for new music founded by the composer Iannis Xenakis in 1985. The studio is located in Paris, France. At first the studio, formerly called Les Ateliers UPIC, was given the task of promoting the research pursued at the CEMAMu, (Centre des Etudes Mathematiques Automatiques Musicales), notably the UPIC system (Unite Polyagogique Informatique du CEMAMu), which is a system that can translate graphic notation into soundwaves. CCMIX has since enlarged its field of activities to include work on new music not exclusivly connected with the CEMAMu.

Since its founding, many reknowned composers have created works in the UPIC studios, among them, Iannis Xenakis, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Luc Ferrari, Paul Mefano, Tristan Murail, Brigitte Robindore, Giancarlo Schiaffini, Yuji Takahashi, Roger Reynolds, and Horacio Vaggione.

CCMIX is also dedicated to the development of young composers. I was awarded a scholarship from the French Ministry of Culture and invited to attend the eight month course of lectures, readings, workshops and studio composition from October 2001 to May 2002.

Overseeing the program and teaching some of the courses was Gerard Pape, the CCMIX director and one of the most original composers in the world today. Guest professors included the composers Julio Estrada, Jean-Claude Risset, Agostino DiScipio and Trevor Wishart, the musicologist Harry Halbreich, and the computer music gurus Carla Scaletti and Curtis Roads.

This course of study has as its aim the exploration of the nature of sound-based composition, that is, an approach to musical composition that takes sound itself as its very material. In the consideration of these topics, we followed Iannis Xenakis' advice that composers who want to follow this path must not limit themselves to a knowledge of music, but rather immerse themselves also in such topics as morphology or psychology, for example, in pursuit of the creative goal. In addition to readings, lectures, and discussions, different studio tools were introduced and nine hours of individual weekly studio time were accorded. I worked extensively with the UPIC system as well as with the fantastic real-time transformation programs in the Kyma System.

I returned to Philadelphia inspired by my experience at CCMIX. In particular, I found Jean-Claude Risset's and Curtis Roads' views on the history of electronic music enlightening. Also, Gerard Pape's rigorous tour through the pages of the book Formalised Music by Xenakis gave me new insights into music. But, I think I was most impressed with the Mexican composer Julio Estrada's theories on what he called the "musical imaginary". Estrada attempts to tap directly into the sub-conscious and compose in the uninfluenced world of the mind. By breaking away from musical references and limitations of instrumentation, pitch and rhythm, for example, a composer can truly be original. Estrada then created a multidimensional graphic description of several parameters of sound or rhythm in order to transcribe these imagined sounds and then translate them to the language of Western music notation. At the end of my time in Paris, I completed a chamber work for prepared piano, percussion, bass trombone and five-channel tape called Šsecond toneŠ The work was premiered in Paris in December 2002. I also completed a two-track tape piece called Sacrificebell. Both of these works utilized sounds that I created on the UPIC system.


Some Music Library holdings related to CCMIX

CCMIX Paris. (CD3917)
This sound recording features works by composers who have been associated with CCMIX, including Xenakis, Pape, Roads, Estrada, Risset, Terrugi, Shimazu and Robindore. Of particular interest are Xenakis' Mycenae Alpha which was the first work entirely realized on the UPIC, and his Polytope de Cluny which is available for the first time on this recording.
Estrada, Julio. "Focusing on Freedom and Movement in Music." Perspectives of New Music. (ML1 .P47 v.40 2002)
This article details Estrada's theory of the musical imaginary and the transcription of ideas into notation. After a time in New Mexico studying Amerindian music, Estrada developed his theory of the musical imaginary.
Pape, Gerard. "Iannis Xenakis and the 'Real' of Musical Composition." Computer Music Journal. (ML1379 .C85 v.26 2002)
In this article Pape delivers a personal piece about the influence that Xenakis had on his own life and work--written to honor the recent passing of Xenakis. Pape also talks about the influence of Lacanian Psychology on his work (Pape is, in addition to being a composer, a practicing psychologist). This issue of Computer Music Journal is dedicated to Xenakis and includes articles by Agostino DiScipio, and a fantastic introduction to the electroacoustic works of Xenakis by James Harley.
Pape, Gerard. Electroacoustic Chamber Works. (CD4309)
Gerard Pape's chamber music on this sound recording include his landmark string quartet, Le Fleuve de Desire and the remarkable vocal excerpt from his opera Weaveworld entitled Battle. The string quartet is performed masterfully by the Arditti Quartet. Pape has written the work so that each player must independently control different parameters such as pitch, dynamics and timbre on contrary temporal layers. Battle explores the most extended techniques of the vocalists in the ensemble Vox Nova. Also of note is Makbenach for saxophone, chamber ensemble & tape performed by the amazing French experimental saxophonist, Daniel Kientzy.
Risset, Jean-Claude. Sud, Dialogues, Inharmonique, Mutations. (CD4304)
Risset is one of the pioneers of computer synthesis. His work with Max Matthews at Bell Labs here in the United States was groundbreaking. The classic works of computer music on this sound recording follow Risset's compositional thinking from 1969 to 1985.
Roads, Curtis. Microsound. (ML3805 .R63M5 2001)
Microsound is Curtis Roads' study of the use of microsonic particles that are only now, in the age of computers, able to be controlled and manipulated in composition. Part history, part composition guide, Roads gives a complete picture of the state of microsonic music and the composers so important to its development including Horatio Vaggione and the author himself.
Wishart, Trevor. Red Bird, Anticredos. (CD4306)
Subtitled "a political prisoner's dream", Red Bird was composed between 1973 and 1977. Wishart describes the concert work for two-track tape as not only music, but "mythic narrative". This work was made in the studio with analogue techniques and is most interesting for its use of morphing between sounds of human voices, machines, animals, and birds. Much of the vocal material used is initially improvised by the composer.
Xenakis, Iannis. Formalized Music: Thought and Mathematics in Composition. (ML3800 .X4F6)
With Formalized Music, Xenakis collects his theories and methods in a dense, but rewarding text that certainly figures as one of the twentieth century's landmarks. In this book Xenakis the scientist, the composer, the philosopher and the experimenter all come together to deliver a series of essays that focus on different ideas as they serve his compositional purposes. He explains his theory of Stochastic Music, which uses chaos and probability theory to generate musical ideas for pieces such as Pithoprakta and Achorripsis. He writes about Markovian Stochastics and how he developed his theories of granular synthesis first implemented in Analogique B. And he elaborates on his musical and philosophical outlook in chapters such as "Towards a Metamusic" and "Towards a Philosophy of Music". This book is difficult to penetrate, but can really open up new worlds for the aspiring artist.


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From the Archives

In Retrospect, by Maria Ezerman Drake

The following is reprinted from Variations of 1951 [Yearbook of the Philadelphia Conservatory of Music], p.7.

The Philadelphia Conservatory of Music was founded by Richard C. Schirmer, born in Salburg, Germany, in 1838. Mr. Schirmer came here at the age of twenty, and established himself as a teacher of music. He soon felt the urge to further his musical career and returned to Leipzig, Germany, graduating from the Leipzig Conservatory, majoring in piano. Returning to this country, he resumed his teaching and also conducted various choral societies and the Schubert Symphony Society.

Although the old Quaker spirit prevailed in Philadelphia, Mr. Schirmer soon realized the need for a good music school. He knew that his early pupils would be recruited chiefly from first generation Germans and other music-loving nationalities. Undeterred by general lack of interest, he founded the Philadelphia Conservatory of Music in 1877 near Broad Street and Girard Avenue. The first years were difficult, but the small staff was genuinely interested and persevered.

Therefore, in 1884 this school was incorporated under the laws of Pennsylvania, and received the first charter with the power to "Grant to its students diplomas or honorary testimonials in such form as it may designate, and grant and confer such honors, titles and degrees as are granted or conferred by and university or seminary of learning in the United States for proficiency in music". The three degrees conferred by this institution are Bachelor of Music, Master of Music and Doctor of Music.

There was, at that time, great difficulty in obtaining sheet music! Whatever was available was imported and very expensive. Mr. Schirmer, therefore, brought to this country from Germany a music engraver, and in a few years had published a large library of teaching music. Later, the Presser Publishing Company bought and used many of these engravings.

The school flourished, and moved into larger headquarters at 822 North Broad Street. Courses included many instruments, as well as Theory, History, Languages and Lectures. Professor Hugh A. Clark, of the University of Pennsylvania, taught Theory which included Harmony, Counterpoint, Canon, Fugue and Composition. Later he was succeeded by Henry A. Lang who studied extensively in Germany. A program dated 1895, sponsored Robert Temple playing all the Chopin Etudes. Faculty concerts presented chamber music, and the Chorus was also a very active part of the school.

In 1913 Mr. Schirmer retired, and the co-directors of the conservatory became D. Hendrik Ezerman, heading the Piano Department, and Hedda Van den Beemt, the Violin Department. Both musicians came from Holland to play in the Philadelphia Orchestra, Mr. Ezerman as cellist and Mr. Van den Beemt as first violinist, engaged by Fritz Scheel, its first conductor. The conservatory moved to central studios in the Fuller Building, 18th and Market Streets. Interest in music continued to grow, and requirements for a musical education developed. Serious, well-trained teachers afforded thorough training in various departments.

In 1920 the school was forced to find new quarters, and moved to 216 South 20th Street enabling future growth. In 1925 Mr. Van den Beemt died at the age of forty-five, and Boris Koutzen, a young Russian violinist and composer, was engaged to head the Violin Department, a position which he has been holding successfully for twenty-six years. In 1925 Mr. Ezerman and Mr. Koutzen worked out a definitely outlined course of requirements for each instrument, and examinations in the instruments were given at the end of each season.

Mr. Ezerman met an untimely death in 1928, and Mrs. Ezerman took over Directorship. She engaged Olga Samaroff, a famous pianist and teacher at the Juilliard School, to head the faculty. Her leadership and devotion to the cause of teaching and performing was an inspiration to everyone who knew her. In 1940, our beloved director, Mrs. Ezerman died very suddenly, and was succeeded by her daughter, Maria Ezerman Drake, who has carried on the aims of this school. The Theory Department was under the leadership of Frederick Schlieder, Paul Nordoff, and since 1942 the department has been headed by Vincent Persichetti who is also a member of the Composition Department at the Juilliard School and a well known contemporary composer. An Opera Department was inaugurated in 1947 under the direction of Enzo Serafini-Lupo, an experienced dramatic and vocal coach.

A major change in the faculty occurred in 1948 when Madame Samaroff died in the twentieth year of her teaching at the conservatory. The following season, Mr. Edward Steuermann, a well known European pianist and teacher, was engaged to head the Piano Department.

In recent years, numerous activities include student orchestra concerts, opera performances and concerts, faculty concerts, and many student recitals. A culminating point each season is the Concert and Commencement at the Bellevue Stratford Ballroom, presenting the orchestra, chorus and talented students in an impressive program.




Mark Germer: The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, 2nd Edition: A Review

(Reprinted, slightly altered, from Notes: Quarterly Journal of the Music Library Association 58 [2001-02], 320-325; by permission.)


The encyclopedic articulation of a world presupposes, in a way that the art of the summa does not, a plurality of dichotomies and discourses. Oppositions concerning the nature of meaningfulness, understanding, and knowledge itself are at its core. What is knowledge? And what determines its relationship to information? Is it represented best as a closed inventory--d'Alembert's "engine of ordered learning"--or as an open-ended arbitration--Diderot's "living school for philosophers"? (For this duality within the encyclopedic enterprise does extend back to the Encyclopedie ; I have benefitted from Wilda Anderson's "Encyclopedic Topologies," Modern Language Notes 101 [1986], 912-29). The institutionalization of encyclopedism since the nineteenth century would appear to express the hegemonic striving that informs Western culture to collect, possess, order, and control--a given--but does the totalizing text in fact represent some total stock of knowledge, or does it instead propose a model? That is, does the ordering of fragments (the dictionary) in an integrated structure (the system) mirror the world or set out principles for constructing it? The problem does not end here. How can the additive progress of knowledge be called into play? And to what degree must a self-conscious attempt at encyclopedism acquiesce before its own utopian premise--that ongoing discourses will yield new fragments and thus new connections--and so account for its own fragmentary condition? It is of course these dichotomies and (perhaps insoluble) oppositions that infuse the themes of totalizing fictional narratives with urgency, from Dante's Divine Comedy to Cervantes' Don Quixote and Goethe's Faust, paradigmatic allegories of the quest for encyclopedic knowledge. The status of such works in the Western canon testifies to the centrality of this compulsion, this "Drang zur Universalitat," as Hermann Broch and Elias Canetti encapsulated it (I rely on Ronald Swigger, "Fictional Encyclopedism," Comparative Literature Studies 12 [1976], 351-66). Testimony of a contrasting sort can be read in the susceptibility of the encyclopedic mode to broad parody, most famously in Flaubert's Bouvard et Pecuchet; as well as to irony bordering on ridicule, in a number of the ficciones of Borges, so beloved of librarians on account, among other things, of their proof that encyclopedias are impossible.

It has been suggested that encyclopedias made for today's audiences are consulted not for knowledge but for information. While conceding that the specialist souls of our age give small quarter to the notion of a comprehensive speculum mundi (even as a pedogical device), I would not care to see the second edition of the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians--NG2 hereinafter--relativized that way. (My remarks, it should be stressed, are intended to apply to the printed edition (29 vols., ed. Stanley Sadie and John Tyrrell [London: Grove, 2001]); the attributes and objectives of the electronic edition will be addressed in Notes in a separate discussion.) Obviously NG2 may be consulted as a modern reference resource: for information. But it seems clear to me that it inclines toward something greater, if that is the word. Emphatically not a deviant offshoot from the Grove family line--in all important aspects its profile remains recognizable--NG2 presents itself as an encyclopedic dictionary of a lofty order, aspiring to eloquence, capacious and long-breathed, synthetic and systematized, replete with a diagrammatic map (vol. 29, p. [viii]) that for all the world looks like the divine scheme from some humanistic Bibliotheca Universalis. It is fair to say that this articulation of an inhering totality fulfills its promise as a milestone.

The reasons why this should be so have much to do with the parallel evolution of the successive Grove editions and European academic musicology. (A publication history in outline can be assembled from the verso of NG2's title pages and the reprinted prefaces in vol. 1.) In the first lines of introduction to the index--a triumphant innovation, not incidentally--Margot Levy invokes Guido Adler's holistic conceptualization of music study. ("All errors are my own," she concludes [p. xii]; but her editors might have saved her from assigning Adler's foundational "Umfang, Methode, und Ziel der Musikwissenschaft" to the year of his birth, and thus from introducing into the literature the Borgesian invention that an 1885 publication "informed" a lexikon in press by 1879. Or is it 1878? The title-page versos, the reprinted preface, the index, and the article on George Grove do not agree.) Adler, a "meta-encyclopedist" in that he outlined a totalizing plan without implementing it, does indeed deserve the credit that Levy prematurely bestows. Though in certain defining ways his conspectus has been honored chiefly in the breach--with respect to what is regarded essential as opposed to marginal--Adler still exerts influence: no other arts discipline encompasses the range from the physics to the sociology of its subject in a manner comparable to that of music. Bruno Nettl, musicology's latter-day chronicler and the first author of an article on "Music" in Grove's history, has observed additionally a reanimation in Adler's reach, linking his speculative premise that "All peoples who can be said to possess a musical art [Tonkunst] also have a system of musical thought [Tonwissenschaft]" to the recent embrace by Western scholars of autochthonous "musicologies" ("The Institutionalization of Musicology," Rethinking Music, ed. Nicholas Cook and Mark Everist [Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999], 287-310; I have altered the translation slightly). There is something familiar about this formulation, perhaps in part because composers of our own time cultivate so much analytical language. (One thinks of Elliott Carter's aside: "How serious music would have developed without its accompaniment of verbiage is hard to imagine" ["Music Criticism," reprinted in Collected Essays and Lectures, 1937-1995, ed. Jonathan Bernard (Rochester: University of Rochester Press, 1997), 335-42], and of George Steiner's attempt to imagine it all the same ["A Secondary City," in Real Presences (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1989), at 4-21].) For a phenomenon often deemed abstract beyond words, music inspires enough of them (NG2 offers twenty-five million). And this engagement brings us round again to the dichotomous properties of encyclopedism, this time framed in ontological terms. "What there is does not in general depend on one's use of language," the logician tells us, "but what one says there is does" (W.V. Quine, "Logic and the Reification of Universals," in From a Logical Point of View, 2nd ed. [Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1980], 102-29).

With Levy's index and Sadie's editorial introduction (vol. 1, p. xv-xxv), then, Nettl's courageous article "Music" completes the triune statement of NG2's system. It seems elementary to me that the work's epistemological as well as methodological underpinnings should be discoverable here, and I believe that readers can well start with this assumption. But Nettl's charge is unenviable. In the first place, the lexicographical literature offers little precedent in approaching whatever may be meant by the "essential nature" of music. (Oddly, The Dictionary of Art [34 vols., ed. Jane Turner; New York: Grove's Dictionaries, 1996] contains a small entry for "Art" that proves remarkably well written for all its phlegmatic reticence. In succession, historians of ideas, anthropologists, psychologists, and philosophers are all taken to task for failing to provide insight. Scholars of art are tacitly let off the hook. The question of art's essential nature remains unsettled, we are told, because it is ignored!) In the second place, the word "music" corresponds to things and behaviors and concepts that do seem to exist in sharp focus for those who use it, unlike such terms as "nationalism," whose meanings exist, tautologically, within the debate over meaning itself. In an important sense, therefore, "music" lends itself to generalization unwillingly. And in the third place, pioneering efforts tilt toward the unsatisfying. Nettl enlists some anecdotal evidence uncritically, employs some rhetorical constructions without rigor--in passages, for instance, on the alleged primacy of instrumental music and of composition as opposed to performance; the question of music-making in nonhuman species; and the relative profile of improvisation and its psychology. Seemingly contradictory elements need deeper reconciliation (in Western culture "music is a good thing" in ¶II.1 but is often "dangerous and to be avoided" in ¶III.4). A weakness, too, lies in the pervading acceptance of aesthetic value (judgement regarding success or failure) as culturally dominant in most contexts, with limited exposition of poetic value (judgement regarding intent; not to be confused with mere descriptions of "function"). Yet the article reflects both our tenuous grasp and its imperfect encyclopedic representation.

"Imperfect" by NG2's own standard because the system has not yet been fully worked out. This "intermediate" status is clearest in articles on modern nation states that divide, predictably but unhelpfully, into "Art" and "Traditional" halves. Others--"Uzbekistan" can serve as example--succeed in exhibiting idiosyncratic plans driven by their content. "Indonesia" is too magisterial to be contained within any generalization. (An important expansion is worth bringing to notice: NG2 preserves an older layer of survey articles--"Arab Music," "Amerindian Music," "European Traditional Music," "Latin America"--without sacrificing individual entries; thus "Syria" has a separate discussion now, as opposed to a directional reference to "Arab Music." A few exceptions remain, e.g., "Melanesia," not "Papua New Guinea.") Inter- and intracultural accounts appear in a number of conceptual articles, some enhanced from the previous edition but all ideologically significant. "Polyphony" divides into 'Western' and (infelicitously) 'Non-Western' sections; "Popular Music" into 'West' and 'World'; and "Performing Practice" into 'Western' and 'Non-Western and Traditional'. In a parallel vein, it is not necessary to site some empty capitulation to "cultural diversity" in order to appreciate that mass media have become so integrated into the modern world as to require scholarly notice. Thus the article "Singing" benefits from its greater acknowledgement of the central place of the human voice in popular idioms. With the principal exception of some organological surveys (e.g., "Trumpet," ¶2; "Bell," ¶1.4), for the most part this is subject integration on a superficial level, more a matter of where the discussion resides than a search for continuities or commonalities. The point here, in any event, is--ungratefully--to ask for more. It does not seem inescapable to me that, even (or especially?) in Adlerian terms, "Musicology" and "Ethnomusicology" would have to have been so severely divorced in NG2. "Dance" follows suit, shunting everything 'Traditional' and 'Non-Western' over to "Ethnochoreography." Perhaps scholarship has not come far enough for NG2 to account for either a psychology or a philosophy of music from somewhere East, but the same cannot be said with respect to manuscript sources of music. Curiously, "Harmony" and "Melody" take no notice of what we are presumably to call the 'Non-West.' The article on "Chanson," exemplary on its subject up to 1600, leaves us without so much as directional help to whatever it was that Edith Piaf sang, although the term is found throughout NG2's bibliography for her and in the text of the article on Aristide Bruant.

Nettl's reference to the limitations of a "statement by one author" ("Music," intro.¶) rings slightly hollow, I think, given that numerous articles involve contributions from twenty authors or more. Leaving aside his implicit question about how well his subject has been served, I must register admiration for many new single-author commissions. The editors succeed often enough in hewing to house style when multiple authorship must have presented difficulties; but where they most excel is in giving lattitude to strong literary presences. The concluding columns on Beethoven by Scott Burnham will, through sheer brilliance, enhance the reception of Beethoven reception; Thomas Connolly's "Cecilia" comes closer to poetry than what can reasonably be expected of nonfiction prose. Parallel energies of clarity and insight elevate passages such as these:
The preoccupation with the moment-to-moment resolution of dissonance in Rameau's theories mirrors the sensuous harmonic sonorities and episodic nature of French Baroque music. These dissonances urge the fundamental bass forward, but gravitational momentum in this music nevertheless tends to be local in significance, directed toward an immediate cadential goal. It is an improvisational, accompanimental harmonic practice, one that responds to the expressive needs of the moment: rapid transitions from one tonic to the next--Rameau was inclined to hear any triad without a dissonance as a tonic--organize the music into additive series of modulations connected together by chains of dominants in which tonal coherence has more to do with the dramatic action on stage (or the sentiment of a poetic image) than [with] an abstract musical design.

+++

[T]onality virtually coincides with the age of Western modernism, the great era of representation that stretches from the philosophical meditations of Descartes to the general crisis of representation in the arts around 1910. It thus forms a precise analogue to linear perspective in painting as one of the principal cognitive structures in Western culture: in their respective media, tonality and linear perspective are responsible for the effect of subjectivity--the notion that an individual embodies an historical consciousness--so crucial to modernity.

*

[T]he representation of speech rhythms [in 17th-century Italy] by a limited number and proportionally specific set of durational values hardly yielded accurate or natural results. Thus by the century's end this practice had been abandoned and most recitative was notated in rapid and even notes (crotchets or quavers), with the understanding that the rhythm would follow that of the speech declamation. Grounding the rhythms of recitative in speech also means that the singer need not worry about precise coordination of most syllables with the accompaniment, save at cadence points.

+++

In the music of the common practice period the coordination of various parts relative to an externalized metre became such a deeply rooted aspect of Western musical culture that its presence has gone largely unnoticed. It is perhaps for that reason that the graphic notation used in works by composers such as Boulez and Cage still strikes us revolutionary, for not only do such scores lack pitch and durational specification among their parts, they also have loosened or even abandoned any pretense of coordination among them. Interestingly, many pieces in graphic notation, such as Berio's Sequenza III, make use of stopwatch timings to determine structural articulations. As with the music of the Middle Ages, this mode of temporal reckoning is not intrinsic to the temporal activity of any part of the music itself, but must be imposed from without.

Rameau and modernism in the hands of Brian Hyer ("Tonality"), recitative and graphic notation in those of Justin London ("Rhythm"): such are the very embedded riches that will earn NG2 its longevity. A veritable study could be undertaken on one of conventional musicology's most important critical achievements of the last generation--a serviceable, largely nontechnical vocabulary and syntax for the discussion of musical style--by making use of passages so crystalline as to augur NG2's potential to exert a formative influence. Roger Parker on Verdi, Rob Wegman on Obrecht, Bradford Robinson on Basie, and James Webster on Haydn, they and others go some distance towards enacting a syllabus on the subject of style.
As with his conservatism in larger formal matters, this self-imposed restriction had the effect of channelling Verdi's invention into manipulations of the prototype from within, into expansions, contractions, and enrichments of the lyric form. Elvira's Andantino in Act I of Ernani, for example, sees a dramatic expansion of the B section that injects a new sense of dialectic tension into the aria. More than that: far from 'dissolving' into ornamental writing at the end, the aria continues to subordinate, or rather harness, the ornamentation, containing it within a strictly controlled periodicity.

+++

The older aesthetic of the 'wall of sound' disappears completely: cantus-firmus based passages in full scoring tend to move at varying rates of rhythmic and harmonic activity, ranging from drawn-out homophonic passages, usually at key phrases of the mass text, to stretches of almost frenzied contrapuntal activity. The allocation of these different passages typically reflects a purposeful musical design--though one, significantly, that is seldom dictated by the shape of the predetermined cantus firmus, and indeed may encompass long stretches in which the tenor is not heard at all. Instead of a conventional alternation between sharply contrasted passages in full and reduced scoring, standing side by side as monolithic stretches of relatively undifferentiated counterpoint, Obrecht now tended to treat the beginning or ending of a tenor statement as one of several steps in a continuing musical development.

+++

Using an elliptical style of melodic leads and cues, Basie was able to control his band firmly from the keyboard while blending perfectly with his rhythm section. This celebrated group ... altered the ideal of jazz accompaniment, making it more supple and responsive to the wind instruments and helping to establish fourbeat jazz (with four almost identically stressed beats to a bar) as the norm for jazz performance. Of particularly far-reaching significance was [Jo] Jones's technique of placing the constant pulse on the hi-hat cymbal instead of the bass drum, thereby immeasurably lightening the timbre of jazz drumming. Another important factor was the accuracy and solidity of [Walter] Page's walking bass technique, which obviated the need for left-hand patterns in the piano and imparted a buoyant swing to the ensemble.

+++

The crucial point, however, is that Haydn's popular style is not a simple projection of his personality, but his compositional 'persona,' or 'musical personality', deliberately assumed for complex artistic purposes. Indeed 'wit' signifies intelligence as well as humour: his inexhaustible rhythmic and motivic inventiveness, the conversational air of many quartet movements, his formal ambiguity and caprice, his brilliant and at times disquieting play with beginnings that are endings and the reverse.

The article on Wuorinen can stand for material at the opposite end of the spectrum, its silliness unsalvageable by any means. Inhabiting the middleground somewhere, "Modernism" stalls and disintegrates into lists ("Verbally," George Steiner has argued, "it is very nearly impossible to arrive at any satisfactory concept of the coming of 'modernism' into music" [op. cit., p. 21]. Emphasis should be placed, of course, on the word "satisfactory." Even so, the attempt here to relate musical phenomena to the problems of modernity can only be described as desultory.) The promotional literature announced that NG2 would contain some two thousand new entries for contemporary composers; but the formulas can be tiresome: the music of Peteris Vasks, while modeled on that of Lutoslawski, has a "radical individuality," and its aesthetic is "rooted"--lo, and behold--in traditional culture. Vapidity of this order may be attributable to editorial fatigue, one suspects. One also suspects slight humor in the assertion that the reputation of rap music spread by word-of-mouth. I confess I do not know what to make of the fact the Imogen Holst's music often features the minor second, any more than I can appreciate how Wuorinen's music of the 1980s "became more rhythmic." And then there are the rock groups. The writing about them has not yet, I think, come of age; in any event, while there seems to be a consensus that it must always be noted how many copies of each album were sold, I simply do not know what to do with this information. That the music of Siouxsie and the Banshees is "stylish and uncompromising" may be true; I just do not know what it means. I hope I can be forgiven for feeling mystified about the songs of ABBA, which use "combinations of diatonic melody and tonal harmony, often involving harmonic motion alternating between two or three chords." It is not merely disturbing that such drivel takes up space in NG2; it is disturbing that it takes up space anywhere.

Obviously I cannot speculate on the cause of every editorial misstep--most of us will not easily accept Ceske Budejovice, beautiful Renaissance market town that it is, as the "cultural centre of Bohemia"--and entries out of alphabetical order ("Narantsogt") are just mistakes. But it may be useful to identify recurring errors that can be corrected in the electronic edition, and perhaps will have been before these words appear. Three such categories may be related: I will call them the cut-and-paste complex, and cite them in part owing to their status as markers in documenting the first electronically-produced music Grove. First is the replacement (or duplicate) problem, wherein the edited text contains both the correction and the element(s) intended for deletion (e.g., "Tonality," ¶3: "expression representation"; "Tunisia," last bibliographic item; "Gheraert de Houdt," duplicated in the index). I will call the second category the misplaced ibid. problem, and regard it as self-explanatory (see the Rousseau entries in the bibliography for Jean-Jacques Eigeldinger). The number of these cut-and-paste errors cannot regarded considerable in a work so vast, but a third sort moves beyond the arena of the chiefly mechanical into that of the frankly troubling: the double attribution problem. The articles on Benjamin Franklin and "Musical Glasses," for instance, contain identical portions of text attributed, repsectively, to Thomas Marrocco and to Alec King. In an age when students have difficulty grasping how their "appropriation" of blocks of text from documents not their own is construed as theft, any disregard for accuracy in crediting authorship poses an obstacle to their understanding, to say nothing of fidelity to humanistic standards. It would seem that this instance outlines the tip of an iceberg of editorial high-handedness, as the voices of contributors who claim that their names are attached to work that does not represent them begin to form an intelligible chorus.

Serious, too, are the much-discussed omissions in the print edition of the updated bibliography for Richard Wagner and segments of the works list for Stravinsky. It should be recorded that promises for remediation have been made by the publisher, though not fulfilled as of this writing. Everyone can play the parlor game "What has NG2 missed out?", yet for reference librarians there is a serious side to this, too (my first three encounters with NG2 on behalf of students proved unsuccessful). One braces for the Gilbertian patter: Marcel Moyse, the flutist, has earned a place but Marcel Mule, the saxophonist, has not; the Savoy Record Company is there, but not the Savoy Opera Company; Gwen Verdon but not Ann Miller; Mallarme but not Valery, Byron but not Milton, Nketia but not Kebede, Albrecht but not Zagrosek, kazoo but not conch--and only three members of the Modern Jazz Quartet. The parsimonious treatment of jazz, finally, must be counted among NG2's most conspicuous flaws. It scarcely seems arguable that two jazz violinists marginal to American jazz should appear in the absence of Joe Venuti, Eddie South, Stuff Smith, and Billy Bang--an extreme but not unique case. As a rule the bibliographies for important jazz figures are minimally updated, while the practice of introducing discographies as primary source material, begun in the New Grove Dictionary of Jazz (ed. Barry Kernfeld; London: Macmillan, 1988) and continued in NG2 for ethnographic (and some chant) entries, is inexplicably abandoned ("inexplicably" because the data obviously already exists in the Grove computer files). Even were cost excluded from consideration, all those sensitized to this distortion will unlikely be comforted by the imminence of NGJ2.

For the distortion, of course, offends against NG2 itself. Until we step back, that is. What systematic corpus of critical and interpretive discourses does not offend against itself? "The encyclopedia is a tool," goes a paraphrase of Diderot, "to maintain organization in the face of change" (Anderson, op cit., p. 925). Its achievements have to do with pointing the way not to perfect summation (Beckett's "vain entelechies") but to that which must still be transcended. What Umberto Eco prescribes as the first duty of the cultivated person--"to be always prepared to rewrite the encyclopedia" ("The Force of Falsity," Serendipities: Language and Lunacy, trans. William Weaver [New York: Columbia University Press, 1998], p. 21)--is, at best, a gamble.









UA Music Library Reading Room Notes No. 4-5 (2001-03)


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