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Fifteen: Johann Sebastian Bach

William Brown Indiana University Press ePub

Bach appeals to that which we all need in living, which is a kind of order of things, whether an inner order or an outer one. Bach is on so many levels—the intellectual level—that you see how the voices are living with each other, next to each other, above each other, and somehow harmonize. Then when you hear his church music, his B minor Mass, or the Passions that he wrote, he becomes a religion in himself. You can be feeling, when you hear those Passions, that you are really communing with God. That’s Bach. And there is no composer who did not appreciate that. Everyone, whether that’s Beethoven or Mozart or Chopin, had to concern themselves at one point or another with Bach.

Each of the Partitas is a masterpiece in its own way, but this one is a favorite of audiences and performers because of the beauty and variety presented in the various movements. The grandeur of the Sinfonia is a wonderful way to open a recital and allows both performer and listener the opportunity to become accustomed to the sonority of the instrument. Too often the player approaches these pieces with too much emphasis on the top voice, without giving attention to all the voices. There must always be direction. Bach’s lines are always going somewhere. There are sequences. There must be clarity of form, and the rhythm must be exact.

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Songs 78–83

Richard D. Sylvester Indiana University Press ePub


Ночью в саду у меня

In my garden at night

Op. 38, No. 1

As soon as he read the text of this song, Rachmaninoff found music in it waiting to be written down. “It’s remarkable,” he told Marietta Shaginian, “that this Armenian poet has such a musical feeling for nature. If every poet writing about nature could do what he does, then we musicians would simply have to touch the text—and the song would be ready” (VOR 2, 153).

There is nothing “Armenian” about Alexander Blok’s excellent Russian translation of Avetik Isahakian’s original poem, but Rachmaninoff gives the music a hint of something “vaguely eastern” in the C natural of the fourth syllable of the voice part (Martyn, 264). The piano remains spare and laconic in the first half of the song, with an arpeggio break, then gives elaborate support to the lamentation with a second arpeggio followed by a filigree of thirty-second notes under the voice as the word “bitterly” is sung in a long, falling melisma.

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6 Vocalizzi, Solfeggi, and Real (or Ideal) Composition

Nicholas Baragwanath Indiana University Press ePub

Before the demise of the great tradition, the practice of counterpoint (and, less often, harmony) was commonly taught in Italy by masters of singing. The disciplines were not regarded as separate, as they are today. On the contrary, a glance at the faculty lists of the conservatories shows that expertise in vocal training appears to have been considered a prerequisite for the teaching of counterpoint, just as proficiency at the keyboard was an essential foundation for the teaching of harmony or accompaniment. The founding faculty of 1838 at the Istituto musicale in Lucca included, for instance, Eugenio Galli as professor of “solfeggio and counterpoint” and Massimiliano Quilici as professor of “bel canto and accompaniment.” At the Conservatorio di Santa Maria della Pietà dei Turchini in Naples, the teaching of counterpoint by the primo maestro di canto was enshrined in the “Rules and Statutes” of 17461 and reaffirmed in Perrino’s reformist open letter of 1814.2 At the Milan Conservatory Nicola Vaccai, having made his name as a singing teacher, composer, and author of a popular method for training the voice (1832), went on to teach courses in harmony and counterpoint from 1835 to 1837 before serving as director and professor of composition until 1844. His colleague Pietro Ray, a student of Sala, delivered lessons in singing for thirty years (1808–38) before taking over the counterpoint class (1837–50). He published courses of instruction in both disciplines, including a progressive series of solfeggi for sopranos (1832) and a practical-theoretical treatise on counterpoint (1846). Alberto Mazzucato succeeded Ray as professor of singing from 1839 to 1851 and, like him, went on to teach counterpoint and composition, until his appointment as director of the Conservatory in 1872. Lauro Rossi, his predecessor as director, contributed not only a detailed course book for lessons in harmony (1858) but also vocal exercises for sopranos (1864, 1866).3 At the time of Puccini’s studies in Milan, Alberto Giovannini, who was primarily responsible for lessons in singing from 1877 to 1903, also taught classes in “theory and solfeggio” from 1881 to 1886. Similarly, at the Liceo musicale in Bologna, Alessandro Busi delivered the main class in “Counterpoint (composition)” from 1871–95 as well as taking up the position of professore di canto in 1884.

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2. Bow-Strokes

Stanley Ritchie Indiana University Press ePub

The term “bow-stroke” has different connotations according to the context. In its simple form it defines the various ways in which the bow can be used: détaché, sautillé, legato, martelé, and so on. It can also refer, however, to the passage of the bow across the string or to the way in which a particular player uses the bow. To avoid confusion, therefore, I shall use the word “gesture” to describe what happens when a number of consecutive bow-strokes occur.

For me a bow-stroke of any kind is the motion of the arm through the air; that one has a bow in one’s hand, and what results when the bow comes in contact with the string, are secondary. Indeed, in my teaching I will at times prescribe the following preliminary exercise: first sing a phrase silently, then without the bow make an imaginary bow-stroke, with the arm and hand moving appropriately to fit the dynamic shape and nuances you have in mind, and string crossings as needed. Then, with bow in hand, replicate the arm gestures so as to play the phrase as you imagined it. This is one example of what I term the “choreography” of bowing.

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Robert Earl Hardy University of North Texas Press ePub


Many a River:
The Van Zandts
of Texas

OF ALL THE SOURCES FROM which Townes Van Zandt drew nourishment and influence, none was more nourishing or more influential than the Texas soil from which he sprang and in which his roots grew so deep.

When Mexico won independence from Spain in 1821, the Mexican government began to encourage settlement in what was then Mexico’s northernmost province, Coahuila y Tejas. Within a short time, there was a steady flow of norteamericano settlers into the province, led officially by Stephen Austin and his famous colony. By 1830, there were 30,000 American settlers in Texas. Rapidly mounting tensions between the settlers and the Mexican government led to revolution, beginning in 1835 and followed rapidly by Texas’ Declaration of Independence on March 2, 1836, then ending the next month with the surrender of Mexican forces and the capture of General Santa Anna on the battlefield at San Jacinto, with Texas thereby established as an independent republic. Throughout the next decade, AngloAmerican settlement of the region continued. From east of the Sabine, more and more men and their families lit out for the new territory, lured by the well-advertised prospect of cheap land and abundant work. Often with little or no notice, these pioneers left their old lives behind them, along with signs saying simply, “Gone to Texas.”

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6 The Hayes Conquest (1923–1924)

Christopher A. Brooks Indiana University Press ePub


The Hayes Conquest


Roland crisscrossed Europe like an evangelist proselytizing among the unconverted. With Howard Jordan, his personal assistant, and Leo Rosenek, his accompanist, who was an up-and-coming pianist and later a conductor, Roland traveled from Vienna to Graz and from Budapest to Karlsbad, channeling his mourning into exquisite performances. Countess Marguerite Hoyos, daughter of Austro-Hungarian nobility, had heard and met Roland in Vienna. She was so moved by his performance she wrote a letter to her friend Countess Bertha Henriette Katharina Nadine Colloredo-Mansfeld enthusiastically suggesting that she call on this new tenor sensation when he debuted in Prague.1

The thirty-six-year-old tenor arrived in Prague in October 1923. He retreated to a comfortable hotel suite, unaware of the social currents eddying in the capital of the five-year-old Czechoslovak Republic. Politics permeated the city, and the art scene was no exception. Concertgoers from all levels of society flocked to music halls, each group wary, if not suspicious, of others in attendance. The tension was as palpable as the situation was complex. Industrialized Czechs holding economic advantage over rural Slovaks vigorously championed the unifying virtues of the common language they shared.2 The German minority, despite the downfall of the Hapsburg Empire, kept a tight grip on their economic interests by closely guarding what remained of their old cultural influence.3

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Medium 9781574415872

21 - Twenty Years at the Vanguard / A New Fight

Chris Smith, John Mosca and John Riley University of North Texas Press ePub

After a two-year absence, Mel Lewis and The Jazz Orchestra recorded a new album in May of 1985. Unfortunately, Atlantic Records would not release the album until later the next year, making fans wait four years for the band's follow-up release to Make Me Smile. When the album was finally released in 1986, it was titled Mel Lewis and The Jazz Orchestra: 20 Years at the Village Vanguard (Atlantic) and coincided with the band's twenty-year anniversary of playing Monday nights at the Vanguard.1

By 1985, the band was performing music by a wider variety of arrangers. Brookmeyer still wrote for the group but was no longer the musical director, giving extra incentive for band members such as Jim McNeely, Kenny Werner, and Ted Nash to write new compositions. Nash recalled,

My first composing and arranging for a big band was for Mel's band. Mel said, “Hey if anybody wants to write music bring it in and we'll play it.” We rarely rehearsed so most of the time when people brought in new charts we read them during the second set at the Vanguard. It was a very cool situation.2

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Medium 9780253006677

6 Syncretism: Logooli Christian Songs of the Spirit

Jean Ngoya Kidula Indiana University Press ePub

At the onset of the twentieth century, the Pentecostal and Holiness phenomena ignited the growth of new church musics. These musics had been fermenting in earlier revival movements in Europe and the United States. They were also rooted in the musico-cultural ethos of the peoples and denominations that embraced these events (e.g., Goff 2002, 13–32; Southern 1983, 127–130, 444–456; Synan 1987). For most of these groups, music became the primary denominational doctrinal statement. Utilizing music to bear and solidify a movement’s religious canons and doctrines was not new. Martin Luther and the Reformers employed music to indoctrinate the public and to inculcate Christian morals. Music was also used during the Great Awakenings to mobilize and evangelize the public. In these cases, new converts internalized their newfound beliefs and rehearsed their experiences through song. A key source for the music was the folk and popular styles of the times. Pentecostal and other revival movements of the early twentieth century added to the layer of the repertoire, moving beyond gospel songs to ‘songs of the spirit.’ This catalog was drawn on to proselytize, indoctrinate, and moralize the public. Beyond Pentecostal doctrine, texts extended from biblical narrative and praise songs, to social and moral topics, and to denominational creeds. The lyrics drew on daily experiences, on social concerns, on cultural trends, and on the political dogmas of their day. The songs were exported to the mission field. The entrenchment of these musics into Logooli lifestyle was facilitated by improved communication and media systems and reinforced by the colonial powers’ collaboration with missionaries.

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11. The Ghosts of Resistance: Dispatches from Palestinian Art and Music

MOSLIH KANAANEH Indiana University Press ePub

In the summer of 2010 Palestinian artists Emily Jacir and Yazid Anani installed two billboards in downtown Ramallah as part of a public intervention called al-Riyā. Visually mimicking the urban-development genre, the two billboards ironically questioned the erosion of a collective Palestinian political project through the building of gated communities (that look conspicuously similar to illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank) and the creation of a Dubai-style business tower that was to be constructed atop Ramallah’s fruit and vegetable market. Their work was part of a larger exhibition titled Ramallah: The Fairest of Them All? produced by the Birzeit Ethnographic and Art Museum and the Ramallah municipality. Yet within twenty-four hours the municipality, calling the billboards “problematic,” removed them. Despite demands from the artists and the organizers of the exhibition to discontinue such acts of censorship, both the mayor of Ramallah and the director of the municipality remained steadfast in their decision and offered no further clarification of their problematic nature.1

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1 A New Jerusalem (1887–1911)

Christopher A. Brooks Indiana University Press ePub


A New Jerusalem


Curryville in gordon county, Georgia, in an area known as the Flatwoods, was mostly a backwater village when Roland Wiltsie Hayes was born there on June 3, 1887. The summit of Horn Mountain beheld an unobstructed panorama of hills, grasslands, creeks, woods, falling rocks, waterfalls, animal-worn dirt trails, and a smattering of houses and plots of farmland.1

Roland’s worldview was shaped by the racially segregated environment of his parents, William Hayes and Fannie. Black landowners eventually became the new reality in post–Civil War Georgia, but only in the context of die-hard racial animus. African Americans were still required to show deference to their white counterparts lest they become subject to racial attack from organizations like the Ku Klux Klan, among others. The people who populated this part of the country and shared Roland’s ethnic heritage and lower social status found themselves as part of a permanent underclass; they had managed to survive because they knew “their place” when interacting with the white majority.

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Appendix: Biographical Details

Joan Benson Indiana University Press ePub

Appendix: Biographical Details

Joan Benson is one of the foremost clavichordists of modern times. She has been a leading pioneer in promoting the clavichord as a concert instrument, performing in concert halls, universities, and museums around the world. She has taught on the faculty at Stanford University, the University of Oregon, and the Aston Magna Academy in Massachusetts. Her international master classes have introduced many enthusiastic students to the clavichord.

As a child in New Orleans, Benson attended the first progressive school in the Deep South, which stimulated her talent for the arts. She heard Sergei Rachmaninoff and Ignace Paderewski perform and studied with the composer-pianist Percy Grainger.

In her early twenties, while an Indiana University student, Benson received the Kate Neal Kinley International Award for “outstanding powers of artistic communication.” She became a protégée of the great Swiss pianist Edwin Fischer, who also taught Alfred Brendel and Paul Badura-Skoda. As a concert pianist her affinity for highly nuanced, gentle, and delicate piano tones, for which she received critical praise, led naturally to her discovery of the clavichord.

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Medium 9780253010223


Maurice Hinson Indiana University Press ePub

Chinese Contemporary Piano Pieces (Karlsen Publishers, Hong Kong 1979). Vol.I, 88pp. Ah Ping: The Moon Mirrored in the Pool. Wang Chien Chung: Plum Blossom Melody; Sakura. Yip Wai Hong: Memories of Childhood (6 miniatures). Kwo Chi Hung: 2 Yi Li Folk Songs. Chu Wang Hua: Sinkiang Capriccio. Lui Shi Kuen and Kuo Chi Hung: Battling the Typhoon. Post-Romantic pianistic figurations, much pentatonic usage, some charming and interesting moments. This collection is a good example of the type of piano writing going on in this area of the world today. Int. to M-D.

Chinese Piano Music for Children (N. Liao—Schott 7652 1990) 55pp. Written between 1973 and 1986 when Chinese music “increasingly absorbed the influences and ideas current in the new music of the West, without sacrificing its own tradition and national style” (from the score). Luting He (1903–1999): The Young Shepherd with his little Flute 1934; tender, artistic simplicity, national style. Shande Ding (1911–1995): Suite for Children (five pieces) 1953: folk-like but no folk songs are quoted. Tong Shang (1923– ): Seven Little Pieces after Folk Songs from Inner Mongolia 1953: a charming suite of folk song arrangements. Lisan Wang (1953– ): Sonatine 1957: three titled movements, cheerful, displays spirited humor. Int. to M-D.

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4 Afro-Ukrainian Hip Hop Fusion

Adriana N. Helbig Indiana University Press ePub

Against a historical backdrop that positions Africans as only temporary residents who are distinctly Other in post-Soviet society, some African musicians perform in Ukrainian folk costumes, seemingly repositioning immigrants as potential citizens who are willing to assimilate and adopt the cultural practices of Ukraine. The involvement of African musicians in Ukraine’s folk music scenes has broadened the cross-cultural conversation in Ukraine, which since independence in 1991 has focused on ethnic Russian versus ethnic Ukrainian culture. Today, African musicians who sing Ukrainian folk songs appear on television talk shows, at folk music festivals, at public city events, in newspapers, and on the internet, placing them as a third local culture but also as an expansion and melding of post-Soviet Ukrainian cultures.

While these musicians’ work has enjoyed wide popularity, it is not clear the extent to which society is willing to create space for African social integration. The popularity of Africans in performance contexts has not translated into significant political, social, or economic change. Nevertheless, the use of Ukrainian folk elements in fusion projects has created a successful performance niche for African musicians in ways similar to hip hop collaborations discussed in chapter 3. Additionally, it influences public perceptions of Africans as interested in and wishing to connect to local traditions. In no small way, Africans’ involvement in Ukrainian folk music positions them within complex narratives relating to language, the role of folk music performance in the Soviet era, representations of “Africa” in popular culture from the Soviet and post-Soviet period, and contemporary folk revivals in post-socialist Ukraine. In this way, Afro-Ukrainian fusion music is a highly politicized, culturally charged expression that influences immigrant-related discourse. Significantly, African musicians, the traditionally least-accepted immigrants, are the only group creating folk fusion projects that place them in the public eye.

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Part 4: Small Town Hero

Sybil Rosen University of North Texas Press PDF


True North


y weeks in Austin have left me with a few answers and still more questions. Like an onion, there are innumerable layers of Blaze to peel back; I realize now there will never be an end to them. Yet someday, anyway, I will have to let go.

Meanwhile I have one last stop in Texas. This morning I’m on a northbound bus to Athens, where Blaze’s younger sister, Marsha, lives. We haven’t seen each other since 1976 and frankly, I’m nervous about our visit. The botched attempt at mythmaking in the cemetery was a wry reminder. The fates may be free to pronounce me Blaze’s wife, but I’ve no idea what his evangelical Christian family would have to say about that.

The bus leaves Austin behind. Above the freeway, vultures wheel on tilted wings. Myself, I’m done with scavenging; I just want to go home, wherever that is. To find the past, I had to shed the present. I’ve given up the house in the Catskills, any means of income, and all certainty about the future. Don’t get me wrong: I’ve been lucky. As I ricocheted between New York, Georgia, and Texas, family and friends have caught me every step of the way. In a world where war clamors, the earth sickens, and hunger abounds, I have had the luxury of dallying with a ghost.

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9. Imitation and Innovation in the Music, Dress, and Camps of Tanzanian Youth

ERIC CHARRY Indiana University Press ePub


The imitation of foreign music has been central to the formation of several Tanzanian popular music genres. In the late 1800s, taarab, a genre that imitated Egyptian song, appeared as royal court music in Zanzibar. In the 1920s, dansi, a form of upbeat dance music that remains popular in Tanzania, originated as a form of ballroom dance music for expatriate Europeans living in Tanganyika. And kwaya, a mixture of European Christian choral music with local rhythms and melodies, started as a form of hymn singing at missionary facilities throughout the country. A general pattern for these genres was to imitate foreign styles, localize the sounds, words, and meanings into Tanzanian culture, and then innovate on the newly formed genres in distinctive ways. Over time, composers and performers of these genres purged some of the Western sounds and incorporated more local, national, and pan-African aesthetics into their music, a process which helped move these genres toward being regarded as distinctly Tanzanian or East African musical forms.

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