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Chapter : 1. “The Wondrous Transformation of Tought into Sound”: Some Preliminary Reflections on Musical Meaning in Brahms

Indiana University Press ePub

Heather Platt and Peter H. Smith

From where he sat, Clive tried to prevent his attention from being drawn into technical detail. For now, it was the music, the wondrous transformation of thought into sound. . . . Sometimes Clive worked so hard on a piece that he could lose sight of his ultimate purpose—to create this pleasure at once so sensual and abstract, to translate into vibrating air this nonlanguage whose meanings were forever just beyond reach, suspended tantalizingly at a point where emotion and intellect fused.

Ian McEwan, Amsterdam

Although the omniscient narrator of Ian McEwan’s novel Amsterdam attributes these thoughts to a fictional late twentieth-century British composer, Clive Linley, contemplating his own composition, Linley’s reflections capture something of the universal mystery of music. The dualities the narrator develops between technical detail and wondrous transformation, between thought and sound, between hard work and sensual pleasure also resonate strongly with the unique musical persona of Johannes Brahms, a composer whose works have long been admired for their highly wrought craftsmanship as well as for their expressive immediacy. So, too, do the narrator’s words capture something of the challenge faced by the music scholar dedicated to the close study of Brahms’s compositions. How does one remain attuned to Brahms’s abundant compositional craft—the fruits of the composer’s hard labor and a self-conscious emblem of his works’ individuality—without losing sight of the music’s sensual beauty? Moreover, how do we engage a musical language that, while not strictly referential, nevertheless possesses deep meaning?

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I. Sorcerer’s Apprentice

Vince Bell University of North Texas Press PDF

  I 

Sorcerer’s Apprentice

I

’ve played music since I was a B-flat cornetpacking kid. I’ve grown up in music, worked to distraction in music, married unsuccessfully in music, and I’ve been at it for several wifetimes. High musical seasons and adventurous women they were. But even before those delightfully shaped dreadnoughts tacked through my life and always in their wake, there had been only one guitar. It leaned up against a wall or a speaker box and cast ever-blooming, ever-changing melodies from an honored niche in all their houses.

My guitar and I began like a storm in the screened-in second story of a house in the Montrose, an older part of Houston. It was a lawless, hip world-within-the-world, an attitude as much as a place to live, and an anything-goes lifestyle with a soundtrack familiar to everyone in jeans under 30. The musical messages that spoke to us were broadcast from one of several radio stations downtown or on Lovett

Boulevard. I was 19 years old when I moved lock, stock, and bicycle into a filthy, roach-infested little flat there. The rest of the city outside the loop dissolved into irrelevance.

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Medium 9780253318220

XIV The Enjoyment of Fluency: Op. 10 Nos. 2 and 3, No. 2, Op. 22, Op. 31 No. 1, Op. 79Op. 14

Kenneth O. Drake Indiana University Press ePub

Not every work from the pen of a Beethoven can be as profoundly moving as Op. 111 or as totally integrated as Op. 13. The appeal of the opening movement of each of the sonatas included in this grouping is not so much soul searching as the enjoyment of wit, brilliance, and imagination. The first movements of Op. 10 No. 3, Op. 22, and Op. 31 No. 1 are sleek, unhindered in their forward momentum; those of Op. 10 No. 2, Op. 14 No. 2, and Op. 79 are only of a somewhat less untroubled character. Yet, with the exception of Op. 14 No. 2, each has a second or middle movement of emotional depth, the Largo e mesto of Op. 10 No. 3 being one of the darkest soul-probing pieces of music Beethoven ever contributed to the pianists’s repertoire.

The first movement of Op. 10 No. 2 resembles a patchwork quilt. The opening theme itself joins two contrasting ideas, the first of which, a four-measure segment of melodic bits and pieces, is relatively insignificant as a theme. Its immediate purpose seems to be providing a beginning for the piece. The eight measures that follow introduce an extended arched melodic line that picks up the opening melodic third and adds a dynamic swell, syncopation, and appoggiaturas. Everything prior to the C-major theme beginning in m. 18 sounds exploratory.

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14 Russian Rock on Soviet Bones

Edited by Lilya Kaganovsky and Masha Sal Indiana University Press ePub

Lilya Kaganovsky

VALERY TODOROVSKYS 2008 film Stilyagi (The Hipsters) opens with a scene at a local Soviet clinic. A patient has come for a chest X-ray, complaining of a severe cough. We hear the nurse scolding him for excessive smoking, we see the X-rays produced and examined, but it is only when we see the same X-ray plate being cut into the shape of a circle, and a hole being burned in the exact middle with a cigarette, that we understand the relationship of this opening sequence to the rest of film: the X-ray can be used to make a homemade gramophone record, a phenomenon that was referred to in the 1950s and 1960s as “rock on bones” (rok na kostiakh): Western rock recorded onto “Soviet” bones.

Set in 1955 and 1956, just after the death of Stalin but before the Twentieth Party Congress and Khrushchev’s “Secret Speech,” Stilyagi is a musical (or a musical comedy, or a musical tragicomedy) about a brief, but very vibrant, Soviet counterculture moment when a generation of postwar Soviet youth, exposed for the first time to movies, music, and styles from the West, attempted to reproduce through their clothes, music, dance, and overall attitude a certain kind of international style. The basic plot centers on the romance of Mels and Pol’za, beginning with his conversion from a straight-laced Komsomol member to full-fledged stilyaga, his expulsion from the Komsomol, her pregnancy, and the group’s eventual dispersal. Despite Todorovsky’s disclaimers, the film is a true musical in the Hollywood sense of the genre, where the emotional and narrative weight is given to the song and dance numbers, loosely connected by a minimal plot.

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Afterword: “Mel's Example”

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

The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra.
Used by permission of Douglas Purviance and the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra.

 

Mel Lewis's Example

Mel Lewis was a very strong, passionate, and opinionated man but he selflessly chose making other musicians comfortable his prime mission. At this Mel had great success.

I have been listening to Mel's playing since I first became aware of him and the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra in 1971. Like many young players, I was drawn to the more flamboyant players of the day and didn't understand what was special about Mel because I didn't hear anything flamboyant in Mel's playing. Now, having known him, discussed music with him, seen him live many times and listened to numerous recorded performances of that band's classic repertoire (along with playing that music with the band myself for over 20 years) my appreciation of Mel's special feeling and ever evolving approach to the music is deeper than ever.

What Mel told Burt Korall in Drummin' Men: Bebop Years sums up Mel's attitude: “I found that to really make money, you had to give up music. So I gave up money.” Mel was the ultimate team player but he wasn't a follower. Mel had great instincts and musical taste and with these attributes he would propel even the corniest musical situation into something worth listening to.

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Medium 9780253010407

3 The Space Is the Place

Kathy Sloane Indiana University Press ePub

If you came to San Francisco, there was
nowhere else to go. And the amazing
thing, the paradox of the whole thing,
is that the club and what went on in
that club [existed] next door to a police
station. This, of course, is big. This
should be on page 1: “The Keystone
Korner opposite the Keystone Kops.”

Dave Liebman

George Cables

God, the music was fantastic. I loved playing there because I could hear. The sound was great, the vibe was great, the music was live. Some rooms you play and you hear the note: pssssst. It sort of disappears or just comes to a thud, boomp, and that’s it. But in Keystone, it was live; the sound reverberated, and you could hear the piano.

David Williams

Next to the Village Vanguard in New York, Keystone Korner was one of my favorite or maybe the favorite room for sound, for the bass. I like to hear it a certain way. And some rooms just have no personality. I’ll spend all night fiddling with the amplifier. Some rooms make the bass sound out of tune. It would be in tune but the intonation would be off, and I’d be all night trying to tune the bass. So much of what we do is about the sound. It’s all about the sound.

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Medium 9780253016423

6. Performers Onscreen

David P. Neumeyer Indiana University Press ePub

Opening a chapter on the paradoxical notion of a text-centered contingency, Robert Scholes asks a rhetorical question, “Why won’t the text stand still so that one could indeed be true to it or false to it and know which is which?” (1985, 149). This image of an unstable text is particularly well suited to reception studies. Bach’s C Major Prelude has a specific, definite textual history (as a written score), but it did not “stand still,” in Bach’s own hands or in anyone else’s. It is by no means unique in The Well-Tempered Clavier in that there are preliminary versions that were expanded and polished for inclusion in the published volume, and it is well known that Bach continually returned to his own (and occasionally others’) work as sources for new compositions. David Schulenberg refers this practice of “composition by variation” to a broader tradition of composition and pedagogy that embraces not only figural and ground-bass variations but also improvisations on figured basses and reworkings of existing pieces. The training that “Bach apparently received as a child from his brother Johann Christoph must have included not only figured bass realization but also score notation.” In his own teaching, Bach used the same method, avoiding altogether the abstractions of species counterpoint: “In this approach to composition, melodic material was understood as . . . a variation of simple three- or four-part counterpoint that could be represented by figured bass (as it was in [Friedrich Erhardt] Niedt’s treatise [of 1706]).” The fundamental conception of composition linked it inextricably to improvisation, then, and both were understood to be “in essence nothing more than a very elaborate variety of figured bass realization” (1995, 24).1

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CHAPTER 5: Clothed in the Sun and Standing on the Moon: Meditating Motherhood in the Cult of the Madonna del Parto

Getz, Christine Indiana University Press PDF

Chapter 5

8

Clothed in the Sun and Standing on the Moon

Meditating Motherhood in the Cult of the Madonna del Parto

“A certain Jewish woman, very tired from labor and unable to do anything but cry, and not expecting anything other than to give up the spirit immediately, having given up on the midwife and her pain and anguish nevertheless increasing, saw a great light come from above when between many pains of the soul and body and at the same time heard a voice from this light which said “invoke the name of Mary and you will be saved.”

The woman, all of a faithful heart and full of confidence in the Lord, invoked the name of Mary with a loud voice and immediately gave birth to a baby boy.”1

—Silvano Razzi, pub. 1587

In her seminal study Women of the Renaissance, Margaret L. King asserts that the lives of most Renaissance women were defined by motherhood.2 While women who nourished their own babies gave birth every twenty-four to thirty months, those who sent out their children to nurse conceived and brought children to term at an even faster rate.3 Infant mortality rates were relatively high and the pressure to produce an heir fairly intense. The Milanese tradesman Giambattista

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13 - Opening Night at the Village Vanguard

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

In November of 1965, Thad and Mel quickly put together a list of the musicians they wanted for their band. While Thad had certain friends at CBS whom he wanted to hire, and Mel had musicians he wanted, they easily agreed on the personnel. Thad remembered the process of forming the group, saying, “We agreed on everything. And that's ridiculous. Musically it bordered on fantastic. And then, when we finally started calling, nobody turned us down. Not a soul.”1 Eugene “Snooky” Young, Bob Brookmeyer, Pepper Adams, and Richard Davis were the first musicians hired, as Thad and Mel loved all four men as both musicians and friends. Next came Jimmy Nottingham, Jack Rains, Cliff Heather, and Hank Jones, all of whom were on staff with Thad at CBS. Jimmy Maxwell, Bill Berry, Danny Stiles, Jerome Richardson, and Jerry Dodgion were all accomplished jazz musicians active in the New York City studio scene, and were soon invited into the band.2 It is important to note that while Thad and Mel were previously friends with many of the musicians they hired, this wasn't true in every case. Thad himself stated, “We weren't all friends in the beginning. We were acquaintances who respected each other as individuals and musicians. The friendship came through our association together with our band.”3 The two men were determined to fill their band with great musicians, regardless of age or race. When promising young players such as Joe Farrell (who was recommended by Wayne Shorter), Garnett Brown, Jimmy Owens, and Eddie Daniels were asked to join the band, often Thad and Mel were going on musical ability alone.4 Eddie Daniels recalled the chance meeting that got him hired into the band:

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XXIV. Second Street

Vince Bell University of North Texas Press PDF

  XXIV 

Second Street

S

chool had been a great diversion. It was the most patience-testing activity I could ever have dreamed of. It kept me more constructively busy than anything else I had subjected myself to. It sharpened my thoughts like a blade. And the next diversion was on its way. I began running a musical lounge show out of the

State Theater, a rundown Triple-X movie house in downtown Austin, two blocks from the pink granite state capitol building and next door to the storied, long-lived Paramount Theater and the Driskill Hotel.

My idea was to present live music in the lobby at night. If I couldn’t do the stand-up comedy-music show I used to do, maybe I could front a group and leave some of the entertaining to the drummer, the bassist, or the other guitar player in my new band.

I invited some friends to put together a couple of months of entertainment. My new band played. Butch Hancock and Jimmie Dale

Gilmore played one weekend. Steven Fromholz brought his best old Martin, named Leonard, and illuminated an evening or two. A popular College Station band, the Side Effects, brought old buddies, harmonica-playing Doug Duryea and violinist Ellen Moore. Shake

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Appendix A: Documents

Getz, Christine Indiana University Press PDF

Appendix A

Documents

Document 1.1

ASDM, Archivio San Celso Amministrazione, Sedute,

Registri 1583–1591, 46v (new 94).

8 Settembre 1585

Havendo il Reverendo sacrista di questa chiesa proposto il bisogno ch s’ha de libri per servigio del choro di detta chiesa, et exhibita nota de libri che li Reverendi Canonici di S. Nazaro di questa città hanno di vendere con liberi prezzi del tenere che segue

Nota della stima fatta delli cinque libri di carta connotta di canto di S. Nazaro di Milano

un’ salterio carte numero 275 la seraitura et ligatura in tutto

Libro del Advento carte numero 260.

Libro dominicale carte numero 258.

Libro della quadregessima carte numero 263.

Hanno ordinato che li sodetti signori Gian’ Battista Archinto, et Fossani s’informano del bisogno de questa chiesa qualità, et vero prezzo d’essi libri, è, poi, referiscanno.

Baldesar Adda Priore

September 8, 1585

The Reverend sacristan of this church, having related the need of books for use by the choir of this church, and been shown a list of books, which are as follows, that the Reverend Canons of San Nazaro of this city have for sale at liberal prices.

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3 To Catch Up and Overtake Hollywood: Early Talking Pictures in the Soviet Union

Edited by Lilya Kaganovsky and Masha Sal Indiana University Press ePub

Valérie Pozner

Translated from the French by
Andrée Lafontaine

ONE GENERALLY ASSOCIATES Hollywood’s influence on Soviet cinema with the musical comedies directed by Grigori Alexandrov after 1934, or with the grandiose plans conceived in 1935—following Boris Shumyatsky’s trip to Hollywood—of a studio built in the Crimea, entirely outfitted with American equipment (e.g., lighting, recording, mixing), with the potential to produce six hundred films per year. Hollywood’s influence on Soviet cinema, however, did not begin in the 1930s; it goes back to the mid-1920s, when American films dominated Soviet screens. For the Soviet film industry during the second half of the 1920s, Hollywood represented, above all, a competitive branch of the industry: a modern unit bringing together all aspects of production, synonymous with efficiency and productivity. When Sovkino launched its grand project to build a new studio (at the time, still referred to as a “factory”) in 1927, the press labeled it “Red Hollywood” and “Soviet Hollywood.”1

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Medium 9781574413298

13. NO DEEPER BLUE

Robert Earl Hardy University of North Texas Press ePub

13

No Deeper Blue

THE CALL OF THE ROAD did not cease for Townes after the birth of his second son; indeed, it grew stronger, just as it had around the time of the birth of his first son. Once again, Townes’ self-destructive behavior was alarming his friends and family, as he was made explicitly aware of through the intervention they attempted before his mother died. The hospital had proven too strict a regimen and he again convinced himself that the road would make him “free and clean,” as it had before. “Townes would go into rehab for other people, not for himself,” according to Mickey White. “Anybody who’s recovering can tell you, you can do that until the cows come home, but until you do it for yourself, you’re not going to be saved.”

Townes did not want to go back out on the road by himself, so early in 1984, he decided to form a band. He got back together with Mickey White and called in two friends, the Waddell brothers, Leland and David, to play drums and bass guitar, respectively. To change things up, Townes and Mickey decided to add Boston native Donny Silverman on flute and saxophone. “Townes always had a plan, some kind of direction,” White says, “and the plan was, this time, to put together a band. We’d go out on the road and get tight, and then go into the studio and cut an album.”1

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Medium 9781574412499

Strategic Tonality in Four Post-Wagnerian Operas

Edward D. Latham University of North Texas Press PDF

Tonality as Drama

to the tonal structure within a single piece or movement. David Neumeyer and

Patrick McCreless, however, have argued for a widening of analytical scope to include multi-movement works. McCreless, as part of a bid to reconcile

Schenkerian analysis with Leo Treitler’s work on key associations, claims that “linear analysis … is by no means incompatible with a point of view that finds tonal meaning echoing from moment to moment in a single movement, or from movement to movement in a multipartite work.”37 In his writing,

Neumeyer lays the groundwork for the future development of a model for multi-movement works, which is worth quoting in its entirety. He writes: when the closed analytic system—in our case, Schenker’s method applied to single movements—is confronted with a situation outside its capacities—here, the problem of multi-movement forms—the way to proceed is to add other pertinent structural criteria and develop an expanded, but again closed, methodology. Thus, for the song cycle and other expanded vocal works (including opera?), we need to add to Schenker’s harmonic-tonal and voice-leading model, as expressed in the Ursatz, the narrative or dramatic criteria, and from this develop a broader analytic system which can treat these two as co-equal structural determinants.38

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26. Ornamentation in Sixteenth-Century Music

Edited by Jeffery KitePowell Indiana University Press ePub

BRUCE DICKEY

Of all the performance practice issues which must be taken into account in performing music of earlier times, perhaps the one with the most potential to radically affect the sound of the music is improvised ornamentation. Sixteenth-century musicians needed not only to be able to play the music as notated, but also to improvise new material: inventing contrapuntal lines over a plainchant or an existing melody such as a dance tune, improvising florid passages over ostinato basses, freely creating preludes, toccatas or ricercare, and so on.1 In addition to these more or less free improvisations, musicians (both singers and instrumentalists) were expected to ornament the written lines of most of the music they played, through both the addition of graces (small standard ornamental figures) and divisions.

Divisions also were known as passaggi, diminutioni (or simply minute) or, in singing, gorgie, since they were articulated in the throat (gorgia = throat, in Italian). The art of division consisted of substituting the long notes of a written melody with passages of rapidly moving ones, maintaining more or less intact the contour of the original line by touching on the main notes of the melody at their beginnings (and usually at their ends). Just as with modern jazz improvisation, the art of division was learned first by memorizing patterns and then combining and recombining them in countless ways. These patterns were normally applied to intervals and cadences. While playing, the performer needed to mentally ignore any passing notes and instead reduce the melody to a series of basic intervals which might then be replaced by the memorized patterns. Just as in jazz, the “improvised” material would thus partly consist of memorized patterns and partly be spontaneously created, according to the ability and experience of the musician.

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