Tag Archives: Musicology

Naučnyj vestnik Moskovskoj Konservatorii

Научный вестник Московской Консерватории (Scholarly bulletin of the Moscow Conservatory, ISSN 2079-9438) was launched in December 2009 by the Научно-издательский центр Московская консерватория (Scholarly publishing center of the Moscow Conservatory).

This quarterly periodical with an editorial board under the direction of the musicologist and professor of the Moscow Conservatory Konstantin Vladimirovič Zenkin aims for in-depth coverage of research carried out at the Московская консерватория имени П.И. Чайковского (Moscow Conservatory named for P.I. Čajkovskij). It publishes scholarly articles, methodological materials, and book reviews; author submissions are selected by the editorial board. Научный вестник is published in Russian with abstracts in both Russian and English.

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Musicology today

In 2010 Universitatea Națională de Muzică București published the inaugural issue of Musicology today: Journal of the National University of Music Bucharest (ISSN 2067-5364). The issue presented articles about composers with significant anniversaries in 2009: Haydn (d.1809), Mendelssohn-Bartholdy (b.1809), and Paul Constantinescu (b.1909).

Subsequent themes have included composers with significant 2010 anniversaries; reception; relationships between composition, performance, and pedagogy; fusions; and women in music. The journal’s Editor-in-chief is Valentina Sandu Dediu.

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Musicologica slovaca

In 2010 Ústav Hudobnej Vedy of the Slovenská Akadémia Vied revived the scholarly periodical Musicologica Slovaca: Časopis Ústavu Hudobnej Vedy Slovenskej Akadémie Vied (ISSN 1338-2594), thereby providing a standard platform for publishing the most recent results of domestic music scholarship in a peer-reviewed, biannual journal. In 1992 its predecessor, the irregularly issued Musicologica slovaca et europaea, replaced the original Musicologica slovaca, which started in 1969. The renewed Musicologica Slovaca, starting as volume 1(27), maintains the continuity of the previous volumes.

The journal’s broad orientation, with topics including music history, ethnomusicology, and systematic musicology, reflects traditions of interdisciplinary communication among specialized disciplines of music scholarship in Slovakia. Musicologica Slovaca is edited by the ethnomusicologist Hana Urbancová, the Director of the Ústav Hudobnej Vedy SAV. It is published in Slovak with English abstracts and keywords.

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Analytical approaches to world music

Founded in response to the excitement generated by the First International Conference on Analytical Approaches to World Music in 2010, Analytical approaches to world music (ISSN 2158-5296) brings together disciplines including music theory, ethnomusicology, musicology, cognitive psychology, computer science, and mathematics for a cross-cultural dialogue that aims to promote and enhance understanding of the diverse collection of traditions that is commonly referred to as world music.

Edited by Lawrence Shuster and Rob Schultz, the inaugural issue of this peer-reviewed online journal includes articles by Robert Morris, Sarah Weiss, David Locke, Richard Widdess, Jay Rahn, and Michael Tenzer.

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Postmodernism and performance

According to “Changing the musical object: Approaches to performance analysis” by Nicholas Cook, broad cultural developments associated with poststructuralism and postmodernism have placed an emphasis on reception—on performance rather than on inherent meaning—but the reflection of these developments in musicology has been skewed by that discipline’s retention of the concept of music as written text.

Cook argues that just as writings about music influence performances, so performance style has an impact on musicology, creating the prospect of a historiography predicated not on compositional innovation but on music as it is experienced in everyday life.

Daniel Leech-Wilkinson further explores the process wherein developments in performance precede changes in verbal interpretation in “Musicology and performance”; his examples are drawn from Schubert’s lieder and Boulez’s Le marteau sans maître. Both essays are included in our recently-published Music’s intellectual history.

Below, a performance of the final section of the Boulez work by the Montreal-based group Codes d’Accès.

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Filed under 20th- and 21st-century music, Musicologists, Performance practice, Reception, Romantic era

Macunaíma and brasilidade

In Macunaíma, o herói sem nenhum caráter (Macunaíma, the hero without character) by the Brazilian musicologist, ethnomusicologist, poet, and cultural activist Mário de Andrade (1893–1945), the title character leaves his home deep in the jungle for a mystical quest to São Paulo to retrieve the muiraquitã, an amulet said to embody all of the history and traditions of his culture. Macunaíma succeeds in his mission, but in the process he undergoes a series of dramatic transformations; finally, he is changed into a constellation. He leaves for the firmament with a cryptic remark: He was not brought into the world to be a stone.

The story can be read as a metaphor for the cultural developments that Andrade helped to shape: He advocated bringing the jungle to the city to create the modernist aesthetic of brasilidade that informed the growth of the Brazilian creative arts and the parallel development of musicology and ethnomusicology there. Like Macunaíma, Brazilian modernism did not come into the world to be a stone, with all its implications of rigidity, contour, and well-defined boundaries—rather, brasilidade relishes improvisation, exploration, and fluid boundaries that can be perpetually transformed.

This according to “Macunaíma out of the woods: The intersection of musicology and ethnomusicology in Brazil” by James Melo, an essay included in our recently published Music’s intellectual history.

Related article: Tropicália and Bahia

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Musicology and fiction

Throughout the nineteenth century, parallels between the forms and contents of individual compositions and a variety of poems and prose tales were discussed. Liszt, Strauss, and other composers cited literary classics in the titles of their works and even published excerpts in their scores. As a consequence, certain critics came out in favor of musical programmism, while others advocated musical absolutism.

More recently, such discussions have been amplified by suggestions that certain works of fiction themselves employ musical structural principles, particularly sonata form. Doktor Faustus by Thomas Mann (above) can be viewed in relation to Beethoven’s piano sonata op. 111, and several of Jane Austen’s novels can be compared with Mozart concerto movements. This approach suggests new ways in which musicologists might acquire a deeper understanding of such issues as musical representations of gender, the ways in which instrumental compositions may be said to embody character, and the problem of music and narrativity.

This according to “Musicology and fiction” by Michael Saffle, an essay included in our recently published Music’s intellectual history.

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Was Kuhač there first?

In his 1882 unpublished essay Die Eigenthümlichkeiten der magyarischen Volksmusik, Franjo Ksaver Kuhač (1834–1911) used and explained the term musicology. Since the Vierteljahrsschrift für Musikwissenschaft appeared three years later with Guido Adler’s definition of the term, Kuhač assumed—and he died with this conviction—that he was the first to have coined it.

Kuhač was also an early visionary in comparative musicology, a stream that fed into the beginnings of ethnomusicology. As he saw it, the discipline’s task was to determine the laws of any given nation’s traditional music so these could be used as the basis for a national style in art music; his overarching goal was to create an awareness of Croatian national music and to establish its place in the context of Central European culture.

This according to “Franjo Ksaver Kuhač and the beginnings of music scholarship in Croatia” by Zdravko Blažeković, an essay included in our recently published Music’s intellectual history.

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Elektronische Zeitschriftenbibliothek

The Elektronische Zeitschriftenbibliothek (EZB), which was developed at the Universitätsbibliothek Regensburg with the Universitätsbibliothek der Technischen Universität München (above), provides an international list of musicology journals that are available on the Internet. The complete database, which is regularly updated by 545 libraries and research institutions, indicates whether each journal is open-access or subscription-based, and provides links to the journals themselves; it currently lists 47,117 titles, including  6150 journals that are only available online and 23,655 journals that can be read for free.

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Advanced musicology

In October 2009 the Finnish branch of the International Association of Music Libraries, Archives, and Documentation Centres (IAML) inaugurated the series Advanced musicology (ISSN 1798-3754) with Esa Lilja’s dissertation Theory and analysis of classic heavy metal harmony. The book’s author explores the implications of the harmonic language of heavy metal from the late 1960s to the mid-1980s, with examples from bands including Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Judas Priest, and Iron Maiden.

Related article: In Extremo and Walther

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