A DANCER in the REVOLUTION: A Celebration & Book Panel Discussion

Event Date: 
Thursday, April 24, 2014 - 7:00pm - 9:00pm
Columbia University's Butler Library Rare Books & Manuscripts Section Room 523
- See more at: http://iraas.com/node/359#sthash.F4wHOxBG.dpu


  1. Eve Boutilie-Oxby: The Johnson Family (grand-daughter of Howard E. Johnson & daughter of Wendy Johnson)
  2. Kevin Fellezs: Music and African-American Studies, Columbia University
  3. Robert O'Meally: English & Comparative Literature, Columbia University
  4. Mark Naison: African-American Studies and History, Fordham University

- See more at: http://iraas.com/node/359#sthash.F4wHOxBG.dpuf

Dr. Julia Doe appointed Assistant Professor of Music

The Department of Music at Columbia University welcomes Dr. Julia Doe who has been appointed as Assistant Professor of Music.

Dr. Doe holds a Ph.D. in musicology from Yale University, where she also served as an affiliate of the Whitney Humanities Center. She is a scholar of eighteenth-century opera, with particular emphasis on the music, literature, and politics of the French Enlightenment. Her current book project examines the development of opera-comique in the final decades of the Old Regime, as it engaged with emerging discourses of national and cosmopolitan musical style. Portions of this work have appeared in The Opera Journal, and have been supported by grants and prizes from the Fulbright Program, the National Opera Association, and the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library. Dr. Doe is presently completing a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship at Columbia and will begin a tenure-track appointment in the summer of 2015.

NEW SUMMER COURSE for 2014: Critical Approaches to Music Technologies (MUSI S3142, Summer 2014)

Course Information

Course Title: 
Critical Approaches to Music Technologies
CU Directory Course Number: 
MUSI S3142
Lucie Vagnerova


Course Title: Critical Approaches to Music Technologies
CU Directory Course Number:  MUSI S3142
Section: 001 Points/Credits:  3
Instructor:  Lucie Vagnerova (Summer Teaching Scholars Program, PhD Candidate in Historical Musicology)
Instructor Email: lv2252@columbia.edu

Course Description: Electronic and digital sound technologies have come to define many popular and avant-garde musical practices of the 20th and 21st centuries. How do technological histories factor into musical meaning? How do sound technologies shape musical discourse at large? Through guided listening and multidisciplinary readings, the course will trace the various ways sound-technological practices trouble classical musical concepts such as ownership, authorship, musical value, embodiment, performance, or virtuosity, and call for new constructs such as sound synthesis, liveness, mediation, or fair use. The course brings together the first music studios, World War II cryptography, synthesized voices, earbuds, Detroit Techno, karaoke, and Columbia's own Computer Music Center.

Open to all majors.

Dr. Beau Bothwell Appointed Assistant Professor of Music at Kalamazoo College!

The Department of Music congratulates Dr. Beau Bothwell, a recent alumnus of Columbia's PhD program in Musicology, who has accepted an appointment as Assistant Professor of Music at Kalamazoo College, to begin in September 2014.  

Beau Bothwell is currently Music Humanities Core Lecturer at Columbia University and Adjunct Professor of Music History at the Juilliard School.  He completed his PhD in Musicology in 2013 at Columbia, with a dissertation entitled "Song, State, Sawa: Music and Political Radio between the US and Syria," advised by Prof. Ellie Hisama.  

Dr. Bothwell has presented his research at numerous national and international conferences, including gatherings of the American Musicological Society, the Society for Ethnomusicology, the Middle East Studies Association, and the Society for American Music, and in invited lectures at Boston College, NYU's Kevorkian Center for Near Eastern Studies, and Harvard University. Dr. Bothwell recently contributed a chapter to the volume The Soundtrack of Conflict: The Role of Music in Radio Broadcasting in Wartime and in Conflict Situations, and is writing a book on popular music and transnational radio in Syria and Lebanon.

Prof. Susan Boynton to give plenary at the Medieval Academy of America Annual Meeting

Professor Susan Boynton will give the opening plenary address at the Annual Meeting of the Medieval Academy of America on April 10, 2014 at the University of California, Los Angeles.

The talk, entitled "Music as Text and Music as Image," and will address the dynamic relationship between sound and image in the Middle Ages, focusing on the indirect, often elusive links between art and music that inform the received meanings of visual culture.

Exhibition in the RBML on Sounding Communities: Christians, Jews and Muslims in Medieval Iberia

Susan Boynton (Historical Musicology) curated the exhibition "Sounding Communities: Christians, Jews, and Muslims in Medieval Iberia," featuring manuscripts and books from the collections of Columbia University Libraries. The items on display, written in in Latin, Hebrew, Arabic, Castilian, and Galician Portuguese, range  in date from the twelfth century to the eighteenth. The exhibition focuses on written materials that relate to performance - of music and of text (including the sacred scriptures of each of the three religions).

The exhibition will be on display until April 25, 2014 in the Chang Octagon Exhibition Cases in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library (Butler Library, 6th Floor). Read more about the exhibition here. 


Prof. Kevin Fellezs to give Woody Guthrie Distinguished Lecture at IASPM-US

Professor Kevin Fellezs will be giving the 2014 Woody Guthrie Distinguished Lecture at the International Association for the Study of Popular Music, US Branch (IASPM-US) annual conference on Saturday, March 15, 2014, at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Fellezs's talk is titled "What Is This 'Black' In Japanese Popular Music? (Re)Imagining Race in a Transnational Polycultural Context," which focuses on his research of Black American musicians enjoying success in Japan in enka and J-Pop, two genres strongly associated with Japanese-ness, complicating conventional ideas linking identity, nationality, race, and genre.

Dr. Richard Miller Publishes "The Guitar in the Brazilian Choro"

The Deprtment of Music congratulates Dr. Richard Miller, Adjunct Professor of Music Theory and Ear Training, on the publication of his monograph: The Guitar in the Brazilian Choro: Analyses of Traditional, Solo, and Art Music.

The monograph examines the role of the guitar in choro in three expressions of the genre: traditional choros, popular choros for solo guitar, and academic choros of Heitor Villa-Lobos, Radames Gnattali, and Cesar Guerra-Peixe. This examination is done primarily through analyses of transcriptions of the guitar part for the traditional choro and of published scores for solo and  academic choros. As an accompanying instrument, the guitar is found to be fundamental in the introduction of African rhythms into choro and in defining the dances of choro, such as the lundu, maxixe, and tango brasileiro, based on the guitar accompanimental patterns. The solo literature is shown to have a strong relation to both the traditional and academic choros, as exemplified in the works of Joao Pernambuco. Composers Villa-Lobos, Gnattali, and Guerra-Peixe used the characteristics of choro to write complex and appealing works of art for the guitar in the musical language of the twentieth century. Analyses of selected works by those composers reveal both the variety of their compositional styles and their shared background in choro.










New and Featured Courses in Music for Spring 2014

Announcing new and featured courses in Music for Spring 2014!

Click on the image to enlarge the poster (PDF).

Spring 2014 Courses in Music
























V3127 Bach's Vocal Music 
Instructor: Laura Weber 
Call #: 67320, 3 pts 
MW 6:10pm-7:25pm, 404 Dodge

This course will examine the vocal works of J.S. Bach and the historical, cultural, and liturgical contexts in which they were created. We will focus on sacred works through close engagement with a selection of cantatas, the St. Matthew Passion, and the B Minor Mass. Over the course of the semester, students will gain an understanding of their place within Bach's oeuvre; their role in Lutheran devotional practice, particularly in Leipzig; the musical innovations Bach brought to these genres; and his techniques for expressing the texts and enhancing the liturgical contexts in which they were performed.

V3310 Techniques of 20th Century Music 
Instructor: Benjamin Steege 
Call #: 27445, 3 pts 
MW 8:40am-9:55am, 620 Dodge

Intensive analysis and interpretation of selected works from the past century, with emphasis on the historical contexts of compositional technique. Topics include scales, chords, sets, atonality, serialism, neoclassicism, and rhythm.
G4122 Songs of the Troubadours
Instructor: Susan Boynton
Call #: 78449, 4 pts
W 10:10am-12:00pm, 701A Dodge

This interdisciplinary seminar approaches the songs of the troubadours as poetic and musical traditions. Together we will develop methods for analysis and interpretation, situate the songs within literary and social history, and address broad issues such as the nature of performance, the interplay between orality and writing, the origins of troubadour poetry, fin'amor, and gender. Students will learn to analyze the poetic and musical structure of the songs and to transcribe and edit them from medieval manuscripts. Weekly assignments in Paden's Introduction to Old Occitan will familiarize students with the language of the texts; one hour a week will be devoted to going over texts in the original language using Paden's book. Individually designed paper assignments will take students' backgrounds into account;; students from all departments are welcome.

G6205 Billie Holiday: The Origins of a Style
Instructor: John Szwed
Call #: 12904, 3 pts,
R 4:10pm-6:00pm, 701A Dodge

This seminar will introduce students to the life and music of Billie Holiday. Because Holiday's style and repertoire drew on many sources and shifted radically several times throughout her life, attention will be paid to her sources among women singers in European, American, and African-American cabaret, Broadway musical theater, African American folk music, and Tin Pan Alley popular music. The nature of song itself will be considered, especially in terms of its social functions and how singers and audiences understand sung performances. We will also examine Holiday's autobiography, as well as films and documentaries of her life. Prerequisites: A Course in Jazz Studies or the equivalent.

New Currents in Hip-Hop Studies: Theory and Analysis
Instructor: Ellie Hisama
Call #: 72547, 3 pts
R 2:10pm-4:00pm, 701A Dodge

This seminar examines hip hop from a music-theoretical perspective, focusing on close readings of music analyzed alongside recent scholarly workonhip-hop. We will explore some of the key texts that have presented theoretical and analytical work on hiphop music, and students will prepare their own listening-based analyses of selected works throughout the term, culminating with a final presentation and paper. Throughout the course, we will track key words in hip hop studies such as race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, politics, society, class, representation, and diaspora, focusing on recordings, performances, videos, and films. Readings will help to locate music, artists, and genres within their various contexts, which in tum will assist us in our analysis of specific works. The enrollment is open to graduate students only.
G8111 HM-20th Cent.: American Popular Song of the "Golden" Age, 1900-1960
Instructor: Walter Frisch
Call #: 10089, 3 pts
T 2:10pm-4:00pm, 701A Dodge

We will look at American popular song from the early Tin Pan Alley era into the age of recording, radio and television broadcast, Broadway, and Hollywood. Composers will include renowned figures like Berlin, Kern, Gershwin, Arlen, Porter, and Rodgers. Emphasis will be on both historical and cultural contexts and on musical/ analytical methodologies.

Columbia Music Scholarship Conference 2014 Call for Abstracts (Conference Date: March 8, 2014)

Columbia Music Scholarship Conference 2014 (March 8, 2014)

CLICK HERE to be redirected to the conference website.

Call for Abstracts on the theme: Music and Memory (ABSTRACT DEADLINE DEC. 15, 2013)

The Columbia Music Scholarship Conference invites graduate students and recent Ph.D. recipients to submit abstracts to be selected for presentation at our tenth annual meeting on March 8, 2014 at Columbia University in New York. The theme of the 2014 meeting will be Music and Memory.

Burgeoning interdisciplinary inquiry on memory is enabling scholars to develop new perspectives in a diverse array of fields ranging from history, anthropology, sociology, literary studies, art history, archeology, cultural studies, and media studies, to philosophy, political science, theology, education, psychology, and the cognitive sciences. This conference will add to this growing interdisciplinary conversation about memory in the sciences, arts, and humanities, stimulating a dialogue both on the role of memory in music studies and on the place of music in studies of memory. We are soliciting proposals for twenty-minute presentations from scholars active in all music disciplines as well as from scholars in related fields, aiming to maximize the theoretical and methodological breadth of the discussion.