Dr. Courtney Lara Bryan Awarded Princeton Postdoc!

The Department of Music warmly congratulates DMA alumna Dr. Courtney Lara Bryan, who has been awarded a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Center for African American Studies at Princeton University. Ms. Bryan recently defended her dissertation, which was advised by Prof. George Lewis. 

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

Columbia DMA Alums Wang Lu and Arthur Kampela Win Guggenheim Fellowships!

The Department of Music congratulates our DMA alumni Arthur Kampela and Wang Lu, each of whom has been awarded a 2014 John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship!

See here for further details:  http://www.gf.org/news-events/2014-Fellows-in-the-United-States-and-Canada/

Artist Websites:

Wang Lu: http://www.instantencore.com/wanglu

Arthur Kampela: http://www.kampela.com/


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.

Position Announcement: Lecturer/Senior Lecturer, Director of Music Performance Program

The Department of Music at Columbia University invites applications for a full-time position at the rank of Lecturer or Senior Lecturer to serve as Director of its Music Performance Program, beginning on July 1, 2014.

We seek candidates with artistic and intellectual accomplishments, with relevant teaching and administrative experience, and with broad interests in the musical disciplines. The appointee will manage the budget and recommend policies and priorities for the MPP, reporting directly to the Chair of the Department, and will work in consultation with the Department to frame and implement the activities of the Music Performance Program. The appointee's responsibilities will also include coordinating auditions, forming student chamber ensembles, assigning appropriate coaches to these ensembles, scheduling concerts, student recitals, and other performances, and overseeing the teaching of private lessons. In addition, the appointee will teach one course per term, usually in the Core Curriculum, to be determined in consultation with the Chair.

This is a full-time appointment with multi-year renewals contingent on successful reviews.

Through Columbia University's online system, please upload a letter of application (including a statement of teaching interests and experience), a curriculum vitae, and contact information for three references.

For more information and to apply, please go to academicjobs.columbia.edu/applicants/Central?quickFind=59001

Review of applications will begin April 7, 2014 and continue until the position is filled.

Columbia University is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.

Prof. Kevin Fellezs Gives 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, Radamés Gnattali, and César 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 lundú, 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 João 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.

Congratulations to Columbia DMA Composition Students!

Fall 2013 News and announcements from the Composition Program 

The Department of Music extends congratulations to DMA students from the Composition Program for their many accomplishments in Fall 2013!

Yoshiaki Onishi

Yoshiaki Onishi's Gaudeamus-commissioned work "Tramespace, diptych for large ensemble, Part I” (2012~13) was performed by Asko|Schönberg Ensemble in September 2013 in Utrecht, The Netherlands.



Taylor Brook


Taylor Brook received an honorable mention from the Jules Leger prize for the second year in a row as well as MIVOS prize for El jardin de senderos que se bifurcan, a string quartet composed for a CC concert.


Zosha Di Castri


Zosha di Castri's music received numerous performances.  This past September, there were three performances of "Lineage" by the San Francisco Symphony, directed by Michael Tilson Thomas.  "The Animal After Whom Other Animals Are Named", commissioned by Ekmeles, received its premiere with the help of the Canada Council for the Arts. She has received a commission for Esprit Orchestra for May 2014.  The Toronto Symphony Orchestra, conducted by John Adams, will perform her "Lineage" in March 2014.


Alec Hall

Alec Hall was elected for the Ensemble Contemporain de Montreal’s “Generation 2014” project. The award consists of a workshop in Montreal this March, followed by a week in Banff in November, then an 8-city/concert cross-Canada tour.


Ashkan Behzadi


Ashkan Behzadi received Second Prize in the SOCAN young composer competition for 2013. He also won the Sir Ernest MacMillan Awards for "Urban Trilogy" for chamber orchestra, the Fontainebleau Prix de Composition  for "Az hoosh mi.." for soprano and violin, and was named the winner of the APNM competition/call for scores for "Az hoosh mi.." for soprano and violin.


Sky Macklay


Sky MacKlay's orchestra piece Dissolving Bands was awarded the Leo Kaplan Award, the top prize in the ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Awards.



Bryan Jacobs


Bryan Jacobs' Dis Un Il Im Ir received Honorable Mention in the Conlon Music 2013 competition (Amsterdam). Le La en Le received First Prize in the Presque Rien 2013 competition (Paris).


Christopher Trapani


Christopher Trapani was named the winner of the Third Ježek Prize in Composition, 2013.



Courtney Bryan


Courtney Bryan's New Work for orchestra and recorded sound was commissioned by American Composers Orchestra Underground Ensemble, for a Carnegie Hall, New York, NY, 2015-16 premiere. Walking with ‘Trane, a collaboration, was commissioned by Urban Bush Women, New York, NY, for 2014 premiere. And New Work for String Quartet was commissioned by Spektral String Quartet for Mobile Miniatures Project, for a Chicago, IL, 2014 premiere.


Nina C. Young


Nina C. Young's Remnants received the Audience Choice Award at the ACO's 2013 Underwood New Music Readings. Tanglewood Music Center has also commissioned new work from Ms. Young  for the 2014 TMC Brass Ensemble.



Stylianos Dimou



Stylianos Dimou participated in the Royaumont Voix nouvelles composition course 2013, and the 5th Composers’ Forum [’tactus 2013] with the Brussels Philharmonic; Mr. Dimou's L'allégorie de la caverne, for orchestra (2011-2012) was selected as the winning piece to be performed again by the Brussels Philharmonic in 2014.

MPP Winter Concert Schedule (Most Events Free and Open to the Public!)

The Columbia Music Performance Program announces a slate of end-of-semester concerts featuring student ensembles and performers.  All events are free and open to the public!

 Click the image for the full-sized poster containing all event listings!

MPP Winter 2014 Concert Schedule