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Poster
Nov 21, 2021 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM(America/Chicago)
20211121T1000 20211121T1130 America/Chicago AMS Poster Sessions AMS 2021 ams@amsmusicology.org
Mapping the Boston Music Trade, 1865–1905
Poster 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM (America/Chicago) 2021/11/21 16:00:00 UTC - 2021/11/21 17:30:00 UTC

The city of Boston, Massachusetts, has played an essential role in the development of the North American music trade since 1698, when a new edition of the Bay Psalm Book included the first music to be printed and published anywhere on the continent. By the late nineteenth century, Boston was home to such internationally renowned composers as George Whitefield Chadwick, Amy Beach, and Edward MacDowell. The period 1865–1905, from the end of the Civil War through roughly the turn of the twentieth century, saw the city's music trade flourish in equal measure. The nation's largest music publishing firm, that of Oliver Ditson, was thus headquartered just a few blocks away from its most prestigious, that of Arthur P. Schmidt.


These and other insights revealing the human geography of Boston's music printers and publishers come to light in preliminary results from a forthcoming R-based digital mapping project, _Musical Geographies of Boston, 1865–1915_. The project joins those of Louis K. Epstein and others in offering new, flexible means of visualizing the spaces of our musical past. Street addresses have been gathered at ten-year intervals from the annual _Boston Directory_, which featured in its business listings such categories as "music dealers and publishers" and "printers of music." Addresses are then quantified via Geocodio, checked for historical accuracy against period atlases on Mapjunction, plotted using an R package called Leaflet, and finally presented on the web in Shiny Markdown. The resulting maps traverse both space and time as a community of music dealers and publishers evolves over a period of forty years. Many firms eventually stood shoulder to shoulder on Tremont Street, opposite the Boston Common, while others spread with the rapidly expanding city itself.


This poster presentation not only demonstrates a variety of use cases by providing examples of the maps themselves but also illustrates the project's underlying methodology through archival images of _The Boston Directory_ and visually annotated R scripts relating to the map creation process.

Presenters Derek Strykowski
University At Buffalo (SUNY)
Sh8peshifter & Black Ecowomanist Music In Oakland, CA
Poster 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM (America/Chicago) 2021/11/21 16:00:00 UTC - 2021/11/21 17:30:00 UTC

Although California has been a leader in sustainability and environmental health; in the Bay Area, East and West Oakland, have seen environmental challenges in minority communities for decades. These regions are predominantly populated by people of color and struggle to have their issues with air, water and noise pollution addressed. Bay Area-based artivists, such as Zakiya Harris, have powerfully addressed the communities' needs as well as racial and social inequalities by making eco critical music. Just as artists creatively responded to abolitionism, the Civil Rights movement, and women's suffrage - Harris aka Sh8peshifter, builds on eco-feminism and addresses many of these issues in her ecowomanist music. Indebted to the Women's March, Black Lives Matter and hip-hop queens like Oakland's Conscious Daughters, she crafted her hip-hop anthem "Abracadabracaafrika" (2017) as an example of Bay Area ecowomanist artivism. Harris whispers, "the veil is lifting, we know who we are, the veil is lifting, read the cycle of the stars" and continues with a harsh spat vocal line, "Black, black, black" to move her audience to engage with the realities of local Black Life. "Abracadabracaafrika," as an audio-visual piece also draws on electronically processed motivic-thematic pastiche of electric guitar, water flute and the Nintendo Mario Bros. Star Theme, backed by a trap beat. Harris uses spiritual and biblical metaphors, ideas of Earth worship, and her belief of flow - human connectedness to moon cycles and water. Using signification in visual representation, I argue as a poster that ecomusicological investigations need to expand to consider ecocritical music by women of color. As a respected artivist, Harris is still lesser known than notable female artists such as Beyoncé and Janelle Monáe, and thus her work will be introduced into musicological discourse. My research is indebted to eco critical scholars in musicology.

Presenters Rachel Wilson Cota
Arizona State University
University at Buffalo (SUNY)
Arizona State University
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