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Paper Session
Nov 21, 2021 02:00 PM - 02:50 PM(America/Chicago)
20211121T1400 20211121T1450 America/Chicago National(ist) Endeavors AMS 2021 ams@amsmusicology.org
Battle of the Bands: The Dawn of a New Brass Technology
Individual Paper 02:00 PM - 02:50 PM (America/Chicago) 2021/11/21 20:00:00 UTC - 2021/11/21 20:50:00 UTC

April, 1845: The French Ministry of War hosted a performance contest--a "Battle of the Bands." At issue was the instrumentation of French military music ensembles, and composers including Spontini, Auber, and Halévy served on the commission as judges. Belgian inventor Adolphe Sax entered, becoming a competitor, seeking to have his novel brass instruments, the Saxhorns, installed as the basis for the military's sonic profile. Sax's ensemble achieved victory against the "traditional" model championed by Michele Carafa, director of the Gymnase de Musique Militaire, founded in 1836. While Carafa's ensemble was composed of only one-third brass instruments, Sax's band of thirty-eight contained twenty-five brass instruments, seventeen of his own design. Patrick Péronnet suggests that Sax's success was partly acoustic, seemingly solving the "open air" music problem: the darker lower register and blended sounds of the Saxhorns and other brass carried more clearly across the field than Carafa's woodwind-heavy ensemble.


But Sax's triumph went beyond the aesthetic. His instruments and their strategic combination, as I argue, represented a new alliance of military power, industry, and organological technology. They were, as John Tresch suggests, "romantic machines," and comprised an instrumental army: Sax's aim for timbral homogeneity was inextricable from the French imperialist and nationalist ambitions of the 1830s and 1840s. The Saxhorn "family" functioned as a reimagined civic future similar to that which Berlioz described in his novella, _Euphonia_, where the musical city's residents are harmoniously lodged by their instrument or voice part. But, like the despotically-ruled Euphonia, Sax's military music model demonstrated the need for sonic assimilation, a musical manifestation of French military conquest. Sax's instruments could easily be transported on the field as an armed mobile unit ever-more threatening as it approached, pistons snapping to the tune of metallic whirring. The Battle of the Bands' fusion of technology and public theatre functioned both as a "staging of musical instruments" (Newark) and a showcasing of sonic weaponry (Goodman). In Sax's ensemble, individuality served collectivism; metaphorical instrument-soldiers were parts of larger ensemble-armies. The Battle, then, was not only musical, but also political, industrial, and imperial.

Presenters
SN
Samuel Nemeth
Case Western Reserve University
Negotiating Nationalisms: the Foundation and Early Activities of the Anglo-Austrian Music Society
Individual Paper 02:00 PM - 02:50 PM (America/Chicago) 2021/11/21 20:00:00 UTC - 2021/11/21 20:50:00 UTC

The Anglo-Austrian Music Society was founded in London in 1942 by Ferdinand Rauter-an Austrian-born musician, pedagogue and amateur mycologist who had made his name arranging and performing songs from various folk traditions with polyglot soprano Engel Lund. Rauter had spent much of 1940 interned on the Isle of Man as an 'enemy alien', a designation visited upon some 70,000 German and Austrian refugees and residents in the United Kingdom during WWII. In the wake of that internment he founded the AAMS with the pragmatic aim of allowing migrant musicians in Britain to support themselves and participate in musical life.


The Society presented-via its various early activities in the 1940s and 1950s-a multi-vocal and prismatic notion of Austrian music, one that gave lie to the rigidity and even coherence of the nationalist categories its key members were forced to navigate as migrants in Britain. The Anglo-Austrian Music Society's early activities, when taken as a whole, can, thus, be understood as providing an implicit critique-through deed rather than word-of the kind of musical nationalism promoted by luminaries of British music like Ralph Vaughan Williams (himself an early if reticent supporter of the AAMS).


I begin by situating my analysis of the Society's early activities within recent scholarly discourse engaging with paradigms developed in mobility studies, exploring the ways critique of the nationalist paradigm bears relation to issues surrounding migration and mobility. I then examine the contours of the discourse around music and nationalism that confronted key members of the AAMS. The remainder of the paper is devoted to an analysis of evidence from the Society's archives-program notes, meeting minutes, correspondence-supporting the aforementioned thesis.


In exploring and troubling paradigms of rootedness and fixity via examination of an organization founded and populated by migrant musicians, this research contributes to a vibrant scholarly conversation led by scholars such as Brigid Cohen, Alejandro Madrid, and Florian Scheding whose work interrogates the explicative limits of the nationalist paradigm and questions the possibility of a migratory aesthetics.

Presenters
BS
Beth Snyder
Royal College Of Music, London
"Mind the Gap" and "_Vorsicht Stufe_"? Percy Goetschius and Revolutionary American Music Theory
Individual Paper 02:00 PM - 02:50 PM (America/Chicago) 2021/11/21 20:00:00 UTC - 2021/11/21 20:50:00 UTC

There is a notable gap in the history of Western music theory. According to the historical narrative, music theory was in stasis from, roughly, Hugo Riemann's _Vereinfachte Harmonielehre_ (1893) to Felix Salzer's _Structural Hearing_ (1952). Robert Wason encapsulated the situation when he wrote, "theory in America at the turn of the twentieth century … was a mélange of stultified ideas drawn from the principal European works of the genre" (2002, 66). In true American fashion, the decades-long gap ended only with the wide adoption of new and revolutionary ideas.


True, historians have illuminated the germ of future progress fermenting in the bickering of Heinrich Schenker and Arnold Schoenberg, and they have elucidated the early adoption and development of their theories in the United States. However, the ideas of Schenker and Schoenberg failed to create any real effect until the former's work seemed suddenly to gain a critical mass of adherents, well after the midpoint of the twentieth century.


I challenge this narrative by excavating the many works of Percy Goetschius (1853–1943), the United States' most prolific theorist. By studying the early American reception of Schenker's and Schoenberg's tonal theories, I identify categorical areas of their work that were viewed as revolutionary. These include extensive use of musical examples from the literature, the fundamental conception of harmony, the positioning of counterpoint in relation to harmony, the nature of musical form, and musical organicism. For each area, I compare a construct of "stultified European theory" drawn primarily (but not exclusively) from the works of Ernst Friedrich Richter to the "revolutionary" concepts of Schenker and Schoenberg and, finally, to the music-theoretical thought of Goetschius.


Through this study, I shake the "gap hypothesis" by revealing some of the ways Goetschius's ideas developed across his long career. Further, I conclude that Goetschius's evolving works served to prepare-like a textbook suspension-the music-theoretical mind of twentieth-century America for the not-so-revolutionary positions of Schenker and Schoenberg. Finally, I offer some reasons why the revolutionary air may have clung to these two most prominent theorists of the last century.

Presenters
EE
Eric Elder
Brandeis University
Royal College of Music, London
Brandeis University
Case Western Reserve University
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