North American British Music Studies Association

2016 Temperley Prize Winner Announced

NABMSA is pleased to announce that the winner of the biennial Temperley prize for the outstanding student paper at the Seventh Biennial Conference in Syracuse is Christy J. Miller. Miller, a doctoral student at the University of Kansas, presented a paper entitled ““If They Can Do It, I Guess That We Can, Too”: Folk and “Folk-Styled” Music as Propaganda in The Martins and the Coys.” The abstract is below. Congratulations to Ms. Miller and all of the excellent student papers!

The Martins and the Coys is one of three ballad operas the BBC commissioned from American writers and musicians for radio broadcast in England in 1944 and 1945. The productions were modeled on the tradition of English ballad opera: they were plays with spoken dialogue, and popularly known songs and contrafacta were interpolated throughout. However, each uses an archetypal American topic: the Harlem Renaissance, a cattle drive across the untamed frontier, and—in The Martins and Coys—an Appalachian family feud. In addition to popular songs, they utilized folk, blues, and “folk-styled” songs not only because they were stylistically appropriate to the subject matter but also for the purpose of representing the American experience to English audiences. These ballad operas were part of a discreet propaganda campaign to encourage mutual understanding and solidarity between English and American citizens on the home front, and to promote transcultural understanding between England and the U.S. during and after the war.

Documentary evidence from the BBC Written Archives, Listener Research reports, and critical reviews reveal how The Martins and the Coys was received, and additional planning documents and correspondence help to reconstruct ideology surrounding the three ballad operas. Musically, I analyze performative aspects of the radio productions using extant recordings, considering how the choice of repertory, performers, and arrangement styles were intended to influence perceptions of international camaraderie. Through analytical strategies of propaganda theory and psychological warfare, I investigate American intentionality and English response to the ballad opera’s message of reconciliation and solidarity. Ultimately, examining the ballad opera with these frameworks contributes to our understanding of the relationship between the United States and England during World War II, and it adds to the scholarly body of knowledge concerning American radio propaganda as a part of British musical life.

NABMSA Reviews: Spring 2016

The new issue of NABMSA Reviews is now posted, with reviews of:

  1. Michael Brocken, The Twenty-First-Century Legacy of The Beatles: Liverpool and Popular Music Heritage Tourism 
  2. Lewis Foreman and Susan Foreman, eds., Felix Aprahamian: Diaries and Selected Writings on Music
  3. Lee Marshall and David Laing, eds., Popular Music Matters: Essays in Honour of Simon Frith
  4. John Mullen, The Show Must Go On! Popular Song in Britain During the First World War
  5. Thomas Schuttenhelm, The Orchestral Music of Michael Tippett: Creative Development and the Compositional Process
  6. Peter Wiegold and Ghislaine Kenyon, eds., Beyond Britten: The Composer and the Community
  7. Sarah F. Williams, Damnable Practises: Witches, Dangerous Women, and Music in Seventeenth-Century English Broadside Ballads

Check it out here, along with all the past issues: http://nabmsa.org/nabmsa-reviews/

Book hotels for Syracuse by July 8

For all those attending the biennial conference at Syracuse (Aug 4-6, 2016), this is a reminder to book your hotel. The block room rate will end on July 8, 2016. Bookings must be made by this date to guarantee a room at the discounted rate. Information about booking one of the two hotels (Parkview or Sheraton) can be found at http://nabmsa.org/conferences/2016-biennial-conference/2016-biennial-conference-local-arrangements/.

 

NABMSA Election Results and 2015 McVeagh Book Prize Announced

Here are the NABMSA election results (via Jennifer Oates):

President – Eric Saylor

Secretary – Danielle Ward-Griffin

Board – Jenny Doctor and Christopher Scheer

Thank you to all who ran. A special thanks to our out-going officers and the tremendous work they have done: Candace Bailey (President), Nathaniel Geoffrey Lew (Secretary), Dorothy de Val and Justin Vickers (board).

In addition to announcing Ruth Solie as our second lifetime member, the winner of the Diana McVeagh Book Prize was announced:

Rebecca Herissone, Musical Creativity in Restoration England (Cambridge, 2013)

Stephen Lloyd’s Constant Lambert: Beyond the Rio Grande (Boydell, 2014) received honorable mention.

New Issue of NABMSA Reviews

The new issue of NABMSA Reviews is now posted, with reviews of:

  1. Ross W. Duffin, The Music Treatises of Thomas Ravenscroft: ‘Treatise of Practicall Musicke’ and A Briefe Discourse
  2. Jeremy Dibble, Hamilton Harty: Musical Polymath
  3. Suzanne Robinson and Kay Dreyfus, eds., Grainger the Modernist
  4. Nigel Simeone and John Tyrrell, eds., Charles Mackerras
  5. Jon Stratton and Nabeel Zuberi, eds., Black Popular Music in Britain since 1945
  6. Simon Frith, Matt Brennan, Martin Cloonan, and Emma Webster, The History of Live Music in Britain, volume I: 1950-1967: From Dance Hall to the 100 Club

 

Check it out here, along with all the past issues: http://nabmsa.org/nabmsa-reviews/