North American British Music Studies Association

Recent Publications, Fall 2016

Articles

Atkins, Peter. “‘An Ireland Built Anew’: Bax’s ‘Tintagel’ and the Easter Rising.” Music & Letters 97/1 (1 February 2016): 100-135.

Bowers, Roger. “Thomas Tallis at Dover Priory, 1530–1531.” Early Music 44/2 (May 2016): 197-205.

Braae, Nick. “Keeping themselves alive: Identifying and analysing Queen’s musical development, 1973–1980.” Popular Music History 9/3 (2014).

Burrows, Donald. “Handel, Walsh, and the Publication of ‘Messiah’.” Music & Letters 97/2 (May 2016): 221-48.

Butler, Katherine. “Changing Attitudes Towards Classical Mythology and their Impact on Notions of the Powers of Music in Early Modern England.” Music & Letters 97/1 (1 February 2016): 42-60.

Chowrimootoo, Christopher. “‘Britten Minor’: Constructing the Modernist Canon.” Twentieth-Century Music 13/2 (September 2016): 261-90.

Cichy, Andrew. “Music, Meditation, and Martyrdom in a Seventeenth-Century English Seminary.” Music & Letters 97/2 (May 2016): 205-20.

Duncan, Cheryll. “Henry Purcell and the construction of identity: iconography, heraldry and the Sonnata’s of III Parts (1683).” Early Music 44/2 (May 2016): 271-88.

Fleming, Simon D.I. “The myth of the forgotten composer—the posthumous reputation of Charles Avison.” Early Music, Christopher Hogwood Memorial Issue, 44/1 (February 2015): 105-17.

Johnstone, Andrew. “Thomas Tallis and the five-part English Litany of 1544: evidence of ‘the notes used in the king’s majesty’s chapel’.” Early Music 44/2 (May 2016): 219-32.

King, Richard G. “Who does what? On the roles of the violoncello and double bass in the performance of Handel’s recitatives.” Early Music, Christopher Hogwood Memorial Issue, 44/1 (February 2015): 45-58.

Leistra-Jones, Karen. “‘The Deeps have Music Soft and Low’: Sounding the Ocean in Elgar’s Sea Pictures.” Music & Letters 97/1 (1 February 2016): 61-99.

McCarthy, Kerry. “A late anthem by Tallis.” Early Music 44/2 (May 2016): 191-95.

McGreary, Thomas. “Handel in Rome: the homosexual context reconsidered.” Early Music, Christopher Hogwood Memorial Issue, 44/1 (February 2015): 59-75.

Miller, Rebecca S. “Hucklebucking at the tea dances: Irish showbands in Britain, 1959–1969.” Popular Music History 9/3 (2014).

Milsom, John. “Tallis, the Parker psalter, and some known unknowns.” Early Music 44/2 (May 2016): 207-18.

Pont, Graham. “Some questions concerning Handel’s early London copyists.” Early Music 44/2 (May 2016): 289-305.

Robinson, Suzanne. “Popularization or Perversion? Folklore and Folksong in Britten’s Paul Bunyan (1941).” American Music Vol. 34, No. 1 (Spring 2016): 1-42.

Roche, Elizabeth. “‘Coming events cast their shadows before’: Christopher in Cambridge, 1960–67.” Early Music, Christopher Hogwood Memorial Issue, 44/1 (February 2015): 11-20.

Rogers, Vanessa L. “Haydn as a London “Star:” Thoughts on Using Material Culture to Teach Eighteenth-Century Music at a Liberal Arts College.” Haydn: The Online Journal of the Haydn Society of North America 6/1 (Spring 2016): http://www.rit.edu/affiliate/haydn/ .

Skinner, David. “‘Deliuer me from my deceytful ennemies’: a Tallis contrafactum in time of war.” Early Music 44/2 (May 2016): 233-50.

Talbot, Michael. “Thomas Bowman, Vicar of Martham: evangelist and composer.” Early Music, Christopher Hogwood Memorial Issue, 44/1 (February 2015): 77-88.

White, Harry. “The Lexicography of Irish Musical Experience: Notes towards a Digital Future.” Fontes Artis Musicae 63/3 (July-September 2016): 192-201.

Williamson, Magnus. “Queen Mary I, Tallis’s O sacrum convivium and a Latin Litany.” Early Music 44/2 (May 2016): 251-70.

 

Books

Brocken, Michael. The Twenty-First Century Legacy of the Beatles: Liverpool and Popular Music Heritage Tourism. Farnham, UK; Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2015.

Butler, Katherine. Music in Elizabethan Court Politics. Woodbridge, UK: The Boydell Press, 2015.

Carnelley, John. George Smart and Nineteenth-Century London Concert Life. Woodbridge, UK: The Boydell Press, 2015.

Daub, Adrian and Charles Kronengold. The James Bond Songs: Pop Anthems of Late Capitalism. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015.

Furhmann, Christina. Foreign Opera at the London Playhouses: From Mozart to Bellini. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015.

Greer, David. Manuscript Inscriptions in Early English Printed Music. Farnham, UK; Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2015.

Hall, Michael. Music Theatre in Britain: 1960-1975. Woodbridge, UK: The Boydell Press, 2015.

Lew, Nathaniel G. Tonic to the Nation: Making English Music in the Festival of Britain. New York: Routledge, 2016.

Mangsen, Sandra. Songs without Words: Keyboard Arrangements of Vocal Music in England, 1560–1760. Woodbridge, UK: Boydell and Brewer, 2016.

Mullen, John. The Show Must Go On!: Popular Song in Britain during the First World War. Farnham, UK; Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2015.

Ó hAllmhuráin, Gearóid. Flowing Tides: History and Memory in an Irish Soundscape. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016. 344

Rupprecht, Philip Ernst. British Musical Modernism: The Manchester Group and Their Contemporaries. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015.

Stroeher, Vicki P., Nicholas Clark, and Jude Brimmer, eds. My Beloved Man: The Letters of Benjamin Britten and Peter Pears. Aldeburgh Studies in Music, Film & Theatre, Music. Woodbridge, UK: Boydell and Brewer, 2016.

Waldrep, Shelton. Future Nostalgia: Performing David Bowie. New York: Bloomsbury Academic, 2015.

Watt, Paull and Anne-Marie Forbes, eds. Joseph Holbrooke: Composer, Critic, and Musical Patriot. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2015.

 

Scores

Eccles, John. Incidental Music, Part 1: Plays A-F. Edited by Amanda Eubanks Winkler. Recent Researches in Music of the Baroque Era, 190. Middleton, WI: A-R Editions, 2015.

Handel, George Frideric. Coronation Anthems, HWV 259, 258, 260, 261. Edited by Stephn Blaut. Hallische Händel-Ausgabe, III/10. Leipzig: Breitkopf, 2015.

Handel, George Frideric. Lucio Cornelio Silla. Edited by Terence Best. Hallische Händel-Ausgabe, II/7. Leipzig: Breitkopf, 2015.

MacMillan, James. The Keening for large orchestra. London: Boosey, 2015.

MacMillan, James. The Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ According to Luke. Vocal score. London: Boosey, 20015.

MacMillan, James. Stomp (with Fate and Elvira): Concert Overture for Orchestra. London: Boosey, 2015.

MacMillan, James. Tryst for chamber orchestra. London: Boosey, 2015.

Vaughan Williams, Ralph. Four Hymns for Tenor, Solo Viola & String Orchestra. London: Boosey, 2015.

Vaughan Williams, Ralph. Richard II. Incidental Music for a Radio Production of William Shakespeare’s Play. Edited by Nathaniel G. Lew. Willington, New Zealand: Promethean, 2014.

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/

CFP: A Great Divide or a Longer Nineteenth Century? Music, Britain and the First World War

Centre for Nineteenth-Century Studies One-Day Conference
21 January 2017
Durham University, UK
CFP Deadline: 1 September 2016

Conference website: https://www.dur.ac.uk/cncs/conferences/musicbritainww1/

Keynote Address

‘Disruption or Continuity? Elgar’s Cello Concerto and the Modern Romantic Ideal’
Charles Edward McGuire (Oberlin College)

Call for Papers

Paul Fussell’s The Great War and Modern Memory (1975) casts the First World War as the birth of the Modern psyche for Britons. Through analysis of war literature and soldiers’ life writing, he argues the cataclysm of the war evinced a rupture with the clear moral standards, innocence, traditional artistic representations, and ways of constructing memory of pre-1914 Britain. In his “Modern” post-1914 Britain, disorientation, alienation, and irony become the dominant modes of representation. In contrast, Jay Winter, in Sites of Memory, Sites of Mourning: The Great War in European Cultural History (1995), argues historical inquiry into the responses to the First World War have over-emphasized the progressive, Modernist responses, and in the process have ignored the traditional motifs in the myriad of responses to the war. He writes ‘this vigorous mining of eighteenth and nineteenth-century images and metaphors to accommodate expressions of mourning is one central reason why it is unacceptable to see the Great War as the moment when “modern memory” replaced something else, something timeworn and discredited, which (following contemporaries) I have called “tradition.”’  These two influential viewpoints have structured much of the subsequent discourse on the First World War coming from the disciplines of literature and history in the last several decades; it however has received little attention within music.

This conference aims to bring to music this crucial framework for understanding artistic and cultural responses to the First World War. We seek papers that explore these themes of rupture/ disillusionment and “mining of nineteenth-century” modes of representation/ tradition within the context of musical life throughout the British Empire. Participants from a range of disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives that engage with music are particularly welcome.

Possible topics on these rupture/ tradition themes are (but are not limited to):

1. How did British art music composers react to the war? Do we see rupture with the past or continuation of nineteenth-century practices?

2. How can we understand British Musical Modernism within this dichotomy of rupture/ tradition? How does it compare with European Musical Modernism? In what ways can we understand the Pastoral in these contexts?

3. What bearing does this rupture/ tradition dichotomy have on the historiography of British music and the notion of the long nineteenth-century?

4. In what ways did popular music—whether repertoire, performers, or the industry—change because of the war? In what ways did it carry on Edwardian and Victorian traditions?

5. In what ways did musical life in Britain help define, blur, or shatter traditional boundaries between
•    the home and war fronts?
•    wartime public and private spaces?
•    civilians and soldiers?
•    within the army (officers and non-ranking men, wounded and healthy)?
•    social classes?
•    men and women?
•    the motherland and dominion countries?

6. How does music contribute to Britain’s commemoration of the war and those lost and wounded? Do the modes of remembrance used indicate a break with the past, or do they carry on traditional mourning practices?

Abstract Submission Information

Abstracts are invited from academic staff, postgraduates, and other researchers for 20-minute individual papers and panels of three (90 minutes) or four papers (120 minutes).

All abstracts should be no longer than 300 words. Please also include your name, institutional affiliation or city, and a bio of up to 100 words.

Papers accepted will be considered for inclusion in a future edited collection.

Please send abstracts by 5pm (GMT) on 1 September 2016 to Michelle Meinhart at cncs@durham.ac.uk Acceptance decisions will be made by 1 October 2016.

This conference is supported by the Centre for Nineteenth-Century Studies and the US-UK Fulbright Commission.

Hamish MacCunn (1868-1916) 100 Years On

By Jennifer Oates

The centenary of Hamish MacCunn’s death offers the opportunity to reflect on his fraught career and subsequent reception as well as to assess his place in the flourishing scholarship on music in Britain that has occurred over the past few decades. MacCunn’s career illustrates many of the challenges facing British composers in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries: mounting a successful career in their homeland, issues of identity in British music (which includes British, English, Scottish, pan-Celtic, etc.), music in and composers from the provinces, and the exploration of music throughout the British Isles.

Sketch of Hamish MacCunn by J.B.B., after John Pettie, lithograph, 1886. Used by kind permission of the National Portrait Gallery, London.

Sketch of Hamish MacCunn by J.B.B., after John Pettie, lithograph, 1886. Used by kind permission of the National Portrait Gallery, London.

At the age of fifteen, MacCunn entered the Royal College of Music on a composition scholarship in the fall of 1883, the inaugural term of the institution. He later, rather foolishly, declined his degree in 1887 complaining at the time that: “[t]he professors [at the RCM] seem to teach at the lectures a form of musical gymnastics! Dry bones! Never once did they speak of the ideal of art. I have, therefore, resigned my scholarship.”[1] (In later years, he attempted to downplay his departure noting, “I held my scholarship at the R.C.M. for four years and then, having already received some encouragement from the public, ‘pushed off’ into the stream ‘on my own.’”[2]) By the late 1880s MacCunn’s three “Scottish” overtures (The Land of the Mountain and the Flood, 1887; The Ship o’ the Fiend, 1888; and The Dowie Dens o’ Yarrow, 1888) and four choral-orchestral works (Bonny Kilmeny, 1888; Lord Ullin’s Daughter, 1888; The Lay of the Last Minstrel, 1888; and The Cameronian’s Dream, 1890) clearly placed him among the rising stars of British composition at the time. All of these works, written in what could be characterized as a later nineteenth-century style in the vein of Mendelssohn and Schumann, were featured at the Crystal Palace, thanks to Sir August Manns and Sir George Grove, and also regularly performed by provincial choral and orchestral societies. For the rest of his life, these early successes tended to eclipse his later efforts as a composer of both serious and popular music, while his difficult personality won him few allies and limited his opportunities. With the dawn of the new century, he saw his popularity fade as his name appeared less frequently in the press and on concert programs. When his works were performed, it was the earlier works rather than more recent compositions that were featured. In 1915, he was diagnosed with throat cancer and his health forced him to reduce all of his activities. His music suffered a further decline in popularity after his death in 1916.

In many respects, MacCunn’s career illustrates some of the typical paths available for native composers. He benefitted from increased educational opportunities in London, had the support of major figures in the musical world (particularly Manns, Grove, and Sir Hubert H. Parry), and received commissions for major works: a cantata for the 1890 Norwich Festival and the Carl Rosa Opera Company commissioned his first opera. (The cantata, Queen Hynde of Caledon, was not completed until 1892; the festival featured his overture The Ship o’ the Fiend instead. One of the last commissions from Rosa himself, MacCunn’s opera Jeanie Deans was contracted in 1889 but not finished until 1894 due to changes of librettists and topics.) In many respects, MacCunn sabotaged his own success: arrogantly declining his degree, failing to fulfill commissions in a timely manner, relying on operas produced solely in Britain to further his career, and burning bridges with his hot-headed actions. It would seem in considering his biography that MacCunn had all the elements available for a successful career, but, as he aged, his personality and actions seem to have worn down the goodwill of his peers and his unprofessionalism closed doors to opportunity.

One factor in both MacCunn’s rise to fame and fall was his devotion to his homeland. The question of what was “British” was a challenge for all interested and resulted in a panoply of burgeoning musical styles focused on aspects of Great Britain—such as Ireland, Scotland, the “Celtic North,” and, in England, Tudor, pastoral, or folksong-influenced music—rather than any sense of unity. With fewer opportunities for musicians, particularly composers, outside of the metropolis, British composers tended to flock to the capital and write music that catered to the London public. While some, such as Charles Villiers Stanford, Arthur Sullivan, and fellow Scot Alexander Campbell Mackenzie, explored their homelands within a more diverse musical output, MacCunn distinguished himself with an unique, and, it could be said in this context, exotic artistic persona. In 1885, while at the Royal College of Music, he changed his name to Hamish, the Scots Gaelic form of his birth name James, and his compositions for major venues, like the Crystal Palace and major concert halls, were devoted almost exclusively to Scottish topics. Though he claimed his name change was to avoid being confused with his father James, he was clearly distinguishing himself as a Scottish composer, as he confirmed in an 1893 interview: “the more I look into the large and interesting tradition of [Scottish] ballad music and ballad literature that has been bequeathed to us, the more I feel that here there is plenty of material for the work of more than one life. I really feel no interest in foreign subjects—not doubt because I am a Scotsman.”[3] Though initially viewed as novel and refreshing, critics soon tired of MacCunn’s Scottish topics and what they perceived as his unwillingness or inability to grow as a composer.

MacCunn succeeded in establishing himself as a “Scottish” composer; yet, this label only reflects one aspect of his music. There is little to no trace of his homeland in a significant proportion of his music, including most of his compositions from after 1900. These works—particularly his songs, partsongs, and works for cello and piano—are some of his most sophisticated efforts. As Arthur M. Thomas noted in 1928: “About thirty years ago great things were expected of Hamish MacCunn. He disappointed the expectations he had aroused; but he left behind him many beautiful songs to show that the hopes for his future had not been formed without cause.”[4]

Remarkably, events marking the centenary of MacCunn’s death have gone beyond his Scottish legacy, instead focusing on his music for popular venues or his more intimate, urbane works:

  • In February 2016, the Glasgow University Chapel Choir’s performed The Wreck of the Hesperus with new lantern slides (the original slides for the London Coliseum have been lost).
  • The New York City chamber choir Cerddorion featured two of MacCunn’s partsongs (“Solider, rest!” and “Oh where art thou dreaming?”) on their two May concerts.
  • The first of two volumes of MacCunn’s complete songs for voice and piano will appear in A-R Editions’ Recent Researches in the Music of the Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries series in late 2016.
  • In November 2016, Glasgow University will feature more of MacCunn’s music in a choral concert, focusing on his partsongs.

Why this interest in MacCunn’s cosmopolitan works? These compositions, particularly his songs and partsongs, are among his most refined pieces featuring some of his most inventive harmonies and voice leading as well as witty and sensitive text settings. All of these features transcend his Scottish label and his fraught career. Ironically, it is those two factors that have long kept performers and listeners from considering his later compositions. The shift from focusing on his self-sabotaged career to his music and how it speaks to us today is a welcome change. It invites us to rethink the place of MacCunn’s music outside of his limiting Scottish guise and celebrate his unique and, at times, vibrant compositional voice without reference to tired cliché. Doing so will take more than writing about MacCunn, we need well-prepared and thoughtful performances of his works—and not just his “big hit” The Land of the Mountain of the Flood. Only then can we understand MacCunn’s compositional achievements and see what place his music has in our contemporary musical culture.

(A selection of MacCunn’s part songs can be heard here.)

[1]“Hamish MacCunn,” MM (Mar. 1888): p. 55.

[2]MS Farmer 264 quoted by kind permission of University of Glasgow Library, Special Collections.

[3]MacCunn as quoted in James Cuthbert Hadden, “Scottish Composers and Musicians: Hamish MacCunn,” Scottish Musical Monthly 1/3 (December 1893): 54.

[4]Arthur M. Thomas, “Some Neglected English Songs,” Sackbut 9 (August 1928): 23.

CFP: Midwest Victorian Studies Association 2017: Victorian Taste

Oberlin College & Conservatory, Oberlin, Ohio, April 28-30

What was Victorian taste? How did British Victorians at home and abroad discuss, theorize, market, judge, and consume taste? How was taste imagined and envisioned in relation to literary, visual, and musical arts? How did new knowledge of Britain’s historical and aesthetic past impact tastes of contemporary Victorians? MVSA’s 2017 conference invites papers that reflect fresh and current thinking about taste and the Victorians. Proposals are sought from scholars working in art history, musicology, history, science, philosophy, theater, and literature. We particularly encourage presentations that will contribute to cross-disciplinary discussion.

The 2017 conference will be held at Oberlin College & Conservatory, in the 1963 Minoru Yamasaki-designed buildings that reflect the neo-gothic splendor of some of the college’s oldest buildings. Aside from attending panels, seminars, and the Jane Stedman plenary lecture, conference participants will have the opportunity to tour a special Victorian exhibit at the Allen Memorial Art Museum and attend “What the Victorians Heard,” a concert by Oberlin’s Collegium Musicum (directed by Steven Plank), as well as dozens of other ongoing musical and theatrical performances.

MVSA’s 2014 Jane Stedman Lecture will be given by Candace L. Bailey of North Carolina Central University. Professor Bailey is a leading social and cultural musicologist, and an expert on music in the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries. She is a past president of the North American British Music Studies Association.

For the fourth year, MVSA’s conference will feature three seminars open to graduate students, faculty, and independent scholars led by senior scholars on topics related to the conference theme. Participants pre-circulate 5-to-7 page papers. Stay tuned for the forthcoming seminar CFP on the MVSA website.

The deadline for proposals will be September 30, 2016. The official call for papers and additional information about the conference will soon be available.