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Showing papers in "Journal of the Society for American Music in 2008"


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: A survey of practices at Bagram Air Force Base, Afghanistan, Camp Nama (Baghdad), Iraq, Forward Operating Base Tiger (Al-Qaim), Iraq; Mosul Air Force base, Iraq; Guantanamo, Cuba; Camp Cropper (Bagha, Iraq); and at the "dark prisons" from 2002 to 2006 reveals that the use of "loud music" was a standard, openly acknowledged component of "harsh interrogation" as mentioned in this paper.
Abstract: Based on first-person accounts of interrogators and former detainees as well as unclassified military documents, this article outlines the variety of ways that “loud music” has been used in the detention camps of the United States‘ “global war on terror.” A survey of practices at Bagram Air Force Base, Afghanistan; Camp Nama (Baghdad), Iraq; Forward Operating Base Tiger (Al-Qaim), Iraq; Mosul Air Force Base, Iraq; Guantanamo, Cuba; Camp Cropper (Baghdad), Iraq; and at the “dark prisons” from 2002 to 2006 reveals that the use of “loud music” was a standard, openly acknowledged component of “harsh interrogation.” Such music was understood to be one medium of the approach known as “futility” in both the 1992 and the 2006 editions of the US Army's field manual for interrogation. The purpose of such “futility” techniques as “loud music” and “gender coercion” is to persuade a detainee that resistance to interrogation is futile, yet the military establishment itself teaches techniques by which “the music program” can be resisted. The article concludes with the first-person account of a young US citizen, working in Baghdad as a contractor, who endured military detention and “the music program” for ninety-seven days in mid-2006—a man who knew how to resist.

132 citations



Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The work of pianist/vocalist Nina Simone as the catalyst for a new type of freedom song in the black freedom movement during the 1960s is explored in this article.
Abstract: This article explores the work of pianist/vocalist Nina Simone as the catalyst for a new type of freedom song in the black freedom movement during the 1960s. It examines the lyrical content and structure of Simone's music, which reflects the rhetorical and geographical shift of the transition from King's nonviolent, southern-based civil rights movement of the late 1950s to the mid-1960s to the militant black power nationalist movement of the late 1960s. Curtis Mayfield's Chicago soul style is also referenced as marking an important shift in mid-1960s R&B, which had largely avoided overt political statements.

25 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: This article explored how Robeson's persona and sound as folksinger and his political identity and struggles as a radical black intellectual interacted and collided with the cultural-racial politics of "people's music" and with Popular Front discourses on the folk.
Abstract: This essay takes Paul Robeson's 1939 performances of Earl Robinson and John Latouche's popular cantata Ballad for Americans as a focal point to explore how Robeson's persona and sound as folksinger—a “people's artist”—and his political identity and struggles as a radical black intellectual interacted and collided with the cultural-racial politics of “people's music” and with Popular Front discourses on the folk. From its legendary CBS radio premiere in November 1939 throughout the war years, Robeson's voice critically mediated—and most powerfully articulated—not only the work's narrative of nation but also the diverse formal and stylistic sonic frames through which this narrative was sounded. The ideological conflict in Ballad for Americans between accommodation and protest, national affirmation and critique, the realities of racial and ethnic divides and the promise of national inclusiveness indexed troubling contradictions of race and nation. Yet the internationalist contexts of Robeson's work as a singer-activist during this period, in particular the performative black internationalism embodied in his concert programs, suggest other perspectives and interpretive frameworks for rehearing Ballad for Americans.

24 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The history of twelve-tone serial music in the United States extends from the late 1920s to the present day as discussed by the authors, with a distinctively American brand of 12-tone music have included many well-known composers in three distinct waves of activity: prewar experimentation by native-born “ultra-modern” composers amid an influx of European emigres; a postwar boom; and a third wave of twelve tone activity since 1980.
Abstract: The history of twelve-tone serial music in the United States extends from the late 1920s to the present day. Practitioners of a distinctively American brand of twelve-tone music have included many well-known composers in three distinct waves of activity: prewar experimentation by native-born “ultra-modern” composers amid an influx of European emigres; a postwar boom; and a third wave of twelve-tone activity since 1980. This extensive repertoire shares certain structural features, including twelve-note aggregates and serial ordering, but even these very general compositional commitments are subject to individual modification, and American twelve-tone serial music has taken astonishingly varied forms. To give an accurate account of this music's history, we must first pry away the many myths that have accreted around it. In the process, we will need to abandon historiographical models that focus on one or two “great men” and that describe the history of style as a series of changing fashions. This article proposes that we regard American music since 1925 as a dynamic steady state within which modernist styles, including twelve-tone serialism, persist as vibrant strands within the postmodern musical fabric.

19 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The Spanish Earth (1937), an independent documentary, and Blockade (1938), produced in Hollywood, were intended to awaken Loyalist sympathies as mentioned in this paper, and the music for the former, consisting of recorded excerpts chosen by Marc Blitzstein and Virgil Thomson and widely understood as folkloric, embodies leftist composers' idealization of folk music.
Abstract: Although literature inspired by the Spanish Civil War has been widely studied, music so inspired has received far less scholarly attention, and film music even less so. Musical ideologies of the 1930s, including the utopian thinking of many artists and intellectuals, emerge in some surprising ways when we consider two films of the era. Both The Spanish Earth (1937), an independent documentary, and Blockade (1938), produced in Hollywood, were intended to awaken Loyalist sympathies. The music for the former, consisting of recorded excerpts chosen by Marc Blitzstein and Virgil Thomson and widely understood as folkloric, embodies leftist composers' idealization of folk music. Werner Janssen's score for Blockade relies on many stock Hollywood gestures, granting it the status of a commodity. This article explores both films in light of Michael Denning's reflections of the relationship between the “cultural front” and the “culture industry,” along with Fredric Jameson's advocacy of the Utopian principle as a hermeneutic tool. It argues that the music for The Spanish Earth unwittingly subverts the Loyalist cause, whereas the score of Blockade, with its manipulation of Hollywood codes, is far more persuasive than the political whitewashing of its plot would seem to suggest.

17 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors analyze an excerpt from a 1972 Art Ensemble concert recording using a phenomenological perspective informed by my conversations with the group about the performance and by my own experience as an improvised-music practitioner.
Abstract: Since their emergence from the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) in the 1960s, the members of the Art Ensemble of Chicago have created a distinctive multi-disciplinary performance practice centered on collective improvisation. In this article, I conceptualize Art Ensemble improvisations as networks of group interactions, and I analyze an excerpt from a 1972 Art Ensemble concert recording using a phenomenological perspective informed by my conversations with the group about the performance and by my own experience as an improvised-music practitioner. The analysis focuses on the integration of composed material into the improvisatory process, the functions of stylistic diversity and multi-instrumentalism in Art Ensemble performance practice, and the interactive roles played by Lester Bowie, Roscoe Mitchell, Joseph Jarman, Malachi Favors, and Don Moye.

15 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The authors investigates the music created by current rap and R&B producers such as Timbaland and Pharrell Williams in order to understand how their works evoke certain constructions of sonic space.
Abstract: This article investigates the music created by current rap and R&B producers such as Timbaland and Pharrell Williams in order to understand how their works evoke certain constructions of sonic space. The opaque, spare, two-dimensional qualities of the virtual spaces assembled by these artists serve as a useful window onto broader cultural forces, such as the peculiar short circuit of space and temporality that Paul Virilio evokes in his concept of “telepresence.” The author argues that the sonic construction of telepresence allows contemporary black music to comment upon the notion of “biopolitics,” the reduction of the political to the horizon of the body.

13 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The Casino Ballroom of Avalon, Catalina Island, is located about twenty miles off the coast of the metropolitan Los Angeles area as mentioned in this paper, and it was designed as a state-of-the-art dance hall for the presentation of exclusively white dance bands playing "sweet" jazz, a style that avoided the most obvious musical signifiers of “hot” popular music.
Abstract: The Casino Ballroom of Avalon, Catalina Island, is located about twenty miles off the coast of the metropolitan Los Angeles area. Completed in 1929 under the direction of chewing gum magnate William Wrigley Jr., the ballroom became a significant venue for dance bands of the 1930s and early 1940s. The Casino did not, however, feature any of the most familiar names of the era. Instead, it was designed as a state-of-the-art dance hall for the presentation of exclusively white dance bands playing “sweet” jazz, a style that avoided the most obvious musical signifiers of “hot” popular music.Through a comparison of three commercial recordings of “Avalon,” I detail how the music of Jan Garber's sweet jazz orchestra—a group immensely popular at the Casino—differed from the music of hotter jazz dance bands, such as the Jimmie Lunceford and Casa Loma Orchestras. Garber's sweet “Avalon” established a sonic place characterized by specific musical relationships and values that were easily fused to the ideology of the island's promoters. For the owners and managers of the Casino Ballroom, jazz was to be the sound of modernity suffused with nostalgia for a threatened, racialized social order.

13 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: A special issue on technology and black music in the Americas is presented in this paper, where the contributors explore relatively uncharted currents in the overall flow of black music technology, as well as their extraordinary abilities as editors to navigate quickly between leaf-and forest-level views.
Abstract: Welcome to our special issue on Technology and Black Music in the Americas. As guest editor, I'd like to offer my personal thanks to all of our contributors, who are exploring relatively uncharted currents in the overall flow of black music technology. I'd also like to thank JSAM editor Ellie M. Hisama and assistant editor Benjamin Piekut for their tireless efforts, as well as their extraordinary abilities as editors to navigate quickly between leaf- and forest-level views.

11 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The Second Cello Concerto, op. 30 (1894) as discussed by the authors is a cello concerto written for the National Conservatory of the United States of America, and it has become standard repertoire.
Abstract: Among his instrumental music, Victor Herbert's Second Cello Concerto, op. 30 (1894) in particular deserves greater attention, not only because it has become standard repertoire but because of its historical importance as a stimulus to Antonin Dvořak. An analysis of the piece reveals a subtly crafted composition that brilliantly exploits the resources of the cello—Herbert's own instrument—and that builds upon the composer's earlier work for cello and orchestra. The work also exhibits that stylistic amalgam of Irish, German, and American elements that characterize Herbert's operetta scores. Scholars have long appreciated the fact that the piece helped inspire Dvořak to attempt a cello concerto of his own (1895). But Herbert, as has been suggested in the case of George W. Chadwick, might have influenced Dvořak's “American” music more generally. In turn, Dvořak's music—in particular, his “New World” Symphony—seems to have left its mark on Herbert's Second Concerto. In short, Herbert and Dvořak—colleagues at New York's National Conservatory in the early 1890s—engaged in a sort of musical dialogue, one that reflected differing ideas concerning nationalism and American music.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, Finegan's arrangements of George Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue for the Glenn Miller Orchestra in 1942 and of Concerto in F for the Sauter-Finegan Orchestra in 1952 are analyzed.
Abstract: Bill Finegan's arrangements of George Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue for the Glenn Miller Orchestra in 1942 and of Concerto in F for the Sauter-Finegan Orchestra in 1952 provide a basis for interpreting Gershwin's compositions. Finegan's treatments suggest that techniques central to popular forms were foundational to Gershwin's style in these pieces. Furthermore, Gershwin's and Finegan's works shed light on the concept of hybridity in the United States, especially as it concerns the label of “symphonic jazz” or “concert jazz” and ideas about race. Hybrid terms such as “symphonic jazz” manage to challenge musical and social categories while simultaneously reinforcing them.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The use of music in the science-fiction writings of two African American authors, Henry Dumas and Samuel R. Delany, is explored in this article, where they portrayed music as a technology capable of creating and healing as well as avenging and destroying.
Abstract: This essay explores the thematic use of music in the science-fiction writings of two African American authors, Henry Dumas and Samuel R. Delany. Each author visited this theme in more than one work, and in at least one work centered the Afro-technological focus upon a special musical instrument: the “afro horn” in Dumas's story “Will the Circle Be Unbroken?” and a machete/flute in Samuel R. Delany's novel The Einstein Intersection. Both writers treat music itself, without regard to a material instrument, as a technology. Dumas depicted black music as a tool that enabled black people to kill their enemies, and Delany represented music as a technology capable of avenging the wrongs committed against the politically and socially marginalized. Whereas Dumas's protagonists were more likely to be social pariahs because of their class or their sexual orientation than because of race, his descriptions specifically reference black music and its attendant rituals. Both writers portray music as a technology capable of creating and healing as well as avenging and destroying.


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Veal's Dub: Soundscapes & Shattered Songs in Jamaican Reggae as discussed by the authors is a wide-ranging and interdisciplinary exploration of twentieth-century electronic music as viewed through the prism of Jamaican music.
Abstract: From the emergence of the blues, jazz, calypso, and the “race record,” the very recording of “race” has been marked by a resolute tension between hyperbolic assertions of a sound’s racial and cultural authenticity and a soundscape explicitly shaped by technological manipulation. Indeed, from those now forgotten days when analog recording—our ironic contemporary signifier of “warmth” and naturalness—was as cold and artificial as digital recording now sounds, the attempt to capture and construct race through recording technology and the resulting expansion of the technological means to do so could be seen to map out a “secret history” of technology in the twentieth century. This is a history where race as an ineluctable signifier of “the organic” forces technology towards its most creative leaps in development, simply in that desire to capture/create “blackness,” “soul,” or an always racialized notion of “the real.” Formed in the interface between music and technology, we can see in this very desire some of the primary tensions and contradictions of race, colonialism, and globalization. However, the easy association between black sound and organic soul has become harder and harder to accept, as that very set of associations has arguably become a primary subtheme of all-black popular studio-based music since the advent of dub, that oddly both hermetic yet globally influential genre birthed in the ghetto studios of post/neo/omni-colonial Jamaica. Michael Veal’s Dub: Soundscapes & Shattered Songs in Jamaican Reggae is not only an attempt at that aforementioned “secret history” but, through its focus, is also a wide-ranging and interdisciplinary exploration of twentieth-century “electronic music as viewed through the prism of Jamaican music” (19). And reggae—as Veal emphasizes—is an electronic music despite an overwhelming insistence on its own grassroots authenticity and its various attendant cultural and political orthodoxies. This bears repeating and emphasizing, as even the best historians of reggae find it difficult to transcend “sound of the ghetto” or “voice of the people” or “rhythm of resistance” clichés, merely reshaping circuits into branches and disguising MIDI cords as roots. That the genre began primarily as an excuse to maximize profit from primary recordings while simultaneously functioning as the above clichés is something Veal is good to acknowledge, since so much of the quasi-socialist rhetoric and revolutionary posturing of the defining generation of Rastafari have obscured the cutthroat and often murderous nature of the island capitalism that made this music and its obsession with alternate space possible. In this climate, where the absence and flexibility of copyright laws enabled an extended notion of communal ownership, producers revisited pirated or prerecorded rhythms over and over again, with new vocalists and deejays (rappers); or they manipulated prerecorded sounds by transforming the mixing board into a primary instrument as African as the banjo; or they bathed the vocal-stripped “riddims” with echo and reverb, riddled them with sound effects and found sounds while steadily advancing punishing bass

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The New England Holidays Symphony as mentioned in this paper is a cycle of tone poems depicting the major patriotic holidays celebrated during Ives's boyhood, which is both a memorial to national unity, which Ives felt had collapsed in the twentieth century, and a protest against the political culture responsible.
Abstract: Scholarship on Charles Ives has too often been reluctant to sort out what is problematical in his musical image of America. This article attempts to do so as part of an examination of Ives's A Symphony: New England Holidays, a cycle of tone poems depicting the major patriotic holidays celebrated during Ives's boyhood. The work is both a memorial to national unity, which Ives felt had collapsed in the twentieth century, and a protest against the political culture responsible. The musical means to these ends raise the question of the relationship between politics and musical form, and, with form, of musical analysis, in a particularly transparent way. Like many European composers of the era, Ives wanted to create a national style. But he did not want a style that could be reduced to formulas and circulated as a commodity. The old America he celebrated, as opposed to the new one he resisted, could be identified (or fantasized) as a culture that above all could not be commodified. The Holidays Symphony seeks to create what one might call a critical nostalgia. Its music demands to be understood as a “picture” of authentic American experience by refusing to be understandable as music on the only terms available in its day.


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Anthony Braxton's opera Trillium R (1991): Shala Fears for the Poor is examined macroscopically, microscopically and theoretically for its resonances with both spoken and written language as mentioned in this paper.
Abstract: Anthony Braxton's opera Trillium R (1991): Shala Fears for the Poor is examined macroscopically, microscopically, and theoretically for its resonances with both spoken and written language The latter is posited as an ur-technology spawning six more specialized technologies tropes, through which the macroscopic survey unfolds Braxton's music is conflated with the academic discourse of “speculative musicology” and the genre of “speculative fiction,” the literary arena of most fertile explorations of technological potential The microscopic study examines the relationship between Braxton's libretto and music in the score, and that between the determinate and indeterminate in both, as the techne (tool) of its effectiveness Finally, the article explains Braxton's work through its European, African, Asian, and Native American influences

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, Katz discusses the relationship between sound recording and the other modes of technological representation that grew up along side it, including the differences between the capabilities and limitations inherent in the phonograph and the multitude of player instruments that were its greatest competition during the first decades of the last century.
Abstract: your friend sniffing cocaine, emptying a bottle of whisky, or plaiting straws in his hair” (17). One of the very few areas in which the book’s coverage perhaps seems too narrow concerns the relationship between sound recording and the other modes of technological representation that grew up along side it. Although Katz makes brief mention of these other technologies, it would have been profitable to include a more detailed discussion of the differences between the capabilities and limitations inherent in the phonograph and in the multitude of player instruments that were its greatest competition during the first decades of the last century. Moreover, it may well have been enlightening to engage some of the recent scholarship on early film technology to see whether these phonograph effects bear fruitful connections with the effects the advent of motion pictures has had on acting and on visual representation. Packaged with the book is a compact disc that includes a selection of thirteen recordings mentioned in Katz’s narrative. Ranging from an early twentieth-century “Phonographic Letter” by A. H. Mendenhall originally recorded on wax cylinder to recordings of some of the more contemporary works discussed (including those by Fatboy Slim and Camille Yarborough), these recordings add considerable value to the book. In particular, the inclusion of several of the historical violin recordings discussed in chapter 4 provides significant support for Katz’s argument concerning vibrato usage, and the intriguing excerpt from Hindemith’s Originalwerk für Schallplatte appears to be impossible to hear anywhere else. In sum, Capturing Sound provides a valuable contribution to the growing area of music and technology studies, as well as providing an excellent entry point for the general reader interested in the subject. I heartily join the author in hoping that the book will be successful in its endeavor to encourage further exploration in the field and that it will, as he puts it, “become part of a rich and continuing discussion” (7).

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: For example, this article pointed out that the critical prejudice against film music as a lesser kind of music has marred the study of music history, in particular, American music in the 1930s and 1940s.
Abstract: For a long time, the critical prejudice against film music as a lesser kind of music has marred the study of music history, in particular the study of American music in the 1930s and 1940s. It has left gaps and holes in biographies and surveys of the period because composers themselves, conversely, did not hold similar opinions about the genre. Many composers—such as Antheil, Satie, Meisel, Weill, Milhaud, Britten, Eisler, Blitzstein, McPhee, Revueltas, Gruenberg, Moore, Thomson, and Copland— enthusiastically embraced the aesthetic and financial opportunities afforded by composing for film, especially the new sound film. Recently, a few scholars have begun to correct this critical oversight. They have begun to paint a more accurate picture of composition in the 1930s and 1940s by considering film music as contemporary composers did—as the equal of concert hall music. Those composers who wrote the most film music, naturally, have been the first to be reexamined. In her book Music for the Common Man, Elizabeth Crist has adjusted Copland’s biography by considering in detail the composer’s first film score, written for The City (1939), Ralph Steiner’s cinematic ode to New Deal urban planning.1 As Crist reveals, the score played an essential role in helping Copland to develop his leftist politics and his populist, rural ballet style. Neil Lerner’s article “Copland’s Music of Wide Open Spaces: Surveying the Pastoral Trope in Hollywood” even more significantly considers the impact of documentary film on American composers.2 Lerner roots aspects of Copland’s Hollywood film music and his concert hall works not only in his documentary film music but in the music of another documentary film composer, Virgil Thomson. Just three years before Copland scored The City, Thomson wrote the music for two acclaimed and widely seen documentaries directed by Pare Lorentz, The Plow That Broke the Plains (1936) and The River (1937). As Lerner points out, these three films shared not only technical personnel (Steiner was one of Lorentz’s cameramen) but also musical ideas. Copland drew significantly from Thomson’s documentary scores— including the use of preexisting folk music, sparse instrumentation, and widely spaced orchestration—not only for his own score for The City but also for much of his film, ballet, and concert hall music. To the extent that it makes Lerner’s and Crist’s scholarly observations meaningful, the new DVD of The Plow That Broke the Plains and The River released by Naxos is worthwhile. By making these films easily accessible (the films are also still widely available in VHS format), this DVD helps to resituate both Thomson and

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, each author consciously contextualizes the analysis of (inter)personal musical experience within the rich tradition of postmodern cultural theory and criticism, and the collection as a whole openly demonstrates the performativity of theory and the irreducible polysemy of music.
Abstract: of realizing how a theoretical discussion might have been achieved among this group of writers. That said, my account here does not diminish the fact that each author consciously contextualizes the analysis of (inter)personal musical experience within the rich tradition of postmodern cultural theory and criticism. Indeed, the collection as a whole openly demonstrates the performativity of theory and the irreducible polysemy of music. By doing so, the book accomplishes Moore’s overarching intentions.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Achlioptas et al. as mentioned in this paper pointed out that composers who concentrate on choral music tend, oddly, to compose few instrumental pieces, suggesting, as it does, a narrowness of focus as well as technique.
Abstract: Thousands of choral octavos are published in the United States every year, almost all of which are gebrauchsmusik. There is choral music for children; for “swing choirs”; for churches—especially for the Evangelical mega-churches springing up like kudzu—for synagogues; and yet even more arrangements of Judy Garland’s greatest hits for gay men’s choruses. Although a surprising amount of this choral music is serviceable and competently crafted, most of these octavos are doomed to a quicker obsolescence than laptop computers. Pity the poor choral conductors who try to make sense of this profusion of new material and attempt to find repertory that is suitable for their ensembles. From the vast amount of choral flotsam and jetsam published annually, certain scores by a handful of fortunate composers rise to the surface and, miraculously, stay afloat, buoyed forward on a sea of consensus among conductors. Many of the commercially successful American scores are written by composers unknown outside of the insular world of the American Choral Directors Association. To those musicians and listeners not involved with choral music, the names of Clausen, Harris, Walker, and Spencer ring no bells of recognition. And, indeed, within the US musical academy, to be typecast as a “choral composer” is rarely considered a ringing endorsement, suggesting, as it does, a narrowness of focus as well as technique. (Those who deprecate composers who specialize in choral music might well recall that before the seventeenth century practically all composers—including, say, Dufay, Victoria, Tallis, and Palestrina—were of necessity “choral composers.”) Such denigrating imputations arise in part from modernist attitudes—still current within many university music departments—that exalt the abstract instrumental work over scores that use literature as a point of departure. And it is true that composers who concentrate on choral music tend, oddly, to compose few instrumental pieces. Some important composers who have created a substantial body of choral music have transcended such prejudices, however. One would hardly classify Conrad Susa, one of America’s most distinguished opera composers, as a “choral composer.” David Conte, a student of Nadia Boulanger, has written in a variety of genres, such as chamber music, instrumental music, and opera; choral music is only one important facet of the variegated catalogue of this prolific composer. Libby Larsen is another composer who works in a variety of genres, including symphonic music and opera. Morten Lauridsen—surely the most successful American composer of choral music since Randall Thompson—began to compose music for choruses only after serving a protracted apprenticeship writing lapidary songs and instrumental music. Eric Whitacre has sought to join the ranks of these distinguished creators, and has established, through untiring industry, a thriving career at a relatively young


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Gray's Cultural Moves argues convincingly and compellingly that in the study of the conditions of possibility and institutions that have enabled such shifting registers of meaning lies one of the primary obligations for contemporary scholarship about black music and popular culture as mentioned in this paper.
Abstract: Gramsci would have called “experts in legitimation”) new kinds of organizations have emerged, and new interactions with technology, new forms of dynamism and activity have opened up extraordinarily powerful opportunities “to think black cultural politics differently” (193). Gray’s Cultural Moves argues convincingly and compellingly that in the study of the conditions of possibility and institutions that have enabled such shifting registers of meaning lies one of the primary obligations for contemporary scholarship about black music and popular culture.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, a detailed analysis of the film's central musical sequence using video captures, reception history, transcriptions, and other approaches from music history and film studies is presented, showing that the close relationship between music and image reflects the fascination of US audiences with British-themed films and the equally complicated appeal of Hollywood films to British audiences.
Abstract: Hidden in plain sight, the five songs in the middle of, Gosford Park (2001) prepare the audience for the untangling of sordid relationships and the resolution of a murder mystery at the end of the film. This article presents a detailed analysis of the film's central musical sequence using video captures, reception history, transcriptions, and other approaches from music history and film studies. As is shown, the close relationship between music and image reflects the fascination of US audiences with British-themed films and the equally complicated appeal of Hollywood films to British audiences. Additionally, the songs provide a surfeit of narrative information crucial to the resolution of the multiple story lines. Lastly, the songs complicate and expand the work's seemingly straightforward murder-mystery genre to include such incompatible models as the British heritage film, Hollywood musicals, melodramas, and the double feature. Informing this musical sequence, and the entire film, is a complex, reciprocal transatlantic exchange founded on mutually inaccurate, yet often irresistible, myths of history and identity.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: A cartographer constructs a map of an individual creative history, that of the American artist kara lynch, as it emerges in connection to a collective history of African American cultural expression.
Abstract: A cartographer constructs a map of an individual creative history, that of the American artist kara lynch, as it emerges in connection to a collective history of African American cultural expression. Positioning history as complex, dynamic systems of interwoven memory networks, the map follows lynch’s traversals through various “zones of cultural haunting”: places where collective memories made invisible through systematic processes of cultural erasure may be recovered and revived. Through these traversals, which are inspired by lynch’s “forever project” Invisible, the map covers such terrains as haunted narratives, mechanisms of abstraction and coding within African American media production, water as an informational technology, the distribution of memory in blood, the dialectics of materiality and immateriality that frame considerations of black subjectivity, and the possibility that place of music might not be the site of sound but instead the social production of memory. The following is not an article but a map. The map describes regions of an individual creative history, that of the American artist kara lynch, as they emerge in connection to a collective history of African American cultural expression. In the map, history is positioned as a complex, dynamic system of interwoven memory networks; the mapmaker attempts to illuminate some of the points, lines, and spaces that make up these particular networks. Even while illuminated, however, these networks remain contingent, transient, and imagined: “moving continuities” that contain multiple discontinuities, ruptures, and slippages. 1 As with all maps, this one features incomplete and inaccessible regions (regions that are disappeared or disappearing), places of faulty shading, and problematic issues of scale. The responsibility for these inaccuracies lies with the mapmaker’s limited vision and a history of mapmaking that has privileged certain kinds of vision and denied others. Visibility, invisibility, and their shadowy relationships to structures of power and dominance become keys to deciphering the map. Ralph Ellison, whose lifelong project was to illuminate the invisibility of blackness, writes: I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me. That invisibility to which I refer occurs because of a peculiar disposition of the eyes of those with whom I come in contact. A matter of the construction of their inner eyes, those eyes with which they look through their physical eyes upon reality. 2


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors focus on European concert music in Los Angeles and highlight the European tradition as a valid topic for the book, but this tradition is neither the only nor the most interesting game in town.
Abstract: in this city is certainly worth examining, this tradition is neither the only nor the most interesting game in town. In fact, by privileging Western art music, Los Angeles again seems to come up short in comparison to East Coast cities like New York and Boston, which have enjoyed longer associations with the European tradition and have produced more noteworthy musicians and compositions. The title Making Music in Los Angeles: Transforming the Popular suggests many other musics or aspects of music as valid topics for the book. Smith’s emphasis on European concert music is perhaps an unintended consequence of using sources from mainstream media outlets that prioritize this tradition. With scholars alternately equipped to explore a diversity of musics and sociopolitical issues that often accompany popular and roots musics, future studies will, one hopes, celebrate, as well as critique, those aspects of Los Angeles musical culture that defy the boundaries demarcated by conventional North Atlantic–centric musical histories.


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: For instance, how polemical is Nausicaa (1961) intended to be, and how much does it reflect frustration with institutionalized misogyny in the United States in the 1950s, when it gratifies Robert Graves's theory that the Odyssey was written by a woman.
Abstract: interests of Cowell and Bowles? And, for instance, how polemical is Nausicaa (1961) intended to be, and how much does it reflect frustration with institutionalized misogyny in the United States in the 1950s, when it gratifies Robert Graves’s theory that the Odyssey was written by a woman? At least the trajectory of a remarkable life has been tracked, even if the inner life seems chimerical. As Alastair Reid observes, “She just set out to have as many lives as possible, and was probably, at least, numerically, more successful than most” (152).