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Thursday 13 September 2007

12.00pm Refreshments:
1.30pm Plenary session:
Welcome address and keynote lecture by Robert Philip. Studying recordings: the evolution of a discipline
2.30pm Parallel sessions:

Ia - Learning and dissemination

Ib - Interpretation, direction, conducting

4.00pm Refreshments:
4.30pm Parallel sessions:

IIa - Opera on record

IIb - The computer-aided analyst

6.45pm Plenary session:
RMA Peter Le Huray lecture by Anthony Seeger. The impact of the recording industry on the study of music: from wax cylinders to YouTube
7.45pm Refreshments:

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Friday 14 September 2007

9.00am Parallel sessions:

IIIa - Brazilian perspectives: please note this session has been withdrawn

IIIb - The recorded corpus

11.00am Refreshments:
11.30am Parallel sessions:

IVa - Historical violin performance I

IVb - An appreciation of musical intervention and appropriation [panel discussion]

1.00pm Refreshments:
2.00pm Parallel sessions:

Va - The past is another country: recorded sounds and recording practice in ethnomusicology and beyond [panel discussion]

Vb - Modernism in the recording studio

4.00pm Refreshments:
4.30pm Parallel sessions:

VIa - Historical violin performance II

VIb - Black music on the European record market, 1900-1950 [panel discussion]

6.00pm Refreshments:
7.30pm Lecture recital:
David Milsom & Jonathan Gooing (LUCHIP Ensemble)

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Saturday 15 September 2007

9.00am Parallel sessions:

VIIa - Ethnographies of recording

VIIb - Sound and identity

11.00am Refreshments:
11.30am Parallel sessions:

VIIIa - The creative recording

VIIIb - From God to Mammon

1.00pm Refreshments:
2.00pm Parallel sessions:

IXa - Interpretation and method

IXb - Beyond authenticity

4.00pm Refreshments:
Tea/coffee/biscuits and conference end

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Ananay Aguilar

Case study: encountering the studio

This proposal is part of a wider doctoral research project through which I aim to expose the work of producers and recording engineers in constructing the sound image of classical music recordings. I have given attention to 1) the practices of sound production as a layer of mediation between performance and reception and 2) the discourses built into that layer, particularly those relating to the integrity of performance practices and faithfulness to the composer's intention. In this paper I address these issues through an ethnographic study of studio sessions in which masters students in performance gained their first experience of the process of production.

In the setting created by fieldnotes and interviews, I will compare session takes of complete works with their edited final versions and marked up scores to ultimately discuss how the production process contributes to the shaping of the discourse of classical music. Recent ethnomusicological writing that deals self-critically with the political and epistemological dimensions of ethnography will serve as a starting point for exploring alternative ways of representing both the students' learning process and my own. The students' encounters with real recording sessions will help confront my assumptions about the discourses of production, classical music and ethnographic enquiry.

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Ron Atar

Bartók's recordings of his "15 Hungarian peasant songs" - from collection of arrangements to unified composition

The recordings of Béla Bartók of his compositions reveal crucial differences between the notated version of the pieces and the way Bartók performed them; particularly with regard to tempo, rhythm and accentuation. Bartók’s two recordings of the “15 Hungarian peasant songs” (1928 and 1936 recordings from “Bartók at the Piano” – HCD123426-31, c.d 1) provides us with invaluable insights into his aesthetics and nature.

In the “15 Hungarian peasant songs” Bartók preserves strictly the structure and the character of the original folk songs. The notes are presented almost naked from any articulation, and the few supplements and modifications that Bartók added connected his need to match the ethnomusicological notation to the piano edition. In Bartók’s words, “the added accompaniment…should only be considered as the mounting of a jewel”. (Béla Bartók, “The relation between contemporary Hungarian art music and folk music,” (1941). In Béla Bartók Essays, ed. B. Suchoff (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1976): 348-353).

Despite this, Bartók’s two renditions to these arrangements present colourful and full nuances to the playing. The raw material in this interpretation was the simple rhythmic patterns of the bagpipe songs, their metric structure, and the story that stands behind the notes (specially in piece no.6 – “Ballade”). In this way, the pieces that looked so simple turned in individual concert pieces; every piece with its own special expressive character. My paper will deal with the assumption that in Bartók performances, the sequence of these pieces function as a hidden narrative, that creates a complete and consolidated concert hall composition from a collection of Hungarian folk songs.

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Simon Baines

Orchestral brass and recording: observations on changing conditions and practices in the twentieth century

This paper draws upon study of organological developments in orchestra brass, aspects of performing practice, and a series of more than twenty interviews with some of the leading orchestral brass players working in London in the second half of the twentieth century. It explores the relationship between developments in instrument design and use, fashion and taste, and the exigencies and conditions of recording for orchestral brass musicians. Focus falls on practical and technical issues (significantly accuracy and repeatability), as well as aesthetic ones.

There is brief consideration of particular problems encountered recording orchestral brass, and the difficulties in attempting meaningful conclusions regarding transmitted sound (balance, timbre, attack, for example), through the various technological phases of the century. Taking the brass family as a case-study prompts observations on cultural transformations arising from the consumption of music through recordings; these may be more broadly relevant. In particular it is possible to demonstrate changing concepts for orchestral manners, listener expectations, national and individual styles, as well as environmental shifts in commercial and musical dynamics.

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Amanda Bayley

Documenting the creative process: recordings as research tools

Within musicology recordings have a variety of functions which perhaps only become fully apparent when they are considered across a range of musicological sub-disciplines. Studies of Western art music based on recorded sound can benefit from adopting research methodologies from other disciplines to analyse creative as well as social processes. The development of ethnomusicology has been particularly reliant upon recording technology to preserve, disseminate and play back collected materials. This paper explores Jonathan Stock’s observation that the playback of recordings as a technique widely used in contemporary ethnomusicology has significant potential for use in other areas of music research.

Specific reference will be made to a recent case study documenting and examining the creative process in Michael Finnissy’s Second String Quartet (2007). Compositional and interpretative processes will initially be revealed by extracts from recorded interviews, rehearsals and the world premiere. A further layer of evidence will emerge from these same sources acting as prompts for reflective consideration by composer and performers. Pedagogical applications of the recording process will be another outcome of this research.

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David Beckford

Using waveDNA to quantify modern music

One of the primary challenges in analysing 20th-century music (and beyond) is the structural limitation of existing music presentations. Existing music representations such as standard notation, MIDI, and audio waveforms were designed for efficient linear performance rather than efficient analysis. In order to address this challenge, we have developed the waveDNA model as a new form of music representation. The waveDNA technology stack is comprised of the waveDNA model, browser, and database.

The waveDNA model provides a revolutionary new means of quantifying musical concepts within a multitrack recording. The model encoder analyses a song and creates a detailed, hierarchical model of musical concepts – tracks within a song, motifs within a track, and performance component layers in a motif (rhythm, pitch, duration and feel). Every layer in the model hierarchy is uniquely fingerprinted, enabling search and comparison capability for the full model hierarchy. The model hierarchy is extensible, and can be customized for a variety of applications.

The waveDNA browser enables a user to easily navigate, audition, analyze, and compare multiple waveDNA models in memory. The waveDNA database can store a collection of waveDNA models, and enables complex queries against the collection.

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Anneli Beronius Haake

Individualised listening to recorded music in the workplace

Increased availability of mobile and computer-based listening devices means that private listening to recorded music is a ubiquitous presence in the British workplace. Furthermore, media companies are increasingly looking to design and implement online listening interfaces for accessing recordings in such surroundings. This paper presents the results of a field study examining music use in British offices. The data illustrate the functions of music in the workplace, some of which are different to the everyday functions of listening to recorded music (e.g. DeNora 2000; Sloboda & O’Neill, 2001). It also highlights the existence of different business practices determining access to and use of recordings. Furthermore, the data also reveals social issues and difficulties concerning music listening in the workplace – something which has seldom been discussed in previous research. This study therefore extends current understanding of the place of recordings in contemporary life by focusing on one context of use in depth.

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Fausto Borém, Bernardo Fabris, Nilton Moreira and Leonardo Linhares

Jazz traces in the Brazilian genres of choro and baião: three case studies

Even traditional popular musical genres of Brazil, such as choro and baião (consolidated in the 1870s and 1940s, respectively), may reflect the country´s social vocation to accommodate foreign values which, in the long run, may be discarded as out of fashion, quoted as exotic elements or be, as it will be shown, incorporated in these genres via hybridism. Three case studies show how elements of distinct jazz periods (early, classical and modern) exerted marked influences on eminent Brazilian composers of instrumental popular music, viewed through leadsheets and transcriptions (themes, harmonies and improvisational passages) of three landmark recordings: Segura ele (circa 1929) by Pixinguinha (1897-1973), Catita (1970s) by K-Ximbinho (1917-1980) and Pro Zeca (1974) by Vitor Assis Brasil (1945-1981). Comparative analysis based on aural perception and transcription of a recording (Fabris, Borém, 2007) and references of performance practices, structural and historical traits of the Brazilian choro (Bastos, 2005; Santos, 2001; Tiné, 2001; Almeida, 1999; Salek, 1999; Cabral, 1997), the Brazilian baião (Giffoni, 1997; Siqueira, 1981; Séve, 1999) and the North-American styles of ragtime, big band, bebop and cool jazz (Gridley, 2006; Cançadi, 2000; Hobsbawm, 1990; Baker, 1987; Henry, 1981; Joplin via Chase, 1957) allowed to recognize how scales, harmonies, rhythmic patterns, articulations, formal structures, ensemble, instrumental forces, effects and vibrato were interwoven. The findings suggest that composers and performers of very traditional Brazilian popular music genres (such as baião and choro) may incorporate external stylistic influences (such as those of jazz) in their quest for musical expression.

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José Bowen

Who plays the tune in Body and Soul?

This paper attempts to explore the multiple authorities present in the transmission of Johnny Green’s "Body and Soul." One of the most recorded tunes in jazz, it has a tradition of “popular” performance before its most important early "jazz" performance by Louis Armstrong in 1930. An alteration in the first four notes of the piece became authoritative, and its most popular recorded version (Coleman Hawkins, 1939) contains barely a reference to the original melody. Hawkins’ version, and not the original sheet music or early performance history, also set a standard key (D flat—even for singers!) and a standard tempo (quarter = 90, although later it became even slower). Billie Holiday determined which set of lyrics would be sung, but not the form in which they would occur. Other performers added traditions of the "jump" chorus, or the double-time bridge. This paper demonstrates a new model for how we can study and teach musical works in jazz. Looking at jazz from a more African and less European perspective, jazz "tunes" seem a different, less fixed, sort of musical work and there are competing sources of authority in jazz performance. Using clips from dozens of recordings (over 300 recordings were studied for this project), this paper will investigate Body and Soul as a set of changing and contradictory musical events. Tunes change, but using recordings as a primary source, we can recover the unique and changing concept of the musical work in jazz.

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George Brock-Nannestad

A systematic approach to using secondary recorded sound sources for musicological research

Recordings may be used in various ways to extract information on many features of the recorded performance. Listening is one way; machine-assisted extraction of information elements is another, and those elements may be subjected to classification and statistical analysis. Many analyses of performance desire to create an historical perspective, by drawing on very early recordings, and these recordings are in many cases so rare that the only easily accessible material is in the form of commercial transfers to modern media. However, the quality of the raw material may influence the result, if it has not been made available in a uniform way.

The paper aims to present a systematic for handling transferred recordings and to put them in a useful conjunction. It is possible to counteract certain of the treatments that the original signal has been subjected to, but that is entirely dependent on the context of its intended us. The same systematic will also permit rejection of material that has been transferred in a quality that is insufficient for the analysis it is intended for. Some of the methods are the same that would be used in the Source Critical approach to the use of original recordings, but the extra layer requires very careful distinction between the sources of noises and distortion (or lack of the same).

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Edward Cross

Fritz Kreisler: a study of performing style

The Belgian-born violinist and composer Fritz Kreisler (1875-1962) played a key role in the stylistic development of violin playing during the 20th century. Proclaimed by many as "the king of violinists", Kreisler was one of the first players to make use of a continuous vibrato in his playing: a trait which was frowned upon at the turn of the 19th century, yet swiftly became an integral part of the modern style of violin playing. His idiosyncratic approach to portamento and rubato, though considered "old-fashioned" by modern standards, was highly influential on the subsequent generation of violinists and makes his recorded output easily identifiable.

However, beyond largely biographical and journalistic literature, there has been little serious analysis of his performing style. This paper draws heavily on recorded evidence, along with printed editions of his own compositions, to create a clear picture of what characterised Kreisler’s highly individual means of expression. The three key areas of vibrato, portamento and rubato, are examined in detail, both in terms of Kreisler’s own playing and in order to understand why he remains such an influential figure in the history of the violin.

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Terence Curran

Recording music: musicians' attitudes and approaches

For many musicians, recording is an accepted part of professional life although their training may have provided little in the way of guidance or practice in how to approach it, or get the most from it. Recording makes demands of musicians that are often different from those of concert performance, and which require them to adapt to the recording environment. Literature on the subject however provides little information on the psychology of recording and, where musicians have been interviewed about their experiences, the focus has often been on matters of interpretation rather than on their approach to the medium of recording itself.

Establishing the methods and motivations behind musicians’ approaches towards the recording process can provide insights into the relative aesthetic values of recording and concert performance, and so help to inform the musicological study of recordings.

This paper will explore how musicians prepare for a recording session; their experience of the recording process itself; the importance of the relationship with the record producer; attitudes towards technology and its use in recording; and their views on the ultimate value of recordings as cultural products.

Findings will be drawn from recent research consisting of the analysis of interviews with musicians and record producers to explore their attitudes and approaches to recording.

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Timothy Day

Sonorous images and their meanings: English and continental cathedral choirs in the twentieth century

During a recording session of a famous English choir in 1965, one of the singers asked whether, in this particular work, the director would perhaps like "a touch of continental tone". What an intelligent suggestion!

But four decades earlier the general view of English choir-trainers was encapsulated by one who considered the tone of continental cathedral choirs "raucous and horrible". In 1922 an English cathedral musician in London listened to the rasping and screeching of some church choirs from Rome (as it seemed to him) and knew that if this happened in England the choirmaster would be sacked on the spot. What was "continental tone"? How did allegedly similar sounds come to change meanings and associations?

Recordings can demonstrate such un-notated un-notatable timbral distinctions and details of performance practice and testify to changes that have actually occurred over decades, providing rich source material. Musicology has long had little to say about such aspects of performance. But the quality of a crescendo, the manner of enunciating consonants, and minute differences in tone quality are part of constellations of values and not just musical ones but social and moral and spiritual ones.

Surely musicology has something to say about such matters.

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Nicola Dibben

The emotional life of recordings

"When he opened his mouth, out flew his soul – and beautifully rasping roars of love, life and loss." (Billboard poster for LaMontagne album and tour Trouble, London 2006)

"Those tracks in particular [‘Ancestors’ and ‘Submarine’ are… just pure emotion. It’s so naked and raw, as though Björk is bearing her soul for the listener." (Fan post on Bjö forum, 2nd February 2005)

Contemporary responses to popular music illustrate a dominant reception ideology in which the recorded voice is heard as the embodiment of the artist’s subjectivity: to listen to the voice is to listen to the sound of the body making the voice, seemingly providing access without mediation. Yet, previous research tends to treat this topic in fragmentary fashion; this paper furthers understanding of perceived emotional authenticity by exploring the variety of factors by which it is sustained. I present original interview material from mix and recording engineers to show how musicians and engineers alike conceive of themselves as “realising” the artists’ “emotion”. I also identify characteristics of vocal treatment which afford perception of emotional authenticity, through analysis of recordings and discussion with studio personnel. Lastly, I show how the perception of emotional authenticity in recordings functions as part of the star system, within which the “private life” of a celebrity is a requisite part of their public persona.

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Christopher Dingle

Recording Messiaen: a Romantic in a modernist world

"[Messiaen] is a man who is preoccupied strongly with techniques, but who puts forward, in the first place, expression… He has a kind of revolutionary ideal and at the same time a very conservative taste for what the essence of music is… that’s a man who is exactly in the centre of some very important contradictions of this century." (Pierre Boulez)

It is only natural that Messiaen’s recorded legacy should reflect his era. As the composer and pedagogue who played a pivotal role during the central years of the twentieth century, it might be expected that his performances would exemplify the objective approach taken by many of his most celebrated advocates, notably Yvonne Loriod and Pierre Boulez. Such a supposition would appear to be supported by Messiaen’s various entreaties to performers to respect the score; directives that appear to be at odds with the evidence from his own recordings, whether as organist, pianist or accompanist. Illustrated by examples from rarely heard recordings both by Messiaen and early advocates such as Désormière, Monteux and Stokowski, this paper places the revolutionary post-war composer firmly within the context of a performance aesthetic more strongly associated with pre-war Romantic norms.

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Alan Dodson

Interpreting performance data through performance theory: expressive accents and gestures in Glenn Gould's recording of J. S. Bach's Inventions 1 and 9

This paper introduces an analytical approach that combines quantitative methods of discovery with qualitative techniques of interpretation. The quantitative methods include semi-automated measurements of inter-onset intervals (using Transcribe! and BeatRoot) and intensities (using Sonic Visualiser), as well as an assortment of statistical techniques, while the interpretation of the data is rooted in concepts from a pedagogical treatise dating from the late Romantic era, Mathis Lussy's Treatise on Musical Expression (1874).

Lussy's treatise centres on an elaborate system of axioms linking performance to aspects of musical structure. After chapters on metric and rhythmic (i.e., grouping-related) accents, the focal point of the treatise is an exposition of accents pathétiques, a class of accents motivated by deviations from contextual norms within the musical structure, such as syncopations, dissonances, and contrasts in register. Lussy ties expressive gestures (tempo rubato and dynamic nuances) to exceptional aspects of structure as well; for example, he specifies a ritard only at the end of certain kinds of phrases, based not on their depth in the grouping hierarchy (as in some more recent performance models) but instead on the degree to which the phrase in question differs from others in its immediate context. Lussy also provides some provocative ground rules on the relationships among the various classes of accents and on the role of taste in performance.

This project is not intended to provide a definitive account of the meaning of Gould's recording. Instead, the goals are to begin exploring the metaphorical world opened up by Lussy's theory, a theory that seems on the surface to have some relevance to Gould's style, and to reflect on some of the special benefits and problems arising in a hybrid (quantitative/qualitative), bottom-up approach to performance analysis. In other words, it is a study in methodology rather than an analysis per se.

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Abigail Dolan

Vibrato and the French School of flute playing in 78 rpm recordings

The French School of flute playing, which took shape at the Paris Conservatoire between 1860-1950, was extremely influential to the development of flute performance style throughout the twentieth century. The proposed paper examines the different qualities of vibrato in recordings made by players of the School, from its founding generation up to the late 78 rpm recordings. It aims, on the one hand, to define some of the acoustical features of vibrato that were common among the players recorded after 1920 and that played a major role in shaping the typical tone of the School; on the other hand, it attempts to determine the vibrato features that shaped the personal style of some of the most influential players of the School.

The methodology involved using computer software for sound analysis, and the collected data is contextualized in terms of cognitive significance and its resultant impact on the perception of expression.

The relationship between recorded performances and relevant written discussions of the players’ vibrato and expressive ideals are surveyed.

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Peter Elsdon

The 'sound' of a rock record?

It is commonplace, particularly in the popular music world, for producers, engineers and critics to talk about the ‘sound’ of an album. This ‘sound-form’, following Albin Zak (2001), refers to how sounds are recorded and then presented in the sonic space of the mix. At the same time, this notion of sound refers to the overall sonic character of a recording as somehow constitutive of its expressive character. In this paper I will explore how a musicology of recording might deal with this idea of sonic identity across whole albums, by looking at two contrasting recordings by Icelandic band Sigur Rós, ( ) (2002) and Takk (2005). Sigur Rós are heavily involved in the production of their own recordings, and have talked in interviews about a conscious decision to differentiate these two recordings by weighting different areas of the frequency spectrum. I will explore the different sound of these two records by looking at frequency characteristics extracted from individual tracks, and at the way in which both albums construct their overall sonic profile.

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Dorottya Fabian and Eitan Ornoy

Identity in violin playing on records: tradition versus individuality in recordings of Bach's solo violin set

Performance studies relying on sound recordings as evidence have often focused on establishing trends and traditions in various periods and repertoire. However, so far little attention has been paid to individual artistic profiles and idiosyncratic expression, whether in the early or the later half of the century.

As part of a broader research investigating the recording history of Bach's Sonatas and Partitas for solo violin, the manner of execution of key features was analyzed for a selected group of prominent violinists. The aim of the study was to identify individual characteristics within mainstream performance conventions through analyses of technical and interpretative features using aural and software assisted methods. The data were evaluated in the context of established trends, relating idiosyncrasies to the date of recording, the performer's age and background.

Individual profiles were detected to be highly linked to idiomatic-technical aspects of violin playing, embracing performance parameters such as sound production, vibrato and bow distribution. Although certain connections were found between the performer's school and the manner of execution of particular places in examined excerpts, the school was shown to be a matter of mixed importance. Clear similarities were found among performers of the same generation and performance features could be linked to date of recording. These may suggest the influence of the recording industry on conventional trends. However, idiosyncrasies lasting over a lifetime and traditions upheld for several generations imply a more complex situation of transmission and impact. They seem to point to the primacy of interpretive models shaped early in one's artistic development.

Results provide a step towards distinguishing features of stylistic 'language' from those of idiosyncratic expression.

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Lewis Foreman

Practical musicology in the studio: the record producer exploring forgotten repertoire

As well as reinforcing a slowly changing definition of the iconic core repertoire, the history of recording has seen a growing exploration and celebration of forgotten and unknown repertoire. In sharp contrast to popular music, the massive transformation of the recorded repertoire since the introduction of LP has concentrated on earlier periods, at first the Baroque and pre-Baroque, later an enormous span of late nineteenth and early twentieth century romantic music, with special reference to the national concert music of many countries. New music has also benefited from the increased exposure generated by recordings, notably between the wars and in the 1960s, recordings playing a significant role in the wider establishment of, among others, Bartók, Stravinsky and the Second Vienna School.

Lewis Foreman has long been closely involved with this process of expansion as a trustee of various music trusts who have contributed to funding it. For over thirty years he has research repertoire for British independent record labels. In this paper, the speaker will consider the various mechanisms driving the choice of repertoire to be recorded, the practical issues to be resolved both in and outside the studio, and the developing roles of all involved, with case studies from his own experience. He will highlight the establishment of a variety of what he calls ‘invisible colleges’, informal networks of mainly freelance experts and performers that have underpinned a variety of projects, and may well simultaneously work for several record companies.

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Pekka Gronow and John Cowley

Black music on the European market, 1900-1950

The diffusion of black (African-American) music into Europe was one of the dominant trends in 20th-century popular music. New influences were transmitted by visiting artists, but recorded music had a decisive role in this process. Young musicians in provincial towns learned new idioms by listening to recordings by artists they had never seen. Usually these recordings were made by American companies and also issued by their business partners in Europe, but there were recordings of artists visiting Europe.

This process is well known in the literature on jazz, but its mechanisms have not been studied in detail. The recordings were variously marketed for the general public, specialist audiences such as revivalist jazz fans, and black communities in Europe. The dominant stream was from the US to Europe, but there were parallel influences from the Caribbean.

Pekka Gronow, 'The Okeh "race" series in Europe: record companies as gatekeepers': Between 1921 and 1935, the American Okeh company issued over 900 records in a special “race” series (as defined by the company). Originally aimed at black customers in the US, many were subsequently released in Europe.

In the early 1920s, Okeh records appeared on the European market, but nothing from the “race” series. When the demand for “hot” jazz grew, Okeh’s business partners began to publish recordings made by Louis Armstrong and other jazz artists for the “race” series. The selection and chronology of releases will be discussed.

In the 1950s, a distinct subculture of “revivalist” jazz fans appeared in Europe. Early jazz and blues records were reissued for this market. Many items from the “race” series were published in Europe for the first time as “historical recordings”.

John Cowley, 'Recorded Caribbean music in Europe': Dissemination of idiomatic black music from the Caribbean in Europe may have begun with Parlophone’s British release in 1927 of seven 78s drawn from the West Indian series recorded by their associated US company Okeh. Experimentation with marketing similar repertoire includes sessions in Europe, such as that by the Septeto Nacional Cubano, for HMV in Madrid, Spain on 3 October 1929, and the Martiniquan L’Orchestre Antillais direction M. Stellio in Paris, France on 16 October 1929 – both of which mark the initial introduction of recordings of these genres on the continent. While music from the English-speaking West Indies was infrequently recorded in Britain during the decade preceding the Second World War, distribution of locally made recording by Cubans and musicians from the French Antilles on mainland Europe was considerable. Some Cuban music recorded in North America and Havana was also distributed. The pattern of these releases will be explored and, in the case of black music in Paris, the interaction with the black musicians from the United States, exemplified by recordings.

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Andrew Gwilliam and Pip Williams

Music production: what makes a mix?

This paper documents two recording processes, both of the same piece of music, ‘Festival City People’ written by Derek Howells.

The first recording was a collaboration between an amateur big band from South Wales and a Zulu South African band specializing in tribal music. The recording involved a large line up of drum kit, African drums and percussion, bass guitar, keyboard, guitar, bass saxophone, baritone saxophone, tenor saxophones, alto saxophones, soprano saxophone, trombones and trumpets.

The second recording was with a small ensemble taken from the big band. This consisted of drums, bass, tenor saxophone, alto saxophone, and sousaphone.

Both recordings were made in the same space with similar equipment but collaborating in the second recording was a well respected producer.

The paper demonstrates the differing approaches used in each recording and the actual processes used to build the, significantly different, final mix in each case. The paper is presented by the engineer and producer involved and represents an example of reflective practice.

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Angela Hammond

Musicology and malevolence: documenting the musics of white supremacy

Over the course of history protestant white hegemony in the United States has been maintained through racialization and threat of violence. Groups such as, the Ku Klux Klan, White Nationalists, the Christian Identity Militia, the Aryan Nation, and American Neo-Nazis, among countless others, have gained support for the cause of white purity and divinely authorized supremacy, by spreading propagandas of distorted theology, extreme patriotism, fear, and intimidation.

Since the 1920s, when phonographs, commercial recordings, and radios became a reality for the middle class, the musical products of white supremacy have been available to consumers. However, researching and documenting these musics have become increasingly difficult. Recordings have been destroyed in attempts to erase the past, and rare recordings are of low economic priority in many already stretched library budgets. Moreover, the methods by which these groups disseminate their products have changed drastically over the last two decades, and purchasing musical products directly from them can be a dangerous endeavour. This paper addresses ethical, legal, and safety issues with regard to research methodologies and the collection of source materials including specific websites, streaming radio, and recordings.

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Joseph Harrop and Celia Duffy

'What you really, really want!' The EASAIER project's user-driven approach to digitised audio-visual archive material, and what it means for musicology

‘The main problem for researchers is no longer a paucity of audio-visual material but how to locate the material of interest in the vast quantity.’ So stated an AHRC ICT Strategy Project report in October 2006. An EU funded project, EASAIER (Enabling Access to Sound Archives through Integration, Enrichment and Retrieval) aims to meet the challenges of the increasing amount of digitised audio and audio-visual material in archives across the UK and Europe. A two and a half year project, EASAIER is developing access, retrieval and interactive software – licence free – in direct response to the needs of its proposed users, including those of musicologists, and the broader music community.

The development of EASAIER’s functionalities has highlighted certain issues regarding research, teaching and learning involving recorded music. The ability to access a large amount of material online, interact with it in real time and view automatically generated metadata facilitates new types of musicological activity, as well as enhancing traditional modes of research.

This paper outlines the EASAIER project and its user-driven approach, discussing EASAIER’s innovative tools and what they might mean for a musicological audience.

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Ju-Lee Hong

The Klengel lineage of cello playing: individualities and similarities

The tradition of cello schools had become blurred by the early twentieth century, but Julius Klengel (1859-1933), together with Hugo Becker (1864-1941), were considered as the “twin peaks” of cello playing and two of the most influential figures: neither cellist’s performances have often been archived on record. It is, however, possible to investigate the Klengel lineage of cello playing through a comparative investigation of recorded performances by Klengel’s direct students, including Emanuel Feuermann, Gregor Piatigorsky and pupils of Feuermann, Piatigorsky and William Pleeth.

I present comparative data on the lineage styles focusing on individualities and similarities. Investigated areas include (1) tempo correlation, (2) rhythmic irregularities, combined with relative dynamic, and (3) frequent use and speed of portamenti. Data illustrated in this paper are captured using various computer-assisted processes (including BeatRoot, Praat, Sonic Visualiser) for sound analysis and the reception history of the Klengel lineage cellists on record is considered in data interpretation. As a case study I analyse performances by Feuermann, Piatigorsky, Gendron, Du Pré and Maisky on Chopin's Introduction and Polonaise brilliante Op. 3 and the Sarabande from J. S. Bach’s G major Cello Suite BWV1007.

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Erlend Hovland

Beethoven's Third Symphony, performed by Furtwängler, analyzed by Schenker

In my paper I propose to compare extracts from Wilhelm Furtwängler’s recording of Beethoven’s Third Symphony (from 1944) with Schenker’s analysis and interpretation of the same work in Das Meisterwerk in der Musik. In particular, I will examine the opening measures of the first and third movements.

Furtwängler has described his reading of Schenker’s monograph on Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony as an important moment in his musical development. Not only did he admire the musical competence of Schenker, but also his ability to provide an interpretation that was immanent and not ‘hermeneutical’ in the sense that Kretzschmar should define this term. When it comes to Schenker’s text on Beethoven’s Third, Furtwängler’s evaluation is less positive; he found Schenker’s theory of the ‘Urlinie’ far too abstract.

But despite this critique, one may claim that Schenker’s analysis and interpretation of Beethoven’s Third and Furtwängler’s recording of the same music, may provide an excellent opportunity to examine some salient characteristics of the performance tradition to which they both related. Hence my question: is there a correspondence between Schenker’s extensive analytical presentation of this symphony and Furtwängler’s musical phrasing and articulation?

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Peter Johnson

The influence of recordings on critical readings of musical works

In this paper I explore the possibility that scholars and critics have been influenced by well-known recordings in their readings of works, despite the fact that such influence is hardly ever acknowledged in their texts. My starting point is José Bowen’s remark that musical works are not fixed objects but in a state of constant change, a function of how they are described and analysed in the literature, but above all of how they are performed. Focussing on performances and critical accounts of the slow movement of Beethoven’s Op.135 String Quartet, I demonstrate that a number of critical accounts seem to be describing not Beethoven’s score but the famous recording by the Busch Quartet, as it this highly idiosyncratic reading authentically presented Beethoven’s movement. I contrast these critical readings with others that present an ostensibly more literal reading of the score, but for which there is no obvious correlate in known recordings. This raises the question whether such readings, untested in performance, are false in presenting the work in a way that would not work in performance, or that they are in effect proposing new ways of presenting the movement that performers have yet to explore.

A general conclusion from my study is that performances embody knowledge such as may find its way into ostensibly objective critical readings, just as performers may similarly find useful ideas in scholarly accounts of the works. Any such influence nonetheless remains unquantifiable except in the rare cases when influence is formally acknowledged.

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Mark Katz

Academies of scratch

In 2002 a new school of music opened in Manhattan, unlike any other. In the Scratch DJ Academy students learn the art of hip-hop turntablism, in which phonographs are treated as musical instruments and records are used as the raw material for improvisation and composition. In the past several years, similar schools have opened across America, enrolling thousands of students.

In this paper I will argue that the phenomenon of the scratch academy both reflects and is the source of a crisis of identity within the turntablist community. On the one hand, scratch academies offer career opportunities for DJs as instructors, who in turn promote and maintain the art; moreover, the schools are opening up turntablism to girls and women, who had largely been excluded from the traditional pedagogical networks of male DJs. At the same time, the middle-class clientele, the relatively high cost of courses, and indeed the whole formalization of the enterprise take turntablism further from the streets of its birth. This paper, then, presents a snapshot of a musical art in flux, flush with the promise of broader public acceptance and fraught with anxiety about alienation from its roots.

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Aleks Kolkowski

The wax cylinder phonograph in the age of digital reproduction

The art of Paul DeMarinis is an interplay of current and defunct of “orphaned” technologies, where lasers scan ancient wax phonograph cylinders, flames amplify historic speeches and streams of water play music. My own “Recording Angels” projects utilise wax cylinder phonograph and acetate disc recording and playback in live performance, installations and also in school workshops. Instruments and voices are confronted with their wax effigies in sound, electronic music exudes mechanically from gramophone horns and children make one-off plastic records. These works effectively demonstrate Marshall McLuhan’s premise that the experience of sound is heavily determined by the nature of the technology that produces it. Sound may also be “prematurely aged” by the engraving process onto cylinders and discs that can produce a thick patina of noise allowing us to play with time in a retrospective sense. We look back in time and see forward to the present through the sound recording mediums of the past. This affords an alternative perspective in a society that voraciously and obsessively consumes every progress in digital media and its cyberspace.

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Naomi Matsumoto

Manacled freedom? A study of recordings of the flute cadenza of Lucia di Lammermoor

In the final act of Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor, the deranged Lucia sings a cadenza accompanied by an echoing flute. The music provides a potent symbol of the abandon of Lucia and, by extension, seems to act as a vehicle for the apparently unfettered creative skills of those performers who play her. But an analysis of recorded versions of this scene – early to modern – reveals a different perspective: the performance traditions of the cadenza are curiously restricted, and the flights of ‘spontaneous’ ornamentation are less symbols of performer freedom than of the pupil-teacher pedigree. To explain how such restrictions arose, the transmission lines of the cadenza through the different ‘singing schools’ will be traced with the support of other documentary evidence. It seems that, despite recent feminist readings, Lucia’s “freedom in madness” can be seen as ironically reversed through its embodiment in performances which are tightly constrained by the practices of teacher-imitation and apprenticeship, one of the most “patriarchal” systems in musical society. This should not surprise us since the recorded traditions of performance have long made it clear that the impression of spontaneity need not arise from a spontaneous cause.

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David Milsom

Using early recordings to define performance traditions: the recordings of Marie Soldat-Roeger and Arnold Rosé

Recordings can be studied not only as artefacts in themselves, but also as evidence of wider trends and periods. Some of the violinists who made recordings were born sufficiently early in the nineteenth century to be credible exponents of nineteenth-century practices, with all due allowance being made for the special difficulties associated with early sound recordings.

Many of the most obvious recordings in this category have already been studied in detail but others remain relatively under-researched. Rosé and Soldat-Roeger were contemporaries. Rosé’s disks are well known, and are often compared to Joachim’s in terms of stylistic content. With one exception, Soldat-Roeger’s performances are harder to obtain, and her reputation suffers from the ill-informed comments made by James Creighton in the 1980s. This paper will look at selected examples of their recorded outputs, and will propose that Rosé’s relationship to a ‘classical’ German tradition has been overstated and that, by contrast, Soldat-Roeger’s testimony to the Joachim tradition is undervalued in much current comment. The discussion will consider the relevance of these recordings to an understanding of late nineteenth-century performance practice.

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David Milsom and Jonathan Gooing (LUCHIP Ensemble)

Lecture recital

  • Beethoven, Romance Op. 50
  • Mendelssohn, Violin Concerto (excerpts)
  • Spohr, Violin Concerto No. 9, slow movement (excerpts)
  • Brahms, Violin Sonata Op. 108

This lecture recital will examine the use of early recordings and other supporting evidence to define the nature of the classical 'German' school of violin playing, as embodied in the playing and ethos of Joseph Joachim. The recital will discuss methodology that uses the evidence of early recordings in a variety of different ways, from directly attempting 'emulation' of them, to applying their stylistic information (along with that of appropriate scholarly knowledge and performing materials) in order to 'reconstruct' as best we are able, likely traits in performance of Joachim, or an adherent of his 'school'. The session will include excerpts of original recordings interspersed with commentary and live performance, and will culminate in a performance of Brahms' Op. 108 Violin Sonata in a style attempting to 're-awaken' Joachim's own performance of the work based on the above evidence.

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Allan Moore and Ruth Dockwray

Clarifying the sound-box, 1965-72

Stereophony has significantly impacted the way popular songs are produced and experienced, enabling the creation of a virtual performance that exists exclusively on record – this virtual performance can be conceptualised in terms of the ‘sound-box’ (Moore 1992). The layout of instrumental resources within the sound-box follows a well-worn template, but it was not always thus. This paper (emanating from an AHRC-funded project completing in August 2007) will trace the gradual formation and adoption of this template over the period c.1965-72, mediated as it is through differences in style and geography, and will address the deafening silence of contemporary industry practitioners over the chaotic range of sound-box uses prior to the adoption of this template.

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Nick Morgan

'To persecute people with beauty': subverting the music market in the 1920s

As a privileged child of the aesthetic 1880s and '90s, novelist and journalist Compton Mackenzie might be expected to believe that art could not be wholly bent to the emerging laws of the market. Mackenzie praised the young BBC for having the courage 'to persecute people with beauty' but he did not have the same power to foist his taste upon consumers. Instead, he attempted to improve the working fo the market with his magazine The Gramophone; and to circumvent it with the National Gramophonic Society, probably the world's first 'niche' record label. Mackenzie's clubbable charm brought him valuable contacts in the British record industry, with which he struck a gentleman's agreement to avoid competition in the apparently less marketable reaches of the classical repertoire - or so he believed. In fact, the industry kept pulling the rug from under the N. G. S. by issuing competing recordings by acclaimed artists. This paper surveys the Society's eight years of productive life (1924-1931), advances possible reasons for its demise and assesses its impact on the commercial industry.

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Cormac Newark

Opera winds down

The notion of the mechanical in nineteenth- and early twentieth-century music had, as Carolyn Abbate put it in a virtuosic essay on Ravel, lately become fashionable, with musical automata and player pianos suggesting new ways of rendering in sound at once the physical and the metaphysical. Fast-forwarding through the decades since Ravel, the scope for music to play reflexive games with forms of recording is ever wider, the shiny patina of first vinyl and then polycarbonate plastic covering the majority of musical experience. Most obvious among these games are those twentieth-century American pieces - for example ‘Hoe-down’, part of Copland’s ballet music Rodeo, and ‘The Chairman Dances’, from the third act of Adams’s opera Nixon in China - in which narrative music is in apparent dialogue with the means of its mechanical reproduction.

This paper will examine these and other similar passages, listening carefully for their rhetorical and emotional charge. It will propose an intriguing parallel: that their propensity to act as signifiers for memory, specifically for nostalgia, had been prefigured in nineteenth-century operatic conventions of delirium. Finally, in light of this apparently anachronistic back-and-forth across the different kinds of listening, it will consider once again Abbate's passionate words on music's 'delivery systems'.

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Eitan Ornoy

Recording analysis of J. S. Bach's g minor Adagio for solo violin (excerpt): a case study

The manner of execution of central musical parameters was analyzed for a large number of recordings of violinists active during the 20th century. The aim of the study was to trace changes in performance styles through the years and to detect mutual influences, conventions and canonic traditions. The excerpt studied was the first nine measures of J.S. Bach's first movement (Adagio) of Sonata No. 1 in g minor (BWV1001) for solo violin. An attempt was made to relate interpretation profiles to the performer’s school, date of birth and date of recording. In addition, parallels were drawn between editorial directives and recordings.

Conventional practices were found to prevail among performers of highly varying backgrounds, their congruence embracing all performance factors examined. Certain connections were found between the performer’s school and the manner of execution of several places in the excerpt, but the school was shown to be a factor of relatively minor influence for places highly dominated by tradition or period conventions. Lasting similarities were found among performers of the same generation, suggesting the influence of the recording industry on conventional trends and pointing to the primacy of interpretive models shaped early in one’s artistic development. A significant link was found between recording date and performance features, but canonic conventions found unaltered by time and current fashion point to this factor’s limited effects. To some degree, recordings reflected compliance with editorial directives. However, several editorial suggestions have failed to be accepted in practice or were recognized only several decades after their first publication.

Results draw an interesting picture as to the dominance of aesthetic norms of practice and idiomatic-technical considerations on performers of highly different backgrounds.

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Roger Parker

Manon Lescaut: La Scala, 1930

Puccini’s Manon Lescaut, first performed in 1893, has excited musicologists with its famously tangled history. Puccini returned to the opera on numerous occasions over the next thirty years, adjusting matters both large and small to accommodate his and his audiences’ changing tastes and attitudes. However, this paper addresses a version of Manon Lescaut that emerged a little later: from the gaudy heart of modernist technology several years after Puccini’s death. In 1930 a “team” from La Scala, Milan, directed by Lorenzo Molajoli, assembled a cast of impressive Puccinian lineage to make a studio recording of Manon. The main business of my paper is to think about Molajoli’s recording in relation to a putative “critical edition” of Manon. In many ways, particularly in details of instrumental articulation, we can be fairly sure that his 1930 recording was close to the Manon that Puccini had in his ears when he made his final revisions (for a performance at La Scala in 1923). But how should such “evidence”, often disturbing in its sheer specificity, often challenging the limits of our notational conventions, be used when we come to assemble our twenty-first century imagining of his text?

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David Patmore

The business of musical culture: the British record industry and its international influence, 1925-1932

This presentation will constitute a case study of the two major British recording companies, the Gramophone Company and Columbia Graphophone, during a critical period in the evolution of the recordings industry, 1925-1932. This period is bounded initially by the introduction of electrical recording, through which music could at last be recorded with a reasonable degree of verisimilitude. As a result of this technological innovation the market for recordings greatly expanded, in turn driving considerable competition between rival labels. The end of the period under review is bounded by the Crash of 1929 and the ensuing Great Depression, which severely restricted sales and so led to the merger of the two companies under scrutiny. This resulted in the creation of EMI and an effective monopoly in the field of classical music recording. Using detailed material from the EMI Archives the presentation will examine the extraordinary volume of growth achieved by these companies, the reasons for and nature of their merger, and the ensuing consequences. It will consider the roles of the key players leading these organizations, and the effects of increasing internationalisation and monopoly not only upon British musicians but upon received ideas relating to musical interpretation both during this period and beyond.

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Robert Philip

Studying recordings: the evolution of a discipline

Robert Philip began research on historical recordings of orchestras in the late 1960s. There were no guidelines as to how such material should be studied, and his choice of topic was widely regarded at the time as eccentric, even frivolous. Forty years later, the study of recordings is a worldwide academic pursuit and an essential part of the discipine of performance studies, with links to psychology, technology, anthropology and sociology. Performing musicians in many cases study historical recordings, and CD reissues are bought in large numbers by the general music-loving public.

Robert Philip offers some thoughts on this evolving scene. He acknowledges the opportunities that new approaches, new technologies, and new funding provide. At the same time, he urges the need to be alert to the pitfalls and limitations inherent in recordings themselves as research documents, and in the powerful analytical tools that are now available.

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Miriam Quick

Making sense of structure? Tempo trends and expressive timing in recordings of Webern's Variationen für Klavier, Op. 27

This paper explores tempo and timing in commercial recordings of Webern's Variations for Piano, Op. 27, a much-analysed serial work that became a staple of debates on the relationship between musical 'structure' and 'expression' in the mid-20th century. Using the software program Sonic Visualiser, I analyse and display note inter-onset-internal information from recordings of the first movement, detailing how, for the listener, pianists' use of rubato (combined with expressive variation of other parameters) can serve both to illuminate and to obscure theoretical notions of musical structure as developed by analysts. Pooling timing data from a number of different recordings of this movement reveals not only a historical trend since the 1950s towards more rubato, but also illustrates how pianists manipulate timing and tempo in performance to communicate their understanding of the music's structure, for example by using phrase-arches to create structural 'sense-units' at various musical-hierarchical levels or by emphasising particular sonorities with agogic accents. Investigating individual recordings separately reveals the skill with which pianists can 'fine-tune' their timing to craft a compelling musical argument that makes sense of an otherwise ambiguous score.

My goals are to highlight the multiple ways in which performers can interpret (and so create) musical structure through performance and to relate them to changing trends in Webern performance and reception during the last 50 years. This leads me towards a flexible notion of musical structure and to the idea that, far from being rigidly separated, 'structural' and 'expressive' concerns overlap and interpenetrate.

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Alison Rabinovici

'She Wore a Wreath of Roses' (and that's all she wore!): G. H. Chirgwin, the phono-fiddle and the Stroh violin in early sound recording

Chirgwin, the ‘White-eyed Musical Kaffir’, was arguably the greatest comic multi-instrumentalist of his day. The music-halls in which Chirgwin performed were home to imaginative instrumental creation and adaptation. The timbre and construction of the resulting ‘novelty’ instruments demonstrated, at times, an inclusion of the exotic ‘other’ that was absent from the orthodoxies of conventional Western musical instrument construction.

The 'one-string Japanese fiddle' was one such instrument and it was on this that Chirgwin recorded his only instrumental solo, 'She Wore a Wreath of Roses 1906. I argue, however, that Chirgwin actually recorded on a phono-fiddle, a one-stringed fiddle with mechanical sound amplification provided by the addition of a horn. Thereafter, a number of phono-fiddle recordings were made, and publicised as such.

Chirgwin was uncharacteristically reticent about the instrument he used for this recording. I suggest that his reticence was symptomatic of a more general reluctance on the part of the recording industry to advertise the use of mechanical sound production and amplification (the Stroh violin) in the recording studio. While documentary evidence locates the Stroh violin as an instrument used for orchestral recording, there is almost no textual (as opposed to audio) evidence locating the Stroh as a solo recording instrument.

This preliminary study suggests that the Stroh, rather than the Strad was used more frequently for solo violin recordings in the early days of pre-electric recording than is commonly recognised.

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Ruth Rodrigues

The Auer 'inheritance' or not: a comparison of vibrato styles in the recordings of Leopold Auer and Benno Rabinof

This paper analyses recordings of two Brahms Hungarian Dances by Leopold Auer and Benno Rabinof (1908-1975), with particular attention to their use of vibrato. Rabinof was the last, and one of the most favoured, of Auer’s students, a notable group that included Elman and Heifetz. His 1927 Carnegie Hall debut was accompanied by Auer himself conducting the New York Philharmonic; an honour not even accorded to Heifetz.

But how much of his teacher’s influence really shows in Rabinof’s playing? Auer respected the individuality of his students, and insisted that style should be considered from a purely personal standpoint. Nevertheless, one of his most frequent bête-noires was the ‘regrettable’ increase in the use of vibrato during the early 20th century. Auer’s own recordings reveal only its most discreet use, yet Rabinof certainly played with a lot of ‘meat’ on the strings, giving him at times a very rich, full vibrato. This impulsive vibrato, in general typical of the best Auer pupils, is intriguingly ‘fatter’ than Heifetz’s or Elman’s. By closer analysis of Rabinof’s style we can more clearly chronicle the legacy of Auer’s school, and the developing perception of vibrato among violinists in the 20th century.

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Steve Savage, Simon Zagorski-Thomas and Mike Howlett

An appreciation of musical intervention and appropriation

As the recording process extends its reach into aspects of music creation and dissemination there are shifting points of view regarding such notions as “appropriation” and “collage”. The panellists celebrate these developments as positive forces in music, undermining the pejorative connotation that these words have carried in earlier responses to contemporary music practice. Each panellist has had a career as a practitioner in record production and will be drawing in part from his own recordings. Paper presentations will be followed by a general discussion.

Steve Savage, ‘Milee Yookoee: African folklore reimagined in loops’: This paper begins with my own construction of a traditional piece of African musical folklore, created from repurposed audio samples. I did not actually “play” a single note in the traditional sense, yet I am responsible for this version of this piece of music – I constructed it. I explore ways that the popular musical context of my piece recreates traditional African expressions of participation and community.

The broader notion of repurposing is offered as a means of treating music hybridization as an essentially creative and inclusionist activity. The term “repurpose” places the emphasis on the audio’s new environment, its newly imagined purpose and not so much on the lifting (or appropriation) of its previous significance, transference of which is not truly possible anyway. While this kind of social exchange participates as a constructive cultural force, it must also be viewed in the context of ongoing challenges regarding credit and remuneration.

Simon Zagorski-Thomas, ‘Whose line is it anyway? – some thoughts on performance, composition, record production and auteurship’: This paper examines the nature of performance in contemporary recorded music. Whether it’s a classical recording involving hundreds of edits or a piece of pop music where a drummer’s timing has been digitally altered, recorded music almost never involved a single unmediated ‘performance’ any more. Manipulating a performance is increasingly perceived as a creative / compositional act in contemporary music. Should encouraging and eliciting a performance from a player in the studio be seen as a more creative act than editing a performance together from multiple takes? Does audio quantising constitute a less creative act than beat slicing – surely they’re both just a mouse click and a yes/no decision?

Using some specially constructed audio examples and excerpts from my own composition, I shall examine the ways that performances can be re-performed and manipulated and discuss how this affects what it means to be a composer. When, in 1968, Boulez condemned Musique Concrete as collage, it was because this concept of manipulating existing sonic material struck at the heart of Europe’s culturally constructed notion of the creative artist. This was Marcel Duchamp’s Fountain transferred to the sonic realm. The rise of the record producer in popular music – an auteur who elicits and manipulates the performances of others – will be examined as a parallel development in the shifting cultural definition of musical creativity.

Mike Howlett, ‘Appropriation or inspiration?’: In 1978 I was sent to South Africa by Virgin Records to record a series of concerts by black South African artists. The recordings were released under the title “Rhythms of Resistance: Music of Black South Africa” and later cited by Paul Simon as the inspiration for his hugely successful “Graceland” album, on which he incorporated the talents of Ladysmith Black Mombasa and the Mahotella Queens, both on my album. Simon suffered from accusations of “appropriation” in certain influential circles of musicology. From this experience I will argue firstly, that the subjective intent of the first work was, at least, benign, and secondly, that a more accurate understanding of these processes can be found in the term “inspiration”.

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Anthony Seeger

RMA Peter Le Huray lecture: The impact of the recording industry on the study of music: from wax cylinders to YouTube

Although scholars may like to imagine that they undertake research isolated from the influence of industry and commerce, recording technology and the music industry have to a certain degree shaped the study of music over the past 120 years. The wax cylinder, by isolating short sections of audio signal, stimulated the study of scales and rhythms but did not encourage the study of music and movement or the systematic analysis of longer pieces. The music industry of the early 20th century, with its opportunities and limitations, also shaped the musical traditions that scholars later analyzed, often without recognizing its influence. In the 1950s, the 33 1/3 rpm Long Play record offered new opportunities for ethnomusicologists to present the results of their research, but in very specific ways. Today, YouTube videos lead us to ask different questions. After a review of some facets of the intersection of scholarship and technology since the invention of the wax cylinder recorder in the19th-century, the author recommends reflection in the embrace of emerging technologies by scholars. We should always remember to ask "what is it that this (amazing) technology does not lead us to consider?"

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Nigel Simeone

Recording Broadway: The making of original cast albums

Broadway cast recordings – through which shows becomes most widely known – are seldom an exact replica of the score as heard in the theatre, even if they feature the original cast, and are made a few days after the opening (as is usually the case). Producers of cast recordings have often made significant changes to the musical text in the interests of making a record which gives a more effective impression of a show in purely musical or aural terms – by finding or creating equivalents in sound for the original theatrical experience.

This paper will focus on the work of the producer Goddard Lieberson, who made most of Columbia's greatest cast albums from the 1940s to the 1970s. His intention was to make 'a recreation in aural values of [the] excitement, tension and dramatic progress' of a stage show. Using West Side Story as an example, I will examine the process involved in making cast albums and consider how Lieberson’s assertion that ‘in the studio…ingenuity must substitute heightened musical effects for the action and scenery of the theatre’ can produce an end result that may be as authentic – in its own way – as the original show.

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László Stachó

Cognitive predictability and relative importance as determinants of subtle tempo changes in nineteenth-century piano performing tradition: an empirical approach

My research aims to analyse the timing microstructure of recorded performance of two Hungarian Liszt pupils, Béla Bartók and Ernõ(Ernst von) Dohnányi in relation to some of their contemporaries from other piano schools (e.g., the Leschetizky tradition) and to pianists of our days. This involves obtaining data on the typical expressive algorithms used by these musicians. Computer-assisted comparison of expressive timing patters of representative recording samples carried out in our laboratory revealed that an important aspect of nineteenth-century performing art tradition – in contrary to present-day pianism – is the systematic and mainly unintentional and unconscious speeding up of relatively unimportant and predictable musical events, and respectively, the slowing down at relatively important and cognitively surprising moments. Moreover, important notes tend to be emphasized by more agogic than dynamic accent in this performing tradition.

Our study may shed light on the diachronic and interactional variability of some of the performing rules described by the KTH (Stockholm) rule system for musical performance (e.g., Friberg et al. 2006) which is one of the most complete theories of those performance principles used by musicians when performing a musical score. The rules in question include Phrase arch and Tonal tension (melodic, harmonic, and chromatic charge).

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Kadri Steinbach

Historical recordings and research in performance style: an Estonian experience

I would like to introduce research that has started in this area in Estonia. In 2004 the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre initiated a project “The Monuments of the Estonian Art of Performing Music” (funded until 2008). Within this project, a more defined sub-project has evolved: “Estonian Sound Recording 1939”. The focus of this project is a set of recordings made by the Danish branch of EMI in 1939 at the Estonian State Broadcasting Company. That was a special program of recording Estonian music subsidised by the Estonian Government. Recording sessions took place in Tallinn in May 1939, but in September the World War II interrupted the process. A part (ca1/3) of the recordings was later produced in a very small number, but most were considered to be lost. Recently, we found a part of them in Denmark and United Kingdom and now about 2/3 of the recordings can be restored and studied. My paper will describe the problems in collecting the material and making it available for musicological research. Further, the project includes the tasks of evaluating the selection of music, the performances, and the recordings that will be also touch in my paper.

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Jonathan Stock, Janet Topp Fargion, John Baily and Stephen Cottrell

The past is another country: recorded sounds and recording practice in ethnomusicology and beyond

  • Jonathan Stock: 'Recordings as research tools in ethnomusicology'
  • Janet Topp Fargion: 'Recordings in context: the place of ethnomusicology archives in the 21st century'
  • John Baily: 'Fusion and confusion in the making of "world music" recordings'
  • Stephen Cottrell: 'Ethnomusicology vs. phonomusicology: the shifting boundaries of musicological discourse'

This paper gives an ethnomusicologist's perspective on the sometimes uneasy relationship between academia and the record business in the making of so-called 'world music' recordings. From the early days of sound recording there were parallel activities in the making of 'ethnological' recordings for academic purposes, and the making of commercial recordings of non-western music. This distinction remains to this day. We look briefly at the ideology underlying the production of Folkways records in New York, and compare the recording activities of Hugh Tracey in Africa, John Baily in Afghanistan, and the Real World project in the UK in 1991 to record 'spontaneous interactions' between musicians of widely different backgrounds. We conclude with some remarks on Laurent Aubert's 2007 critique of the world music industry.

Stock's paper will consider the ‘classic’ ethnomusicological role of recordings as important components of fieldwork methodology. Drawing on his own practice studying Chinese, Taiwanese and English tradition, he will consider the range of uses to which recordings are put, including the complexities of creating live fieldwork recordings, and the subsequent roles such recordings may play in eliciting different forms of insight and understanding.

As contemporary artefacts, fieldwork recordings of music provide information on current performance practice, and are thus often key ‘drivers’ of musical ethnographies. Over time, however, they become repositories of previous performance practice, lending an historical dimension to fieldwork data which may be of use both to later researchers and to the communities they scrutinise. Topp Fargion will thus consider the role which sound archives play in ethnomusicology, their increasing importance as sources of historical data for both fieldworker and co-worker, and the practical and ethical concerns raised in relation to traditional and world musics.

Over the last two decades ethnomusicologists have also had to come to terms with the increasing impact of the global recording industry on "traditional" musics, and the manner in which recording technology has impacted upon these musics. Issues relating to the kinds of musical change such technology provokes have become foregrounded, as have studies of the methods and mechanisms by which musicians in other cultures have harnessed recording technology – and practices of corporate musical dissemination – for their own ends. Baily's paper will examine the parallel universes of field recordings made by anthropologists, ethnomusicologists and others for research/archival purposes, and the commercial recordings of music from the non-western world for local markets. He will discuss the early days of “cross-marketing”, when commercial recordings of "other people’s music" were sold to western audiences, and the rise of enterprises such as Folkways Records. He will also look at three highly contrasting approaches of the making of "world music" recordings.

Finally, Cottrell's paper will draw together some of the threads offered in the previous papers, and consider what other parts of the music studies field may usefully draw from the experiences offered by ethnomusicologists. Concentrating on the notion of "phonomusicology" – the study of recorded sound – this paper will look at the disciplinary implications for musicology (broadly construed), in terms of the challenges presented by studying the practices of musical performance via recordings, notwithstanding that such practices are often decontextualised from those arenas in which they are most usually found.

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Shzr Ee Tan

'The record that changed our lives': Ripple effects of Enigma's 'Return to Innocence' lawsuit

British pop-group Enigma’s dance hit, ‘Return to Innocence’, enjoys a reputation as theme song to an advertisement for the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. More notoriously, it was subject to a much-publicised lawsuit in which a Taiwanese aboriginal couple, Difang and Igay, sued Enigma and EMI for uncredited use of their voices in a commercial album. Ten years after the Olympic advertisement and subsequent suit (settled out of court), ramifications continue to be debated: What happens when an abstract song, along with its performative and ritual contexts, are “captured” onto tape and objectified as a “recording”? Can music be “owned by a single person or ethnic group? What gets lost in the liminal spaces between music-making, recording, dissemination, reception and feedback?

This paper is a case study drawing upon fieldwork conducted in Taiwanese aboriginal communities from 2000-2006, and looks at how one single recording was instrumental to changing the music-scape of a people, including altering the shape of a nascent local record industry. In addition to deconstructing scenarios surrounding loopholes in documentation practices involving recording technology, this paper also addresses changing ideas about performativity, intellectual copyright, cultural responsibility and fidelity of music transmission in the world of sound recordings.

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David Trippett

Unforgettable impressions: Hindemith's "Memory" and the spectre of technology

The concept of linear time as an irreversible succession of events dates back to the late eighteenth century. Its pure linearity, however, was dented by mechanical reproduction technologies of the early twentieth century, which seemed to both capture the passing instant and replicate the experience of duration. Imagining possible temporal zigzags provided modernists such as Paul Hindemith and Hans Richter with mechanical paradigms through which to explore the manipulation of time and motion as infinitely divisible properties. While a time of modernism exists on the historical time line, this paper looks for a structural homology between historical and musical events in attempting to establish a distinct “modernism of time” for Hindemith in the 1920s.

His one-act operatic epigram Hin und Zurück (1927), plays with conceptions of time as narrative of reversal from domestic disaster to “happy beginning.” The music, an imperfect palindrome, evokes distinct processes of memory to illustrate this “Time Axis Manipulation” as it is intuitively lived by stage characters. By comparing these temporal aesthetics with those (equally unmoored from Newtonian “laws”) in Hindemith’s filmic collaboration with Hans Richter Vormittagsspuk (1928), this enquiry will explore conceptions of audiovisual time as both construction and manipulation of the modernist imagination.

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Richard Turner

Conductors compared: individual interpretation and historic trends in Brahms' First Symphony

This paper contributes to the significant body of research on tempo in performance using data derived from “tapping”, but differentiates itself in a number of respects. While most studies have analysed small samples of performances of short extracts from a work, often of the more easily measurable piano repertoire, this paper stresses the importance of large samples and addresses the symphonic repertoire.

Approximately one hundred recordings of Brahms’ First Symphony were measured and the data analysed with various statistical techniques, including cluster analysis.

Conclusions are drawn about conductors’ individual styles and tempo-related factors that distinguish conductors such as Furtwängler and Toscanini. Previous studies have sought to individuate performers based on small scale gestural stylistic traits; here the architectural shaping of an entire work is examined. The large sample allows conclusions to be drawn about the consistency of an individual’s interpretation, and the extent to which it was affected by recording conditions (whether live or studio, the involvement of different orchestras, etc). It also provides a more solid statistical base for identifying historical trends: can it be demonstrated that there was more variability in interpretation in the first half of the last century than in the second?

Methodological questions relating to appropriate measurement scales and the application of clustering techniques are also discussed.

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Victoria Vaughan

A new 'anxiety of influence': performance pedagogy in the digital world

The challenges of learning, memorizing and practicing music have been both aided and hindered by easy access to recorded media. This is especially acute for conservatory students who find themselves stuck between the need to improve their learning technique with careful and diligent study, and the rigorous demands, high expectations and tight schedules of an undergraduate performance program. Under such pressure, these students often turn to CDs to help them learn their music by rote, to the detriment of their interpretation, technique and, by removing an active learning component from the process, also their sight-reading and keyboard skills.

Focusing on the special needs of opera students, this paper addresses many of the issues surrounding the use and abuse of recordings in learning and practice. In addition to considering the recorded medium as the cause of a new ‘anxiety of influence’ for instrumental students, I shall address acute issues for singers; the delicate nature of the young voice, the personae of the singer (both the students themselves, and the global image of the recorded Divo/a as ‘expert’) and the demands of opera performance in and out of the context of a fully-staged production.

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Hannah Vlcek and Gwendolyn Tietze

From iPod to concert hall: using recordings to disseminate new music

Since its invention, the medium of recording has enabled a wider population to hear music of all kinds – something that has proved crucial in the field of contemporary classical music. Many contemporary compositions have only one chance at life: at their premiere. But if these new pieces are recorded, a far wider, often international, audience has the chance to hear them.

Pooling the experiences of NMC Recordings – an independent record label dedicated to recording and distributing the most interesting contemporary British voices, and Birmingham Contemporary Music Group – a widely-recorded chamber ensemble that tours internationally, nationally, and regionally – we will examine the importance of recordings in building an audience for contemporary music.

Using empirical data – attendance figures, sales and interview with audience members and record buyers – we will follow the trajectory of potential audiences, from their first encounter with the repertoire, the first purchase of a recording, a first experience of live contemporary music, and thence, sometimes, to regular concert attendance.

In this way we will examine the role of recordings in helping new listeners negotiate the often unfamiliar language of contemporary music, and in encouraging them to seek out new live music. We will also explore, in this context, how the growing download market is beginning to change the relationships between composers, musicians, record labels and audiences.

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Lucy Walker

Recording early Britten

The Britten-Pears Library in conjunction with the music department at UEA are involved in a 3-year AHRC funded project to catalogue the complete works of Benjamin Britten with a view to creating, for the first time, a comprehensive thematic catalogue online. The catalogue aims to provide full catalogue records for not only Britten’s mature, published works but also his vast collection of juvenilia – most of which are unpublished and unrecorded – and also to make as much use as possible of the catalogue’s internet environment. For example, we intend to provide audio incipits for each work and thus one of the elements of this project will involved the recording of approximately 750 pieces of Britten juvenilia (for the mature works we will use existing recordings) composed between 1919 and his op.1 in 1932.

This paper aims to discuss the means by which recording technology can enhance the academic function of the conventional thematic catalogue structure. I shall address three broad issues: how recording technology can help create a new kind of thematic catalogue, how, broadly, such technology can benefit musicological research; and, more specifically, how the audio representation of Britten’s compositional development will benefit future studies of his music.

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Robert Walser

From cylinders to sense: computer-based musical analysis of James Madison Carpenter's folk song recordings

American folklorist James Madison Carpenter recorded hundreds of folk songs on Dictaphone wax cylinders while travelling in England, Scotland and Wales from 1929-1935. Now held at the Archive of Folk Culture, Library of Congress, USA, these recordings have been digitized and will eventually be made available over the internet. The large number of recordings made by Carpenter and his consistent methodology have created a data-rich environment for exploring the nature of folksong in general and folk melody in particular. This paper describes the tools and preliminary results of this work in two related streams: the use of software to facilitate transcription from digital sound files to other musical representations and the exploration of folk melody in this data-rich environment. An analysis of sixteen distinct recorded versions of one song demonstrates possible approaches to the use of the recorded repertoire to explore the nature of melodic variation within a particular folksong tradition and suggests intriguing possibilities for further work.

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Kerry Yong

Recordings and performances in music for piano and electroacoustics

Works for piano and pre-recorded sounds exhibit an interesting new compositional and performance paradigm. The most successful works find means of interaction between the live acoustic performer and the immutable recorded sound track. The representation of the recorded element, usually notation, becomes a crucial means for indicating the relationship between live acoustic and automated electroacoustic elements. Notation for this genre reveals many of the subtle and critical differences between representation, interpretation and its sonic reality. Through examining a number of works by Stockhausen, Non, Vaggione and Aldo Clementi, this paper will show the importance of recordings as an informer to performance practice for a genre with a disparate live performance tradition and where the notation is (sometimes intentionally) undersupplied. Depending on the relationship and similarity of the material between the acousmatic element and the notation, the recording element can represent a model, an interpreted form or a variation of this material. This paper also explores how the pre-recorded element operates as a teaching process in its performance practice and how this genre speaks most eloquently through live performances and resists recording as its most representative audio form.

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