Teryl Dobbs
University of Wisconsin—Madison
Teri Dobbs
Performing the Jewish Archive:

Out of the ShadowsRediscovering Jewish Music and Theatre

            Performing the Jewish Archive, a $2.5 million global transdisciplinary (music education, musicology, theatre historiography, history, psychology) research project (Large Grant) awarded by the United Kingdom’s Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), focuses on Jewish artists and their works c.1880–present that were either hidden or suppressed due to oppression and displacement, particularly vis-à-vis the Holocaust. The AHRC’s stated purpose for the grant, ‘Care for the Future: Thinking Forward through the Past,’ urges the researchers “to explore the dynamic relationship that exists between past, present and future, and how they interact with and shape each other, through a temporally inflected lens encourag[ing] critical reflection upon:
·      the concepts that are used to join together past, present and future;
·      different creative, artistic and literary modes of engagement with the past and the passage of time;
·      different emotions evoked by reflecting on the past; and
·      the consequences of selectivity: whose voices are heard and whose are silenced by the past. (AHRC call, 2013)
            In meeting the AHRC’s criteria, the Performing the Jewish Archive research team organized six international festivals (United States–2, United Kingdom, Czech Republic, Australia, South Africa) to accomplish three principal objectives: (a) to seek out works by Jewish musicians, dramatists, and authors that reveal the knowledge, values, emotions, ideologies, and beliefs of the eras and communities in which they were created; (b) to engage performers, audiences, and other participants in works’ heritages by performing them within their historical, biographical, and political contexts; and (c) to devise ways of perpetuating those heritages in the future through renewable methods of responses to the artistic works and their contexts. Foundational to Performing the Jewish Archive’s success in meeting the AHRC’s call to Care for the Future is its intentional integration of theoretical perspectives that embrace cotexuality (Barry, 2010) and contextuality, both educationally and musicologically.
            Hence, this paper shares the theoretical framework of the Performing the Jewish Archive grant; presents the over-arching scope of the project as realized through its global festivals and research symposia; and sets forth how the above-referenced objectives are met. Key to Prof. Dobbs’ contribution is the bringing to light and world-premieres of the heretofore unknown piano compositions (Yad Vashem Archives) of Josima Feldschuh, known as the “Prodigy of the Warsaw Ghetto.” Framed by the thinking of Agamben, Buber, and Levinas, she presents a philosophical and socio-political historical analysis of Josima’s brief life and creative work. She discusses the implications that one child’s creative musical life—pursued under state-sanctioned policies of racial oppression, terror, and extermination—holds for the understanding of the musical experience.
Anna Gawboy
The Ohio State University

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Extending the metaphor of ‘counterpoint’ in audiovisual analysis
Friday, 2/9 at 4pm, room 2441

Early twentieth-century pioneers in abstract multimedia such as Alexander Scriabin, Sergei Eisenstein, Oskar Fischinger, and Walther Ruttmann sought to model the interaction of audiovisual elements on musical counterpoint. Although the impulse toward counterpoint is well-documented and persists among multimedia artists to this day, few scholars agree on what constitutes multimedia counterpoint and some have even questioned whether audiovisual works can be contrapuntal. My talk suggests a new understanding of multimedia counterpoint based on historical sources and extends the metaphor to cover specific types of audiovisual interactions. I conclude that, like musical counterpoint, the idea of multimedia counterpoint is most useful when it is used to describe degrees of similarity and difference rather than absolute states of parallelism and contrast.

Toward music pedagogies of the future
Saturday, 2/10 at 10am, Eastman Hall

The past decade has witnessed a renewed interest in the pedagogy of music history and theory, evidenced by the lively and well-attended pedagogy interest group meetings hosted by AMS and SMT; the launching of new journals such as the Journal of Music History Pedagogy and Engaging Students: Essays in Music Pedagogy; the publications of edited volumes such as Pop-Culture Pedagogy in the Music Classroom and Norton Guide to Music Theory Pedagogy; and new academic conferences dedicated to pedagogy. Inspired by this wealth of new resources, many academic musicians are reevaluating their approach to both teaching methods and content. I provide a brief overview of my own curricular revisions in the music theory sequence at Ohio State, then facilitate discussions in small groups of the following questions: How do we engage students intellectually, musically, creatively? What are the most essential skills students need for their progress as musicians and what evidence shows they have acquired those skills? How do we teach the essential skills given the resources available to us? How to we communicate the relevance of the academic study of music in a culture that devalues both the arts and intellectual activity? This workshop will allow participants to reflect on some of the most fundamental questions regarding what we do in the classroom and why. 
William Kinderman
University of Illinois

The Motive of the Gaze ("Blick") in Thomas Mann's "Der Tod in Venedig" and Richard Wagner's "Tristan und Isolde"
1418 Van Hise


While the general importance of music for Thomas Mann is well recognized, the specific relationship of “Der Tod in Venedig” to Wagner’s “Tristan und Isolde” rewards close attention. Mann knew Wagner’s drama intimately, and drew on the composer’s autobiography, which was published as the novel was written. Especially important is the motive of the gaze or “Blick”, which has roots in Wagner’s main source, Gottfried von Strassburg’s “Tristan.” Mann’s propensity toward irony is abundantly evident, and the import of Wagner’s symbolism is often inverted, as is the narrative structure as a whole. Analysis reveals an extensive network of Wagnerian parallels whose import is very different from the Tristanesque resonances of “Buddenbrooks.”
Scott Burnham
City University of New York



God and the Voice of Beethoven


Inverting the title and agenda of Wilfrid Mellers’ 1983 book Beethoven and the Voice of God, I will discuss various ways in which Beethoven extends and even distorts his compositional voice in order to address God in the context of the Missa Solemnis and the Ninth Symphony.
Jerod Reetz
University of Wisconsin - Madison 


Contemporary Perspectives on the Countertenor: Interviews with Kai Wessel, Corinna Herr, Arnold Jacobshagen, and Matthias Echternach

The presentation will focus on specific topics investigated in interviews with countertenor by Prof. Kai Wessel, Dr. Corinna Herr, Dr. Arnold Jacobshagen, and Dr. Matthias Echternach. Through interviewing each scholar, a further understanding of the voice type was obtained. Specific topics investigated include: pedagogical application; the voice type historically; the vocal mechanism. These interviews have demonstrated that while there is much agreement over the voice type in recent scholarship, a further investigation into various topics concerning the countertenor, and other voice types, too, is essential (e.g. Is Appoggio really the correct form of inspiration for all singers? Should the countertenor voice be categorized into separate stimmfachs, and if so, how? What are the exact vocal registers that could be outlined and identified for the countertenor voice?).