Here, you can read abstracts of the speakers' presentations.
Tanya Lukin Linklater
Queen’s University, Kingston, ON
We wear one another: gestures towards repatriation through performance
Investigating histories of archaeology, anthropology and repatriation on Kodiak Island, Alaska, and the work of black and Indigenous thinkers and artists, Lukin Linklater will contextualize her practice in performance alongside and in relation to cultural belongings as gestures towards repatriation. She will speak to a specific work, We wear one another, 2019, a commission for Soundings: An Exhibition in Five Parts in relation to an Inuvialuit rain gut parka that she read as a score for performance with two dancers and an amplified violinist. This work will travel internationally with the exhibition until 2024.
Tanya Lukin Linklater's performances in museums, videos, and installations have been shown in Canada and abroad. She often makes performances with dancers and sometimes composers/musicians and poets, in relation to the architecture of museums, objects in exhibition, scores, and cultural belongings reaching towards atmospheres that shift the space or potentially, the viewer. Her work centres knowledge production in and through orality, conversation, and embodied practices, including dance. While reckoning with histories that affect Indigenous peoples' lives, lands and ideas, she investigates insistence. Her ethical considerations include that which sustains us conceptually and affectively. Her work has been shown at EFA Project Space + Performa, New York City, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Remai Modern, Saskatoon, and elsewhere. She originates from the Native Villages of Afognak and Port Lions in southern Alaska and has lived and worked in northern Ontario, Canada for a decade.
Her forthcoming book of poetry, Slow Scrape, will be published in the Documents series by The Centre for Expanded Poetics and Anteism, Montréal.
Tanya studied at University of Alberta (M.Ed.) and Stanford University (A.B. Honours). She is a doctoral candidate in Cultural Studies at Queen's University. Her thesis project investigates the relationship between contemporary performance, museum collections, and Indigenous cultural belongings. In 2018 Tanya was chosen as the inaugural recipient of the Wanda Koop Research Fund administered by Canadian Art.
Queens College and CUNY Graduate Center
A truism of music history suggests that scholars can write about music only where the music itself was notated. The consequences have been acute: the very form of music history has elevated a tiny slice of history’s musics—one almost exclusively made by and for elite male European performers and listeners—as subject and object of study. In “Archival Material,” I advocate for a history of unnotated musics, searching for meanings outside of or otherwise overshadowed by the standard musical canon. To do so, I emphasize the specificity of particular historical moments and the embodied experience of actual people who lived in the past, with obvious parallels to “ethnohistory.” I draw on insights from feminist, anti-racist, and class-conscious theory to interpret a wide range of seemingly fragmentary archival material, culminating in a consideration of slavery and trafficked women in early modern Italy alongside the compelling figure of Isabella Garzoni detta la Greghetta, mother of one of the most famous female composers in history, Barbara Strozzi (1619-1677). To foreground Strozzi’s mother is to ask about the conditions under which musical exceptionalism emerges, and to articulate the importance of marginalized figures in past and present music making and within history.
Emily Wilbourne specializes in Italian theatrical music and sound during the seventeenth century, and in questions of embodiment, performance, race, gender, and sexuality. Her first book, Seventeenth-Century Opera and the Sound of the Commedia dell’Arte, was published in 2016, and an edited collection in honor of Suzanne Cusick appeared as a special issue of Women & Music in 2015. Dr. Wilbourne’s articles have appeared in the Journal of the American Musicological Society, Women & Music, Recercare, Teatro e storia, Italian Studies, Echo, and Workplace, as well as in several Oxford Handbooks. She authored the Oxford Bibliographies entry on “Music and Gender and Sexuality.” In 2017-18, she was the Francesco De Dombrowski Fellow at the Harvard University Center for Renaissance Studies at Villa I Tatti in Florence. Since 2017, Dr. Wilbourne has been Editor-in-Chief of Women & Music. She is currently at work on a book on race, voice, and the invention of opera.
Summit Presenters - Abstracts
Inclusive Web Experiences at RILM
From the perspective of physical and intellectual disability, we consider how the platform behind MGG Online (MGG) and RILM Music Encyclopedias (RME) practices inclusion through techniques frequently referred to as “inclusive web design.” The design aspect of inclusive design encourages a visual appearance and operational behaviours usable for as many people as possible. The technological aspect encourages technical standards and engineering principles that allow web browsers to modify and present content according to individual needs.
Particularly interesting for musicologists, the “aural user interface” brings together both the design and technological aspects. This interface is made available through “screen-reader” software that reads websites out loud, primarily for the benefit of people with no or low vision. The paper details how RILM developers design the aural user interface (e.g., deciding which information should be read, and in what order); technical considerations for planning and implementing the aural interface; and testing strategies for this interface along with their limitations. The paper also explores how optimizations for the aural user interface may pose challenges for other website visitors, which hints at the practical impossibility of truly universal inclusion.
By focusing on the creation of equitable and inclusive experiences, this paper contributes a different perspective from the analysis usually seen in music scholarship. Indeed, the authors hope to shine a light on issues that are, by their very nature, never intended to be seen at all.
When Monumental Scholarship Meets Big Data: Some Feminist Queries
While “big data” is a relatively new concept in humanities scholarship, monumental projects, like the Grove Encyclopedia itself, have deeper histories, rooted in the Enlightenment dream of bringing together all the world’s knowledge. It has long been a project for feminist killjoys (Ahmed), critical race scholars, and queer theorists to show the limits of this seemingly utopian urge.
In this paper, I share findings from two experiments with big data, inspired by the provocations and critiques of Boyd and Crawford (2012), Gitelman (2013), and Noble (2018). The first involves Emily Gallomazzei’s and my comparison of the 1986 and 2013 editions of AmeriGrove, using the digital humanities text analysis tool Voyant. The second involves my work to build a repertory database for the singer Dame Vera Lynn, to render her performances and recordings visible in ways not registered by the Billboard charts, a common measure for a popular song’s or musician’s impact in the post-World War II era.
Both projects provide opportunities to reflect on the messy ways in which archives and music charts are shaped; the inequalities they preserve; the limitations of visibility; and the sheer labor that goes into any big project, digital and analogue. I will draw on this work to make specific recommendations and cautions for a more inclusive revised Grove: the dangers of relying on chart position as a shorthand for significance in popular musics, the limits of searchability and metadata, and the importance of naming and language.
North Carolina Central University
An Encyclopedia of Musicking, Music, and Musicians
Because Grove arose out of a tradition that prejudiced composers and works as “music and musicians,” it has been biased towards these topics since its inception. A byproduct of this approach is that associated articles in the encyclopedia tend to meet the stylistic inclusivity of art forms that find meaning in carefully crafted “masterworks,” with some acknowledgment of their concomitant practitioners, particularly those who excelled at an international level. This has sufficed, to a degree, for music from western Europe, but it fails in capturing music outside that tradition, including that from the United States.
I propose adding methodology that depends on the music that people in a given time and place valued—a cultural geography—based on data that proves what they heard or performed. My own research documents the types of music heard throughout the US South during the nineteenth century and the people responsible for bringing music to public and private audiences alike. Almost none of the people I investigate—most of whom are women—appears in Grove: only the occasional male professional performer/composer. Women responsible for programming, directing, and staging large-scale works in metropolitan cities have yet to be considered worthy enough for inclusion, but these are the people who influenced what people in this region heard. The performance practices of such individuals and ensembles provides a fuller appreciation for the sound of music in the “Romantic” period. This presentation will illuminate the value of an alternative approach to “music and musicians” by foregrounding musical practice.
University of Guelph
Cannibalistic, Social Dynamics of Power: We Are All Out at Sea
Slavomir Mrozek’s Out At Sea, is being reinterpreted as a goth-rock album by Bonnie Trash. Out At Sea is a post-WWII absurdist one-act play about three shipwrecked men named Fat, Medium, and Thin, who use socio-political debate to decide which man to eat. Fat is an unruly leader who, with the blind support of Medium, manipulates Thin into sacrificing himself. Out At Sea features cannibalism and consumption as a means of establishing power. Bonnie Trash’s newest release is an exploration of oppression in the context of consumption. Using McLuhan and Fiore’s theory of technology serving as amputations and extensions of ourselves, social media acts as a means to fragment ourselves into digital voices. Our online presence is communicated onto a forum where we consume each other, just as we consume entertainment and technology. We examined the power dynamic of the #MeToo Movement through the script and embodied this examination as a song entitled, Goodnight, My Dear. Bonnie Trash used the same bassline from Petula Clark’s “Chariot” and Peggy March’s “I Will Follow Him” but inverted the lyrical content of both songs as an internal dialogue of feeling used and abused, rather than longing and following him.
Part of this project’s compositional element is the constant use of an underlying sound of a sea reinterpreted in different sonic contexts. For Goodnight, My Dear, the sea is a collection of voices from identified #MeToo victims performing Pauline Oliveros’ Tuning Meditation. Oliveros’ use of collective attentions serves as a model of response mechanisms in social media, as evidenced by the #MeToo campaign. #MeToo is a simple and effectively overwhelming amplification of a sea of affected individuals fighting the urge to ebb their feelings and create a neap tide of change.
Institute for Composer Diversity
Feminist Activism and the Flexible Musicologist
This presentation by Dr. Penny Brandt, Head of Development for the Institute for Composer Diversity, reflects on the role that Grove Music Online has been and could be playing in the representation of music festivals and online spaces where feminist practice, political activism, and related modes of social engagement are incorporated into musicology. I will consider the ramifications of these developments for musicology as a discipline, for Grove Music Online in particular, and for early-career music scholars in terms of growing opportunities for musicologists engaged in activist work, but also with regard to barriers faced by scholars who choose interdisciplinary research paths. The presentation will draw on a growing body of scholarship on alternatives to academia (“alt-ac”) — a field of great relevance to the Humanities and especially to Music — where interdisciplinary research is of great interest to audiences and patrons of the commercial realm. I will also describe how feminist musicology and political activism launched, and continue to inform, my own career as an independent scholar and chronicle comparable applied- and activist-musicological career paths, contextualizing this discussion by examining other (non-musicological) modes of “applied” practice (e.g. Public History, Public Sociology). The dilemma for Music and, by extension, musicology is that those graduates who may be best equipped to tackle the issues of diversity and equity that have become increasingly apparent in the discipline are often those who struggle to find employment in the field. The presentation therefore concludes with recommendations for early-career musicologists and for the discipline as a whole, as well as for Grove Music Online in particular, such that “activist-musicology,” the academy, and alt-ac scholarship might co-exist in thoughtful dialogue.
Julia Brook and Meagan Troop
Queen’s University and Sheridan College
An Open Education Panel
In the words of open education advocate Rajiv Jhangiani, “the magic of open pedagogy is when you open it to not just faculty members but also students” (Teaching in Higher Ed Podcast, #226). This magical spirit of co-creation between faculty and students sets the stage for highly impactful practices in open pedagogy and open educational resource (OER) development. With a panel of educators and students, we will shed light on the opportunities and challenges associated with creating open access content and will share some of our examples of open teaching and learning from a variety of music education and arts-based contexts. While there are currently many freely available online resources for teachers (e.g., YouTube videos, social media groups, programming developed by arts organizations, etc.) they are not always easily accessible nor do they necessarily meet the criteria required in terms of quality or rigor for higher education. With that in mind, our panel will engage the participants at the summit in an exploration of the following queries: How might we approach the development of engaging, open, and accessible quality content for music and arts education? What best practices and principles related to open pedagogy and OERs have emerged within the higher education landscape? In what ways, if any, can we make these practices sustainable moving forward (maintaining currency, compensation for authors, etc.)?
Divas, Ingénues and Vixens: Intersecting Borders
As a professor of Music and Women’s Studies I have taught coursework regarding gender, sexuality and global social movements for the last 15 years. In the early 1990s, musicology, like many disciplines, utilized the “add woman and stir” model of pedagogy; simply discussing the women we missed in Music History. However, feminist methodology requires not only inclusion, but an analysis of processes, resources and interpretation through multiple lens. My own courses, “Divas, Ingénues and Vixens” and “Music and Politics,” have been fully integrated to include intersectionality of identity and lived experience. My conference paper will discuss pedagogical methods and strategies which I have found successful as well as current research on women in music. By incorporating transnational perspectives, a more prismatic approach allows for dialog of difference and thoughtful connections.
When scholars approach research through the lens of women’s experiences rather than simply objects of research, the impact upon the formation of critical thinking results in nuanced analysis and leads to truer understanding of women as integral to the scholarship. For example, within “Music and Politics,” is music a “vehicle for politics” or is the act of making music itself political? When exploring the opportunities and modes of engagement, Grove Music Online must engage scholars and students, both undergraduate and graduate, demonstrating the importance of inclusivity, accessibility and intersectionality. It is crucial to the GMO revision process that these ideas and subjects not simply be an “add-on.” Consequently, multiple subjects can and should be presented with a feminist lens as a unifying factor to engage in the larger framework.
Maria Maddalena Musi (1669-1751), primo uomo: Recognizing the Musical and Political Agency of Singers in Early Eighteenth-Century drammi per musica
The importance of singers in the development of early eighteenth-century Italian opera is widely recognized (and often criticized), yet their contributions to the genre are underrepresented in the short Grove entries on singers that even omit to list their performed roles. Not only does this create a focus on (male) composers and librettists, but it leaves us with a partial view of the creative forces behind these operas. Furthermore, scholarship on singers tends to focus on male singers (castrati) or to deal with issues of gender surrounding women who cross-dress as men within an operatic plot, excluding the women who performed male roles in early eighteenth-century drammi per musica (Knaus). Indeed, women who sang male roles are often explained away as a mere replacement solution in the absence of a castrato (Freitas; Heller; McClary).
Through the case study of singer Maria Maddalena Musi, one of the first women to perform primo uomo roles, I argue that these role attributions were not made by default, rather they carry a political meaning. Musi only performed these male roles (mostly of rulers) in Naples in the years surrounding the beginning of the War of the Spanish Succession, at a time in which the Neapolitans’ relationship to their own foreign ruler was fraught. An analysis of her music and text compared to that of the operas’ villains (performed by castrati) reveals that casting a woman in the role of a male hero allowed for a more equivocal (and potentially subversive) presentation of male heroism.
Cripping the Grove (of Academe): Madness, Music and Disability Biography
Grove Music Online has a problem with disability: it tends to ignore/whitewash it, sensationalize it, and/or use ableist language. Thus we read that Django Reinhart “overcame his handicap” (“Django Reinhart”), Ian Curtis’ stage performances were “remarkable” for their “seizure-like stops and starts” (“Joy Division”), and the authors/editors of “Robert Schumann” foreclose on the possibility that the final stages of his syphilis-caused dementia may have affected his music. The degree to which Critical Disability Studies informs the entries is uneven at best.
For Critical Disability Studies, the analysis begins once the impairment is named, whereby the researcher uncovers inequalities of power and systems of oppression (Goodley et al 2019, 973), while intertwining the politics of disability with other forms of identity politics. The new subfield of Disability Biography offers an alternative path for lexical work, by identifying the roles of ableism in and writing disability into the life stories we tell (Nielsen 2018, n.p.). That the results are often messy simply bespeaks the richly entangled lives of humans.
In this paper, I will examine the Gove Music Online entry “Robert Schumann” for its treatment of his madness. After exposing the hard clinicality of authors Daverio and Sams through the lens of Disability Biography, I will revisit Schumann’s “condition” by means of Mad Studies, which disrupts pathologizing mental‐health discourses and affirms mad subjectivities (Castrodale 2019, 40). I will then present a reading of Schumann’s late years that focuses on his lived experiences and contextualizes his encounter with the medical-psychiatric institutions of his day.
Danielle Fosler-Lussier and Yanju Jiang
Ohio State University
Grove’s Geographies: Making Patrons and Institutions Visible in Articles about Place
Many Grove articles on cities and countries mention local institutions, including concert series and conservatories; their comprehensiveness varies. In the United States, many music institutions were built and funded by women. Ada Clement founded the San Francisco Conservatory; Clement is credited in the city article but not given her own article. In the article on Columbus, the (men’s) Columbus Symphony is covered, but the competing (women’s) Symphony Club is not. City articles should be deepened to include arts patrons more consistently; important patrons and their institutions be given coverage in their own articles; and women’s music clubs, the larger community music schools, and similar groups be addressed. This examination of place-making accords with current work in Sound Studies as well as musicology.
Providing information on institutions can also help us trace the history of music in colonized parts of the world; decolonial thinking has hardly begun in musicology and ethnomusicology. Some country and city articles in Grove point out when institutions were founded or how long they existed; some merely indicate the existence of these institutions; many institutions are not included at all. In particular, conservatories of music on the European model and composers and composition teachers who taught in them connect generations of musicians to each other and to broader networks: yet they have been little studied because they fall into the divide between musicology and ethnomusicology. Attention to institutional histories may reveal previously hidden actors and begins to correct persistent gender and colonial biases in Grove.
“Girls” and the Grove: Gender in Grove I-II
In 1945, Curt Sachs disputed widespread use of the word “musicologist,” phrasing his disapproval in starkly gendered terms. Sachs claimed that “any girl that manufactures a newspaper article by transcribing Grove’s Dictionary without too many misspellings presents herself as a musicologist.” As Solie, Cusick, and Brett observe, attempts to present musicology as hyper-masculine crystallized by the 1940s and 1950s. Yet Sachs’s division between the “girl” who plagiarizes Grove and the (implicitly male) music historian who writes it is but one historically situated image. This presentation explores the earlier work of women in Grove by examining the contributions of Adela Wodehouse and Rosa Newmarch in Grove I and II.
When speaking of representation in social movements, it can be all too easy to view positive actions in terms of a progress narrative, where the situation of underrepresented voices gradually improves from a universally dismal past into a conscientious present and a utopian future. Such narratives, however, risk further erasing dissenting voices from history and pushing us to anachronistic self-congratulations for being “better” than our scholarly ancestors. This is not to suggest a utopian past that never existed or minimize past exclusions and violence. Instead, I propose these examples from early editions of the Grove to illustrate how our conceptions of musicologists and our subjects ebbed and flowed across the dictionary’s—and our discipline’s history, and provide some preliminary thoughts on how improving the coverage of gender and sexuality in Grove Music Online might be done in a historically attuned way.
Irene Gregorio and Marion Samuel-Stevens
Ms. Samuel-Stevens and Dr. Gregorio will present a recital lecture of works written by women from the Romantic and Modern time periods. The works will be interspersed with short discussions relating to the specific struggles that these women endured during their compositional lives.
Topics covered will include:
How did their gender constrain their freedom to compose?
How did their careers become diverted and uprooted by their male relatives (in many cases male relatives who were also composers)?
Has their music become part of the standard repertoire?
What cultural and personal influences can be heard in their portrayal of text? (For instance, were their compositions feminized in order to fit a model created for them as female composers by their male counterparts?)
Upon acceptance to the conference as presenters, Dr. Gregorio and Ms. Samuel-Stevens will focus their presentation by choosing an intersection of well-known female composers whose lives were affected by these constraints. Depending upon the length of the program they will do short sets of songs preceded by discussion into these topics. Composers may include Alma Mahler, Pauline Viardot-Garcia, Nadia and Lili Boulanger Cecile Chaminade, Clara Schumann, Fanny Mendelssohn, Amy Beach and more modern composers such as Alice Ho, Emily Doolittle and Reena Esmail.
Both Ms. Samuel-Stevens and Dr. Gregorio bring a wealth of knowledge to this presentation. Independently they have both presented many recitals of works focusing on female composers and this topic is of particular importance to them as female performers.
University of Toronto
Queering Entries on Viennese Modernism
Scholarship on Viennese Modernism has taken more seriously that institution’s historical connection to popular culture, including the cabaret, Yiddish theatre, and the commedia dell’arte. That is to say, recent scholarship on Viennese Modernism has been keen to challenge the intellectually purist—and masculinist—myths surrounding that institution. Grove entries on, or relating to, Viennese modernism, however, still tend to uphold the normative narrative about a linear (straight) historical trajectory that simultaneously privileges 1) a masculinist conception of musical invention, 2) the centredness of Central Europe in Western art music history, and 3) the construct of ‘high’ (‘legitimate’) art.
Take, for instance, the case of Sprechgesang/Sprechstimme, whose roots in popular culture remain unacknowledged in Grove. Yet, to contextualize a ‘Schoenbergian’ invention within wider terrain of popular theatrical practices can yield fruitful reconceptualization of topics concerning, for instance, ‘Jewish’ musical modernism(s) and the ‘middlebrow’. There are, of course, traces in Grove that already suggest connections between ‘high’ and ‘low’ arts, such as when Wachsmann/O’Connor write in their entry on the ‘Cabaret’ that Yvette Guilbert developed a Sprechgesang while working at Wolzogen’s Überbrettl (where Schoenberg was once employed). However, as if fearing contaminating the sanctity of a Schoenbergian invention, Wachsmann/O’Connor carefully add that Guilbert’s Sprechgesang was unlike Schoenberg’s (an assertation with which recent research from, for instance, Payette would counter).
Ultimately, my paper suggests that revisions (and careful cross references) on similar subject entries in Grove can help to support ongoing efforts to queer a persistently normative—masculinist and ableist—history of Modernism.
Asian American Music Centre
Who Does Grove Music Online Benefit? Reflections on the Reality that Encyclopedias Are Not Neutral
As a reference resource behind an expensive paywall, who does Grove Music Online currently benefit? For me, the site primarily assists the articles’ authors (who get a prestigious line on their CVs), and members of four-year colleges and universities. Musicians and researchers who are not associated with a university might have access to print copies of Grove at a public library, but access to the online edition will prove illusive to most. Additionally, it seems to me that few musicians have greatly benefited from coverage in the encyclopedia.
In addressing issues of equity and inclusion, I believe that it is essential that we examine not just the publication’s content, but also who benefits from the enterprise. To put it another way, we cannot simply insert more articles about music by and for women, queer populations, racial minorities, and/or disabled communities; more importantly, we must think about how the publication benefits underrepresented groups in ways that they desire.
This presentation explores three methods that can broaden the beneficiaries of a reference work. First, the editors can adopt social justice as an imperative, and form a diverse array of advisory groups that can advise them on what content and perspectives are most needed beyond the academy. Second, the publisher can maintain an open-access online presence that includes blogs and social media posts that deal with issues of inclusion, equity and decolonization. Third, the reference work can include a series of articles on relevant and difficult topics that deliberately invite reader interaction.
A Project of Reclamation: Grove Music Online as Archive
With this invitation from GMO, scholars can provide greater institutional recognition for people and practices who disrupt normative models of music and identity. But even while expanding the roster of antinormative subject entries, scholars might still privilege social legibility as the main goal for political change. As Heather Love and others have noted, this tactic may not always capture the quotidian experiences of combatting systems of oppression. Thus, while projects framed in terms of representation are adept at identifying myriad subjects, they are less equipped to account for things that resist such identification.
In this paper, I consider how GMO functions as an archive that can reclaim previously silenced people and practices. I argue that by framing the GMO as an archive, rather than an institution that legitimizes musical knowledge, we can better experiment with its curatorial sensibility and address the idiosyncrasies of its discrete entries. Drawing from recent queer, feminist, and anti-racist archival work by Saidiya Hartman, Claire Hemmings, and Sarah Tyson, this paper makes a practical suggestion: entries should include a section where they justify themselves and address the structures that have traditionally valued or obscured them. I ground this suggestion with examples from entries on Feminism, LGBTQ music, and Hans Werner Henze. This critical self-reflection would address the “how” rather than the “who” of intersectional occlusion, allowing GMO to enact political redress beyond individual recognition and map out sites of future transformation.
University of North Carolina - Greensboro
Editing for Equity, Research Hubs, and Connecting to the Present (and Future?)
s the first station in the ritual of research I subject my students to, Grove Music Online should ideally be as diverse, equitable, and inclusive as we urge our own campuses to be. It matters not only who is included, but also how they are included, and Grove’s history as an artifact of the European musical canon predicts that its canonical composers not only occupy the most real estate, but also receive more loving treatment. Articles on some important musical women and people of color are scarcely more than stubs, including those of Eileen Southern, Julia Perry, Violeta Parra, and Juan Gabriel, while some have yet to be written, e.g., patron Winaretta Singer (Princesse de Polignac) and Jenni Rivera. Edit all articles mindful of equity: the article on Eminem should not gloss over criticisms of his lyrics’ violent misogyny, and ecofeminism should be included in the article on ecocriticism.
Grove's topical guides on women composers are helpful, as are the articles on feminism, women in music, and gay and lesbian musicology. Still better would be a feminist music research hub that brings together those resources and new ones, perhaps a timeline or comprehensive bibliography and discography, new articles on ways women enter music culture in non-composer roles, such as patron or writer, historical and contemporary issues in musical women’s lived experience, like sexual harassment and assault, and perhaps links to contemporary composers’ web pages. Research hubs for black music research, study of Latin American music, etc. and cross-references among the hubs would be useful.
A more lightly curated page with news and links about current trends could be a way to rehearse material that may one day be incorporated into Grove, for example Janelle Monáe and Afrofuturism.
Genius, Violence, and Masculinity in the Grove Music Online
It is widely known that Miles Davis assaulted women. The trumpeter himself acknowledged his history of domestic abuse in his autobiography, Miles. As Davis’s first wife, Frances Davis, explained in a 2006 interview in the New York Times, “I actually left running for my life—more than once.” Barry Kernfeld’s entry on Davis in the GMO, however, completely overlooks this aspect of his biography. Similarly, although the entry on Carlo Gesualdo does mention that he murdered his wife, contributors Lorenzo Bianconi and Glenn Watkins are quick to point out that “the cuckolded party was by the custom of the time required to act as [Gesualdo] did.”
Page after page of the GMO disregards or downplays such violent histories, with entries typically moving cursorily through biographical details before dwelling on the “music itself.” In this paper, I argue that the GMO’s systematic erasure of gendered physical and emotional abuse perpetrated by iconic male musicians inscribes patriarchal violence as a corollary to masculinist genius. I further suggest that, while art created by men is often rhetorically sequestered from the life of the artist, art by women (especially women of color) who have committed socially unacceptable acts – consider Billie Holiday or Lauryn Hill – is seldom permitted to stand apart from biography. In this way, to paraphrase Lara Pellegrinelli, the GMO helps to perpetuate a historical representation of women as “passive vessels for male sounds,” silent providers of emotional labor, and necessary objects of masculinist violence, with limited space for emotional or artistic agency.
St. John’s Cathedral, Denver, CO
"In Full Light"
I propose to talk about the composers active around 1890-1940: educated, talented, ambitious women as portrayed on the mural Mary Cassatt painted for the Chicago World's Fair in 1893, “Young Women Plucking the Fruits of Knowledge or Science.” Ironically, the mural is lost, but photos and sketches of it remain. Ironic, because so many of the compositions written during that period are also lost, that is, out of print. Successful composers whose works were championed by the Boston Symphony and other fine groups, disappeared from the repertory. What forces were at work in the last 100 years that deleted Mabel Daniels, Rebecca Clarke, Mary Howe, Margaret Bonds, and so many others? And if compositions languish in out-of-print archives, what can be done to make them accessible?
The importance of recovering these works is deeply relevant in today's world. Whether in Hollywood, literature, Congress, or Lincoln Center, women are fighting to be heard and seen. Going beyond the standard encyclopedia entry, we also need to talk about the silence.
Women write from a status of second-class citizen, under-valued, disrespected, and often exploited. From the margins, women sometimes employ a language of mystery, uncertainly, struggle, and wonder, a language of survivors, of people who have created nonetheless. This was a time of enormous promise, promise that was perhaps more talk than substance. The strength and perseverance to create even in the face of discouragement is also part of their story.
In this presentation I take GMO’s entry on experimental music as a case study to rethink the format of reference publications and investigate its incidence on the way specific historical events are remembered, especially with respect to gender. In the GMO entry—as in the field in general—female experimental composers are underrepresented (Rogers 2010). While acknowledging this inequity, I assert that the problem lies in the way we understand encyclopaedic entries as immutable objects of knowledge, thus letting only certain (male) voices claim the experimental composer appellation as part of their identity. I propose to adopt a network presentation format as an organizing principle for GMO entries, where multiple, overlapping and contradictory views of the experimental composer coexist. Drawing on Sherrie Tucker who calls for research that does not look at women, but rather from women’s perspective, as well as on Alison Young’s conceptualization of “cities within the city” (2014), I take female electronic music pioneer Éliane Radigue’s experience within the experimental music scene to revisit common knowledge claims. For instance, how does the notion of a shared “rejection of musical institutions and institutionalized musical values” (GMO) apply to Radigue, a composer who herself was rejected from these very institutions on the basis of gender? Looking from a women composer’s perspective requires a reassessment of how we talk about the field as a whole. Retelling stories according to non-hegemonic perspectives betrays the tenuousness of dominant historical discourses, thus opening it up for other voices to be heard, and remembered.
Decolonization as a Tool for the Equitable Transformation of Grove Music Online’s Function and Content
Grove Music Online proves a valuable resource when examining canonical works, musicians, and ideas. Greater attention needs to be given to feminism, queer studies, critical race theories, disability studies and other areas of research which seek to uplift marginalized groups. The presence and promotion of more radical and progressive processes of music, particularly within the context of Indigenous music and decolonization allows for marginalized voices to be raised and listened to. Dynamic representations of indigeneity in current music industries hold the potential to bring awareness to the ongoing trauma and struggles experienced by colonized populations and cultivate healing narratives and community building. Simply including more indigenous musicians and musics in the Grove Music Online database is beneficial. However, an examination of how colonization has formed the Western musical canon and a discussion of current movements which seek to decolonize society through music making would validate and enhance extramusical efforts regarding decolonization. My proposed presentation will examine technologies of decolonization which Indigenous musicians are currently employing in their works, and name Indigenous musicians whose presence on Grove Music Online would facilitate continuing discussions of healing and awareness. Furthermore, I will demonstrate the importance of allowing Indigenous musicians and scholars to speak on Indigenous issues, including specific Indigenous nations and their musical histories, performance practices, and decolonization practices.
New Works by Emerging Underrepresented Composers
For the International Summit on Gender, Sexuality, and Equity in Grove Music Online, I am proposing the performance of two newly commissioned pieces for solo electric guitar by two NYC-based young/emerging underrepresented composers. As a PhD in Composition Candidate at Western University and dedicated performer of contemporary music, my work as an artist focuses especially on equity within my generation’s creation and programming of new music.
The works presented will be meditations on auxin by queer Black nonbinary composer Yaz Lancaster (they/them), and an as-of-yet untitled new piece by gay Vietnamese Canadian composer Phong Tran (he/him). Both composers’ work addresses the intersection of composer-performer roles, race, gender and sexuality. Most recently, Lancaster was a finalist in National Sawdust’s Hildegard Competition for emerging female, trans and nonbinary composers; while Tran’s performance group, MEDIAQUEER, received So Percussion’s 2019/2020 Studio Residency.
This presentation would be representative of the emerging research that should fill the gaps in Grove Music Online’s gender and sexuality content described in the call for proposals. Both pieces address inherent colonial and class implications within stylistic genre and music education, along with the programming issues relating to the composers’ gender, sexuality and racial backgrounds, and therefor represent the described new methods, formats, categories, etc, contributing to a more equitable Grove Music Online.
Queering the Categories: Recording Queer Culture & Popular Music
The intersection of music and queer studies is a thriving field, with numerous new publications and research papers coming to light. We see an increasing gap regarding the visibility of queer studies and culture in encyclopedias and repositories such as Grove Music Online, which often serves as the first point of contact to numerous students as well as music and interdisciplinary scholars across the globe. My paper focuses on questioning traditional categorization of music and the need for academic contributions to build a queer archive directed towards the intellectual recording of queer culture, identity and music. I draw upon the research of Jack Halberstam to demonstrate the need for well-informed records of queerness, especially in the field of popular music where queerness is the most prevalent. This paper delves into the need for large repositories and encyclopedias to interpret and circulate the multifaceted aspects of queerness in relation to music. Lastly, in order to fully engage in queer culture and popular music, I posit that online encyclopedias are in the best position to embrace music as more than just an auditory experience. To that end, I also propose the introduction of an analytical visual component to the Grove Music Online categories as posters, music videos and their related themes have become a crucial part of popular music and queer culture. Ultimately, this paper seeks to question the traditional categories of music encyclopedias and to introduce a refreshed and equitable way to categorize queer culture and popular music.
In the Shadows After the Premiere: A Composer's Perspective
As a composer, I have been incredibly drawn to working with women-identified stories in my work. In my operas in particular, I have developed works around historical figures like Helen Creighton (Aunt Helen); Emily Post, Dorothy Parker, and Nancy Astor (Etiquette); and then worked in other operas with themes around facing the everyday conflicts women-identified individuals face (December, April, Cake, Persephone). I am drawn to working with these types of stories and I am continually fascinated with their intricacies.
It may or may not surprise one to learn that the operas that have been commissioned from me have been exclusively by women-led opera companies. The relationships I have formed as a composer with my commissioners have been deep, and many have led to long, significant friendships because of the way that music projects connect us in ways that leave a lasting impression. Using my experiences with Essential Opera (Etiquette, December), Bicycle Opera Project (Cake, April), and LooseTea Theatre (Singing Only Softly, as librettist), I will give my perspective on the commissioning and development of my operas, focusing on how significant the relationship-building between the decision-makers has been for the process. I will then pose the important question of: what happens after the premiere?
After the project is funded, after the performance run concludes: how do these works live on and have a chance to become part of a living repertory? What kind of benchmarks does a work have to have to be included in print/digital reference materials, or in a syllabus? And who decides? Where are the gaps in the process that can lead to new works falling through the cracks? And what is the composer’s role in this mysterious process?
University of Toronto
Exploring the Potential of Grove Music Online (GMO) and Other Reference Works for Equity and Inclusion, through the Lens of Border Decolonial Thinking in Music Education
Post-, anti-, and neo- approaches continue to interrogate inequity and exclusion discourses and practices in arts and education scholarship institutions and media. As long as they theorize them in abstract terms (Patel 2010) or fail to reveal structural foundations and political agendas behind these phenomena, they perpetuate inequity and exclusion in the representation of marginalized and underrepresented individuals and groups. Accordingly, decolonial thinking is in peril of becoming a metaphor behind a move of innocence (Tuck & Yang 2012).
I co-edited a special journal issue on the decolonization of music education from a Latin American geocultural position (Shifres and Rosabal-Coto 2017) and edited a similar contribution (Rosabal-Coto 2019) from a border North-South border perspective, which featured three languages. They address the structural roots and alternatives to colonization in music theory and notation, music studies, music research, and pedagogical practices in music. Decolonial thinking from a border perspective envisions, proposes, and allows for material and structural, historical transformations of the modern/colonial, capitalist/patriarchal, Christian/Western-centric world system.
This paper intends to contribute to the summit by: a) discussing what equity and inclusion could mean from a border, decolonial music education perspective, to GMO’s revision of methods, formats, categories, structures, and organizing principles (Grove Music Online 2017), and b) proposing the inclusion of some decolonial concepts (p.e. decoloniality, epistemologies of the South), and the adoption of specific practices of decoloniality (e.g., epistemic disobedience), that could align with GMO’s objective to mobilize new practices, policies, and content to support equity in a global sense.
University of Ottawa
The Case of Marianne Oswald and the French Song or How to Question our Relationship to the Canonization of Knowledge
Grove Music Online is an encyclopaedic tool where knowledge converges with the pedagogical and mnemonic aims of the field of musicology. Thus, by its form, its methods of categorization, its organization and its intentions, GMO reflects both the past and present paradigms of this field of study, while at the same time representing what is understood and recognized as being of interest to its members. This said, addressing issues of social marginalization, especially as it relates to sexual and cultural minorities within mainstream culture, could increase both its readership and its potential for diversified contributions. Perhaps most critically, such an inclusion could transform the methodological and ideological instincts of musicologists. My work on women's contributions to the French song of the inter-war period highlights the scholarly negligence towards the place of women in the development of popular stylistic currents and their engagement with the social movements of their time. I therefore propose to consider what it means to value and substantially integrate the contributions of sexual and cultural minorities, who have been for the most part forgotten, within our disciplinary history and cultural memory. Through the case of singer Marianne Oswald, I will reflect on the environments in which women have predominantly worked, such as performance and pedagogy, as well as the invisible and overlooked roles they perform within creative processes. With this reflection, I will contribute to the broader discussion surrounding the conceptualization of GMO as a self-critical pedagogical and referential tool.
Anneli Loepp Thiessen
University of Ottawa
In April 1994, Laurie Klein’s hit song “I Love You Lord” ranked #1 on Christian Copyright Licensing International’s (CCLI) list of their top 25 most accessed songs. Since then, contemporary worship music has developed significantly: becoming more theologically diverse, musically finessed, and ecumenically sung. And yet, April 1994 was the last time a woman was represented in the #1 position of the CCLI top 25. As the genre has expanded, women have struggled to hold not only the #1 spot, but also any spot on the top 25 list. Why is it that women have not been well represented on the CCLI top 25 lists? What has led to this significant imbalance?
Scholars including Swee Hong Lim, Lester Ruth, and Monique Ingalls have studied the genre’s history, theology, and practice, but none have considered gender representation within the songwriting community. Despite writing powerful, accessible music, industry standards and methods of exposure limit the way that music by women is sung. Drawing on the results of a data-driven study of the CCLI top 25 lists between 1989 and 2019, this study shows that women are vastly underrepresented, and collaborations between men dominate the charts. As a result, there is a significant gap in resourcing around women writing contemporary worship music, an issue Grove’s proposed revisions should address. Grove’s articles on contemporary Christian music and related subjects should intentionally represent work being done by women. By making information on their work readily available, women songwriters can begin to get the recognition they deserve.
North Carolina State University
Groves and Inclusivity or How Groves Can Make Musicology Better
The content and methodologies used in Groves entries have both reflected and shaped the discipline of musicology. In this paper, I argue that Grove Online could model a methodological approach that values excluded communities and marginalized perspectives by creating a web of linked entries that, read together, mimics the networks that produce music. As an example and proof of concept, I consider the entry for Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Currently, his wife, Constanza is framed primarily as part of his private life. In truth, Constanza was a fine singer and part of a prominent family whose members, especially her sister Aloysia Lange, were Mozart’s collaborators and important figures in Viennese musical life. I propose that Mozart’s article could be revised to present Constanza as an integral part of her husband’s career, with embedded hyperlinks to expanded (and some new) entries on Constanza, Lange, and others who were important in late-eighteenth-century Viennese society such as composer Marianne Martínez or pianist Magdalena von Kurzbeck. These linked articles would introduce Vienna as a cultural field with active women participants. Within this context, Mozart becomes an important figure, but not a solitary “great man.” Taking a wholistic approach that envisions entries read separately and in conversation provides an intellectual framework to guide choices on new entries and revisions of existing articles. This concept puts our ideals of scholarly inclusivity into practice in a way that reflects the lived experiences of our subjects and embeds diversity as an underlying concern in all editorial decisions.
Marian Wilson Kimber
University of Iowa
Beyond Masculine Paradigms: American Women’s Musical Worlds
The increasing coverage of women in Grove encyclopedias has been an important step toward remedying their historic underrepresentation in reference sources. This paper explores the ways that the construction of knowledge embodied in musicological scholarship, including dominance of the European canon and intellectual paradigms based on men, have been problematic for a full understanding of American women’s activities. Romantic notions of individual genius overshadow musical networks, such as the women’s clubs that were ubiquitous across the United States after the late nineteenth century. Composers who made careers primarily within women’s organizations (such as Phyllis Fergus or Gena Branscombe) remain peripheral to a male-dominated historical narrative. Male venues and programming have shaped the very definition of the “concert,” whereas countless women’s events featured compositions from across an art music–popular music divide, including those by female composers and Americans, often interspersed with spoken word or other nonmusic performances. Disciplinary boundaries have impeded consideration of musical accompaniments for nonmusical activities in public performances, for example elocution, Delsarte posing, or physical culture drills. Genres composed by or for women likewise lack visibility, such as female composers’ “musical readings,” or American operettas scored for women’s voices. Women composers whose music was perceived as middlebrow receive far less coverage then those whose output included large genres associated with men, even if the former were widely known (for example, Carrie Jacobs-Bond vs. Amy Beach). For future scholarship to fully integrate women, paradigms based on masculine models must be abandoned for broader conceptions of American musical life.