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Volume 42

We often teach musical notation to beginners as if they were "blank slates," introducing them to the symbols and rules of notation without considering any preconceptions they might have about how to read music. Yet, one might assume that beginners (particularly adults) may arrive at their first music lessons with…
Steven Cornelius, David Harnish, Mary Natvig, Jason Dooley, Melissa Jungers   Introduction (Cornelius, Harnish) The traditional classroom setting offers any number of organizational benefits. By successfully managing that environment, teachers control subject matter and pace of learning. Students, too, are comfortable with the familiar. They understand what is expected and…
Lecture delivered at the annual meeting of The College Music Society, November 17, 2001, in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Introduction It is a great honor to be standing before you to deliver the annual Robert M. Trotter Lecture. It is also rather daunting, given the eminence of the previous lecturers…
I Claude Debussy's twenty-four Préludes are among the composer's last and best-known works for piano. They were composed and published in two books of twelve; Book 1 was published in 1910 and Book 2 in 1913. These preludes are well known for the unique way in which they are titled.…
John Harbison's Mirabai Songs are musical settings of six poems by an Indian princess, Mirabai Rathor, who lived during the first half of the sixteenth century.1 Written in 1982, the songs were originally conceived for soprano and piano, and later reworked in a version for soprano and chamber orchestra.2 Given…
The organist-composer Jeanne Demessieux (1921-68) is best remembered as a virtuoso performer in the French symphonic tradition, and the composer of major organ works that are unusually demanding, both technically and intellectually.1 Yet, Demessieux is also virtually the only composer to have published a set of short and technically easy…
During my many years of study of organ and piano, I became accustomed to the patterns of learning typical of the Western classical music world. I accepted the idea of a canon of great works, of the individualistic, inspired composers who created them, the absolute authority of scores and notation,…
Introduction Although making music and making war may seem incompatible, the two endeavors have been inextricably linked throughout recorded history. There is, perhaps, no better example of this powerful pairing than the American Civil War, often called America's "great musical war" or "the great singing war."1 This well-deserved reputation acknowledges…
Introduction A few years ago, Pamela L. Poulin, College Music Society Executive Board Member for Music Theory and Chair of the Music Theory Advisory Committee, asked me, as a member of the Committee, to conduct a survey of undergraduate music theory curricula. With input from members of the Committee, an…
In most colleges and universities, composition instruction takes place in a manner similar to that of a private instrumental lesson: the student meets with a teacher for an hour, and he or she spends the next week working on what emerged in that lesson. While this model is entirely appropriate…