Music Academia

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Thought we should start a new thread for this discussion, as it is branching away from the topic of music theory.

EveningStar (Sund4r), Sunday, 30 March 2014 21:04 (seven years ago) link

(xp!)
Don't know what academic discussion you might be referring to, s. clover. You should realize that a good part of academic music studies- Sund4r can correct me if I am wrong- consists of professional programs offering Bachelors or Masters degrees in performance and education. Of course as part of this they teach composition and give instrumental instruction. The purpose of this is to give the students the skills -and accreditation - to enable them to hopefully make a living as player/teachers, so these institutions are not necessarily doing academic research as the word theory might lead you to believe. The theory as such is supposed to aid the awareness of students as composers and improvisers of what notes and chords are available to them at any given point. I haven't read any guitar mags in a bit, but in between the gear articles and the player interviews they always have transcriptions of tunes and, more to the point, regular columns where somebody explains that if you want to play in a certain style these are typical chord progressions and typical things you might play, with a little theoretical gloss thrown in. For instance, Bass Player magazine might have an article entitle "Funk 101: Dorian Octaves." This kind of thing is a bite-sized version of what you might get in one of those programs. Actually one of the authors of a long running popular and useful column in Bass Player was (don't know if he still does it) none other than everybody's favorite Daft Punk bassist, Nathan East.

― Bristol Stomper's Breakout (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, March 30, 2014 2:16 PM (1 hour ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

well if you look at english departments, their main (or at least one main) social role is really to produce people capable of teaching undergrad level reading and composition, but also by dint of being part of the "academic world" one also produces analyses of rhetoric in milton or what have you, and one can argue that this is a good or a bad thing or was a good thing but now is in some ways a bad thing (by obscuring the labor function of academia as a way to explain away low salaries 'for the love of the discipline' or etc), but in any case, is this somewhat the situation in music/musicology depts?

― wat is teh waht (s.clover), Sunday, March 30, 2014 2:46 PM (1 hour ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

Yes, but the majority of the guys I'm talking about don't have to publish anything like the equivalent of Milton Studies you mention. They are part of the professional side of academia, not the research side, and don't have to go through the same hurdles: orals, writtens, postdoc, maybe another postdoc, tenure track, etc, they just have to come out of a program like the one they end up teaching in, more or less.

― Bristol Stomper's Breakout (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, March 30, 2014 2:55 PM (1 hour ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

That's only true of instrumental teachers (who are generally contract instructors), surely? Neither University of Ottawa nor University of Toronto will even consider someone for a sessional (adjunct) teaching position in composition, music theory, or musicology if he or she does not have a PhD in hand.

― EveningStar (Sund4r), Sunday, March 30, 2014 3:35 PM (27 minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

(I'll have a lot more to say later on. This is a big question, far bigger than a 'Rolling Music Theory' thread can support if we're going to really get into it.)

― EveningStar (Sund4r), Sunday, March 30, 2014 3:37 PM (26 minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

Interesting. From what I know in NYC a PhD is not required to teach at the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College, nor at the Columbia University Department of Music, The New School, or the Manhattan School of Music. A music professor with a PhD, such as Chris Washburne, is the exception not the rule.

― Bristol Stomper's Breakout (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, March 30, 2014 3:51 PM (11 minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

EveningStar (Sund4r), Sunday, 30 March 2014 21:04 (seven years ago) link

Well, many Canadian schools wouldn't necessarily require a PhD for sessional positions (although the level of competition might make it a de facto requirement), and Canadian schools are notoriously more hardcore about wanting a PhD, but I really doubt that Columbia has hired anyone for a full-time academic position in the last five years unless they had either a PhD or extensive professional experience. "[T]hey just have to come out of a program like the one they end up teaching things" is a real misrepresentation imo.

EveningStar (Sund4r), Sunday, 30 March 2014 21:08 (seven years ago) link

Their hire in music theory from last year has both: http://music.columbia.edu/people/bios/mkozak

EveningStar (Sund4r), Sunday, 30 March 2014 21:21 (seven years ago) link

Yeah, most of these guys have extensive professional experience. I'm not saying the masters by itself is enough, but for most it is enough on the education front. Then of course there are guys who don't have much in the way of degrees at all but their vast experience outweighs that. At Queens College, in addition to his time spent hanging out with Bird and Miles,the much missed Howard Brofsky had a PhD in 18th Century Italian Music, hence his nickname "Dr. Bebop" but the first guy he hired, Jimmy Heath, didn't have much in the way of formal education within academia, and on top of that had a prison record- but what a resume and what a family! (Xp)

Bristol Stomper's Breakout (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 30 March 2014 21:39 (seven years ago) link

There were six straight-up tenure-track composition (as opposed to theory/composition etc) jobs available in the world last year afaik. I don't know if I want to keep linking bios and CVs but I can assure you that everyone who got one of those jobs lists a PhD from a top-tier institution, a number of major awards, several residencies, high-profile premieres, and usually significant performance experience as well.

xpost

EveningStar (Sund4r), Sunday, 30 March 2014 21:40 (seven years ago) link

I'm not saying the masters by itself is enough, but for most it is enough on the education front.

Change the tense of the last verb to "was" and we might agree.

EveningStar (Sund4r), Sunday, 30 March 2014 21:41 (seven years ago) link

everyone who got one of those jobs

(You could check the Yale and Smith faculty pages to see examples.)

EveningStar (Sund4r), Sunday, 30 March 2014 21:45 (seven years ago) link

I think it might be different in Canada than here, I dunno. I can't find a place where there are statistics on the breakdown at any of these schools. I'd have to ask somebody. But anecdotally I'd say that it is much less of a must to have a PhD in these places. It is much more important to have the experience. If you want to, click through those faculty bios and see how many you can find.
(Xp)

Bristol Stomper's Breakout (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 30 March 2014 21:49 (seven years ago) link

OK, now I see. You are talking about tenure track positions. I am talking about all the other positions. I tried to make the distinction earlier between *real* academia and the *professional* side but I guess I failed to mask that clear. This was in the context of the theory discussion on the other thread. A lot of theory is created and taught at Berklee, a place that doesn't give PhDs, if you want a PhD in that neck of the woods you need to go to the NEC.

Bristol Stomper's Breakout (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 30 March 2014 21:55 (seven years ago) link

A lot of theory is created and taught at Berklee

Only jazz/pop theory, right? Which is still a fairly small part of the academic music theory world? (Even the kind of pop music analysis that you find in MTO doesn't owe much to Berklee.)

EveningStar (Sund4r), Sunday, 30 March 2014 21:59 (seven years ago) link

I thought s. clover was originally talking about the sorts of theorists who are published in MTO. These people are generally totally on the research side of academia (although the music world tends to be cruel in still expecting a high level of practical proficiency.)

EveningStar (Sund4r), Sunday, 30 March 2014 22:02 (seven years ago) link

Yes. That is what I am talking about that is my corner of the universe. Haven't taken the plunge into classical (plus what else?) theory yet.

Bristol Stomper's Breakout (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 30 March 2014 22:03 (seven years ago) link

(That was an xpost)
You're right, he probably was. Like we agreed to before, there are different types of theory, sorry if misread his post and mistook one for the other.

Bristol Stomper's Breakout (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 30 March 2014 22:05 (seven years ago) link

i know so little about all sides of the "music establishment" i may not have known enough to distinguish in the first place!

wat is teh waht (s.clover), Sunday, 30 March 2014 22:17 (seven years ago) link

Ha, so this whole misunderstanding had a purpose after all.

Bristol Stomper's Breakout (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 30 March 2014 22:18 (seven years ago) link

Preliminary result of straw poll is that PhDs are less necessary in the places I am talking about because they are jazz centric. Will have to wait for more certain result.

Bristol Stomper's Breakout (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 30 March 2014 22:23 (seven years ago) link

I always thought of Berklee as a specialized training college for people who are seeking employment in the mainstream/commercial music industry, with a deliberate emphasis on the practical over the academic. It is not at all typical of academic music programs in the US. They actually pride themselves on this: http://www.berklee.edu/about/about-berklee .

EveningStar (Sund4r), Sunday, 30 March 2014 23:09 (seven years ago) link

OK, now I see that you are right. Columbia is as you said. And the Aaron Copland school is part of Queens College, but the CUNY graduate center is where they do the doctorate programs, and those guys, like Peter Manuel and David Del Tredici, presumably all have PhDs.

Bristol Stomper's Breakout (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 30 March 2014 23:45 (seven years ago) link

New School doesn't award doctorates. Manhattan School of Music does. Wonder how that works.

Bristol Stomper's Breakout (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 31 March 2014 00:22 (seven years ago) link

Oh yeah, the theorists at the CUNY Graduate Center are all hardcore academics with PhDs from Ivies.

EveningStar (Sund4r), Monday, 31 March 2014 00:29 (seven years ago) link

Check out some of their publication records.

EveningStar (Sund4r), Monday, 31 March 2014 00:30 (seven years ago) link

Just looked at Peter Manuel's a little while ago since I recently bought one of his books.

Bristol Stomper's Breakout (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 31 March 2014 00:33 (seven years ago) link

He got his advanced degrees at the UCLA Herp AlbertHerb Alpert School of Music Department of Ethnomusicology. Is that a good place?

Bristol Stomper's Breakout (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 31 March 2014 00:41 (seven years ago) link

I was referring to the people in the theory/analysis department at CUNY as opposed to the musicologists but, yes, UCLA's musicology and ethno departments are legendary.

EveningStar (Sund4r), Monday, 31 March 2014 01:43 (seven years ago) link

What about sociologists writing about music? How do they fit in? I recently read an excellent book called Creating Country Music: Fabricating Authenticity by Richard A. "Pete" Peterson who was a professor at Vanderbilt University. I would be willing to read more in a similar vein if I knew what there was.

Bristol Stomper's Breakout (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 31 March 2014 01:57 (seven years ago) link

I'm not sure what you mean by "fit in"?

EveningStar (Sund4r), Monday, 31 March 2014 14:36 (seven years ago) link

apologies for the hugeness of the jpg; this is part of the Black Music Division's offerings, from a (mid/late 70s, I'm guessing) Bennington College course catalog. The division itself lasted from 1974 to around 1985 when it was merged with the "regular" music division. It was started/chaired by Bill Dixon, and the faculty included, at various times, George Barrow, Arthur Brooks, Jimmy Garrison, Milford Graves, Jimmy Lyons, and others.
http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lz56rcdLDg1qjhejro1_1280.jpg

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Monday, 31 March 2014 15:11 (seven years ago) link

I'm not sure what you mean by "fit in"?

Do they interact with the musicologists at all or looked askance at as mere sociologists?

Bristol Stomper's Breakout (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 31 March 2014 16:28 (seven years ago) link

Oh, there is definitely interaction, especially when it comes to popular music studies and ethnomusicology. The former field was arguably pioneered by sociologists. Anthropologists have always played a role in the latter. This guy headed the music and sociology departments (at different times) at my alma mater: http://carleton.ca/music/people/shepherd-john-2/ . (I read a Peterson article in his 1st year class, actually.)

EveningStar (Sund4r), Monday, 31 March 2014 20:19 (seven years ago) link

Thanks. One more thing: Doctor of Musical Arts is a less research oriented degree, no?

Teenage Idol With the Golden Head (James Redd and the Blecchs), Tuesday, 1 April 2014 10:29 (seven years ago) link

My understanding is that a DMA requires a strong applied component. So yes, I think. But, honestly, it is not a degree that was offered at any place where I have studied (unless maybe there were performers taking it?).

EveningStar (Sund4r), Wednesday, 2 April 2014 01:44 (seven years ago) link

Places I am aware of that award it, NEC, MSM, North Texas (since 2011)

Teenage Idol With the Golden Head (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 2 April 2014 02:02 (seven years ago) link

Posted too early. All these places big on jazz performance and education, none research universities.

Teenage Idol With the Golden Head (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 2 April 2014 02:03 (seven years ago) link

UNT is a well-respected place for composition (especially) and theory.

EveningStar (Sund4r), Wednesday, 2 April 2014 02:10 (seven years ago) link

Right but could somebody who came out of there with the newly minted DMA compete for one of the six jobs you mentioned?

Teenage Idol With the Golden Head (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 2 April 2014 02:12 (seven years ago) link

Actually, the composer they hired (they were one of the six) has a DMus from Northwestern!

EveningStar (Sund4r), Wednesday, 2 April 2014 02:14 (seven years ago) link

So I'll slightly edit my earlier to post to "... has a doctorate from a top-tier institution...)

EveningStar (Sund4r), Wednesday, 2 April 2014 02:14 (seven years ago) link

"

EveningStar (Sund4r), Wednesday, 2 April 2014 02:15 (seven years ago) link

Which composer? Columbia hiree has PhD from Chicago, one step off in both dimensions.

Teenage Idol With the Golden Head (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 2 April 2014 02:38 (seven years ago) link

http://www.kirstenbroberg.com/bio.html

"Six positions in the world" referred to the number of TT composition-only positions. There were roughly 30ish f/t theory/composition positions, probably 40-50ish teaching-oriented theory or theory/musicianship positions. (Research-oriented theory-only positions would be another category and one that is totally inaccessible to me.)

Composition is a little weird: most of the composition-related uni positions are theory/composition or technology/composition so you generally want to be strong academically in at least one of those areas. However, to get a straight-up composition-only position, your musical accomplishments as a composer seem to be what really matter.

EveningStar (Sund4r), Wednesday, 2 April 2014 03:19 (seven years ago) link

Have an NEC graduate in front of me. Will ask him about what he knows about that program when I get a chance.

Tompall Tudor (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 4 April 2014 02:04 (seven years ago) link

"I don't know. I'm on the performance side."

Tompall Tudor (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 4 April 2014 13:50 (seven years ago) link

I definitely went through the "meandering through the notes" business when I took jazz improv in college. What I was unable to get to was the point of real thematic construction and elaboration.

timellison, Friday, 4 April 2014 18:13 (seven years ago) link

Sorry, wrong thread...

timellison, Friday, 4 April 2014 18:14 (seven years ago) link

two weeks pass...

Reading a great book by

One of those UCLA graduates. Will report back later.

In the meantime you can read this article by the late Katherine J. Hagedorn: http://www.hds.harvard.edu/news-events/harvard-divinity-bulletin/articles/toward-a-theology-of-sound

two weeks pass...

Just realized that a friend of mine recently took a counterpoint class with David Del Tredici.

Bo Diddley Is A Threadkiller (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 10 May 2014 13:32 (seven years ago) link

Now I remember a while back he was talking about David Del Tredici and someone else, a composer with some mental issues, maybe a twin with some other issues, related to someone else well-known. Must...relax and...let the subconscious mind retrieve the name..or try google. Ah, yes, Allen Shawn.

Bo Diddley Is A Threadkiller (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 10 May 2014 13:40 (seven years ago) link

two months pass...

Just was at the MSM website and one of the pictures on the front page was an award-winning student whose name suggested she was a distant cousin of yours.

Don't Want To Know If Only You Were Lonely (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 11 July 2014 06:48 (seven years ago) link

Ha, try Googling my last name to see how many 'distant cousins' I have.:P

EveningStar (Sund4r), Friday, 11 July 2014 13:49 (seven years ago) link

'Swat I figured

Don't Want To Know If Only You Were Lonely (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 11 July 2014 16:39 (seven years ago) link

six years pass...

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