Popular Music Lecture Series Returning for the Fall Semester!

The Green Library Listening Closely: Music Lecture Series. is returning for the fall 2017 semester!

Wednesday, August 30, 1pm, Tom Moore, FIU, "Brazilian Popular Music: Samba to Hip-Hop," GL 220

Brazil, the largest country in Latin America, stands out from the rest of the continent through its heritage of the Portuguese language, and the importance of the African diaspora to its culture, and especially its music. This lecture will take a whirlwind tour through the Brazilian popular music of the twentieth century, presenting genres including choro (popular instrumental music), samba, bossa nova, MPB, rap and funk.

Thursday, October 19th, 3pm, Michael O'Connor, "Thomas Coates: Father of Band Music in America," GL220

In February 1862, the 47th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry disembarked at Key West, Florida. Included in the regiment was a fine brass band, led by Thomas Coates. Musicians in Key West likely knew his name, since Coates was one of the most highly regarded composers of brass band music his day. Yet, while his contemporaries such as Claudio Grafulla and Patrick Gilmore are remembered today, Coates’s name has slipped into obscurity. Astonishingly, his monument in Easton, PA bears the inscription, "Father of Band Music in America."  How did this so-called father of band music slip into such obscurity? Thomas Coates was a key figure in the establishment of the modern wind brass-and-reed wind band in the U.S., and he was a musical innovator who pushed the established conventions of form and harmony of the idiom. This lecture seeks to “re-place” Coates in the historical narrative of nineteenth-century wind-band music and discuss the challenges of realizing his music in our time.

Thursday, October 26th, 3pm, Lansing McLoskey, "Composer McLoskey Presents His 'Zealot Canticles', GL220

The proverbial "Three B's" for Lansing McLoskey were not Bach, Beethoven and Brahms, but rather The Beatles, Bauhaus, and Black Flag. His first experiences at writing music were not exercises in counterpoint, but as the guitarist/songwriter for punk bands in the 1980s. It was during these years in punk-rock that he first developed a love for classical music (but that's another story). McLoskey spent 20+ years as an early music singer/conductor, and has a special interest in composing for voice. He has written for some of the preeminent vocal ensembles in the world, including The Crossing, The Hilliard Ensemble, Cincinnati Vocal Arts, ensemberlino vocale (Berlin), Liber unUsualis, Tapestry, and Boston Secession. His music has been performed in eighteen countries on six continents, and has won more than two dozen awards, including two from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Thursday, November 16th, 3pm, "Jerome Count, his Shaker Village Work Camp, and the Rediscovery of Shaker Music," Will Moore

Professor William Moore of Boston University will examine the rediscovery of Shaker music and dance traditions during the years of the folk music revival. He will indicate that the activities of Jerome Count, a left-leaning educational reform and former union spokesperson, were central to the current widespread appropriation of the melodies of this regional, celibate, communitarian Protestant sect. At his seasonal progressive educational institution, held annually during the summers between 1947 and 1968 in Columbia County, New York, Count brought together enthusiastic teenagers, folklorists, and skilled composers and choral directors. Together, these constituencies created influential public performances, significant published choral arrangements, widely distributed songbooks, nationally distributed television broadcasts, and the first audio recordings of Shaker songs.

Thursday, November 30th, 3pm, "Extending Cage's Legacy," Rob Haskins

In his trenchant survey of American music scholarship through the early 1980s, Joseph Kerman observed that “Cage is an extremely slippery figure to wrestle with, because if you are profoundly serious about art, . . . there are not too many ways of dealing with someone who is profoundly unserious about it.” Cage loved to disorient his interlocutors—to destabilize any single-minded view of him they might propose—but was so good at it that most people failed to recognize the serious intent behind such efforts. Since the late 1980s, many scholars have wrestled with his ideas with varying results. Professor Rob Haskins of the University of New Hampshire offers a provisional assessment of Cage’s achievement, including both unjustified and justified criticism of that achievement by other scholars.

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