The Music History and Theory Study Group Present:
University of Chicago
Miniature Magic: The Untold Story of the Encore
Wednesday, April 5, 2017
4:30 – 6 PM
Dear Music History and Theory Study Group,
Thank you for taking the time to read my work! This is the first chapter from my dissertation, which examines words of magic in music discourse since around 1900. I welcome feedback of any sort, of course, but most of all I’d like help with the big, undertheorized ideas that I’m continuing to refine in my other chapters, for example: what music’s lexicon of magic has to do with (1) modernity (not just as an epoch but as an idea, ideal, and ideology that continues to hold sway over us), (2) feeling, (3) public intimacy and scenes of collectivity, (4) middle-classness, and (5) taste/evaluation/criticism and critique. I’m also interested to know what you think about the tone of the piece and if there’s anything that might turn off musicologists on a search committee.
The chapter may seem long at first glance, but there are a ton of huge footnotes (they can be a distraction, I know, but they’re often necessary). If you must skim or skip a section, I recommend “The Point of Magic” (pp. 6–14), though it does contain important information. “My Gift to You,” “The Sounds of Home,” and “The Pianissimo” are theoretically indispensible, and the remaining sections flesh out the theory. Try to read the whole thing if you can.
Thanks again for your time!
Special thanks to Andrew Malilay White for serving as respondent
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