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Avior Byron will present a paper on Bronislaw Huberman in the 2010 'The Embodiment of Authority' Conference at Helsinki, Finland.   

 

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My name is Avior Byron and I am a musicologist, blogger and composer. I write books, articles and a blog about music, performance, research, and theory. Read more at my about page

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Bronislaw Huberman in Cape Town: as if they themselves had taken part in a creation

The Cape Argus, 2 May 1940 wrote about a concert in Cape Town, South Africa. The review mentioned that many famous violinist visited the town, yet ‘few, if any, of these distinguished men have left behind them such a vivid sense of nobility and power as last night’s audience at the City Hall carried away at the conclusion of the Huberman recital. It was as if they themselves had taken part in a work of creation, so deep was the sense of fulfillment left by the music.’

            The reviewer wrote that when Huberman played the Cesar Frank sonata there was ‘a sense of religious awe and wonder in the music which was built up. Note by note, phrase by phrase, into a cathedral of intellectual sound.’ He continued that ‘Huberman’s profound and creative understanding of this deeply religious composer was one of the most moving episodes in the whole evening.’ Szymanowski’s ‘La Fontaine d’Arethuse’ ‘calls for infinitely subtle gradations of feeling and phrase, the culminating effect of which is one of mysterious beauty withdrawn from this world. Huberman played it magnificently’.

Huberman Communicating with Bach: reviews from Australia

H. Brewster Jones of The Advertiser, Adelaide, Australia wrote on 4 August 1937: ‘Huberman seemed detached, aloof, in his playing of the Bach ‘Chaconne’. His beauty of tone and phrasing was something to revere at a distance rather then enter into. It had a classical purity and spiritual exaltation. It was as if Huberman was communicating with, in intimate fashion, the very innermost thoughts and feelings of the great composer, Bach; without making any concession whatsoever to what might be termed popular appeal.’ 

The Daily News from Perth, Australia wrote on 12 August 1937 an article on Huberman. They dedicated almost half of it to a concert incident were he had to stop the concert due to noise of motor cars that came from the street. He complained that there was only one set of doors that separated the concert hall from the street. A subtitle in the article was entitled: ‘Beware of the Gods’. At this part Huberman told the reporter about a similar incident in Kursaal Theater in Cairo. He claimed that although the Egyptian Government tried to take care of the problem, the theater was burned down. "So beware of the wrath of the Gods of music!" said Huberman to the reporter. Perhaps Huberman was half joking. Nevertheless, his demand for silence during performance (including his complementing the audience for not coughing during the concert) and his reference to ‘the Gods of music’ is telling.
 
Howard Ashton of The Sunday Sun and Guardian Magazine (Australia) wrote on 4 July 1937 that Huberman said that ‘Art… is the philosophy of the soul.’ To make music like Beethoven, Huberman argued, it is not sufficient to have talent; ‘A man must devote himself, must sacrifice himself. To be a musician one must be a prophet.’ He suggested that ‘great music’ lasted from Bach to Brahms’ and that ‘An age which is suspicious of emotion and romance and sacrifice is not an age fertile in great art. Plenty of clever art, but little great. But I think that there are signs that the people are beginning to get tired of it, and wish to go back to something that springs more from the heart and soul.’ Then Huberman reveals to which target he pointed his arrows: ‘Machine made art can never really satisfy.’
            Ashton wrote that Huberman approaches music ‘as Gerardi once told me he approached the Haydn ‘Cello Concerto, "with fasting and prayer." His bow is a sward in the eternal crusade for that which is true and beautiful, his violin an instrument for voicing the thoughts and emotions of the great men who have created beauty for his expression. He dedicates his artistic powers to something more austere and more moving than dazzling effects and specious appeals to wonder and admiration.

Huberman in Scotland and Honolulu

Glasgow Times, on 13 January 1937 wrote the following review on a concert with Szell and the Scottish Orchestra, under the subtitle ‘Human Outlook’: ‘Beethoven’s violin concerto is a great human work, and there is no living violinist with a more human outlook than Huberman … everything combined to provide us with a rare experience in our musical life.’

On 31 May 1937 an news paper in Honolulu Reviewed a concert with Huberman and the pianist Jakob Gimpel: ‘the listener was … deeply stirred by the silken quality of his bowing which was fraught with ineffable charm and literally breathed a spirit of serene meditation… Huberman … satisfies thje poetic carving of his listeners and leaves them serene and satisfied, and conscious of a sublime musical experience.’  
 
The Boston Evening Transcript wrote on 25 March 1937: ‘Schnabel and Huberman portrayed …[Beethoven] in his superb masculinity, a masculinity, by the way, which at will can manifest the tenderness of a woman.’

Reviews of Huberman by Neville Cardus, part II: technique and spirit

Reviews of Huberman by Neville Cardus, part II: technique and spirit

 
Huberman’s technique was an issue that was discussed in various newspaper reviews, and letters from listeners. In the follwing review for The Manchester Guardian, dated 13 December 1933, Neville Cardus discussed this issue in his normal poetic manner, and suggested that Huberman’s technique points to metaphysical issues.
 
Cardus talked about Menuhin’s ‘perfect’ technique, who was only seventeen years old and performed in England during those days, and claimed that if his ‘playing remains for ever sensuously satisfying, flawless in line and tone, he will remain outside the secret places of the imagination.’ The critic reported that a remark was made in the audience that Huberman’s tone was not as consistent as that of Menuhin. Cardus argued that there is not only a difference of age between the two violinists, but also a psychological difference: ‘Huberman is a searcher, a chaser if ideals’. He suggested that if Huberman would be given Menuhin’s technique, he would find it ‘a prison for his spirit.’ Cardus told his readers that several years ago Huberman reached the peak of his technique, and at that very moment he stopped playing for a year, and went to study philosophy during that pause period, at the Sorbonne. Cardus suggested that Huberman is neither a slave of ‘beautiful sounds’ nor ‘the allurements of the fiddle’. Just like Max Brod, Cardus compares Huberman to Beethoven. He suggested that their similar great quality is in ‘penetrating and penetrating’ beyond the mere beautiful sound. He hinted to Moses when he wrote that Huberman ’strikes music out of his instrument as though with the rod on the rock.’
           
Cardus argued that if Huberman can do an ‘exquisite’ violin sound in one place, surly his ‘hard’ sounds are not an outcome of technical flaw. This ‘hard’ sound, so he claimed, is connected to the idea of music. Cardus regretted that in England, music is regarded as something beautiful that is apart of life, while Huberman’s playing is a ‘criticism of life’.
 
Huberman’s performance of the slow movement of Beethoven’s violin concerto was describe by Cardus in the following: ‘Never before have I heard the figuration sound so unearthly, so spiritual in its mazeful transitions.’     

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Huberman and the Divine: letters from listeners

In the follwing post I explore some of the letters listeners wrote to Bronislaw Huberman. This is a continuation of the theme of the Divine that I wrote about with relation to a concert review by Max Brod and  a report by Edmondo De Amicis. These two posts and the following were written, more or less, as notes that I plan to use in a future article on this subject.

Eugenie Tulakova wrote to Huberman on 30.4.1929 (The Listner Speaks, p. 36 X A):
 
            Yesterday, listening to your sounds, the soul has trembled like a chord;
 
It has included everything: enthusiasm and suffering, and a wild wave of happiness. 
 
However, more than the sounds it was astonishing, that You, playing like a God, You, the exuberant genius, conqueror of nations, at whose feet the crowd is lying, richness and glory – You did not forget … of old little friends.
 
Here too, Huberman’s music signifies suffering and ‘wild’ emotions. The capital ‘Y’ in the word ‘You’ and the direct reference to God, clearly show a perceived relation of the violinist to the divine.
 
The following is a letter from Mrs R.B. dated 24 March 1932 (p. 56):
 
            Last evening for one blissful half hour I (an invalid) lay back on my pillows entranced, pain forgotten, everything forgotten but the one lovely picture which you were weaving with those unspeakable beautiful notes – a picture of the future of our weary world when the Divine promises are fulfilled and out Lord reigns, and all is harmony and beauty.
            I hope in the next world to be permitted to thank you adequately; I cannot find words here, but can only pour out my soul to God in hearty thanksgiving for such beaty as He has given us through you, and also in a prayer that He will reachly [sic.] bless you.
 
On 26 January 1933 she wrote to Huberman thanking his again for his concert from the Queen’s Hall. She wrote:
 
Music of that kind is beyond words, and converys Divine truths that can hardly be spoken, but if I may try to tell you how I read God’s message to me though you, it was this: - if God’s love gives us such beaty as that, then we can trust Him for all the rest, and need fear nothing, and we can face life with a good courage.
 
מה הוא כתב לה????
 
C. E. wrote to Huberman from Hague, 24 April 1932 (p. 58). He wrote that he enjoyed the ‘great Soul’, with a capital S, ‘who spoke straight to my heart.’ He described Huberman’s playing as ’sublime’. It is interesting that the writer of the letter confesses that he doubts ‘whether really was conscious of the gem he composed, but then he knew no Huberman to play it and show him what it contained.’ In other words, the performer may present something divine that the composer was not aware of while composing.
 
Neville Cardus, a noted music critic from Manchester wrote on 17 January 1936 to Huberman: ‘You purified me with your own suffering.’ (p. 77). I will elaborate on two concert reviews by Nevill Cardus in one of the following posts. The theme of suffering is discussed in my post on the review by Max Brod.
 
A letter from San Fransisco, California, dated 22 March 1936 contained a song from which the following lines were taken:
 
I listened in raptures as his every note
            Thrilled me like a song from a Nightingale’s throat.
It was Wonderful, Godlike, Exquisite, Grand;…
 
I do not wish to argue that all people have experienced music in general or Huberman’s concerts in particular, as a religious experience. Yet even some of the most restraint listeners could have been carried away by Huberman’s music, as is evident from the following letter. M. S., a noted music critic, writes on 28 Mach 1937 from Boston Mass. that he cannot find words to describe the spiritual quality of the experience of hearing Huberman and Schnabel play together in a concert. The critic confessed that he does not see himself as ‘a sentimentalist’, and he even regards with ‘a little skepticism or contempt … those who could partake of music as of a religious experience.’ (p. 89). Yet during the concert, only the intermission could help him re-gather his ‘forces so as to be able to listen to more.’ After listening to a piece by Mozart, it ‘finished’ him and he had to go out and miss the piece by Schubert. The writer of the letter admits listening to music as something ’self-sufficient … discoursing in its own language about matters entirely within itself.’ Nevertheless, in the Huberman-Schnabel concert, ‘perhaps for the first time, it began to take on a meaning outside itself and somehow more lofty.’      
 
A similar letter was written by a women living in Sydney, confessing on 3 July 1937 that her ‘friends have all called [her a] cold and heartless’ person. However, she realized ‘that "Only the Perfect is Real" and that "God is Perfection and Love", also that one must love the Highest when one "sees" it.’ She immediately confessed that she acknowledges ‘the final sense of liberation and ecstasy your music has inspired me with.’ (p. 90).  
 
L. R. from Camberwell, Victoria (Australia) wrote on 12 July 1937 that a radio broadcast of Huberman had awakened something in her. She confessed the following:
 
Have you gone to church often, because it made you strong and good? – You love kneeling before God and listening to the words of good counsel and kindliness. And then there comes a day when you realise, that you never really knew God at all. You just worshipped blindly. Of a sudden your eyes and heart are opened, and you see and feel God as He really is. Such a revelation was your music to me. (p. 92).  
 
L.R. admitted in the letter that she could not afford to but a concert ticket, so Huberman had sent her two tickets. After attending the concert she wrote to him another letter dated 16 July 1937: ‘That concert was the most wonderful thing in my life… Brahms Sonata … was played with God in your fingers.’
 
A letter from an admirer from New York dated 10 December 1942 (p. 112) argues that Huberman performance is ‘great’ in the sense that it is more than perfectly performed with ‘faultless intonation and with complete sincerity. The letter argues that this what makes Huberman’s performance ‘great is not descended from anything on earth at all but that it is a Chelek Eloha Mimaal – [in Hebrew:] a portion from God on High. It is a mysterious blended and glorious whole which is greater than the sum of its parts.’ The writer continued to argue that there ‘was a noble partnership in action on the stage of the Town Hall. The result was a great collaboration of the soul of Huberman, the genius of Bach and the mercy and loving kindness of God.’
 
Mysticism is not unapparent in the following letter by Samuel R. Wachtell from 17 January 1943 (Ibid.):
 
            Here is a dash of Nostradamus:
 
                        ( Bach
                        ( Beethoven
                        ( Brahms
 
            What had they in common last evening? Let us see:
 
                        ( Bach         
                        ( Beethoven       B. H. = Bronislaw Huberman
                        ( Brahms
 
The artistic solvent which sublimated these three different geniuses – the encompassing genius of – Bronislaw Huberman
 
The metaphysical connection between Huberman’s performance and the spirits of composers is present also in a letter by the conductor Wheeler Beckett dated 31 October 1944. He wrote to Huberman that during the performance of Brahms G major sonata, he ‘felt that the spirit of Brahms himself hung over you as you played and if so he must have been pleased to hear his inmost thought and feeling expressed.’ (p. 115)
 
A couple wrote to Huberman on 17 December 1944 that they try to attend as many concert of his as they can. They ended the letter with the following words: ‘God Bless you this season, Mr. Huberman, and may He deem it wise to give you years of further expression of His glory through your art.’ (p. 119).   


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Research proposal for the Avenir Foundation-Research Grant

The Avenir Foundation-Research Grant

 
Last week I received the following wonderful news from The Arnold Schoenberg Center in Vienna concerning the Avenir Foundation-Research Grant:
 
Dear Avior,

With pleasure I am writing to you to inform you about our decision to support your research projects by providing an Avenir stipend for travel and accommodation in Vienna/Moedling.

Support for the Research Grants will include:
Housing at the Schoenberg-House in Moedling for a four-week period;
Public transportation passes to and from the Schoenberg-House in Moedling to the Arnold Schoenberg Center in Vienna as well as transportation within Vienna;
Per diem allowance;
Transportation allowance to assist in travel to and from Vienna.

 
The news made me very happy since it will help me finish two books. The following is the research proposal that I have submitted on 3 September 2009 to the Arnold Schoenberg Center:
 

From Dr. Avior Byron, Musicology Department, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

To Dr. Christian Meyer, Director of the Arnold Schoenberg Center

 

Research proposal for the Avenir Foundation-Research Grant:

I would like to come to the Schoenberg center for one month during August 2010. The aim of the research trip is to work on two books. I am applying for a 2 week grant for my Oxford book (Schoenberg’s Writings on Aesthetics and Interpretation in Performance) and an additional 2 week grant for a second book entitled Schoenberg and Performance: Changing Interpretive Perspectives. In the following I describe the contents of both books.

 

A. Plan for the book Schoenberg’s Writings on Aesthetics and Interpretation in Performance

I have signed a contract for editing a book on Schoenberg’s Writings on Aesthetics and Interpretation in Performance, which is the fourth out of nine volumes called Schoenberg in Words: Teachings, Correspondence and other Writings (1890-1951), (Oxford University Press).

The main aim of the research trip is to examine the documents listed below and to search for further documents that could be included in this book.

Book description: This volume will be the first published collection and translation devoted to Schoenberg’s writings on performance. Only a handful of these commentaries have appeared in the editions of Style and Idea (1975, 1984). Indeed, from 1923 to 1951, Schoenberg wrote more than thirty manuscripts, two of which he targeted for a proposed book project. Some of these works are reactions to concerts that he heard or reviews or essays that he read, while others discuss the philosophical nature of performance itself. Although they do not deal exclusively with performance, selected correspondence with various musicians often makes a substantial contribution to the understanding of specific works.

My introduction to the text will engage the primary concepts of Schoenberg’s aesthetics of performance —crucially, the impact of his notion of musical idea on interpretation and the role of the performer in relation to the composer and the score itself. The writings will divide chronologically into three parts (1909-18, 1919-32, 1933-51), which reflect certain changes of attitude toward performances during his career. For example, he strongly altered his views in America where his pieces lacked appropriate venues. Although Schoenberg’s notions of the aesthetics of performance do not define a school of thought that others may readily follow, his ideas contribute to a refined interpretation of his music and the classical canon.

The grand will help me examine the following letters and writings as well as find other ones that might be relevant for the book.

MANUSCRIPTS TO BE CONSULTED AND EXCERPTED: (230 PAGES)

c. 1900  Das Opern- und Konzertpublikum und seine Führer [The Opera- and Concert-Public and Its Leaders, from ‘Seven Fragments’]

1904 Prospectus for the Society of Creative Musicians
1909 Letter to Busoni concerning Op. 11
1909 Tempo annotations on the performance score of his String Quartet, Op. 10
1912 (revision 1948) Excerpt from ‘Gustav Mahler’, about Mahler as conductor.

1912 Berlin Diary about not identifying a clarinet playing in a wrong transposition.
Post 1917 Excerpt from Schoenberg’s annotations on Busoni’s Entwurf einer neuen Ästhetik der Tonkunst (Outline of a New Aesthetic of Music).

1914 Schoenberg’s introduction to Pierrot lunaire
1918 Prospectus of the Society for Private Musical Performances
1920 Letter to Berg and other students
1920 Letter to Erwin Stein
1922 Letter to the singer Marya Freund
1922 Letter concerning Copenhagen performers
1922 Letter to Varèse
1923  Zur Notenschriften ["On notation"]
1923 Vortragszeichen ["Performance indications"]
1923  Noten-Bilder-Schrift ["Pictorial notation"]
1923  Der Moderne Klavierauszug ["The modern piano reduction"]
1923 letter to Josef Rufer
c. 1923 or 1924 Zur Vortragslehre ["For a treatise on performance"]
1924 Zu einigen Punkten der Frage, ob man Krammermusik dirigiren soll ["One point about the question whether on should conduct chamber music"]
1924  Eine neue Zwölfton-Schrift ["A new twelve-tone notation"]
1926 Mechanische Musikinstrumente ("Mechanical Musical Instruments")
1926 Zur Metronomisierung ["On metronome markings"]  

1927 Schoenberg to Stein
1929 Musikalische Dynamik ["Musical dynamics"]
1929 Das ist eine seichte Auffassung ["This is a shallow conception"]
1929 Ein "Urheberrecht nachsch-affender Künstler" ("A ‘Copyright for performers’")
1930?
Splitter (shortened form of Gedankensplitter. Aphorisms on opera)
1931  Revolution Evolution (Notierung – Vorzeichen) ["Revolution-evolution, notation (accidentals)"]
1931  Raumton, Vibrato, Radio, etc. ["Tone space, vibrato, radio, etc."]
1931  Phrasierung ["Phrasing"]
1934  Vortrag und Gestalt ["Performance and Gestalt’]
1934  Triolen und Quartolen bei Brahms und Bach ["Triplets and quadruplets in Brahms and Bach"]
Post 1934 Tempo
1936 Schoenberg answered Columbia by telegraph concerning recording of Pierrot lunaire

Late 1930s – Early 1940s EXPRESSION music was from the very beginning…

1939 manuscript with Schoenberg’s claim that critics and conductors were creating a conspiracy against him

1940 letter to Moses Smith concerning recording of  recording of Pierrot lunaire

 1940 letter to Fritz Stiedry and Erika Stiedry-Wagner
c. 1940  Das Vibrato hat man in meiner Jugend  ["in my youth the vibrato was called…"]
1941 letter to Stein ‘… though Mrs. Stiedry is never in pitch’
c. August 1944 Koussevitzki-Toscanini
c. 1945 Musical notation is done in rebusses …
post-1945 Theory of Performance
1946 May I state that knowing records, I realized that their performers…
1947 Before Musical notation
1948 Today’s Manner of Performing Classical Music
1949 For the Radio Broadcast of the String Trio
1949  Ich glaube den Anfang von Pelleas ["I believe that the start of Pelleas"]
1949 To Twelve American Conductors
1949 Letter to Steuermann
1949 letter to Daniel Ruyneman

1949 letter to Hans Rosbaud
1950 Letter about Rudolf Kolisch
1950 Letter to Basil Douglas
1951 Letter to Thor Johnson

 

B. Plan for the book Schoenberg and Performance: Changing Interpretive Perspectives.

This book focuses on Schoenberg’s performance aesthetics and practice as a conductor in relation to the various cultural and social environments in which he lived. It also examines historical recordings from the early interpretive history of Schoenberg’s music. In Part I examine Schoenberg’s history as a performer. I suggest that the common notion that Schoenberg was an unaccomplished conductor was often tainted by issues unrelated to his performance technique. Part II focuses on Schoenberg’s writings. There is a discussion of some of the basic conceptions concerning his performance aesthetics and I inspect his performance-related writings (articles, unpublished manuscripts and letters). I argue that Schoenberg’s performance aesthetics significantly changed during his life.

Part III and IV contain several case studies focusing on Schoenberg’s practice. I examine Verklärte Nacht, Op. 4, dating from his tonal period, and Suite, Op. 29 as well as the Piano Piece, Op. 33a from his twelve-tone period and claim that several key factors affected Schoenberg’s performance practice. Part IV is dedicated to Pierrot lunaire, Op. 21 from the atonal period. There is a detailed discussion of the Sprechstimme enigma (how should the voice perform it?). I examine for the first time the test pressings for the commercial recording. This sheds new light on how Stiedry-Wagner and Schoenberg performed the Sprechstimme in his 1940 commercial recording of the piece. A comparison is made between a broadcast that I have recently discovered and the famous 1940 commercial recording of the piece, showing significant differences between the two. I end this part by suggesting criteria for evaluating Sprechstimme performances and examining early recordings of performers from the 1950s.

Part V includes a review and analysis of video and audio performance of Schoenberg that can be obtained only via the internet. The jump to the twentieth century will grant the reader a perspective to what direction the interpretation of Schoenberg’s music is going to.

Part VI evaluates Schoenberg’s performance aesthetics and practice from a large perspective. In chapter 11 I examine whether Schoenberg’s performance aesthetics and practice shed new light on the analysis of his music. In the final chapter I examine the relation between Schoenberg’s practice as a conductor (Parts III and IV) and his performance aesthetic (Part II), and I point out some of the problems and challenges that it presents to one who wishes to interpret Schoenberg.

 

I will need access to performance manuscripts and I will try to find more performance related manuscripts. Access to the library as well as to early recordings of Pierrot lunaire will also be of great importance.

 
Plan of book chapters:

Acknowledgments
Lists of tables, figures, examples and sound examples
List of Abbreviations
Preface

Part I: Introduction
Chapter 1. Demystifying Schoenberg’s conducting

 
Part II: Aesthetics

Chapter 2. Basic performance conceptions
Chapter 3. Schoenberg’s writings on performance

Chapter 4. Comparison of Schoenberg’s and Adorno’s performance aesthetics  

Part III: Ideas in Practice - compositions from the 1920s
Chapter 5. Verklärte Nacht, Op. 4
Chapter 6. Suite, Op. 29
Chapter 7. Piano Piece, Op. 33a, early performances, 1950s-1960s


Part IV: Ideas in Practice - Pierrot lunaire, Op. 21
Chapter 8. Schoenberg’s broadcast and commercial recording
Chapter 9. Sprechstimme reconsidered

Chapter 10. Evaluating Sprechstimme - early performances, 1940s-1950s

Part V: Performing Schoenberg on the internet
Chapter 11. Video and audio performances on the web
 

Part VI: Evaluation
Chapter 12. Analysis and performance
Chapter 13. On interpreting Schoenberg

Appendices
Interview with Dika Newlin

Excerpts from an interview with Schoenberg’s children

Bibliography
Discography

 

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Consider supporting ByMusic.org

Consider supporting ByMusic.org

I have recently added the option to donate any amount of money for the purposes of supporting ByMusic.org in particular and Avior Byron’s research on music in general. There are several reasons why I decided to do so: 

At the moment I am not receiving any funds from any University or institute. Small donations may encourage me to go on writing and do research. Bigger donations my help me attend conferences and fund research trips in order to continue to publish

People who enjoy ByMusic.org and would like to support its activities may consider donating any amount of money (starting from 1$). For you it may be a small gesture. For me it would be a sign of appreciation.

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9 Tips for creating and publishing academic research

9 Tips for creating and publishing academic research

 
In this essay I will give a few tips for creating and publishing that I found helpful for myself.
 

1. Publish as early as possible

It is highly recommended to start publishing as early as possible. The challenge of writing something that might be accepted for publication is important for your development. It is not easy to publish material at a respected journal. Doing that, even when you are a student (I did it at my third year as a PhD student) will gain you important experience and confidence. It will help you prepare your material for the viva (if you are PhD student).
 

2. Gain experience by publishing reviews

If you just started writing (or want to start) you may want to start gain writing and publishing experience by writing reviews to books. You may approach journals such as Music and Letter, The World of Music or various online journals that are looking for reviews. This could help you write in a text that is not too long and see what happens when it is edited.
 

3. Publish at online journals

Some Universities do not appreciate online journals. They were (and at some places still do not) seem to be less valued as some printed journals. However, as Nicholas Cook wrote at my blog, this seems to be changing and more and more people find it important to publish at online journals. The advantage of this is simple. When your work is online it will clearly gain more reactions from scholars (and other people). The web is one of the strongest tools for research, and I am not talking only about Google Scholar, Google Books, online databases, JSTOR and various online indexes. It is also the simple web search that many scholars are using in order to reach information about what they are doing research. People will find your work on the web in an easier manner than on an offline journal, and they will react (if they find your work worth reacting to). I have published articles on the web form the very first start of my academic career and still do. It paid off. Look how many people found my research on the web and quoted or reacted to it in other ways.
 

4. Publish books online or offline?

Recently Daniel Leech Wilkinson published a whole book on the web. This is a very revolutionary act that more academic people on his level are not willing to make. His reasons are stated here:
 
it is quite unreasonable to ask the reader of a book like this, who may well be a student or an underpaid musician, to invest (as buyers of my last two books were required to invest) £60 ($85/120) or more in order to have a copy on hand for future reference. Almost all this sum remains with the publisher and distributors.
 
In a private conversation with Wilkinson, he told me that he does not recommend young scholars to publish books on the web. Such scholars should gain reputation and recognition by being published with a serious publisher. He does think that the future of publishing book is on the web and he hopes that this will reduce the costs of book. In any case, if you do publish on the web, I would recommend you not only to put it as an HTML document as Wilkinson did. Add also as a PDF document and remember to add it to Google Book (a process which is straight forward and fast).
 

5. Publish various types of publications.

Do not publish only articles or only books. Try to be active in publishing various sorts of publications: articles, books, book chapters, edit books, edit journals, reviews, and even blog posts, etc. This would gain you invaluable experience in various types of writings.
 

6. After every few years find new a direction

It is sad to see that some scholars simply recycle their work or even research methods again and again. Every few years try to reinvent yourself by actively seeking new ways of making research and new subjects. My research is on Schoenberg and performance. At these very days I am thinking about a new subject for doing research.
 

7. Discuss your research in conferences

One of the ways of checking your ideas is to present and discuss them at conferences. This is a way of receiving feedback as well as making good contacts.
 

8. Ask a friend to read your work

Sometimes a friend could give you valuable feedback even if this person is not an expert in your field. Such criticism (like any criticism) should always be listened to with caution. This brings us to our last point.
 

9. Listened to critics and readers with caution

I had the experience of receiving very negative response to one of my articles by two people. I asked did not back off and answered the journal why I think that the main arguments of these reviewers were not completely right. I asked that the article would be submitted again to other people who may be more open to my kind of research and this is what the journal editor did. At the end the article was not accepted to that journal. However, I have learned two things. The other two reviewers were much more helpful and kind. This proves my point that no one likes all types of research (and that the review process is not always objective). All reviewers gave me comments that helped me improve my article before sending it to another journal. This kind of experience was very important for me. In other words, do not give up. The process can be long and not pleasant. However, it will improve your writing.  
 

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Sonic Visualizer - some comments as I go

Sonic Visualiser

I just started using Sonic Visualizer and I have some comment that might be of interest.
 
Charm reports: "Developed by Chris Cannam of the Centre for Digital Music at Queen Mary, University of London (with some input from CHARM), this free program is a highly customisable playback and visualisation environment that includes such features as variable-speed playback, looping, and the ability to annotate the recording, for instance to identify specific points of reference; you can also use the annotation facility to tap to the beats and so generate tempo data which can be displayed on screen or exported to a spreadsheet program. A particularly attractive feature is the ability to synchronise a number of recordings so that you can jump from one to the corresponding point in another. There is a range of built-in visualisations such as spectrograms, again highly customisable, but an essential strength of Sonic Visualiser is its ability to support third-party plugins: these offer a constantly expanding range of analytical facilities ranging from automated onset detection to pitch estimation and the capture of intensity data."

The software is very good. Much better than anything that I have used up to now.

One can measure the pitches on the spectogram and play with its colors. You can play several sound fills simultaneously and this way it is very easy to examine various recordings of the same composition. You can mute each sound track as you wish. The great advantage of this is that it makes you sharpen your listening.

Ideas for improvement:

 
1) There should be a more friendly help. I would recommend making a video/s on Youtube that will explaining how to use the software on various levels. This would help a lot.
 
2) I am examining Sprechstimme pitches and often it would be useful to have a virtual keyboard that could play midi sounds in order that I could make sure that what I hear is really on the level that I think it is.
 
That is all for the moment. I will probably have more comments as I use SV.

10 reasons why to join Musicology Research group on Linkedin

10 reasons why to join Musicology Research group on Linkedin

I have recently opened the Musicology Research group on the social site Linkedin. This group includes professional musicologists (at the moment there are 118 member to the group and it is growing every week) that wish to alert each other about job and other work opportunities. One can also use this group in order to ask advice concerning publication, research, jobs and any other issue that is related to the lives and deaths of musicologists. In this post I will explain why joining this group can help you. I will mention why this group is much better than any other format such as the AMS-list and Google of Yahoo groups with similar aims.
 
First I would like to say a few words about Linkedin. This social site has over 41 million members in over 200 countries and territories around the world. The aim of this site is to help you work on relationships that can progress your career. This is what Linkedin describes as its aim:
 
“Your professional network of trusted contacts gives you an advantage in your career, and is one of your most valuable assets. Linkedin exists to help you make better use of your professional network and help the people you trust in return.
Our mission is to connect the world’s professionals to accelerate their success. We believe that in a global connected economy, your success as a professional and your competitiveness as a company depends upon faster access to insight and resources you can trust.” You can read more about the advantages of Linkedin here.
 
1. While other musicological groups such as the AMS-list and various Yahoo and Google group give you the possibility to receive updates and send emails to other people, in Linkedin you can actually see the profiles of the group members.
 
2. Linkedin grants you the possibility to make your professional online profile that shows what you do and did and work.
 
3. When you are member of groups such as Musicology Research, you can invite members to join your own network. These people will be updated on your current status at work, what you are doing at the moment, and you can ask them professional questions that puzzle you.  
 
4. The people who join your network have similar benefits. They can update you (and other people on their network) with things that concern them and their career.
 
5. The Discussions section of the group contains information about conferences and other related issues. People who arrange conferences actively update this section and you are notified (once a day or one a week – as you request) on a regular basis.
 
6. The New section is updated by the members who can add links to related articles and blog that are on the web.
 
7. The News sections receives automatic updates from RSS feeds such as the AMS Yahoo group that includes announcements on musicology jobs, conferences and other related issues. If you have a blog or you stumbled upon an article on the web that might be interesting for other people in the group, you can notify them by submitting it to the group. In other words, members have more control and interaction on the musicology community.
 
8. The News section also receives automatic updates by Google News. These updates are various articles and web pages that have recently appeared on the web. Currently the updates are focused on Google News search on the keywords “musicology jobs” and “musicology research”. In order to see the links of Google News press the link “Latest News”.
 
9. It is good to a have a profile on Linkedin. Seomoz says that “a membership and presence at the site commands the most respect of all the popular networking opportunities available to you online.”
 
10. Linkedin grants you almost endless possibilities for networking, finding employment and hiring opportunities, using an Answers Service and joining various groups.    
 

In order to join the Musicology Research group on Linkedin you need to open a minimal profile on Linkedin.com (this takes only several minutes) and then press the following link and join the group: http://www.linkedin.com/groups?about=&gid=1958399&trk=anet_ug_grppro   

Copyright Avior Byron 2014 .