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Avior Byron

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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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.


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’")
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:

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

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

Interview with Dika Newlin

Excerpts from an interview with Schoenberg’s children



Related posts

Arnlod Schoenberg spoke to me in a dream

Evaluating Sprechstimme: what early recordings tell us - the chapter

Cats performing Schoenberg Piano Piece Op. 11 - a must!

Early Performances of Pierrot Lunaire Op. 21 Research Proposal

Artur Schnabel and Schoenberg’s Performance Aesthetics and Practice

Bjork singing Schoenberg’s Pierrot lunaire

The Schoenberg Archive in Vienna

A letter from Oxford University Press: Schoenberg’s Writings on Performance

Email interview with Schoenberg’s Children

Conference paper: Schoenberg’s or Adorno’s Performance Aesthetics?


How Twitter helped my research on music

How Twitter helped my research on music

During most of August 2009 I made a trip to the British Library in order to do research on early recordings of Pierrot lunaire by Arnold Schoenberg. The trip was funded by the British Library (see how the British Library helped my research). During this trip I started to use Twitter (read here why I used Twitter). You can read here the result of my research trip.

I admit that using Twitter was fun. It helped me writing notes and the idea that people are reading it as I write was great… This helps one be less alone in the archive than one usually feels. I made some friends that still follow me on twitter. I am now doing some research on Huberman and I just received this message as a result of my Twitting:

neweuropean@avior Could you post the letter Joachim wrote for Huberman on your blog. Would love to read the text. We’re Huberman fanatics!

 The British Library was very exited from the fact that I was Twitting around and they interviewed me for their internal newspaper. The  "New Eurpean Enseble" wrote to me that they are working on a recording of Schoenberg and I offered to write the sleeve notes for their recording, They were exited by the idea. Many of my followers retwitted some of my twitts and this gave them even more exposure.


Twittes during my research trip:

The following can give you some idea about what was in my mind during that period. Some of the twittes are boring some are interesting. Some may give you an idea when I discovered interesting things some are meaningful only for me.

The twittes start from the end to the start.


  1. Here is the chapter I just finished on Schoenberg’s Pierrot lunaire, Sprechstimme and early recordings PM Aug 29th from TweetDeck
  2. Still recovering from the flight from London to Israel. Good to be at home in Mazkeret Batya. Although it is too hot here.9:26 PM Aug 29th from TweetDeck
  3. From Blog: AM Aug 29th from twitterfeed
  4. Result of Edison fellowship, British Library. Pierrot lunaire: ‘Evaluating Sprechstimme - what early recordings tell’ PM Aug 28th from TweetDeck
  5. Mé jméno je Avior10:18 AM Aug 28th from TweetDeck
  6. טוב לחזור לישראל אחרי חודש באנגליה. אני כמו בבית.10:15 AM Aug 28th from TweetDeck
  7. Just discovered TweetDeck. Looks very good.10:07 AM Aug 28th from TweetDeck
  8. I hate flying on airplanes9:13 AM Aug 28th from TweetDeck
  9. #rememberwhen we used LPs?8:59 AM Aug 28th from web
  10. #rememberwhen there were no mobil phones?8:59 AM Aug 28th from web
  11. Pl show support and tell others! #GiladShalit held captive by Hamas terrorists 3yrs - no humanitarian aid. Use #GiladShalit tag T …8:57 AM Aug 28th from web
  12. Arrived to Israel safely. It’s good to be home.8:56 AM Aug 28th from web
  13. Heading tomorrow back to Israel.8:16 PM Aug 26th from web
  14. The British Library staff were very kind and helpful. What I found here really helped my research on Sprechstimme and Pierrot luanire.8:16 PM Aug 26th from web
  15. Finished writing my chapter draft on "Evaluating Sprechstimme - what early recordings tell us". A must for anyone interested in Pierrot!8:15 PM Aug 26th from web
  16. Just finished my research trip in the British Library on Schoenberg’s early recordings of Pierrot lunaire. Found very interesting things.8:14 PM Aug 26th from web
  17. Reading a very interesting article by Jane Manning in TEMPO on Pierrot lunaire6:22 PM Aug 26th from web
  18. Free Gilad #giladshalit6:21 PM Aug 26th from web
  19. My debt to England ♫ PM Aug 26th from
  20. Possible my next victime ♫ PM Aug 26th from
  21. Writing the conclusion to my chapter on early recording of Pierrot lunaire in the British Library ♫ PM Aug 26th from
  22. Breath with me ♫ PM Aug 26th from
  23. ‘in “Parodie,” a doubly inverted canon at the half bar is developed between the voice and piccolo, and clarinet and viola. What about it?’12:32 PM Aug 26th from web
  24. My research tips and ‘How to’ page. Check out resources:…11:40 AM Aug 26th from web
  25. From Blog: The New European Ensemble needs funding While I started to document my notes on Twitter dur.. AM Aug 26th from twitterfeed
  26. The New European Ensemble needs funding. Can you help? PM Aug 25th from web
  27. Links to free scans of musical scores Do you know any other interesting sites?5:07 PM Aug 25th from web
  28. Bronislaw Huberman3:18 PM Aug 25th from web
  29. Thinking seriously to write an article on Bronislaw Huberman3:18 PM Aug 25th from web
  30. Arnold Schoenberg as a painter PM Aug 25th from web
  31. Almost got killed yesterday when the wheel of our car feel down just suddenly!2:27 PM Aug 25th from web
  32. It seems to me that record reviews are seen by many critics only as a documentation of the "real" thing, which is thought to be the concert.1:48 PM Aug 25th from web
  33. Finished reading David Metzer’s article "The New York Reception of Pierrot lunaire: The 1923 Premiere and Its Aftermath".1:45 PM Aug 25th from web
  34. @neweuropean Send me 200-500 words on your ensemble, aims and need for funds, and I will put it on my blog. Perhaps it might help.1:43 PM Aug 25th from web in reply to neweuropean
  35. Prof. Jonathan Dunsby just commented on my post 9 Tips for creating and publishing academic research PM Aug 24th from web
  36. Finished the first draft of my chapter: "Evaluating Sprechstimme: what early recordings tell us"5:46 PM Aug 24th from web
  37. It may be concluded that all four performers change their Sprechstimme at certain places due to the text.3:18 PM Aug 24th from web
  38. The Sonic Visualizer helps you to slow down small performance gestures and understand what exactly the performers do there.1:13 PM Aug 24th from web
  39. This research is proceeding much smoother than the one I did in Berlin.1:09 PM Aug 24th from web
  40. Finding interesting things in Spectogram comparison of early vocal performances of Pierrot lunaire.1:08 PM Aug 24th from web
  41. Interesting blog post of Pierrot AM Aug 24th from web
  42. From Blog: 9 Tips for creating and publishing academic research   In this essay I will give a fe.. AM Aug 24th from twitterfeed
  43. The thing that bothers me most in my current writing is how to create value.1:39 AM Aug 24th from web
  44. Find resources for music research:…1:33 AM Aug 24th from web
  45. This is for all of the Jews that are following me. Byron’s web publications on Judaism AM Aug 24th from web
  46. 9 Tips for creating and publishing academic #research AM Aug 24th from web
  47. From Blog: Second thoughts: the higher education jobs situation in Israel     .. AM Aug 23rd from twitterfeed
  48. Going home for #Shabbat6:46 PM Aug 21st from web
  49. Starting to write about pitch analysis of the Sprechstimme in Pierrot lunaire (early performances).5:29 PM Aug 21st from web
  50. Thanks to @Gruven_Reuven I do Daily Tehillim reading. Gruven, your a #GoodJew5:26 PM Aug 21st from web
  51. @Gruven_ReuvenDaily Tehillim Reading 01-Elul: Chapter 1-9: English=> Hebrew=> PM Aug 21st from web
  52. Going to eat something4:54 PM Aug 21st from web
  53. Interview with Xenakis PM Aug 21st from web
  54. @cos2 Do you have the journal Musical America 5-56, p. 34? We do not have it here at the British library.3:48 PM Aug 21st from web
  55. The conductors ofr some of the early recordings are doing very interesting things with regards to tempo.3:46 PM Aug 21st from web
  56. @jupiterjenkins Good luck with the gig3:41 PM Aug 21st from web in reply to jupiterjenkins
  57. @operacat Are you also messing around with Pierrot?2:56 PM Aug 21st from web in reply to operacat
  58. @kos2 I checked out already contemporaneous reviews of the recordings2:55 PM Aug 21st from web in reply to kos2
  59. I also spoke about balance… what else can I write about?1:34 PM Aug 21st from web
  60. I spoke about sound qulity, voice colour, tempo, room resonance… what else?1:33 PM Aug 21st from web
  61. @Gruven_Reuven You could write En>link He>link12:41 PM Aug 21st from web in reply to Gruven_Reuven
  62. Tempo difference partially explains the positive reaction and consensus of the critics with regards to Semser’s performance.12:40 PM Aug 21st from web
  63. Checking the voice types of the voices in the early recordings…12:10 PM Aug 21st from web
  64. I would like to first write about they the first or general impression of these early recordings is so different.11:52 AM Aug 21st from web
  65. Address the question of why Leibowitz recorded Schoenberg’s Pierrot lunaire twice during the 1950s11:30 AM Aug 21st from web
  66. There are so many types of interpretation from the very start.11:28 AM Aug 21st from web
  67. Why an I listening to early recordings?11:27 AM Aug 21st from web
  68. A live performance of Pierrot AM Aug 21st from web
  69. Going to breakfest at the British Library cafe. Taking performances score of 4 early recordings of Pierrot (my notations). Ideas pls come.11:12 AM Aug 21st from web
  70. Jist had a cup of coffee with Daniel Leech Wilkinson…6:11 PM Aug 20th from web
  71. Going to have a coffie. Too much Schoenberg music.5:26 PM Aug 20th from web
  72. Started writing about those early recordings. What is the point that I want to say?5:01 PM Aug 20th from web
  73. This best way to start the section is to just write about it as if I am telling it to a non-specaillist friend. What is really interesting?4:50 PM Aug 20th from web
  74. @Gruven_Reuven So you know what to do from now on…4:34 PM Aug 20th from web in reply to Gruven_Reuven
  75. I have a small creativity breakdown with writing about the rare recordings of Pierrot lunaire4:25 PM Aug 20th from web
  76. @Gruven_Reuven Do you have Rambam in Hebrew too?4:22 PM Aug 20th from web in reply to Gruven_Reuven
  77. Finished writing the part about reviews of early recordings of Schoenberg’s Pierrot lunaire1:50 PM Aug 20th from web
  78. Prof. Milan Slavický from the Czech Republic died. He was a very kind person. May he rest in peace.…11:30 AM Aug 20th from web
  79. Had to pay to use the New York Time archive. Not fun.6:21 PM Aug 19th from web
  80. Concerto for Piano and Orchestra no. 4, op. 58, G major. Ancerl, Karel, 1908-1973. Pálenicek, Josef, (piano). PM Aug 19th from web
  81. Just discovered that the British Library Sound Archive has lots of rare recordings online PM Aug 19th from web
  82. I’m not so crazy about Ethel Semser’s Pierrot lunaire.4:03 PM Aug 19th from web
  83. @jtanews I can usderstand why the number of Israeli doctors is dropping. The academie is always crying "we have no budget". So people go.3:59 PM Aug 19th from web in reply to jtanews
  84. @ahoova Enjoyed that one!3:56 PM Aug 19th from web in reply to ahoova
  85. Listening to rare recording of Barbara Sukowa on BBC 1989 - she is more wild than anything i’ve heard. A real meshuge.3:47 PM Aug 19th from web
  86. @Gruven_Reuven I usually study 10 minutes of Mishne Tora before Shacharit. Short and sweat like Twitter.1:46 PM Aug 19th from web in reply to Gruven_Reuven
  87. Fanfare, April 1993: ‘Jeanne Héricard is more relaxed and sensible …; we gain in comprehension but lose some of the neuroticism’12:46 PM Aug 19th from web
  88. @Gruven_Reuven How many sources do you learn on an every-day basis (like daily study of Tehilim?)12:01 PM Aug 19th from web in reply to Gruven_Reuven
  89. High Fidelity on Leibowitz and Ethel Semser: ‘the most beautiful Pierrot lunaire… more beautiful than I thought Pierrot could be…’11:58 AM Aug 19th from web
  90. From Blog: How the British Library Sounds Archive helped my research     I was ask.. AM Aug 19th from twitterfeed
  91. Need to think about a new subject for research. Something completely new.7:00 PM Aug 18th from web
  92. Need to write a book proposal7:00 PM Aug 18th from web
  93. Tomorrow will write about reviews of these early recordings.6:59 PM Aug 18th from web
  94. Listening to Christine Schafer sing Pierrot. Very sexy performance.6:54 PM Aug 18th from web
  95. From Blog: Evaluating Sprechstimme – what early recordings tell us Before writing my new chapter.. PM Aug 17th from twitterfeed
  96. After discussing the recordings I will present reviews of these recordings and discuss how these reviewers evaluate them.5:14 PM Aug 17th from web
  97. Already changed the structure of my chapter. The reviews of early recordings will be dealt with separtly as an issue in itself.5:14 PM Aug 17th from web
  98. Wrote 981 words of my ‘Evaluating Sprechstimme’ chapter5:13 PM Aug 17th from web
  99. Martha Elliot: "…But whether the composers would ultimately approve of this approach remains unanswerable". Very good!4:46 PM Aug 17th from web
  100. Martha Elliott: ‘singers today can come closer than many of the original performers to what these composers actually asked for…’4:45 PM Aug 17th from web
  101. @Gruven_Reuven Do you read it in English?4:19 PM Aug 17th from web in reply to Gruven_Reuven
  102. Czech for a moment ♫ PM Aug 17th from
  103. Writing, writing and writing3:18 PM Aug 17th from web
  104. mmmm ♫ PM Aug 17th from
  105. Long live Schoenberg ♫ PM Aug 17th from
  106. Starting to write my chapter on "Evaluating Sprechstimme – what early recordings tell us"2:35 PM Aug 17th from web
  107. Is anyone really following my research on Twitter? Going to eat.2:13 PM Aug 17th from web
  108. Drafted a chapter structure: PM Aug 17th from web
  109. Attempt to finish today the first part of the chapter: reviewing Bryn-Julson’s argument. My arguement for liberal informed interpretations1:43 PM Aug 17th from web
  110. I will use reviews of these recordings in order to show what other people hear1:42 PM Aug 17th from web
  111. Evaluating Sprechstimme - what early recordings tell us1:41 PM Aug 17th from web
  112. I will probably call the chapter: Evaluating Sprechstimme1:41 PM Aug 17th from web
  113. The middle of chapter will explain why early recordings and show what they actually do there.1:39 PM Aug 17th from web
  114. Will conclude chapter with what could be criteria (apart for pitch fidelity) for evaluating Sprechstimme interpretations.1:39 PM Aug 17th from web
  115. I will start the chapter by reviewing Bryn-Julson’s argument. Put forward my arguement for liberal informed interpretations….1:36 PM Aug 17th from web
  116. Books, Articles, Conferences and Seminars that quoted work by Avior Byron PM Aug 17th from web
  117. I will point to various aspects that could be considered when building a Sprechstimme interpretation in Pierrot lunaire.12:07 PM Aug 17th from web
  118. My chapter will bring evidence from early recordings on a variety of interpretation, all which are "correct" by very good performers.12:07 PM Aug 17th from web
  119. It will advocate an informed liberal interpretation of the work in general and Sprechstimme in particular.12:06 PM Aug 17th from web
  120. Today I will start writing my new chapter on Pierrot lunaire and early recordings.12:05 PM Aug 17th from web
  121. From Blog: On rabbits and pigs When did you see for the last time a job post from the music department.. PM Aug 15th from twitterfeed
  122. Shabbat Shalom6:34 PM Aug 14th from web
  123. I will start next Monday to write my chapter on early performances of Pierrot lunaire.6:34 PM Aug 14th from web
  124. Read Dunsby’s go on Parodie. I like what and how he write.6:33 PM Aug 14th from web
  125. Reading what Aidan Soder writes of Pierrot. Very interesting.5:26 PM Aug 14th from web
  126. Tempo of 4 recordings is slower than notated. Even that of Schoenberg conducting (which is the fastest). Sch approved his recorded tempos.4:51 PM Aug 14th from web
  127. @rabbikopans Gobbel it all up quickly4:05 PM Aug 14th from web in reply to rabbikopans
  128. Ellen Adler’s attempts to perform right pitches are the most successful from the 4 singers, yet she too is not singing always "correctly".12:50 PM Aug 14th from web
  129. Being interviewed for the British Library newsletter12:07 PM Aug 14th from web
  130. Ellen Adler is singing the notated pitch most accurately with comparison to the other early singers6:31 PM Aug 13th from web
  131. Ethel Semser also gives her self great liberty. She does the opposite than Stiedy-Wagner in the first two notes of the song6:31 PM Aug 13th from web
  132. Jeanne Hericard is even freer than Stiedry Wagner. She keeps a very general relation to notated pitch.6:30 PM Aug 13th from web
  133. Stiedry-Wagner usually starts with the right tone yet let herself go freely to un-notated places.6:30 PM Aug 13th from web
  134. Sonic Visualizer - some comments as I go…6:25 PM Aug 13th from web
  135. They are all liers. But the lie in different ways. And this is what I am going to talk about!5:33 PM Aug 13th from web
  136. @frumsatire who wants?5:32 PM Aug 13th from web in reply to frumsatire
  137. It is interesting that some of their "lies" are systematic. They appear in several thematic places in the same manner.5:31 PM Aug 13th from web
  138. These singers. They are all "liers"!5:30 PM Aug 13th from web
  139. You cannot lie to the spectogram. A very good tool to examine musical performances.4:49 PM Aug 13th from web
  140. Going to look for Jonathan Dunsby’s book on Pierrot lunaire1:48 PM Aug 13th from web
  141. Starting to really know these four early performances.1:37 PM Aug 13th from web
  142. Research shows that too much preperation during rehearsals can hurt spontanity in live performance1:13 PM Aug 13th from web
  143. Relate to the question whether the persistence to produce the pitches in Pierrot may not come on the expense of spontaneity and other issues1:12 PM Aug 13th from web
  144. Compare rezitation of m.1-2 and m. 28 in the early performance of Pierrot12:44 PM Aug 13th from web
  145. Learning from early performances. Explain in the chapter why early recordings are attractive for learning from.12:17 PM Aug 13th from web
  146. Learning more about the structure of the song Parodie in Pierrot lunaire11:39 AM Aug 13th from web
  147. Too much polyphonic Schoenberg for one day. Going home.7:01 PM Aug 12th from web
  148. Stiedy Wagner is at my left ear, Hericard at the right and Adler in the middle of my head. Crazy!6:59 PM Aug 12th from web
  149. Hearing a canon of three early recordings of Schoenberg’s Pierrot lunaire: left headphone, right and in the middle (-:6:57 PM Aug 12th from web
  150. I am listening to two performances putting each on a different side of the headphones. Very nice!6:46 PM Aug 12th from web
  151. Listening to various early performances playing at the same time!6:44 PM Aug 12th from web
  152. Some once said: we know what to measure but we know less how people hear things.5:25 PM Aug 12th from web
  153. Trying to understand what Sonic Visualizer has that previous software doesn’t5:08 PM Aug 12th from web
  154. James North on Jeanne Hericard’s Pierrot: "we gain in comprehension but lose some of the neuroticism".4:30 PM Aug 12th from web
  155. Someone should publish a book with review of recordings of Schoenberg’s Pierrot lunaire. There is one on live performances.4:26 PM Aug 12th from web
  156. Although there were stupid music critics also at the 1950s4:00 PM Aug 12th from web
  157. Some of the music criticism is very good. See Adrian Jack (1974) on Pierrot at Record and Recordings3:52 PM Aug 12th from web
  158. Reading through record reviews of Arnold Schoenberg’s Pierrot lunaire3:37 PM Aug 12th from web
  159. Interesting article of Joan Evans on Hans Rosbaud as conductor in Nazi Germany PM Aug 12th from web
  160. Governments should make free access to academic jounal via JSTOR for free. Knowledge should be free to the public.2:44 PM Aug 12th from web
  161. Listening to Alban Berg "Kammerkonzert" with Rene Leibowitz conducting. Rare recording.2:24 PM Aug 12th from web
  162. @neweuropean Great. Looking forward.12:41 PM Aug 12th from web in reply to neweuropean
  163. Going to fetch articles on Pierrot lunaire from the British Library reading room.12:37 PM Aug 12th from web
  164. From Blog: Cats performing Schoenberg Piano Piece Op. 11 This is one of the best performances ever hea.. AM Aug 12th from twitterfeed
  165. Just added myself to the twitter directory under: #music #research #classical12:02 AM Aug 12th from WeFollow
  166. Just added myself to the twitter directory under: #music #research #academic12:01 AM Aug 12th from WeFollow
  167. Will the internet save the declining world of classical music? PM Aug 11th from web
  168. Berliner Philharmoniker’s FIRST live webcasts BEGINS Friday, August 28 at PM Aug 11th from web
  169. the Berliner Philharmoniker’s FIRST FULL SEASON OF live webcasts through its Digital Concert Hall BEGINS Friday, August 286:39 PM Aug 11th from web
  170. Instead of speaking of what Sprechstimme should be techincally, speak what a song and Pierrot in general should convey in performance5:33 PM Aug 11th from web
  171. Aesthetic criterias for judging a Sprechstimme performance: The relation of the voice to other instruments, the words, balance, mood5:30 PM Aug 11th from web
  172. One of the imporant questions is what are the aesthetic criterias for judging a Sprechstimme performance?5:29 PM Aug 11th from web
  173. Found many reviews of early recordings of Pierrot lunaire5:13 PM Aug 11th from web
  174. Starting to work with Sonic visualizer5:11 PM Aug 11th from web
  175. Going to examine more reviews of recordings of Pierrot lunaire3:31 PM Aug 11th from web
  176. I should look for information about the singers: Ethel Semser, Ellen Adler andJeanne Hericard3:30 PM Aug 11th from web
  177. Listening to Ethel Semser do Pierrot lunaire. It is interesting to see what critics wrote about these recordings.3:24 PM Aug 11th from web
  178. Sprechstimme problem is not how to do it with regards to pitch, but how to make music with relation to the poem, structure and yourself.3:15 PM Aug 11th from web
  179. Praying is like twitting. It sometimes helps.3:10 PM Aug 11th from web
  180. Had a wonderful lunch and conversation with the pianist and musicologist (Messiaen spcialist) Peter Hill PM Aug 11th from web
  181. @neweuropean I’ll be happy to write sleeve notes to serenade op.24 and suite op.29 (which I wrote a chapter about). Are you interested?10:12 AM Aug 11th from web in reply to neweuropean
  182. The Sprechstimme debate cannot be solved. We should concentrate on what sounds to us more convincing and why.7:08 PM Aug 10th from web
  183. It is not only whether they hit the right pitches. It is more interesting to ask what do they do with the ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ pitches!7:07 PM Aug 10th from web
  184. My neck ackes7:05 PM Aug 10th from web
  185. I think it would be useful to read reviews of these recordings - yet there are so many!6:13 PM Aug 10th from web
  186. Steidry-Wagner has a twitter voice in her recording of Pierrot lunaire. Compare to that of Semster.6:13 PM Aug 10th from web
  187. I need a software that can measure the pitch of singing on recordings5:46 PM Aug 10th from web
  188. Barbara Sukowa is a true wilde haye5:40 PM Aug 10th from web
  189. Talk about what a composer pays attention to when writing (see Parodie end H_ at m. 20 but no start) and its relation to preformance (gap).5:36 PM Aug 10th from web
  190. Attack Bryn-Julson Phyllis as a springboard to discussing early recordings.5:30 PM Aug 10th from web
  191. Just had lunch with Jane Manning and Anthony Payne. Enjoyed it very much.5:16 PM Aug 10th from web
  192. Know I need to check how do the various singers of these early recordings of Pierrot lunaire ‘reproduce’ the pitches in the score.2:29 PM Aug 10th from web
  193. Jeanne Hericard plays with her tone color according to text. So does Stiedry, Ethel Semser and Ellen Adler. This is a very important thing.2:27 PM Aug 10th from web
  194. Both Rosboud and Schoenberg have some instruments marked Hauptstimme that do not sound at all in their recordings2:02 PM Aug 10th from web
  195. Jeanne Hericard makes interesting changes in tone color according to the words to the song Parodie in Pirrto lunaire11:09 AM Aug 10th from web
  196. Jeanne Hericard is also very theatrical in her Sprechgesang10:49 AM Aug 10th from web
  197. Semster also changes her Sprechgesang drastically when the poem’s words change their meaning (albeit Leibowitz’s intoduction…).10:47 AM Aug 10th from web
  198. Semser starts differently Parodie than Adler even though the condoctor is in both cases Leibowitz10:46 AM Aug 10th from web
  199. Can’t avoid noticing they "crying" element in Ellen Adler’s Sprechgesang.10:41 AM Aug 10th from web
  200. From Blog: What is music theory for? This question is something that most academics in Israel find har.. AM Aug 8th from twitterfeed
  201. Something very cute: Ellen Adler’s performance of Sprechstimme. It is hard to capture how exactly she does it, but I want to write about it.6:12 PM Aug 7th from web
  202. In Schoenberg’s recording it is not clear what is going on in m. 14. Strange.6:06 PM Aug 7th from web
  203. @neweuropean I have to upload them when I return to Israel. Since I did my PhD I didn’t have too many oppotunities to compose.6:03 PM Aug 7th from web in reply to neweuropean
  204. Bethany Beardslee in Parodie: "Then suddenly - listen! - a whisper!" great performance.4:28 PM Aug 7th from web
  205. @kos2 That’s a pitty. I would love to visit NY. Never been there4:26 PM Aug 7th from web in reply to kos2
  206. Bethany Beardslee has something special about her voice. Crying.4:25 PM Aug 7th from web
  207. Bethany Beardslee and Robert Carft also have the voice at the front.4:24 PM Aug 7th from web
  208. Hericard and Rosbaud also put the voice in the front.4:20 PM Aug 7th from web
  209. Pilarczyk and Boulez put the voice in the front too.4:19 PM Aug 7th from web
  210. Compare Leibowitz recordings to the of Manning (1967). Her voice is definitly at the front.4:17 PM Aug 7th from web
  211. Listening to Ellen Adler and Leibowitz. Also here the voice is more in the background or on the level of other instruments.4:15 PM Aug 7th from web
  212. Listening to Ethel Semser and Leibowitz perform Parodie. The voice is really at the level of other instruments. Sometimes even less.4:13 PM Aug 7th from web
  213. Trying to download sonicvisualiser http://www.sonicvisualiser….4:00 PM Aug 7th from web
  214. Perhaps reduce the amount of recordings3:30 PM Aug 7th from web
  215. Listening to Alice Howland and Herbert Zipper perform Schoenberg’s Pierrot lunaire3:29 PM Aug 7th from web
  216. @otterhouse Could too much Lunaire make you a Lunatic? For sure3:05 PM Aug 7th from web in reply to otterhouse
  217. @neweuropean What do you think about my music?…2:41 PM Aug 7th from web in reply to neweuropean
  218. @neweuropean That’s great! Let me know if you record Pierrot. I’ll be glad to write the sleeve notes.2:38 PM Aug 7th from web in reply to neweuropean
  219. @MessiaenProject Absolutely2:36 PM Aug 7th from web in reply to MessiaenProject
  220. @chrisleeclark I also did some work on Erwartung. I think it is similar to Pierrot. I am sure the voice notation has a staff.2:34 PM Aug 7th from web in reply to chrisleeclark
  221. @neweuropean Where are you based?2:31 PM Aug 7th from web in reply to neweuropean
  222. @otterhouse For sure!2:30 PM Aug 7th from web in reply to otterhouse
  223. @kos2 Looks very interesting. Do you have funding that helps scholars come to your library?2:29 PM Aug 7th from web in reply to kos2
  224. Take the first sentence in Parodie and compare it with all 12 recordings. Then measure the length of the whole songs in these performances.2:26 PM Aug 7th from web
  225. Check also voice tone, intonation in relation to words and counterpoint of other instruments.2:06 PM Aug 7th from web
  226. Things to check in recordings: Pitch accuracy, balance of voice vs. instruments, tempo, relation to words. Anything else?2:03 PM Aug 7th from web
  227. Wagner is an issue also outside of Israel PM Aug 7th from web
  228. Possible title: Counterpoint, Sprechstimme and early recordings1:05 PM Aug 7th from web
  229. However, It could be another good case study to show how people perform it when there is some relation to the instrument that is not strict.12:53 PM Aug 7th from web
  230. The Sprechstimme in "Der Mondfleck" is relatively free from the counterpoint in the other voices. That why I should concentrate on "Parodie"12:51 PM Aug 7th from web
  231. What I link about Schoenberg is that he has the ability to write music in various levels of comprehensability.12:06 PM Aug 7th from web
  232. It would be very wrong to argue that Schoeberg was writing "paper music". I think he cared about the listener, yet somethings are complex.11:31 AM Aug 7th from web
  233. Perhaps I should take only Parodie as my case study and cover all 12 recordings. After all, recordings are the center of my research.11:22 AM Aug 7th from web
  234. There is a significant gap between what the composer imagines, what he or she write and what one hears of various recordings.11:18 AM Aug 7th from web
  235. I think I have an idea for the chapter that I want to write. I reconsidered my argument in my MTO artilce ‘Sprechstimme reconsidered’11:02 AM Aug 7th from web
  236. Reading Phyllis Bryn-Julson and Paul Mathews book Inside Pierrot lunaire. They quote me quite extensively and disagree with some of my views6:52 PM Aug 6th from web
  237. Who might be interested in publishing rare recordings of Schoenberg conducting Pierrot lunaire?3:46 PM Aug 6th from web
  238. Manning cares to perform the cannon in Parodie accurately.3:02 PM Aug 6th from web
  239. Schoenberg should have written Clarinet part at Parodie mm. 22-24 one ocatve higher. Cannon (if he cared) does not work in performance.3:01 PM Aug 6th from web
  240. Another research question: what is the balance between the voice and viola in the recordings of Parodie?2:47 PM Aug 6th from web
  241. The cannon is not perfect. Schoenberg changes the notes because of the words of the song.2:46 PM Aug 6th from web
  242. Parodie will definetly be a case study2:45 PM Aug 6th from web
  243. Research question for Parodie: Which performers care to articulate the cannon between the viola and voice?2:42 PM Aug 6th from web
  244. Order Austin, Music in the 20th Century, p. 1992:39 PM Aug 6th from web
  245. Who needs music theory? Listen 2 Jonathan Dunsby PM Aug 6th from web
  246. I will probably choose Parodie as a case study since it has a canon between the viola and the voice2:08 PM Aug 6th from web
  247. aviorPerhaps another case study will be bars 20 and 27 from Der kranke mond. "(dieser Takt anders, aber doch nicht tragisch!!)"1:46 PM Aug 6th from web
  248. There is something very Twitter about Schoenberg’s Pierrot lunaire. Every song is a kind of Twit.1:34 PM Aug 6th from web
  249. To whom am I writing?1:33 PM Aug 6th from web
  250. @problogger check this out: Follow my research live on Twitter…1:30 PM Aug 6th from web in reply to problogger
  251. I think another case study will be Mondesstrunken. Everybody recognizes this piece since it is the first song and it has a nice pizz. tempo1:26 PM Aug 6th from web
  252. Leibowitz did also Gurrelieder with Ethel Semser1:20 PM Aug 6th from web
  253. I like Ethel Semser dark voice. Great performance!1:13 PM Aug 6th from web
  254. Ethel Semser has such a dark voice!1:06 PM Aug 6th from web
  255. I hope to decide today which songs will be my case studies. Probably 3-4 songs.1:05 PM Aug 6th from web
  256. Just liken to the Erika-Wagner performance for comparison. Yes, this song will be a case study.1:03 PM Aug 6th from web
  257. Choose Eine blasse Wascherin as one of my case studies since I know it quite well from MTO article…12:59 PM Aug 6th from web
  258. I like how Ethel Semser and Rene Leibowitz do Eine blasse Wascherin12:57 PM Aug 6th from web
  259. Leibowitz is one of the slowest conductors of Pierrot with regards to tempo. This is true about both of his recordings from the early 1950s.12:51 PM Aug 6th from web
  260. Leibowitz writes on record sleeve that Schoenberg wanted the reciter part to blend with the instruments. He advocates faithfulness to score.12:48 PM Aug 6th from web
  261. Listening to Ethel Semser and Rene Leibowitz perform (1954?) Pierrot lunaire12:45 PM Aug 6th from web
  262. Ilona Steingruber sings the written pitches of the Sprechstimme. She quite ignores Schoenberg’s introduction.12:40 PM Aug 6th from web
  263. Schoenberg writes Hauptstimme only for the instuments, never for the voice. Why did he say once that he wants the voice 2 be like instrument12:38 PM Aug 6th from web
  264. I don’t like doing research with records since its hard to go back just a bit as you do with CDs12:35 PM Aug 6th from web
  265. Listening to Ilona Steingruber and Vladimir Golschmann perform (1961) Pierrot lunaire12:32 PM Aug 6th from web
  266. From Blog: Follow my research on Pierrot lunaire on early recording, live on Twitter Comments on .. PM Aug 6th from twitterfeed
  267. A good title for my Pierrot lunaire chapter: "… when words fail, music speaks." (Hans Christian Anderson)11:28 AM Aug 6th from web
  268. Steingruber really likes to sing. Scheonberg not like it. PM Aug 5th from web
  269. The voice color and manner of singing is so central and Schoenberg says SO little about it.6:42 PM Aug 5th from web
  270. The main factors that affect the listening experience of recordings of Pierrot are: (1) The voice color (2) tempo (3) balance of instruments6:39 PM Aug 5th from web
  271. Listening to Ilona Steingruber with Golschmann conducting Pierrot lunaire (1961).6:35 PM Aug 5th from web
  272. Ilona Steingruber (with Golschmann conducting) sounds very different. Apart of her voice color, she sings quite alot.6:34 PM Aug 5th from web
  273. Jeanne Héricard, Hans Rosbaud, conductor: Something metalic about this performance. Especially her voice.6:28 PM Aug 5th from web
  274. Jane Manning (1967) does Die Kreuze very emotional.6:20 PM Aug 5th from web
  275. @soundarchive Nothing urgent. Just nice to see that the sound achive is twitting!6:17 PM Aug 5th from web in reply to soundarchive
  276. @soundarchive Where are you sitting?5:56 PM Aug 5th from web in reply to soundarchive
  277. The instrumental introduction to Die Kreuze could be useful for examining and comparing instrumental performance in the various recordings.5:50 PM Aug 5th from web
  278. On Gebet an Pierrot Ellen Adler pronounces the last words of the song with a strange color of a dying voice5:46 PM Aug 5th from web
  279. However Manning argues in the Saul Seminar that Richard Hofman said the Schoenberg would agree that it would be sung by a male Sprechstimme5:43 PM Aug 5th from web
  280. I guess people do it only with female singers is because Schoenberg recorded it with such adn did so always in performance.5:42 PM Aug 5th from web
  281. He didn’t even write if it should be a singer man of woman! It would be nice if a male Sprechstimme would sing Pierrot. Anyone volunteers?5:41 PM Aug 5th from web
  282. It is so strange that Schoenberg wrote so little about the color of the voice that he wanted when this affects the performance so much!5:39 PM Aug 5th from web
  283. Both Leibowitz recordings are similar with regards tempo yet the voice makes such a difference!5:35 PM Aug 5th from web
  284. Ellen Adler, voice and René Leibowitz, conductor - this recording is very different from his recording with Ethel Semser5:34 PM Aug 5th from web
  285. Why I write my research notes on Twitter…5:19 PM Aug 5th from web
  286. Ethel Semser and René Leibowitz did a very interesting recording of Pierrot. Spooky4:57 PM Aug 5th from web
  287. Ethel Semser’s voice is low4:51 PM Aug 5th from web
  288. In both recording René Leibowitz performs Pierrot very slowly4:50 PM Aug 5th from web
  289. Eine blasse Wascherin. Ethel Semser and René Leibowitz take it very slow.4:49 PM Aug 5th from web
  290. It is crazy how the voice takes all the attention.4:48 PM Aug 5th from web
  291. I think I should first choose 1-3 songs and focus on them.4:46 PM Aug 5th from web
  292. Pierrot lunaire. Ethel Semser, soprano; René Leibowitz, cond. (1954?) Strange color of voice. Mondesruncken. Slow tempo. Rare recording.4:45 PM Aug 5th from web
  293. @soundarchive Thanks. You forgot the n in Byron (-;1:36 PM Aug 5th from web in reply to soundarchive
  294. Perhaps I should check the balance between the voice and the instruments in the recordings of Pierrot lunaire?1:33 PM Aug 5th from web
  295. Gould plays slower once again12:30 PM Aug 5th from web
  296. Or perhaps choose some of the recordings of 1940s-1960s. Or look at all of them but on one song.11:28 AM Aug 5th from web
  297. Just found more recordings of Pierrot from the 1960s (total: 12). We might want to concentrate on the 1940s and 50s (total: 5). Or not?11:26 AM Aug 5th from web
  298. I have learned to control stress during the early stages of research. Good research takes time and patience.7:00 PM Aug 4th from web
  299. I think I should focus on one, two or maximum three songs in order to say something meaningful.6:51 PM Aug 4th from web
  300. Claude Helffer does the piano part quite agressively in Leibowitz’s performance<><><><><><><><><>6:50 PM Aug 4th from web
  301. Leibowitz conducts it slower and it sounds more relaxed6:48 PM Aug 4th from web
  302. Listening again to Rene Leibowitz and Ellen Adler do Die Kreuze from Schoenberg’s Pierrot lunaire6:47 PM Aug 4th from web
  303. There is something very nervous in Schoenberg’s and Erika’s recording of Pierrot lunaire. Because they were nervous, or is it style?6:46 PM Aug 4th from web
  304. Why do they sound so different?6:44 PM Aug 4th from web
  305. Listening to Schoenberg conducting and Erika Stiedry-Wagner Sprechsitimming Die Kreuze from his Pierrot lunaire6:44 PM Aug 4th from web
  306. Listening to Rene Leibowitz and Ellen Adler do Die Kreuze from Schoenberg’s Pierrot lunaire6:42 PM Aug 4th from web
  307. They all sound very similar at start, but then when you focus, interesting things start to appear6:41 PM Aug 4th from web
  308. Listening to various early performances of Schonberg’s song, Die Dreuze, from Pierrot lunaire6:40 PM Aug 4th from web
  309. What are the similarities and differences between early recordings of Schoenberg’s Pierrot lunaire?6:38 PM Aug 4th from web
  310. I treat the recordings as musical objects with their own significant. I do not care too much how it really sounded in live performance.6:09 PM Aug 4th from web
  311. The British Library is great. They have lots of material and are very helpful.2:47 PM Aug 4th from web
  312. Schoenberg wrote interesting things in the program of the first performance of Pierrot lunaire2:46 PM Aug 4th from web
  313. From Blog: Here is the research proposal I wrote for the Edison Fellowship in the British Library Soun.. AM Aug 4th from twitterfeed
  314. Why do most singers who write about Pierrot let themselves say what one SHOULD or SOULD NOT do?5:40 PM Aug 3rd from web
  315. Going to eat some english food4:05 PM Aug 3rd from web
  316. Manning says that the early recording of Pierrot are not accurate with regards to pitch yet are "authentic" with regards to the spiritofwork3:49 PM Aug 3rd from web
  317. We will probably focus our research on early recordings from the 1940s-1960s of Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire3:47 PM Aug 3rd from web
  318. Some parts in performances of Pierrot sound very wild!3:06 PM Aug 3rd from web
  319. I think that Schoenberg’s & Stiedry’s performance sounds like it does due to early recording techinque3:03 PM Aug 3rd from web
  320. Listening to Hand Rosbaud recording of Pierrot3:00 PM Aug 3rd from web
  321. It’s great to be in London again!2:55 PM Aug 3rd from web
  322. What does Manning mean by said that "she sound authentic?"2:54 PM Aug 3rd from web
  323. This month I will liten to many many recordings of Pierrot Lunaire by Arnold Schoenberg.2:52 PM Aug 3rd from web
  324. Listening to Jane Manning’s Saul Seminar in the Sound Archive at the British Library2:50 PM Aug 3rd from web


Self-discipline in music and musicological practice

Self-discipline in music and musicological practice

One of the things that bothered me since I started to learn music was how to practice and develop in a systematic way. I would like to stress that the solutions that I found are good for me and will not necessarily work for everyone. I am writing here about musicology but the idea is valid also for other types of music practice. It is also important to note that my situation, at the moment, is of a freelance musicologist (although officialy I started a Post-doc at the Hebrew University).

Daily practice

Last month, during my research trip at the British Library, I had the honour to meet the singer Jane Manning and her husband, the composer Anthony Payne. I told them that I am concerned about my academic future in Israel and that I wonder whether there are many freelance musicologists. One of the things that they told me is that each person that was a freelance musicologist found a solution that was good for him or her. This made me think that since I have a regular income from our translation company, I must find a solution that would be good for me. Our company is in Mazkeret Batya, ten minutes walk from where we live. Since I wake up at six AM every morning and since I am the general manger or the company, I can afford starting my day slightly later than most people can.
I decided to devote one hour, five days a week for reading book and articles on music. This may seem not too much time for some people, but if this is done in a consistent manner, than its value accumulates. I know this from learning Judaism. It is said that one should make specific time for learning Torah. This is what I am doing these days with music. I started to do this last week, when I returned from London, and it is early to say, but until now it is working fine (I am at the middle to the book Serkin: A life by Stephen Lehmann and Marion Faber, which is excellent!).

Weekly practice

I made a more drastic decision and that is to devote one day a week for doing musicology research. I started working with Prof. Jehoash Hirshberg and my subject is Bronislaw Hubermann. Yesterday I sat for half a day in his archive in Tel-Aviv. This marks a change in the way I thought about music. While in the last two years I thought that if one wants to do research one must have a regular academic job and an income that would financially justify it, today I believe that one should do things also because one feels that he or she must do them – even if the only take money from the person. Perhaps this is naïve. But this is what I believe in.

Concentrated practice and work

Once or twice a year I take a month or so off my work and devote myself to doing more extensive research. The aim of this is to produce more extensive work that is not possible in the daily and weekly frameworks described above. In fact, "normal" academic scholars do the same during the summer break.

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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Second thoughts: the higher education jobs situation in Israel

Second thoughts: the higher education jobs situation in Israel     

In one of my previous blog posts raised some concerns that many people in the Israeli job market do not know about music vacancies in higher education. When doing so I received certain conformation about the feeling of secrecy that surrounds such jobs (mostly around non-permanent vacancies). I was also approached privately by people who had similar experiences as I had, namely, the Israeli job market being hard and sometimes even unfair.
I do regret writing about some of the gossip I have heard, since it is possible that it is not true. Even though the source was a respected person, I should have not passed on this gossip. In Judaism it is called lashon hara. I know that I have personally suffered from it when I taught in the Bar-Ilan music department, and it was a mistake to do it myself in my blog. Unless there is clear evidence that it is true, and unless saying the thing can do any good, one should avoid saying it. Otherwise, it is lashon hara and it is considered something very wrong to do. I apologize to anyone that I have possible harmed by doing so.  
I also hope no one took seriously the pictures and movie of rabbits and pigs. I tried to use black humour in order to provocate a discussion. It seems that I have failed also in this.
Whether or not the higher education job situation in Israel is fair or unfair, it is not really the point. It is hard due to the fact that there are very few institutes and many people applying for jobs. Actually, John Rink (who was my PhD supervisor) told me that the situation in England is very similar. He told me about one of his students that is in a similar situation like many of us – she is working in something that is even not connect to music simply because she needs to make a living.  
In the next week or so, I hope to create the Israel Music Society Announcements Google group (sounds too long?). It will function for the society announcements and it will also be a platform for telling people about job vacancies.
Whether or not there is need to a person in our musicological society that will approach higher education institutes, I do not know. What do you think? Since I will probably do this for myself this year, I could approach also for other in our society. I will be glad to know what you think.
I would like to add that in a private email exchange between Yossi Maury, we agreed that it would be wonderful if there would be one place where all music job vacancies will be published. What do you think? Feel free to comment in the form below… if you dare (-;

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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 (this takes only several minutes) and then press the following link and join the group:   

10 Tips on how to find scholarships and funding

10 Tips on how to find scholarships and funding

One of the main problems that troubles both students and scholars in the academy, is how to find scholarships and funding to their studies or research projects. This is not a simple problem since it seems that there are many possible scholarships and grants to apply to, however, time is limited and in these days the competition is great. Even if you have the best research proposal, without funding, you may find yourself in great difficulties when trying to devote yourself to your studies. Finding funding for your academic work can be a major project in itself and you must be patient and systematic during this process. In this post I will suggest a few tips that might help you find scholarships, grants and other types of funding in a systematic, fast and efficient way.

1. Prepare in advance

It takes time to find all the potential scholarships, grants and fellowships that might fund your studies. Preparing in advance will help you not miss the deadlines. If you miss a deadline, you will probably have to wait a whole year before being able to apply.

            Another reason why preparing in advance is important, is because you might be dependant on other people for completing your application form or getting them to write for you recommendation letters. People in the academy tend to be very busy or they simply might be on vacation when you need them. Approaching them in advance will help you avoid begging them to help you, putting them in an inconvenient situation where they are being rushed, or simply missing the possibility that they will cooperate merely because the cannot adjust themselves to your irresponsible time table. 

2. Find web pages that have lists of relevant scholarships

The first place to find scholarship is on the web pages of the university that you plan to attend. These days I am desperately looking for funding sources for a Post-Doctorate in the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Here is the web page that contains a list of scholarships. The Hebrew University has a scholarship database where you can look for funding according to your degree and research field. Other Universities have similar sites and databases. I have collected here some scholarship links for Post-Doctorate students (you can find here also pages that list many scholarships and grants). 

3. Contact people who deal with scholarships on a regular basis

One of the best sources for finding grants and scholarships is to ask your (potential) supervisor or other professors that have taught you in the past, two questions: (1) What scholarships and grants do you know of (make sure you write down their answers!). (2) Where can I find people who might know about such funding sources?

            Each university usually has a body that is in charge of research and development (here is the website of The Authority of Research and Development in the Hebrew University and here is a link to Humanity scholarships there). Learn the website of the equivalent body in your university and do not forget to call people that work there and ask for more information about scholarships (and other people that might help).

            It would be wise to approach people who already went through this process (experienced students or scholars who are 1-5 years head of your stage in the academy).

            Another good thing to do is to use the internet in order to find the information. It is obvious that you could use search engines. If you have a blog, write a post that will tell the world what you plan to do and that you need funding. Use social sites such as Facebook and Twitter that can further spread your message. I can tell from personal experience that I have found a potential funding via Facebook.

4. Make a list of potential funding sources

It is important to by systematic in your search for funding. Open and excel file or google doc spreadsheet and make a list of all scholarships, grants, fellowships and other funding sources. Make a column that will say what is the deadline and other columns that will say if you have filled all the forms, attached all the documents that were requested, and approached that people that will send you recommendation letters.         

5. What is the deadline?

This is a very important question. Preparing in advance (see tip no. 1) is useful for noting the deadlines of scholarships in your diary. I recommend that you will use Google Calendar or any other machine that will give you a reminder when to start preparing the material for the scholarship. Such preparation takes its time and spreading the work is the most reasonable thing you would like to do in order to make life easier. 

6. Read about the body that grants the scholarship and understand their aims

Before filling the forms and approaching people for recommendation letters, it is highly recommended that you will spend time to learn the website of the body that grants the scholarship. Understanding their aims is important for adjusting your form and your CV. There is nothing wrong in doing so. Some grants want to know what kind of voluntary social work you have done during your life. You might not be interested in emphasizing this to other funding sources, yet it would be very wise to do so if you know that this is one of the goals of the people that decide if you will be granted the funding.

7. Make sure you filled in all the forms as requested

Take time to read the form before starting to fill it. After filling all the requested information, go through the form again and make sure that nothing is missing. Missing information is one of the main reasons why applications are turned down.

8. Make sure you added all the requested documents

For the same reason it is important to make sure that you have attached to your application all the documents that were requested. Such documents might include a list of grades from previous degrees that you did and your diplomas.

9. Write as clearly as possible

A scholarship candidate is often requested to write an introduction letter, a research proposal or an abstract of it. Make sure that you write as clearly as possible. Keep in mind that such documents might be read by various people. Some of them are from your field and some are not. The content of such documents should be directed to the type of audience that will read them. If you will write in a highly sophisticated manner, using terms that are known only to people from your field, while the readers of your application are people who know nothing about such academic words – you will loose your audience, and the scholarship. One the other hand, if your readers are from your field, make sure that you prove that you are part field by emphasizing the main problems and issues that might interest all of you.

10. Do not close the door before others do it for you

If you think that a scholarship might not be for you, do not automatically desert it. I recommend calling the people who are in change of the scholarship and make sure that you are really not eligible for approaching it. I can tell from my own experience that I found a potential scholarship after calling the organization that grants the scholarship and finding, to my surprise, that also I can send an application.

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What young people should keep in mind when deciding to do a PhD in Musicology

Durrell Bowman wrote to the American Musicological Society List the following:

"It looks like we’re heading for about 60 viable tenure-track positions this year. Based on what I know from previous years, about 65 candidates apply for a typical state-college-type job.  So, let’s assume that 65 is close to the average number of applicants, and let’s also assume that each person applies to 20% of the positions. That suggests 325 people applying for 60 jobs, and 265 people thus not getting positions this year.  Based on DDM and other information, our field must have produced around 130 new Ph.D.s per year for the past forty years, so, cumulatively, there could be more than 1500 Ph.D.s in our field (between, say, 35 and 75 years of age) who have never had tenure-track positions."

This is something to keep in mind when you need to decided whether to study musicology or anything else. It is hard, and in some places like Israel, it is almost impossible. I am very happy that I did my studies in Music. Yet, I admit that it is quite a shame that I am not really doing anything with it during most of the day.

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On being a critical author

On being a critical author

Now that about two years passed since I finished my PhD, it is enough time to look back and think how it affected my writing. I will relate in this post to one aspect: being critical.

I remember that my supervisor taught me how to be critical towards various kinds of sources and what people say and write. This was one of the best lessons that I have learnt during my postgraduate studies. However, looking back, it had also some negative affects. Paul Banks told me several months ago, that when you publish a book you write in a different way than when one writes a PhD. One is less defensive. Paul, who was one of my examiners (the other one was Jonathan Dunsby), knows very well what he was talking about. During my viva I sat in a beautiful room before two examiners who are world experts about Schoenberg and/or performance (my PhD subject) and the period I wrote about. They read every sentence of my PhD and I had to prove that all my arguments are solid. Believe me this is quiet scary. Once feels like be judged in a court of law. During the last year of my PhD I had the viva event at the back of my mind. I had to make sure that everything that I write is defensible. This created a certain kind of thinking and writing. In the following I will try to explain what I mean.

            A leitmotif in Schoenberg’s writings on performance is his demand for many rehearsals. In an article entitled ‘Gustav Mahler’ from 1912, he argued that Mahler ’still [had] something to say’ to the performers in the tenth rehearsal. Mahler, he claimed, had a clear ‘image’ (Bild) of what he wished to reproduce.(Schoenberg, Style and Idea, pp. 449-71) The main issue in the quotation above has to do with a musical image that was in the mind of the composer, which is reproduced by the conductor and which should be communicated through performance. Having many rehearsals while forcing performers to play the right notes, served the aim of reproducing an image, and this resulted in the performer’s participation ‘in the spirit of the music’.

            When I read this during my PhD, it seemed to me very idealistic of Schoenberg to think this way. It seemed to me a Romantic view, placing the composer as a prophet who communicates a divine image to the listener, given to him by God.

            I still think that this view is terribly idealistic and it does not stand scrutiny if one closely examines what performers do. Yet, during a lecture on management, the lecturer argued that a manager should have a clear image of what he wants to achieve. This reminded me of Schoenberg.

            Perhaps Schoenberg did not want a perfect image in the mind of the performer. Yet, he did expect a conductor, to have a clear image of the music before he stands before the performers and manages them.

            Now there are various kinds of management techniques, which give various degrees of freedom to the people who are managed. In any case, today I can sympathize with Schoenberg’s demand. Today’s economic crisis demands from managers to be alert and make focused decisions. One needs to have a clear image of ones goals. Otherwise, one’s company can disappear.

            Looking back at my PhD, it was right to criticize Schoenberg for being idealistic towards the role of the composer in relation to that of the performer (especially before 1933). However, it is true that a composer and similarly, a performer, should have an image of what they want to achieve. I feel this clearly from great performers such as Glenn Gould.

            It is good to be critical, yet one should learn also to respect the perspectives of other people, even if at first sight they seem wrong. Becoming a good writer about music demands a balance between writing with authority and weighing various ideas and perspectives.

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How to choose a PhD, MA or DMA subject for a thesis

Finding a thesis subject

Choosing a subject for a PhD, MA, DMA or whatever thesis you are doing, can be a tricky issue. Many people start there research degree saying “I have no subject” or they speak about what they are doing in very general term. This is perhaps normal for most research students. Yet, it is expected that you will gradually find a focused and interesting subject for your research. Finding a research subject can be a painful process. If it is hard for you to explain to other (I have I mind people who know very little about music) what your research is about, then you are probably in the early stages of finding your subject. I remember that it was a very stressful period for me. I hope that some of the things that I will write here will help you make the process easier for yourself.

I remember that I spent a year of my life reading lots of articles and books trying to find my way in the world of writing about music. After a year my supervisor, Prof. John Rink, told me that it is about time that I find a real subject for my thesis. During that year I knew that I was interested in interpretation and performance studies. My thesis proposal during that year was about ‘music communication’ in very broad terms. I was fascinated about how musical communication happens between composers, performers and listeners. My supervisor felt that my proposal was too broad and he tried to encourage me to focus it. One of the things that I did during the first year was that I read books and then wrote a ‘reading report’ of a few pages which included a critical response to what I have read. This gave me some experience in writing and reacting to what I read.

A good thesis subject definition, like a good PhD proposal is essential for a successful dissertation. Yet a good research proposal depends on a good dissertation subject. It is worth while to spend much time on finding and developing you subject. In this post I will suggests some things that might help you arrive to a successful dissertation subject.

Explore what other people do

My supervisor is not the only one that gives his research students to read much literature during the early phase of research. Actually, it is a very common method of teaching in the USA (although I did my PhD in Royal Holloway, University of London). Apart of the experience it gives one with writing and criticizing, it is supposed to open the student to a vast number of authors, methods of doing research and styles of writing. It is good to see what people are interested in since it may give you ideas. It is good to keep a small diary where one keeps short notes about what one reads. Another way to get to know what people are doing is to attend conferences.

Be novel

Once you get to know what people write you may find ‘holes’ in their research. You may discover that they did not cover all aspect of a phenomenon or that there are other angels to treat an issue. I remember that in one of my ‘reading reports’ I wrote to my supervisor that it could be interesting to see how composers themselves perform their own music. I mentioned Schoenberg and Bartok. My supervisor said that indeed this could be an interesting path to take and that I should now explore what was written about Bartok, Schoenberg or any other composer that performed his or her music. The idea is to find a subject that nothing or very little was written about. Once you finish a PhD that is noval, this makes you an expert in your subject. 

Be in touch with your feelings

I told John that very little was written about both Bartok and Schoenberg. His reaction was that he feels that perhaps it would be wise to choose Schoenberg since he was a Jew and I am interested in Judaism. He said that although I will probably write now on performance, in could extend my research in the future so that it will relate to other issues such as religion.

Choose a subject that you love

Moreover, Schoenberg’s history is very much connected to the faith of Jewish people in Europe and USA, and this is connected to the history of my own family. The subject if European Jewish history was always something that fascinated me. Choosing a subject that you love is very important, since that are moments in your research which might be boring are hard. If you love your subject, it could compensate on this and help you finish you degree. Furthermore, you will probably invest more energy, emotion and time in something that you love.

Ask for advice from people that you appreciate

Another thing that might help you find a good subject is to ask Scholars about possibilities. You can ask you supervisor and other members of you department. You can also write to scholars in other places via emails. You will be surprised how people might help you. Yet, one should keep in mind that it is also good to struggle on your own. If you develop mechanisms to find things you are interested to write about, it will definitely help you in you future career as an author. It is interesting to examine the breath of writing or various authors. Some are focused. Others write about almost everything.

See how your supervisor feels about your subject

Once you have found one or more possibilities, show them to your supervisor and ask what he or she think. It is very important to choose a subject that your supervisor will agree to help you with. My supervisor told me that he does not like most of the music of Schoenberg. Yet he made it clear that what is important that I will like my subject, and that he will support whatever I choose. I am not sure that all supervisors are so generous. You have to be sure that your supervisor agrees that you will do research on your subject so that you can receive his or her support during the studying phase, when you defend your thesis and thereafter.

Keep developing and focusing your thesis as time passes

The normal thing that happens when you find a subject is that you need to focus it. When I new that I want to do research on Schoenberg and performance, I have to decide which recordings and pieces I will explore. I had some idea during my first PhD year, yet the PhD plan kept changing as time passed. Keep an open mind and take into consideration that things usually change once you advance in your research.

There are people who do reasearch of subject that they do not like. They were lucky to find something novel but unlucky that the subject was not close to their hearts. I strongly feel that a good subject must be novel, somthing that you love and something that your supervisor can support. Keep this in mind when you search for a thesis subject and you have more chances to turn into a good scholar.

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Copyright Avior Byron 2023 .