/r/musicology

Photograph via snooOG

Focusing on Historical Musicology, this is a community coming together to share scholarly research about music and its origins. Open discussion of music philosophy, theoretical sociology, aesthetics of music, cultural and gender studies, performance, literature, theatre, theory, analysis, and theology.

Focusing on Historical Musicology, this is a community coming together to share scholarly research about music and its origins. Open discussion of music philosophy, theoretical sociology, aesthetics of music, cultural and gender studies, performance, literature, theatre, theory, analysis, and theology. Understanding is the goal of this community and civil discourse the standard method of communication. We welcome anyone with a burning desire for discovery and a thirst for knowledge. Welcome to r/musicology!

RULES

  1. Civility is our #1 rule and rudeness will result in a BAN.

  2. Plagiarism will not be tolerated and will result in a BAN.

  3. Please take the time to ensure your post is original content for this community.

  4. Please do not down-vote a topic because you disagree with the author. This is a community for discussion. Please comment and discuss any theories you may have that differ from others.

  5. Self-promotion is not allowed if promoting a paid service. Promoting free content (e.g. educational YouTube videos, podcasts, or tools) is fine as long as it is specifically musicological in nature. Your music-theory videos can go on /r/musictheory, not here. Your tools for pianists and singers can go to those subreddits. If someone asks "Are there any tools available for x?" it is OK to reply to that question with self-promotion if what you promote actually fits with the question asked. Spam of any kind is still not allowed even if the spammed content is free.

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/r/musicology

11,745 Subscribers

1

Musical demonstration of the pipes of Pompeii, an example of early Roman Imperial-era tibiae (Greek: aulos) found in the buried city.

0 Comments
2024/06/20
23:11 UTC

0

Ethnic piano music

Im looking for good recommandations of ethnic piano music (I wanna play other things than the usual Bach or Chopin), maybe from the 19th-20th centuries and before ? And where could the sheets possibly be accessible ? Thank you !!

5 Comments
2024/06/18
20:49 UTC

6

Musicology - refreshment

Hi! I have a master degree in musicology, but haven’t been using my knowledge for years and now I feel a bit rusty. Would you recommend me some lectures that can help with refreshing knowledge?

3 Comments
2024/06/15
10:36 UTC

4

Historically-Informed Performance and Accents

So, I have a great deal of interest in historically-informed performance. I also have a great interest in accents and how language changes overtime.

I was curious if any historical performance vocalists work with reconstructing period accents for when they sing- particularly in English.

I know that the accents of Britain have changed greatly over time, with rhoticity (the pronunciation of R sounds in the middle and ends of syllables) being dropped, and H sounds being pronounced at the beginning of syllables.

I'm particularly interested with accents in Handel's days, such as the Hallelujah Chorus. I know that in Shakespeare's time, H sounds were always dropped at the beginning if syllables ("Two 'ouse'olds both alike..."). This practice seems to have continued on quite late, as in Colonial America (where accents were quite similar to those of the British Isles), Benjamin Franklin invented the "glass harmonica," often spelled as "glass armonica" without the H, suggesting that it might not have been pronounced. The word "herb" deviated not long after, where British people started to pronounce the H at the beginning, while Americans never added it.

Basically, would the H at the beginning of "Hallelujah" have been pronounced when Handel first premiered the Hallelujah Chrous in the year 1741? Glass Armonica was invented 20 years later. Have any HIP choirs explored these accent differences? If not, why isn't it something that is explored? A lot of HIP is based in research, with the idea being to explore a whole other world of sound as it pertains to Western music history, and accents are one of the easiest ways to sonically differentiate between your personal setting and the setting of other places across time and space.

1 Comment
2024/06/14
00:35 UTC

1

French Caribbean Music Scales Or Influenced Scales?

0 Comments
2024/06/13
08:57 UTC

0

Create and Remix music with AI

Hey everyone, big day - we just launched TwoShot on ProductHunt.

TwoShot let's you create and remix music with AI!

Check it out: https://ProductHunt.com/posts/TwoShot

It would be amazing to get an upvote/comment.

0 Comments
2024/06/13
08:56 UTC

17

Dirty Musicology - an Ecomusicology podcast from Musicology PhD at CU Boulder and Peabody alumnus

Hey friends - I started an ecomusicology podcast a few months ago, bringing in more contemporary discourse on ecology and environmentalism as well as New Materialist/Transcendentalist philosophy to take a phenomenological approach to music in the environmentalism movement.

I know reddit is typically hostile towards self-promotion, but I've had enough colleagues in the field give me positive feedback on this unconventional side project to feel comfortable sharing it here.

I also know folks are hostile towards anyone who gives a shit, or wants the world to be a better place, so I expect some heavy downvotes, but for those of you who are interested in conservation/environmentalism and want musicology to engage more with it, come on over and check out the project. I will be adding to it very soon - the last semester left me with little time for it.

There's a growing movement of younger musicologists who want the field to engage with environmentalism in a more meaningful way (Titon's edited volume was disappointing in this regard, treating Ecology as if it hasn't developed since 1890). Dirty Musicology is my way of adding to this chorus. I hope to see some fellow dirt worshipping degenerates over there <3

-Jamo

https://www.buzzsprout.com/2296913

12 Comments
2024/06/12
16:33 UTC

5

Advice for changing direction into musicology

Hello all,

I am a junior at a relatively good public university (50,000+ students) majoring in journalism. I've taken several elective musicology classes that don't count toward my major, and I want to do something related to music in the future. My school doesn't have a music minor (to my knowledge), so I'm stuck where I am. I'm an editor of a music magazine on campus and spend most of my extra time making zines related to music. For a long time, I wanted to be a music journalist, but studying music in a scholarly way fits me much better.

I spend most of my time thinking about music or playing music. I could spend every day studying different genres, writing books, and teaching. My GPA could be better (3.7 GPA) as I got some Bs in my language courses.

I know it's difficult to switch from a major unrelated to musicology, MA, but I'm starting to think a master's in musicology could be where my heart is. My question is, how do I get there?

I read that getting an associate's degree in something music-related would be a way to start. I play 4-5 instruments, but I don't really have any skill in theory. How would I make myself a good applicant for a master's program? I would ask advisors at my university, but they aren't super helpful honestly.

Alternatively, if I'm not a good candidate for a master's program, what should I self-study so I can develop a solid foundation for a music-related career?

2 Comments
2024/06/02
19:39 UTC

8

A blog I think you all will like

I maintain a daily music blog where I write about a different genre every day out of a list of 2,000, and it's gotten me very interested in maybe pursuing musicology. I'm just an amateur college student blogging, but I'd appreciate your support and thought it would resonate here. https://reidht.substack.com/

2 Comments
2024/05/30
16:19 UTC

3

Getting into a musicology PhD program

I just finished my masters in classical guitar performance, and I’m wanting to go into musicology. I have a (musicologist) professor who’s willing to help me go over some of my previous papers to make them useable for applications, but I’d appreciate some advice trying to go from a performance background into research, and also what I could do to make myself a more appealing candidate to musicology programs.

12 Comments
2024/05/24
17:24 UTC

3

Online graduate courses

Hello, does anyone know of a program that offers online graduate courses in Music History without having to enroll in a degree program?

0 Comments
2024/05/22
19:40 UTC

3

What is the history of the fraction based time signatures?

I'm a UK musician and use the crotchet/quaver names.

I have been trying to find out how we ended up with using 4 as the numerical value for a crotchet. I understand that in the US, a crotchet is a quarter note. However, I would like to know - did the fractional rhythm names come first (and if so, where did they come from)? Or did the time signatures change to a fraction system resulting in the adoption of the fractional names? Chicken or egg?

I've always found it strange that the fractional rhythm names don't actually make sense compared to the mensural ones, since the mensural "whole note" would be a breve, but the fractional system is based on a semibreve being the "whole note". If anyone can shed light on why that is, that would be great too.

After trying to Google, I've been able to establish that the "British" terms are rooted in mensural notation which used several varients of the C (now used for common time) for time signatures. My search also tells me that there was then a change to the fraction system, which was presumably to allow for more than the four mensural options. What I can't find is anything about why there was a shift specifically to fraction based time signatures, and how 4 ended up being the number used to represent a crotchet beat.

I appreciate that this is an incredibly nerdy query, so I'm very happy to be directed to books, articles or other places I can ask for more information!

4 Comments
2024/05/22
12:34 UTC

5

What makes a good piece of music "good"?

Thank you all for your insightful comments on my earlier attempt to explain audience alienation in modern classical music. An explanation is not a judgment, yet I sense that my post is often read as a judgment on the artistic and aesthetic merit of contemporary classical music based on psychology or neuroscience. That's not at all what my argument is about. Nevertheless if a topic seems a tad touchy, I am tempted to switch gear and addressing instead what's really lurking beneath the surface.

So here we go, let's address the realy - hard - question. What makes a good piece of (modern classical) music "good" - and what makes bad music "bad"?

You all probably got the vibes that there is some composers and pieces of music that I find silly at best. So far it isn't forbidden to think it, but the question obviously is what good reasons one provides to support his judgement. Nothing more in fact than what a good critic or musicologist would do too.

For musicologists and music lovers in general, I am sure this might be interesting, because when it comes to explain why a piece of music is good, we all subscribe to one aesthetic theory or another.

Would you be interested in discussing this question of artistic value? What are your thoughts on the criteria for judging music as "good" or "bad"? Is it a musicological issue?

8 Comments
2024/05/21
19:23 UTC

1

Favorite books on hip-hop/rap?

Hi! I’m just looking to build up by hip-hop studies reading.

2 Comments
2024/05/21
18:50 UTC

7

Emancipation of Dissonance vs Emancipation of rhythm

Hello everyone,

As a musicologist, philosopher, and former composer, I've been exploring a potentially controversial idea: that modern classical music's audience alienation might be due more to the increasing complexity of rhythm than the commonly cited factor of dissonance. I've also drawn on psychological research that suggests our perception of rhythm is quite universal, but breaks down when complexity becomes overwhelming.

The responses I've received so far have been surprising, with accusations of advocating for simplistic music or suggesting that considering audience perception limits artistic autonomy. I want to clarify that my intention is not to dictate how music should be written, but rather to investigate a historical phenomenon—the alienation of audiences from modern classical music over the past 125 years.

It seems that simply acknowledging this alienation is still a sensitive topic, as if it implies a judgment on the artistic merit of the music itself. For me, it's merely a starting point for a deeper exploration of the factors that contribute to this disconnect.

I'm curious to hear your thoughts on this. Do you think rhythmic complexity plays a significant role in audience alienation? How do you view the relationship between artistic autonomy, audience engagement, and scientific insights into music perception?

https://whatcomesafterd.substack.com/p/cant-tap-cant-dance-cant-do-anything?r=da1yd

26 Comments
2024/05/20
14:37 UTC

13

Agree or disagree: "Writing about music is like dancing about architecture"?

This is a quote I came across in my musicology studies. Do you agree with the quote above?

Also, what are your favorite musicology-related quotes? Here are two more of mine:

“Music is liquid architecture and Architecture is frozen music." - Goethe

''Debussy only threatens; Schoenberg carries out the threat.'' - A 1910 music critic, regarding killing tonality basically lol

12 Comments
2024/05/17
16:09 UTC

1

Beautiful Fertility Carnival of the Andes: Tupay Carnaval

0 Comments
2024/05/17
01:57 UTC

5

How Musicology Influenced WW2

Hey everyone! I recently did a deep dive on how music was used during ww2. I researched the history of how Germany became the "People of Music". A lot of musicologists in Germany worked with the Nazis' and tied this idea into their claimed proof of the Aryan race. Which they used to justify the holocaust. They used music as a means of torture in many ways to control everyone they occupied. The Allies also weaponized music with intelligence agencies in different ways as a form of anti propaganda that was very effective against the Third Reich.

I just made a video showing how it all played out. Feel free to check it out and share any thoughts and feedback

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qrGrKGSvZ-I

9 Comments
2024/05/16
21:47 UTC

2

In need of gap year ideas

Hi everyone! I’m going into my senior year of undergrad (music major with musicology concentration) and I’ve decided I’m getting a masters and PhD with a gap year in between undergrad and grad school. But I feel like I’ve done so much in my undergrad I’ve kind of run out of ideas for musicology-related jobs and don’t know what to do during my gap year. I’ve had two semesters of a research job, gotten published, spoken at a conference and had an internship at a music magazine. Other than working on more publications, I would really appreciate ideas for good programs or jobs to look into for my gap year. Thanks!

1 Comment
2024/05/14
01:41 UTC

3

Glad this group exists: Thoughts on Musicology and Technology research?

I come from a technology background and it has been my entry point to deeper musical study. Over the years I've finally found myself looking at it from a historical and anthropological perspective. I'm finding that many musicologists are not discussing technology as often as I think should be done. For example, I don't see much techno-anthropological research regarding music.

What are your thoughts on this?

On that note, I have a newsletter that attempts to discuss these things. I'm pretty passionate about the subject - https://estevancarlos.substack.com/subscribe

4 Comments
2024/05/13
20:16 UTC

1

I am looking for a book that will provide me with ammunition to write a brief essay about Indian (Asian) folk/traditional musical traditions and how they relate to American culture (folk or pop)

Hello, I am taking a music appreciation class and I thought you guys would be a help.

0 Comments
2024/05/13
12:58 UTC

4

Your favourite journal articles or books that you have read recently

Hi all,

This is purely driven by a sheer curiosity but I would greatly appreciate if you could enlighten me with your favored selections of journal articles and/or books. I am aware that some of us will be specialising heavily in particular corners of musicology and so am eagerly anticipating any insights and recommendations you may suggest.

4 Comments
2024/05/12
00:25 UTC

0

Yoga music questions

Hi Musicologists. Long time since I took a few classes in this field so excuse me if there is a body of work on this topic that I’m not aware of (nothing I can find online but maybe in journals?)

I’m not a devotee or anything but I take part in as many yoga courses at my gym that I can book a place in (yoga is still highly sought after!) and the music used by most yogis has often puzzled me.

The production and composition of the vast bulk of the music written for yoga classes, I think most musicologists and composition students would agree, is pretty terrible. All in the same key, very limited harmonic and melodic creativity, very culty in mood etc etc. Regarding production it is usually made with bad synth programming and poor engineering, compression, space, frequency balance (sorry, I’ve forgotten much technical language) makes for a poor listening experience. Authenticity is very questionable - it seems like appropriation and making up of a genre that pretends to be classical. And in terms of the market, there is little transparency around who created the stuff that every studio keeps playing (which is now decades old) and little space for new artists to come in and call out the bullshit. It feels like there is some kind of domination by an unknown industry player who decided “this is what yoga studios will play and suffer with”. If this music were classical karnatic or Hindustani tunes I think our musical senses would be better off for it as we would all now understand some of the basic language of these incredibly rich musical traditions, but of course that’s not the case.

As a musical aficionado and a fan of good sound and traditional and classical genres, I often find it hard to really relax in a yoga class with this horrible stuff being played. It’s also poorly engineered for the spaces. I noticed recently that a Pilates trainer at our gym decided to put some well engineered downbeat into a playlist and the effect was amazing - things like Ralph Myers, James Blake, Jordan Rakai and others where the speakers have a chance to sing due to the space between the trebles and bass frequencies. People clapped at the end of the session and everybody felt super focused and relaxed.

Does anybody know a bit more about the market and story behind yoga music or care to speak on this topic in terms of personal observations? Hope I’m not the only one. And yeah, I realise that the same problems that exist in the pop music industry are certainly going to carry over into the yoga music sector, given most instructors or yogis might not even think deeply about their playlists. But I take my hat off to those who put in that little bit of effort!

1 Comment
2024/05/11
02:26 UTC

2

What style of African music had the biggest influence on blues?

And are there any recordings of those styles?

6 Comments
2024/05/08
21:45 UTC

0

Best VST

Which is the best VST for acoustic Guitar?

2 Comments
2024/05/08
14:02 UTC

1

Help needed: What is the name of this sound?

What is the name of the initial sound found in this song?

3 Comments
2024/05/06
17:58 UTC

2

Oldest compositions in Harmonic Major and Minor scales

Hello, for purpose of my own music education and my own compositions, I look for the oldest known examples of Harmonic scales. I'm currently studying Renassiance and Barque counterpoint, but it isn't my goal currently to try to make something accurately historically stylized, more I would want to hear more music that introduced harmony based on augmented chords and how they were treated initially. I hope the most for anything from XVIIIth century. Is there any existing music like this?

0 Comments
2024/05/06
11:07 UTC

11

How realistic is an academic career is musicology?

Hello! I’m about to graduate high school and will be studying music at university in the fall. I have an offer from the University of Oxford and plan on going there assuming I meet my offer conditions

Initially I was planning on becoming a secondary music teacher after graduating but in the past year or two I’ve become increasingly interested in early music in musicology and am seriously considering try to make a go of an academic career. I know that this job market is quite difficult so I would appreciate it if someone could give me some thoughts on my chances of success.

12 Comments
2024/05/06
01:36 UTC

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