Discover and read the best of Twitter Threads about #musictheory

Most recents (14)

Oof! I do love long titles for presentations! 😂

"When Heterophony Becomes Polyphony: Two Ways of Looking at Multipart Music on a Continuum and how that Influences Composition and Performance Practice."
But I'm really looking forward to this as I'll be framing it from the standpoint of creating inclusive pedagogies by highlighting Heterophony/Polyphony as types of musical practices embodied as variations across cultures. Similar to what I describe here:
One ultimate goal of which is to get away from essentializing musical practices while also acknowledging how they are modeled in different ways because of different knowledge systems.
Read 7 tweets
Just realized how cool the key change to the solo is in "Don't Fear the Reaper" - A minor to the chromatic mediant key of C minor using common pitches /thread
#musictheory #blueoystercult #guitar #songwriting
The song is in an Aeolian A minor but we get that G# sounding like a leading note after the fermata Am chord before the solo enters. The G# and C (from the Am) are reinterpreted as the third (Ab) and 5th of an Fm chord in the first solo arpeggio (F Ab C)
which then moves to a G7/F arpeggio (F-G-B) with the bass now staying consistent - these become iv and V[4/2] in the new key. We then get a solo in a functional C minor, where leading notes are raised.
Read 5 tweets
When I read about Slave Orchestras I have that scene in "A Beautiful Mind" where Nash/Crowe, during his insight moment about Governing Dynamics, says to Hansen/Lucas "Incomplete. Incomplete."

If we can't own the FULL history of #ClassicalMusic, then it's systemically incomplete. Image
That <<logic of exclusion of colored bodies>> comes to play when thinking about the evolution #ClassicalMusic in these formerly colonized countries and how the composers, repertoire, & ensembles that emerged in them are distinctly absent from our whitewashed histories ...
... and how the contribution of scholarship from formerly colonized countries is also absent—the very scholarship that acknowledges the colonial histories and #ClassicalMusic’s Slave Orchestras/Choirs/Bands and hybridized performance practices.
Read 7 tweets
This paragraph in Dr. DjeDje's interview says so much, and am really looking forward to her book African American fiddling! The three or four paragraphs after this one (about half way through the interview) are dense with rich implications for the history of Black musicking! 1/ Image
"The result is that when blacks did not hear themselves playing the fiddle in the media, many turned to other instruments (i.e., guitar) & musical genres (blues & jazz instead of old time & country)."

Curious how she frames that in relation to Blues & the violin-amping issue! 2/
Of course that connection to history of string playing and rise of Islam in Western Africa and the connection of those two things and the Blues with our growing understanding that it's now estimated that up to a third of African slaves were Muslim. 3/

Read 6 tweets
Adventures in compiling bibliographies: Arabic #MusicTheory edition. PART III: Graeco-Arabic Translation Movement.

One of the pleasures of working on this bib is coming across other folks' work. For example, the Digital Corpus for Graeco-Arbic Studies!
Western Music Theorists/Historians don't generally have a healthy understanding of the Islamic Golden Age and the translation movement that likely helped preserve a fair number of ancient Greek Music treatises which might not have otherwise survived.…
The Greek works, obviously, haven't been the only ones preserved, translated, and commented on in Baghdad and Cordoba. My 1st two threads talked about the Syriac and Hebrew/Judaic overlap. Some translators were ethnically Persian so there's also overlap with Pahlavi works.
Read 10 tweets
Adventures in compiling bibliographies: Arabic #MusicTheory edition. PART II

It was inevitable I'd eventually hit all the Abrahamic religions. Just came to this:

"Judeo-Islamic sacred soundscapes: The maqamization of the Eastern Sephardic Liturgy" 1/…
The past 16 years or so I've been also playing Jewish music. From about 2009-2013 I played with the River City Klezmer Band organized by Dr. Al Goldin who just passed this past June (at 97).

One of my favorite memories: all these Somali kids just had to dance with our singer! 2/ Image
The past 5 years, been playing in a Sephardic Jewish band led by Cantor Sharon Hordes.

Was asked to record on 2 tracks of "Mi Coraçon Sospira"--her first CD--and to play the CD release. The group stuck & were dubbed "Transito."

At the Cantor's Assembly in Louisville 2019. 3/ Image
Read 9 tweets
Adventures in compiling bibliographies: Arabic Music Theory edition.

Just traveled down a rabbit hole of Syriac Christian Chants and the Beth Gazo (collection of Syriac hymns dating back to Bardaisian 154-222 CE) and I'm reminded how Eurocentric #MusicTheory is as a discipline.
Tala Jarjour, in her "Syriac Chant at the Negotiation of Source and Method in the Two Music–“ologies”," probably sums up a lot of what's running through my head right now.… Image
And Jarjour really hits it on the head here because this could be said of so many of the Christian chant traditions. This applies even to the more well studied ones like the Byzantine and Znamenny, much less Armenian Apostolic, Georgian, Zema, and Coptic traditions. Image
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I've been piecing together my thoughts on this over the last few days. /thread
tl;dr It's a lot better than I expected, great on Schenker; I've got some questions about the first half.
It's pretty sophisticated and in-depth, structured around a conversation with @philewell - I only realized after seeing this that the man who sparked the Music Theory Culture War was someone I had dinner with at SMT 2018, as a minority travel grant recipient.
and it got me to go back and read through more of Ewell's paper and presentation. Illuminating to know more of Schenker's racial views and his own view of his ideas about music theory being part of a unified world view, interconnected with his hierarchical views on humanity.
Read 25 tweets
When I first heard about Rhiannon Giddens' opera about Omar Ibn Said, it was a couple months after the premiere had been cancelled due to Covid. I was both bummed and elated--this means I might be able to see it now when it premiere's next year!…
"Omar Ibn Said was an enslaved Muslim-African man brought to Charleston in 1807. The opera’s story traces his spiritual journey fr Africa to his capture & enslavement in the Carolinas. Much of what we know about Ibn Said comes fr his autobio., which he penned in Arabic in 1831."
We don't generally think of Muslims as having been in the Americas in any great numbers, but an estimated 30% of African slaves are now thought to have been Muslim.…
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It might be useful for folks to see other #MusicTheory traditions have contemporary performers and ensembles--i.e. living practitioners of the music--in existence even in the US. Here's a thread featuring on large US Arabic Ensembles and Orchestras.


The New York Arabic Orchestra of New York City.

established in 2007.


2/ Image
Middle East Ensemble (MEE) of UC Santa Barbara.

Formed in 1989.


3/ Image
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How do we make sense of "Girl From Ipanema"? /thread

#jazz #jazztheory #musictheory #guitar
Let's look at the original Getz/Gilberto version in Db, not the fakebook version in F. Here's a faithful transcription of Gilberto's guitar part:… . And this is the melody:….
The A sections aren't too crazy: essentially, the progression of Db [6/9] - Eb9 - Ebm9 - D7 (or Ab flat9 when the bass enters) - Db [6/9] reduces to a I - ii - V7 - I progression with a chromatic II7 chord produced by an incomplete neighbouring note between the I and ii chords.
Read 10 tweets
I'm up to 950CE in my Arabic Music Theory bibliography & have over a dozen theorists & over 20 works listed.

Chap. 58 of "The History of Muslim Philosophy" has been useful, though a snapshot. But a good intro to get a sense of the breadth of the subject!…
So far the earliest Music Theorist in the bib. so far is Abū ʿUthmān Saʿīd Ibn Misjaḥ (d. 97 AH|715 CE)--dying just before the Abbasid Caliphate so essentially right before the Islamic Golden Age.

Let's put this into a more inclusive view of Music Theory.
In Armenia, the earliest examples of Khaz notation was created for use in the Armenian Orthodox church. So the beginnings of Armenian šarakan chants.

Read 12 tweets
So geeking out about getting a copy of this. Finding editions of Al-Kindi's 9th cent. Arabic Music Theory treatises is...annoying...was thrilled to find this. Doubly geeking as it's by Nicholas Rescher, a philosopher/logician whose works (some) I've read!… Image
Still brainstorming this series-one of the reasons I ordered a copy of the Al-Kindi bibliography. Interestingly, I’m coming across pieces bemoaning the lack of acknowledgement early Arabic Music Theorists influence on Medieval Western Music Theory has been essentially erased.
Which is par for the course in the Western Art Music ecosystem. Erasure of the Music Theory of Islamic Empires was necessary to elevate the status of WAM and keep it as the "greatest musical achievement of mankind."
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#LongThread alert: There’s some justifiable worry that #musictheory’s current outrage is just words and not substance, and that focusing on the identities of the people we talk about in our curriculum/scholarship but not the concepts themselves will still leave us with
2/x white supremacist infrastructure (i.e. if we swap a Schubert piece for a piece by a woman and/or POC that we can teach the same way as that original Schubert piece, we retain the curriculum’s original architecture).
3/x With the caveat that a twitter thread is a terrible place for this and that I am a flawed actor in all this who is constantly learning more about my own biases (and that this might suck the anonymity out of the review process for a piece I’m working on), here's a few thoughts
Read 29 tweets

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