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RESEARCH & CREATIVE ACTIVITIES

Our faculty and students engage in research and creative work that ranges from performances at the Kennedy Center to masterclasses in local schools, and from international conferences to community-centered workshops. Our scholarship results in recordings, articles, books and editions that reveal music’s beauty and complexity.

As individuals and in teams, our faculty perform across the globe, provide new research frameworks, engage students, explore archives and more. As performers, educators, composers and scholars, we create new knowledge and contribute to UMD's research enterprise.

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Django Generations: Hearing Ethnorace, Citizenship, and Jazz Manouche in France

Assistant Professor Siv B. Lie's book is the first full-length ethnographic study of French jazz to be published in English.

School of Music

Author/Lead: Siv B. Lie
Dates:

Published in October 2021 with the University of Chicago Press, Django Generations: Hearing Ethnorace, Citizenship, and Jazz Manouche in France shows how relationships between racial identities, jazz, and national belonging become entangled in France.

Jazz manouche—a genre known best for its energetic, guitar-centric swing tunes—is among France’s most celebrated musical practices of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. It centers on the recorded work of famed guitarist Django Reinhardt and is named for the ethnoracial subgroup of Romanies (also known, often pejoratively, as “Gypsies”) to which Reinhardt belonged. French Manouches are publicly lauded as bearers of this jazz tradition, and many take pleasure and pride in the practice while at the same time facing pervasive discrimination. Jazz manouche uncovers a contradiction at the heart of France’s assimilationist republican ideals: the music is portrayed as quintessentially French even as Manouches themselves endure treatment as racial others.

In this book, Siv B. Lie explores how this music is used to construct divergent ethnoracial and national identities in a context where discussions of race are otherwise censured. Weaving together ethnographic and historical analysis, Lie shows that jazz manouche becomes a source of profound ambivalence as it generates ethnoracial difference and socioeconomic exclusion. As the first full-length ethnographic study of French jazz to be published in English, this book enriches anthropological, ethnomusicological, and historical scholarship on global jazz, race and ethnicity, and citizenship while showing how music can be an important but insufficient tool in struggles for racial and economic justice.

Visit the book's multimedia companion website.

Larissa Dedova Releases Solo Album with Centaur Records

Album features all completed piano sonatas of Franz Schubert.

School of Music

Author/Lead: Larissa Dedova
Dates:

Larissa Dedova (piano) released a solo CD, "Schubert: Piano Sonatas," on Oct. 15, 2021 with Centaur Records. The album, which includes all of Franz Schubert's completed piano sonatas, follows Dedova's previous acclaimed recordings of the complete piano works of Debussy and Ravel, also with Centaur Records.

Hybrids, Hints & Hooks: Violin Music by Dan Dediu

Associate Professor of Violin Irina Muresanu releases an album with Divine Art records.

School of Music

Author/Lead: Irina Muresanu
Dates:

Muresanu teams up with pianist Valentina Sandu-Dediu for this album, which features music for violin and piano and for solo violin by Romanian composer Dan Dediu (b. 1967). Dediu's compositions feature a process he calls ‘hybridisation,' in which he combines pieces of existing music to create a new and individual work. On this album, Don Giovanni/Juan "SonatOpera," op. 53 is an example of this, combining elements of Mozart and Strauss. Both the "SonatOpera" and "A Mythological Bestiary" were written for and premiered by Muresanu and Sandu-Dediu.

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Chris Gekker Wins Award for "Moon Marked" CD

Chris Gekker's (trumpet) CD, Moon Marked (Divine Art Recordings), took second place at the American Prize competition.

School of Music

Author/Lead: Chris Gekker
Contributor(s): Mark Hill, Katherine Murdock, Rita Sloan
Dates:

Chris Gekker (trumpet) was awarded second place in the solo instrumentalist category by The American Prize for 2021 for his CD, “Moon Marked” (2020, Divine Art Recordings). This project featured faculty members Mark Hill (oboe), Katherine Murdock (viola) and Rita Sloan (piano) as well as Gekker's children and alumni Lianna Gekker ’15 (B.M. jazz piano) and Jason Gekker ’20 (M.M. double bass). The album includes compositions by Richard Auldon Clark, Alistair Coleman, Carson Cooman, Eric Ewazen, Lance Hulme and Franklin Kiermyer.

Industry: Bang on a Can and New Music in the Marketplace

Assistant Professor of Musicology William Robin's book has been published by Oxford University Press.

School of Music

Author/Lead: William Robin
Dates:
Publisher: Oxford University Press

Amidst the heated fray of the Culture Wars emerged a scrappy festival in downtown New York City called Bang on a Can. Presenting eclectic, irreverent marathons of experimental music in crumbling venues on the Lower East Side, Bang on a Can sold-out concerts for a genre that had been long considered box office poison. Through the 1980s and 1990s, three young, visionary composers--David Lang, Michael Gordon, and Julia Wolfe--nurtured Bang on a Can into a multifaceted organization with a major record deal, a virtuosic in-house ensemble, and a seat at the table at Lincoln Center, and in the process changed the landscape of avant-garde music in the United States.

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The Corno D'Amore

French Horn Lecturer Justin Drew releases an album with Tonsehen.

School of Music

Author/Lead: Justin Drew
Dates:
Publisher: Tonsehen

The works on this album are a series of four Baroque transcriptions for horn and organ. Drew's intention in transcribing and recording these works was to add to the horn repertoire, giving the greater horn community access to new Baroque solo literature. Two transcriptions (Marcello and Albinoni) were taken from oboe concertos and two (J.S. Bach and Telemann) from oboe d’amore concertos. All of these works were originally accompanied with small string ensemble and continuo. Drew chose music originally composed for oboe and oboe d’amore because the melodies were both beautiful and accessible for the modern-day horn player. These melodies also embody four different types of Baroque style and melodic mastery. The organ was chosen to accompany the horn because it is an instrument that was prominent to the period in which these works were written. This pairing of the organ with horn provides a sense of historical balance; the horn, as a modern instrument, reflects the present, while the organ honors the past.

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Panpipes & Ponchos: Musical Folklorization and the Rise of the Andean Conjunto Tradition in La Paz, Bolivia

Associate Professor of Ethnomusicology Fernando Rios's book has been published by Oxford University Press.

School of Music

Author/Lead: Fernando Rios
Dates:
Publisher: Oxford University Press

Since the late 1960s, the Andean conjunto has served as Bolivia’s paramount expression of “national” folkloric-popular music. This book illuminates how this musical tradition obtained such an elevated status in Bolivia, arguing that it represented the culmination of over four decades of criollo-mestizo musical activities that framed Andean indigenous music as the roots of national culture. More broadly, Panpipes & Ponchos offers the first book-length study of the Bolivian folkloric music movement that chronicles how it developed in close dialogue with state projects and transnational artistic trends for the critical period spanning the 1920s to 1960s.

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Music That Tears You Apart: Jazz Manouche and the Qualia of Ethnorace

Assistant Professor of Ethnomusicology Siv B. Lie published an article in the journal Ethnomusicology.

School of Music

Author/Lead: Siv B. Lie
Dates:
Publisher: University of Illinois Press

Through talk and performance, participants in the genre of jazz manouche articulate Manouche (French Romani/“Gypsy”) ethnoracial identities. This article takes a semiotic approach to exploring how ethnoracial differences are perceived sonically and reified through language about jazz manouche guitar technique. By analyzing interlocutors' sensory descriptors such as power, rawness, and even the feeling of ethnoracial identity itself, this article reveals continuities between individual sonic perceptions of race and ethnicity and broader semiotic ideologies about race and ethnicity. These discourses can serve or compromise Manouche interests as they naturalize ideas about social difference.

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Beauty Crying Forth: Flute Music by Women Across Time

Associate Professor Sarah Frisof releases an album with Furious Artisans.

School of Music

Author/Lead: Sarah Frisof
Dates:
Publisher: Furious Artisans

On "Beauty Crying Forth," flutist Sarah Frisof and pianist Daniel Pesca present repertoire spanning one and half centuries for flute by female composers. Including music by Clara Schumann, Lili Boulanger, Kaija Saariaho, Tania León, Shulamit Ran and Amy Williams, Frisof and Pesca, with guest cellist Hannah Collins, chart two parallel lineages: the evolution of flute repertoire from the Romantic era to the current day, and the overlooked role of female composers in shaping that repertoire.

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The Impact of Music Practice Instruction on Middle School Band Students’ Independent Practice Behaviors

Assistant Professor of Music Education Stephanie Prichard's article in the Journal of Research in Music Education.

School of Music

Author/Lead: Stephanie Prichard
Dates:
Publisher: Journal of Research in Music Education

The purpose of this study was to investigate the impact of music practice instruction on middle school band students’ ability to articulate and incorporate practice strategies. Participants were middle school band students at a large suburban middle school (N = 105). Using a pretest–posttest quasi-experimental design, participants were divided into control (n = 53) and experimental (n = 52) groups. Participants in the experimental group received 3 weeks of practice strategy instruction during ensemble warm-up time, and the control group continued with their typical warm-up routine. Pretest and posttest data included self-reported practice strategy lists (N = 105) and video of individual practice sessions (n = 20). Both self-reported and video data were coded and analyzed using descriptive statistics as well as pretest–posttest within-groups comparisons. Thirteen hours of video data were further analyzed using an observational measure of self-regulation. Analyses revealed that experimental group participants identified and utilized significantly more practice strategies following the instructional intervention. Posttest experimental group practice sessions also revealed a more mature approach to practicing, including more strategic behaviors, greater variety in musical objectives, and longer periods spent focused on short excerpts of music. Implications for future research and middle school instrumental classroom practice are discussed.

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