Musicology Department

Musicology Reading Group

MA Reading Group

Fridays, 1:30-2:30 p.m., M267

Fall 2016

September 2: William Cheng, Just Vibrations, the Purpose of Sounding Good, Foreword and Introduction.

September 16: William Cheng, Just Vibrations, the Purpose of Sounding Good, chapter 1 ("Aching for Repair").

September 30: William Cheng, Just Vibrations, the Purpose of Sounding Good, chapter 2 ("Sing the Ivory Tower Blues").

October 14: William Cheng, Just Vibrations, the Purpose of Sounding Good, chapter 3 ("How Hopeful the Queer").

October 28: William Cheng, Just Vibrations, the Purpose of Sounding Good, chapter 4 ("Earsplitting") and Coda ("If We Break...").

November 11: TBD.

December 2: TBD.

Spring 2016

[readings posted on Box]

Fall 2015

September 4: Phil Ford's blog entry "How to Read Academic Writing" and Pierpaolo Polzonetti, “Tartini and the Tongue of Saint Anthony,” Journal of the American Musicological Society 67 (2014): 429-486. []

September 18: Balestrini, Nassim. "Strategic Visuals in Hip-Hop Life Writing." Popular Music and Society 38, No. 2 (2015): 224-242.

October 2: James, Robin. “Neoliberal noise: Attali, Foucalt and the Biopolitics of uncool.” Culture, Theory, and Critique 55, No. 2 (2014): 138-158.

October 16: Rando, David P. "The Music of Wish Images: Walter Benjamin, Filesharing, and Utopia." Journal of Popular Music Studies 26, no. 2-3 (2014): 321-345.

October 23: Shreffler, Anne C., 'Cold War Dissonance: Dahlhaus, Taruskin, and the Critique of the Politically Engaged Avant-garde' in Kultur und Musik nach 1945: Ästhetik im Zeichen des Kalten Krieges (conference report from Hambacher Schloss, 11-12 March 2013), Ulrich Blomann (ed.) (Saarbrüchen: Pfau-Verlag, 2015): 40-60.

November 20: TBD

December 4: TBD

Spring 2015

January 23: Ho-Chak Law, “King Hu’s Cinema Opera in his Early Wuxia Films,” Music and the Moving Image 7, no. 3 (2014): 24-40.

February 13: Daniel Chua, “Beethoven Going Blank,” The Journal of Musicology 31, no. 3 (2014): 299-325.

February 20: Paul L. Tyler, "Hillbilly Music Re-imagined: Folk and Country Music in the Midwest,” The Journal of American Folklore 127, no. 504 (Spring 2014).

March 6: Craig Jennex, "Diva Worship and the Sonic Search for Queer Utopia,” Popular Music and Society 36, no. 3 (2013): 343-59.
March 27: Ming Tsao, "Helmut Lachenmann’s ‘Sound Types,’” Perspectives of New Music 52, no. 1 (2014): 217-38.

April 10: Sam Baltimore, “‘With My Freeze Ray, I Will Stop—': Carnival Incompleteness in Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog,” Music and the Moving Image 7, no. 1 (2014): 24-39.
April 24: Excerpts from Continuum 33 1/3 series books: Erik Davis on Led Zeppelin IV and Sean Nelson on Joni Mitchell’s Court and Spark

Fall 2014

September 5: Mitchell Morris, "Introduction" and "The Voice of Karen Carpenter," in The Persistence of Sentiment (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2013), 1-34, 118-42.

September 19: Devine, Kyle. “A Mysterious Music in the Air: Cultural Origins of the Loudspeaker.” Popular Music History 8, no. 1 (2013): 5-28.

September 26: Warren, Jeff R. "Introduction" and "Ethical Responsibility and Other People's Music." In Music and Ethical Responsibility (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2014): 1-11, 165-183.

October 17: Benjamin Piekut (2014). “Actor-Networks in Music History: Clarifications and Critiques.” Twentieth-Century Music, 11, pp 191-215. doi:

October 31
December 5: Siepmann, Daniel. “A Slight Delay: Agency and Improvisation in the Ambien Sound World.” Perspectives of New Music 48, no. 1 (2010): 173-199. 

December 12: Willgoss, Richard. “Creativity in Contemporary Art Music Composition.” International Review of the Aesthetics and Sociology of Music 43, no. 1 (2012): 423-437.

Sources for New Publications of Interest to Musicologists

Below is a list of sources from which students may draw essays and book chapters for discussion in the MA reading group.

1. A list of new and recent books of interest to musicologists:

2. A list of periodicals of interest to musicologists. Please note that this list is not exhaustive; it contains the journals from which MA reading group selections have been made since February 2007, but students are also encouraged to explore other publications currently received by the Cook Music Library. The contents of these journals are available through the library online catalogue.

19th-Century Music 

American Music

Beethoven Forum 

Black Music Research Journal 

Cambridge Opera Journal 

Critical Inquiry 

Early Music 

Early Music History 

Echo: A Music-Centered Journal 

Eighteenth Century Music 

Journal of the American Musicological Society 

Journal of Film Music 

Journal Of Musicological Research 

Journal of Musicology

Journal of the Royal Musical Association 

Journal of the Society for American Music 

Music & Letters 

Music Theory Spectrum 

Musical Quarterly 

Popular Music and Society 


twentieth-century music 

Women and Music