Musicology Monday

I don’t know if this will take off in the way that Theory Thursday (or even Tuba-Euphonium Tuesday) has done so,* but it’s worth a shot.

I’ve been writing an analytical paper on Carlisle Floyd’s opera Susannah and drawing upon post-structuralist theory as postulated by Jean Baudrillard. To my knowledge, this is the first time Baudrillard’s writings have been used as philosophical underpinning for a paper on a musical idea. Since literary theory tends to skew closer to musicology than to music theory/analysis, I guess you could say this paper is half-and-half from each discipline.

Personally, I think the disciplinary dividing lines are becoming a bit hazier. No musicologist does work without rigorous analysis of the music, and no theorist/analyst does work without a thorough understanding of the history, reception and stylistic trends present in the piece under investigation. Both disciplines require an extensive knowledge not just of the how of analysis, but the why and wherefore. I further believe this is starting to be reflected in the job market, as I’ve seen (and applied for!) multiple jobs that require teaching of music theory/analysis *and* musicology/history. While I’m not up to code on my white note/mensural notation or ways to investigate reception, I do believe my analytical techniques are strongly influenced by musicological modes of inquiry.

What do you say? Are the lines more or less sharply defined than in the past?

*for very small values of “done so”

WF

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