RESPONSE BY LEO TREITLER, American Musicological Society
Quite suddenly, as I listened to Professor Rhodes's jeremiad, an unexpected recollection presented itself, as sometimes happens, of something from a distant past. One morning about ten years ago David Lewin and I stood on the observers' balcony overlooking the cheese-works in Gruyère, Switzerland, watching the workers down below with a certain envy. What they were making would be judged according to a standard of excellence about which there is no disagreement. They all possessed the talent and skills needed to achieve that standard, and the facts that are consonant with the value of good Gruyère. In due time they would know how to endow their successors with all of these virtues, so that an unbroken line of great cheese makers was assured. They were assured, too, of a ready market for their product, and they knew exactly how much of it to produce so that it would all be consumed.
For better or for worse, all of us here are in a much riskier business.
Professor Bent says that editing is an act of criticism. I would like to illustrate with a description of the research problem that I have most recently been worrying about.
The neumes of the earliest Western notational systems come in two varieties, those that are written over vowels and those that are written over voiced consonants and certain other consonants in particular orthographic environments. Neumes of the second variety were called "liquescent" or "semi-vowel" neumes, and the problem is to know how to render them in edition and performance.
Now the classes of letters that are thus differentiated by the two kinds of neumes correspond closely to the classifications of the letters of the alphabet that are transmitted by Roman grammarians. These classifications were, among other things, guides to the pronounciation of the Latin language, and the sudden wide circulation of the grammar books around the year 800 is to be associated with the great educational drive that was launched from the Carolingian court around that time. The invention of the neurnes in the early ninth century must also be understood as a phenomenon of that great cultural push, of which literacy was in a sense the commanding feature. Perhaps there is a connection.
But there are some differences between those classifications and the classes that are differentiated by the two types of neumes. One scholar attempted to explain these differences in terms of the differences that emerged between the orthography of written Latin and its pronounciation, as Latin evolved into the vernacular Romance languages. But since then the whole idea of such an "evolution" has been fairly well put aside by historical linguists. Instead, it is now believed, Latin, although uniformly written, had its own local pronounciation everywhere; and the distinction between Latin and the Romance vernaculars was created virtually all at once by the reforms of the Carolingians who aimed to establish a uniform orthography and pronounciation for Latin throughout the Empire.1
An alternative explanation for these differences is available through rather more universal principles of phonetic change, principles that can be confirmed in the history of living languages as well as ancient ones: tendencies to voice consonants wherever possible, to give priority to liquids and to supress mute consonants. The phonetic phenomenon that these have in common is the partial closure of the speech aperture from open vowel positions. The study of modern singing traditions of different cultures shows that this phenomenon is amplified in singing, as compared to speaking. Hence I entertain for the moment the hypothesis that it is this phenomenon that was signified by liquescent neumes, while non-liquescent neumes signified purely open vowel sounds. This hypothesis is meant to replace the hypothesis which has prevailed since the turn of this century, that the liquescent neumes were instructions to sing grace-notes connecting consonant sounds.2
I have given a very abbreviated description, but enough, I hope, to show that the editorial problem inevitably becomes an historical problem that opens onto very large issues of cultural values, ethnic identities, political ambition, and ecclesiastical history, to which must be brought evidence from paleography, comparative and historical linguistics, comparative musicology, the study of phonetics, and of musical structures. At every turn of the investigation the development of hard evidence entails interpretation, sometimes of the most speculative sort. Behind any editorial solution must lie a highly complex and contingent hypothesis with many dimensions.
The way I see such a problem—and I am surely not alone among musicologists—resonates with what Professor Robertson says about the advocacy, for her discipline, of context, meaning, and open-ended systems of explanation. In effect that amounts to an advocacy of criticism. But I am not as sanguine as Professor Bent is that that is what we are substantially getting in Musicology. If we are agreed on the need for all our disciplines, and for our work as teachers, for greater efforts toward the understanding of music in terms of its meanings and connectedness, then it evades the issue to claim that this need is being met tacitly in our critical editions.
In the research project that I have described, I am trying to engage in what Professor Robertson calls "a serious ethnomusicology of Western music." But then why do we belong to different professional societies, and why do we five and meet in different hotels here in Vancouver during these days? I see no sense in it at all. The subject of this panel shows up the pointlessness—and if we take account of Professor Rhodes' talk, the destructiveness of our having formed ourselves into separate societies along disciplinary lines; the very fact of this separation certainly contributes to the narrowness of which he complains, and I'm surprised he didn't say so right out.
For Professor Berry things seem to be the other way around; he sorts us out according to the place of fact (and non-fact) and value in our fields of attention, Now to anyone working on such problems as I described at the beginning, the claim that musicologists are essentially preoccupied with facts—as distinct from "mind-stirring nonfacts" and values—must seem ludicrous. And if such problems are taken to exemplify our increasing specialization and narrowness, in the sense of Professor Rhodes, then I think Rhodes is mistaking cultural distance for specialization and narrowness. But I think the trouble behind all this lies in our notions of "factuality. " Under the notion of factuality that I live by, the scholar's aim is to reduce his distance from his objects as nearly as possible to zero.
In order to say what I mean, I shall have to add something to the characterization that Professor Bent has given of Positivism. It is not only that factuality is determined, under that dogma, by the objective reading of an extended reality, and that the establishment of facts is separate from their subsequent interpretation. It is that the interpretation of facts can only be made through their causal explanation. Finally, it is that only statements that are formally true, such as equations and definitions, or empirically verifiable, count as knowledge at all. Statements such as the beautiful oneme heard yesterday that Schubert's song An die Entfernte "lives for A-flat and dies in G"3 do not. Musicology was hobbled for a time by this restricted view of knowledge, both in being persuaded to such a naive notion of factuality, and in being given to the unsophisticated variety of causal explanation that was known as "style history." This was a reflection of a certain system of values that was itself culturally determined. It seems on reflection quite foreign now.
But "positivism" is a way of describing (or prescribing) how scholars reason, or should reason. It is not a kind of scholarship, of musicology or any other discipline. (It was surely a mistake to identify as "positivistic" a kind of musicology that has mainly to do with the preparation of critical editions, the establishing of work chronologies, and the like, tasks that rest on hard facts, as some would claim. Under the influence of Positivism musicologists produced plenty of "nonfacts," and plenty of bad criticism. 4) What is wrong with positivism, vis-a-vis musicology, is that is does not describe very well how musicologists work, even in the most hard-core philological or archival enterprises. Professor Bent has told us some of the reasons why: the interpenetration of data-gathering and interpretation, the contingency and mutability of "facts" in our work. Professor Robertson shows other reasons: the role of value systems in establishing criteria of factuality, the synthetic nature of facts.
This rightly shakes the concept of factuality loose from its desparate embrace with ideas of certainty, objectivity, verifiability and immutability, from which folks like us are supposed to derive our sense of security—at the cost of a life without romance. it has been astonishing to me how much the word "fact" still seems to be thought to signify "something you can prove," something "hard" and "immutable."
"Fact," after all, is cousin to the word "fake." We make facts (factum); they are not given us (datum). That means that we are responsible for them, we have a commitment to them, and that we have an intimate sort of knowledge of them such as we cannot have of what is given us. Vico referred to such knowledge with the word verum, and he differentiated it from knowledge that he characterized as certum. Therein lies the epistemological distinction between the natural sciences, which concern the things made by God, and what he called the "New Science," which concerns the things made by man (mainly law, poetry, myth, and language).5 The truth value of what we can know about these things is of a higher order just because they are of man's making; we can put ourselves in the frame of mind of their creators, as we cannot do with the things made by God. Herein lies the basis of the epistemological distinction between the humane and the natural sciences. The sense of "factuality" that is entailed in the remarks of Professors Bent and Robertson represents, in effect, a rediscovery of the premises on which all the disciplines gathered here are founded. It is interesting and satisfying to encounter our roots in these papers, and to see how really fundamental are the issues they raise.
But given this attitude to factuality, in which I very much share, I am bound to reject Professor Berry's attempt to split off "facts" from "mind-stirring non-facts," although I can sympathize with his need to invent the latter concept, in the fight of his version of the former. And given his scheme altogether, I am bound to reject as false his claim that musicologists are "essentially preoccupied with fact." It is on the grounds of this preoccupation, presumably, that musicology is the most "scientific" of our disciplines, while music theory is the least "scientific." But it could be argued that he has this ranking backwards, or upside-down, that music theory is the most scientific of all because it is motivated by the primary interest of science in displaying its objects as exemplifications of theories. And there we would be, pointing accusing fingers: "You're the most scientific," "No, you are!"
But I suggest that this whole exercise in classification is unnecessary and destructive. There is no sound epistemological rationale for the differentiation of these sub-disciplines. just imagine asking a panel of scholars from other humanistic disciplines to sort out the abstracts of papers for these meetings into the disciplinary sessions for which they were intended, on the grounds of their involvement of "facts," "nonfacts," and "values."
There is a challenge in Professor Robertson's remarks that would become quite pressing if we were to make the effort to break down the barriers between our disciplines. If decisions about what are significant facts and appropriate analytical paradigms are determined by systems of value, then the effort to explain our musical objects through an "understanding of the complex values, hierarchies, and aesthetic criticisms from which they are birthed"—more concretely, the effort "to explain the essence of Handel's works with regard to the patronage systems, church dogma, court rivalries, cosmopolitan resources, spiritual values, and oral traditions of his time"—would challenge us to shift emphases of factual significance and analytical models. Perhaps that has something to do with the resistance to such accommodations in our field. In any case, it would be hard to claim that such shifts have been occurring in any major way, and perhaps that inflexibility, and absence of a sense of the connectedness of things in musical culture, have something to do with the conditions of which Professor Rhodes speaks.
He suggests himself, as the third of his positive proposals, an overhaul or tuneup of the value system that informs contemporary music scholarship. To this I can only say "hear, hear." But I wonder, how do we get into the Culture Formation business if not by way of the Domenico Jacobazzi business? (I urge that we not credit the implication in that remark that the obscurity of the name betokens the triviality of the subject. Everyone knows that it would not survive any serious reflection at all.) That is, how do we get into any sort of worthy musical scholarship other than by way of something about which we care a great deal? I am afraid of the idea of a "comprehensive research plan." Who will draw it up, and who will appoint them? How do you make a generalist?
Professor Rhodes says he represents the profession of college teachers of music, but not a discipline. But the burden of his remarks is a proposal to turn the profession into a discipline. That is worth thinking about. But my time is up.
- The theory regarding the evolution of the Romance languages was put forward by Heinrich Freistedt, in Die liquizierende Noten des gregorianischen Chorals: ein Beitrag zur Notationskunde (dissertation, University of Freibourg, Switzerland, 1929). The more recent view of historical linguists is presented by Roger Wright, in Late Latin and Early Romance in Spain and Carolingian France (Liverpool, 1982)..
- Paleographie musicale, II (Solesmes, 1891), pp. 37-86.
- Richard Kramer, "Schubert's Goethe: Of Fragments, Cycles, and the Organic," unpublished paper presented to the annual meeting of the American Musicological Society, Vancouver, 1985.
- Joseph Kerman, Contemplating Music (Cambridge, Mass., 1985), p. 49.
- Scienza Nuova, 1725. Translation by T. C. Bergin and M. A. Fisch, published as The New Science (Ithaca, N.Y, 1944). Relevant passages are excerpted in Patrick Gardiner, ed., Theories of History (New York, 1959) pp. 12-21.
Response by Anne Hall, Society for Music Theory
Margaret Bent has convincingly explained that the fact-value split does not exist in good musical scholarship, where, in her words, "evidence and interpretation are inseparable." Similarly, Carol Robertson said that "systems of value ... determine what is factual. . . " Once that point is made, then changing the topic to facts and values of musical scholarship, as Phillips Rhodes did most openly, seems reasonable. If, as I believe, the value of musical scholarship derives from the value of music, then it is pertinent to consider statements about the value of music that we have just heard. Carol Robertson said, "All peoples engage in forms of behavior and creativity that produce coherent, tacit communications in the domain of music. . . " (emphasis mine).
Far be it from me to disagree with the idea that music is a medium of communication. However, as soon as we speak of music as communication, we raise the question of what is communicated. I am reminded of a passage from an essay by Lewis Thomas. Speaking of the songs of whales, Thomas writes: "Until it is shown that these long, convoluted, insistent melodies ... are the means of sending through several hundred miles of undersea such ordinary information as 'whale here,' I shall believe otherwise. " Thomas goes on to say that for an extraterrestrial visitor, "The 14th Quartet might . . . be a communication announcing 'Beethoven here,' answered, after passage through an undersea of time and submerged currents of human thought, by another long signal a century later, 'Bartók here.' "1
We value music as a medium of communication, and I am not accusing any of our speakers of limiting what is communicated to "Beethoven here." But speaking of music as a means of communication makes music sound useful, as if it could be an alternative to AT&T. Music is not that, because what is communicated in music is music—musical ideas, musical understanding, musical feeling. That people can understand other people's musical ideas does tell us something about the nature of people. Still, we don't value music primarily for its usefulness, we value music for itself, for its beauty. I find it remarkable that in the hour and a half of discussion we have heard so far, discussion about values in and of musical scholarship, no one has said that music is beautiful. Great music is beautiful, and I want to try to explain how the beauty of music is relevant to musical analysis. I want also to suggest that we should not be hesitant to say that music is beautiful.
One reason I like to analyze music and to teach musical analysis is that analyzing a musical work is a way of getting to know it. If I help a class analyze a quartet of Beethoven, I have some confidence that the students will at least get to know the music, which is most important—most important because great music is beautiful. (I make no apology for concentrating upon great works of the pasts. Not all music is beautiful, and life is short. Jan Maegaard made the point when he said that "a successful analysis is governed not only by ... your inclination to know how this music functions technically, but also by your esteem for it. " He concluded: "Never touch music which does not, in the first place, touch you."2)
There is another reason to engage in musical analysis. Analysis is a statement about how we hear a piece of music. However, we would like to deny the element of subjectivism in that statement. Many of us must have experienced the moment of frustration in teaching a student how to perform a piece when the student asks "Why that way?" and our response is, "Because that is the way it goes." We don't mean, "That's the way I hear it," we mean, "that is the way it goes." It matters to us that we hear music the way other musicians hear it. Performance is the clearest way we can express our understanding of a piece, as David Lewin said in the passage quoted by Margaret Bent. However, if I cannot hear a colleague play a particular work, then reading his/her analysis of it is another way of finding out how he/she understands the work, an understanding to which I can compare my own.
It is clear that Wallace Berry did not offer an analysis of the A-major prelude, but simply examples of analytical statements, not necessarily his, I want to discuss the first of his analytical examples, then, simply as representative of analytical statements that worry me. A reduction of the prelude that leaves out the F# in the 13th and 14th measures, as does the first example, is to me incomprehensible. The note is sustained as long as the other notes in the reduction, and is emphasized by its final status as a dissonance, never conventionally resolved. Presumably the F# is replaced in the reduction by the much less emphasized B because the analyst does not hear as essential a note that does not fit a pattern of basically stepwise motion. Stepwise melodic motion is persuasive, but to me not sufficiently persuasive to justify reducing away a note crucial to the expressive character of the piece. The example worries me, then, because it makes me wonder whether I hear the piece correctly.
In analysis, we make statements based on what we hear, but at the same time our theories influence the way we hear the music. We try to describe X, and can only get as close as Y, and we know that there is always a danger that we win then convince ourselves that it is Y that we hear. We need, then, to check our perceptions against those of others, and we worry when we find substantial disagreement. It is because music is beautiful that we have a responsibility to represent it accurately. But finally we care that we hear it right because only in hearing it right can we enjoy its beauty.
Of course, what we pretend to do in musical analysis cannot be done more than partially and imperfectly. Music cannot be explained, because the sense of music is musical sense and can only be heard. Nadia Boulanger, in her Wednesday afternoon analysis classes, so called, did not get more analytical than to say, "Listen to that, isn't it beautiful." As a student, I would have liked some theory, some real analysis. Now, older and humbler, I think I understand. If we heard, then analysis was irrelevant. If we did not hear, then analysis was irrelevant. The function of the teacher was to make us hear. As a theory teacher, I can still go on trying to find explanations for how music works, why it affects us as it does. I may, in the process, help someone to hear it better.
I am saying, as Wallace Berry did at the end of his paper—but I am saying it with no apologies—that the value of musical analysis derives from the value of music, and we value music for its beauty. We are embarrassed to say that these days. We know that musical aesthetics is a messy subject, and that nobody knows what beauty is. You can object that it does no good to say that great music is beautiful. But we need to say it.
We need to say it not as something that everyone knows, but as something that a great many people, including many of our students, do not know. The music that issues from radios carried down my suburban street is not listened to with reverence as something beautiful. For many of our students, musical performance is the next competition, music theory is filling in parts in harmony exercises. Many music students seem to have very limited interest in going to concerts, in listening to music. We hear students perform and we think, with a mixture of sympathy, pity, and annoyance, that they have no idea how beautiful the music is. Partly it is a matter of age and musical maturity. Presumably others of you here can remember having no real appreciation of music that you now love. But I think our students' failure to enjoy the beauty is due only partly to their youth.
We feel the threat of the nuclear winter, and we may well wonder what we are doing. Phillip Rhodes says we need to be producing "an informed populace." Very well, but I think we need to be clear about why. That symphony orchestras need audiences in order to survive is true, but I think we must be clear about why symphony orchestras should survive. When Naomi Griffiths, Dean of Arts at Carleton University in Ottawa, spoke at Wilfrid Laurier University last year, she said that the value of the humanities is an issue now not because of the competition from science and technology, but because we are embarrassed by the questions raised by the humanities. Perhaps we tend to take refuge in our musical scholarship from questions music raises. I think we need to consider the importance the beauty of great music has for what we do.
- "The Music of This Sphere," The Lives of a Cell (New York: Bantam Books, 1975), 26-27.
- "Approaches to the Understanding of Contemporary Music," Allen Forte, chairman, IMS, Report of the 12th Congress, Berkeley, 1977 (Kassel: Barenreiter, 1981), 763.
Response by Bonnie C. Wade, Society for Ethnomusicology
Because Professor Treitler focused his remarks primarily on the matter of fact in musical scholarship, I shall focus my remarks on the matter of value. Three of the speakers spoke of one or more values which they or their fields hold. Bent values "good scholarship," meaning work done by individuals who have as their highest aim the study of an historical piece of music by drawing on all available relevant evidence and interpreting the evidence in such a manner as to get as close as possible to the intentions behind the historical sources. Bent's paper is, of course, conceived largely in response to another view of the field of musicology—one which holds as its highest aim using such musicological work as the "good scholarship" described by Bent as a means to a different end, the end of mediating between historical vision on the one hand, and contemporary aesthetic expectations and attitudes on the other hand. As I understand it, Bent would have the piece of music remain an item in history, whereas Kerman wants to go further, to consider the piece as an aesthetic item, and to stress the "presentness" of the piece—the meaning it conveys, the aesthetic pleasure it initiates, the value it assumes for us today.
Professor Berry values analytical music theory which balances sense and sensibility in the analysis of a piece of music, seeking to put together the experiencing or personal hearing of music with intellectual examination of it. Since the piece he chose to demonstrate his viewpoint is of the l9th century, it seems that he and Kerman share a value—that of considering a piece from history as it is perceived today.
As Robertson points out in her paper, we in ethnomusicology value a stance within musical scholarship that advocates consideration of context, meaning, and different systems of explanation; another way of putting that is that we value diverse systems of value, seek to understand those systems and focus on the articulation of values through music. Some of us in ethnomusicology would begin such a study from the music, and others of us would begin from the culture.
Musicologists and ethnomusicologists perform a largely similar task: we are both engaged in the task of interpreting musical and other evidence in such a manner as to get as close as possible to the intentions behind the sources. in the case of musicology, of course, the sources are historical and likely to be documented in writing—whether words or written music. For ethnomusicologists—even ethnomusicologists doing historical study—the sources are likely to be contemporary and to be non-written, for we usually derive our evidence from the very musicians and listeners in the culture which produced the music or whose predecessors did so. The music as performed rather than as written usually constitutes our primary source. Where we ethnomusicologists came to differ from musicologists, as Robertson points out, is primarily that we have not limited our inquiry to the music of the Western elite.
A musicologist such as Kerman finds ethnomusicology lacking in meaning for his work because of the basic stance iterated by Robertson: what is usually considered by ethnomusicologists is the meaning of a musical genre to its culture and the value of a musical activity to its society rather than their meaning and value to the culture and society of the ethnomusicologist. What Kerman values and wishes to bring to bear in his musicological work—that is, our own contemporary aesthetic expectations and attitudes, we in ethnomusicology term biases. We study Western music in order to recognize our own biases and struggle to avoid interpreting evidence according to them. That is to say, we avoid it to the extent possible.
In Kerman's credo for criticism in the field of musicology the word "us" figures prominently. He says "a way of looking at art that tries to take into account the meaning it conveys [for us], the pleasure it initiates [for us], and the value it assumes, for us today. " I would ask about this type of criticism "who is us?" This is the dilemma faced by folklorists when dealing with a pluralistic society such as ours: who is "the folk?" Is this "us" the greater populace? Those who attend concerts? Those who buy record ings? Students who enroll in music courses? Informed musicologists? I think that "us" is really an editorial "us" that substitutes for "me": this criticism is a way of looking at art that tries to take into account the meaning it conveys for a "me"; the pleasure it initiates for a "me"; and the value it assumes for a "me."
Does it not become a question of WHEN it is considered appropriate for our own personal contemporary aesthetic expectations and attitudes to figure in our work as scholars? Are not such considerations basic for our choice of which music to study? I don't think that Bent would deny that she is a medievalist because she loves the music; I certainly would not deny that I chose to concentrate on Indian music because of my own personal aesthetic expectations and attitudes. Those very considerations determined for me whether I would choose to work with folk music of India or the art music of India, whether I would choose North Indian or South Indian music, whether I would choose instrumental or vocal music, and then which type of vocal music. I would be very surprised to hear disagreement from any of our speakers that it is entirely appropriate for our own contemporary aesthetic expectations and attitudes to figure in our work as scholars at the point when we choose our focus. And is that not an honest way of proceeding in our scholarship? It is saying: this (or that) kind of music has this meaning for me, it evokes an aesthetic reaction in me, and I accord it high value. Therefore I shall study it. Beyond that the matter becomes very tricky indeed.
Beyond this and still at the level of personal preference and valuation, Kerman would point out that even those scholars who try to avoid it actually bring their personal choices into play. It comes into analysis, he says, because analysis depends on the selection of certain elements from among the many true elements existing in a work of art and it is not the correctness of analysis that matters, but the grounds on which one set of facts rather than another has been chosen for emphasis (p. 133). As Robertson put it, "What we are able to value will always determine what facts we are willing to struggle with and what facts we choose to ignore." Among ethnomusicologists, Bruno Nettl has recently called for us to face the fact that try as we might, we cannot absolutely avoid bringing our own biases into play into our work as scholars and we would be better scholars if we faced up to that.
The real difficulty for me—and I think historically for ethnomusicology, if Robertson's paper is any indication—concerns the interplay between individual valuation and group valuation. There really is confusion created by use of the editorial "we" when values are the topic of the sentence. Berry distinguished in his paper between the valuing process of groups and of individuals: groups, he says, can ordain particular professional values—that is, positive or negative reaction to ideas and jargon, of this or that material or mode of research, etc. and individual professional values often reflect those group values. I would expand that to say that individuals want groups to ordain their particular professional values; in turn, groups WANT TO ORDAIN particular professional values and WANT more individual values to reflect those group values. Is that not why a comprehensive field splinters into several fields? is that not partially why musicology once encompassed ethnomusicology but does no longer? is that not partially why musicology once encompassed music theory but does no longer? Is that not why musicology might never really encompass music criticism and that it might become a separable field?
Surely a balance between group and individual professional values is the ideal: as Confucius said, "anything and everything in moderation. " To Bent who calls for musicology to "increase and integrate our understanding of music on as many fronts as possible," I would say "hear, hear!" or in North Indian terms, "wah, wah!" Within that ideal we would see joined into one philosophically cooperative venture the "good scholarship" as defined by Bent, Kerman's criticism as an aim of musicology, ethnomusicology's valuation of diverse systems of value, and a theorist's analysis which seeks to encompass informed interpretations and confirmed responses of sense. The professional values of the GROUP of us who make music central to our lives should surely encompass the professional values of both individuals and sub-groups. Therein would he wisdom and strength wherein we could meet the challenge thrown to us by Professor Rhodes.
I want to end by turning to the paper by Rhodes who did not speak to value IN contemporary music scholarship, but to the value OF contemporary music scholarship. Not surprisingly, as the president of CMS, he comes to the subject from the perspective of teaching and argues for better training of our graduate students with regard to teaching, and once accorded graduate degrees, greater sharing of the general teaching responsibility among all professorial levels, including the most senior and prolific of specialized scholars.
In order to meet the challenge he enunciates, Professor Rhodes calls for recognition of the VALUE of the generalists among us—that is, the VALUE of scholars who are qualified generalists and are permitted to function as such. The word "generalist" touches off a reaction in me, because that is the role into which ethnomusicologists have been placed in our academic system. To demonstrate the point, I would like to cite a recent job announcement for an ethnomusicologist which I received; it calls for the person to teach the following: courses in jazz history; Afro-American music; the musics of Asia, Africa, the Pacific Islands, and American music with special emphasis on the Southern regions. As if that were not enough, the job includes instruction in Western Music of the 19th and 20th centuries, as well.
What I like best about the announcement is that it specifies that candidates must show a significant pattern of research. As I see it, one of Professor Rhodes' sentences can be modified in the case of ethnomusicology in particular. Where he says "it could be argued that our current system of doctoral training does indeed produce scholars who are qualified generalists, and they are seldom allowed to function as such," in the case of ethnomusicology the sentence should read "It could be argued that our current system of doctoral training does indeed produce scholars who are qualified generalists, and they are allowed to function only as such." There seems to be an assumption that if anyone is to teach any kind of music other than Western art music, one should—read must—teach ALL kinds of other music. We must do this for the "general" student and for the more specialized student—for music majors. While this assumption may be a comfortable one for some ethnomusicologists, it is certainly NOT a comfortable one for others of us. Some of us would prefer to restrict our attention to only half the world—or EVEN to just one continental area such as Asia with its many musical cultures.
My concern is for the effect of the solely generalist role on the "significant pattern of research" in the long haul—beginning about five years down the teaching path when one is supposed to be turning to fresh research topics, new interests that will result in another few years in another significant contribution as a scholar. All too often for the health of the field of ethnomusicology as a scholarly endeavor the generalist role eats up the energy of the teacher and that second research effort never really gets brought to fruition. Professor Rhodes described that as "professional oblivion."
I end my remarks on an Asian basis, by repeating the Confucian ideal of moderation. We must strike balances in order to be and to do our best whether as teachers or as scholars.
Response by Robert J. Werner, The College Music Society
I would like to focus my remarks on contemporary music scholarship as it is applied through teaching in higher education, which I hope will be an appropriate umbrella for these concluding remarks.
I was fascinated by what we have chosen to use as a focus of our remarks today—particularly in view of the fact that this is such an unprecedented assembly of our four professional organizations. The papers reflect the extremely specialized nature not only of our scholarship but also of graduate education in our fields, and even the primary criteria for professional evaluation used by our colleagues. This observation does not mean that there is not a need for excellence and scholarly expertise, but I am sure that it has occurred to more than a few of you that our specializations have become so refined that they often are quite removed from the challenges that we face daily as teachers and administrators in bringing music not only to our professional students, but to the general student population in our colleges and universitites.
In reviewing my colleagues' papers, I note that Professor Berry said that the "ideal scholarly community is one of vibrant eclecticism." It was this very belief that brought CMS, in 1977-78, to playing the role of midwife in the birth of the Society for Music Theory as it took on its role as a separate discipline within the scholarly community. This was done with the belief that this would provide even more support to its work, being, as Professor Berry has indicated, of "interest and significance, rather than being uninteresting and insignificant." This call for a broader professional perspective was echoed by Professor Robertson who expressed a view very similar to that of Joseph Kerman, when he wrote that we should "seek an all-encompassing interpretation of what our subject matter means in all of its contexts."
Professor Rhodes, as President of CMS, has appropriately taken a more interdisciplinary approach that I hope will add an important dimension to our collective consideration of our scholarship and its implications for our teaching. This is a theme we have heard many times over the last decade or two. It was repeated by Professor Bent, who also quoted Kerman as indicating that musicology is "a rather backward discipline." She went on to suggest that perhaps its most appropriate role is "a fuller exploration of music in its cultural and intellectual context," . . ."that of integration rather than separation" and "without territorial prejudices." For me, all of these admonitions underline the position that The College Music Society has been developing throughout its history—a challenge that we as professionals must respond to, by taking a more comprehensive view of our profession and our professional education.
We live constantly with the concept of the "conservatory," with all that term means for looking backwards towards the conservation of the past in both our performance and scholarship, even though the latter came out of the university tradition. This, certainly, is an important part of our charge, for we all carry the responsibility to build on the great heritage of our art form. At the same time, it must also become the basis for our present, and, more importantly, the preparation of our students for their future. The great masterpieces that we cherish, preserve, and perform were the contemporary music of their era.
It was only a few decades ago, that several national programs sought to break the predominantly, if not exclusively, retrospective grip that our professional curricula seemed to have been caught in. They did this by developing programs that took the risk of anticipating what professionals would need in the future for successful careers. Most were based on the concepts represented by the combined specialties and viewpoints of the four societies here today and the importance of their interrelationship within our professional curricula. It was this concern with the teaching function which Professor Rhodes referred to in his paper as the hallmark of The College Music Society. The Society has been committed to providing a forum in which those whose primary responsibilities include performance, scholarship, creativity, and teaching could address both the immediate and future challenges of our profession. What better forum than a meeting such as this, which brings together the profession's most influential societies that are charged with these responsibilities?
Professor Rhodes also reminded us that it is the responsibility of the Academy and its overall accrediting body, NASM, to emphasize the importance of teaching to our shared mission. With this in mind, it is appropriate to call your attention to the most recent monograph from NASM, "The Assessment of Graduate Programs in Music," which directly addresses the responsibility of the entire music unit in the preparation of the professional for teaching. It states:
"NASM recognizes that many of those who earn graduate degrees in music are, or will be, engaged in music teaching of some type during the course of their pro fessional careers. Institutions are therefore encouraged to give attention to the preparation of graduate students as teachers. Graduate students, particularly at the doctoral level, should have opportunities for direct teaching experiences appropriate to their major area under the supervision of master teachers. It is recommended that these experiences include the teaching of music courses for non-music majors when possible"
It is this common responsibility of teaching which all of our societies share—we are the teachers of teachers in the Academy. We have the serious responsibility of providing curricula, experiences, and models that will prepare these students for a career that reaches well into the next century. For me, this means that we should vigorously pursue our individual specialties, because it is through them that the quality of our art form is preserved, but we must also be as concerned with its teaching. As Professor Bent reminded us, "Let us seek to consolidate our common ground without forfeiting the rigor of our various specialties."
Those of us who have responsibilities as administrators or colleagues on professional review committees should seek to bring into equal partnership teaching, research, and performance. Our documents give adequate support to this concept, but the reality of our evaluations and practices, quite often, prove otherwise.
I believe that this centrality of teaching to our disciplines should become our unifying concern. We should see it more prominently addressed at meetings such as this and through a dialogue developed between our officers, boards, and staff to discuss common programs at the regional and national level that emphasize this concern. This meeting should be a model of the concerted effort that our societies should bring to bear by working together to promote a greater awareness of our shared professional goals and, by doing so eliminate even the implication of the narrow parochialism that we are so often accused of. But, unfortunately, I see little evidence of this in our meeting structure.
The opportunity is here, but it appears to be a lost potential if we do not take advantage of these occasions for professional dialogue between our societies to develop the basis for shared support amongst our societies that would both protect the richness of our individual disciplines, while, at the same time, increasing their effective voice by addressing our common concern. For me, the proper realization of contemporary music scholarship would be when it becomes the basis of our commitment to more effective teaching.