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Thursday, October 22, 2009
Pages to a PhD: Response to Week 4, Term 1
It seems that while searching for one of the articles to be read this week, one of my classmates found the blog. Hello to my fellow UWC-er, if she's still reading!

This week the speed of the Quarter system finally kicked in--next week we will be halfway through the first term. At this point, I'm only just comfortable with where my classes are, which days they're on, and how I'm supposed to prepare for class. I have topics for the two papers I'm supposed to write this term: one on Music and Phenomenology (which needs to be narrowed down this weekend to something manageble) and one on gender roles in Irish traditional music (something about the gendered role of accompaniment in the Irish folk revival maybe......still needs to be concretized this weekend). I also got my first quizzes to grade--about 150 of them by hand. They're not too bad, ie I can do them in front of the tv, but they still take a bit of time to get through. All in all, miles to go before we sleep.

In other news, I WILL be making beer this weekend. That's my non-grad school project for the weekend.

Responses to the readings? I guess the whole week made me ask myself, what do you want your dissertation to be about? Reading about all of these Pillars of Musicology (Treitler, Taruskin, Burkholder) really makes me want to produce a fabulous document that contributes something profound to the discipline and the body of scholarship. But I guess that's like every American writer wanting to write the "Great American Novel." How do you get there? I mean, if we aspire to the greatness of those who went before us, scholastically, artistically, and pedagogically, how does one accomplish such an abstract goal?

How do you gain confidence in the questions you ask?
For example, I could (and have) argued that my area of specialty is community and music. I like to see how the two interact. So I asked myself, "How do musicians experience community?" Which in turn led to "Do musicians feel a stronger sense of community because the music is amazing or does the community make musicians perform better?" And I have to ask myself, are those good questions to be asking? Or am I one of those musicologists/ethnomusicologists destined to be obsessed with what Beethoven had for dinner the third Thursday of March?

Anyway, it's been a good week, but it's back to work!

Peace, Love, and Tunes,


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posted by Mac Tíre at 2:19 PM ¤ Permalink ¤ 1 comments
Monday, October 19, 2009
Pages to a PhD: Week 4, Term 1
Lighter load this week means concentrating more on projects than on weekly readings. I'll add a different category for reading associated with projects later on this week.

Intro to Musicology: Canon-Anti-canon/Work Concept
Grout, History of Western Music (compare same article in different versions of the grout)
Goehr, The Imaginary Museum of Musical Works: An Essay in the Philosophy of Music, Ch. 8 205-242
Spitta, Johann Sebastian Bach 1873-1880, pg. 174-178; 192-193
Taruskin, "Introduction" to Oxford History of western Music, pg. xxi-xxx
Treitler, "Transmission and the Study of Music History," pg. 202-211.

Music & Gender: Cross-Cultural Experiences of Gender and Gendered Rules
Koskoff, "Effect of post-postmodern scholarship on feminist and gender studies in musicology and ethnomusicology," pg. 90-98
McLucas, "Music of the Mescalero Apache Girls' Pubert Ceremony," pg. 198-209
McLucas, "Silent Music: The Apache Transformation of a Girl to a Woman," 49-65.
Shapiro, "A Critique of Current Research," pgs. 5-13 & 104-109.

Research Methods:
Turabian Ch. 8-10, 17
Bellman Ch. 5-6

Totals for the Week:
Articles: 7
Chapters: 7
Pages: 232
Responses: 8
Summaries: 0

Totals towards the PhD:
Articles: 25
Chapters: 23
Pages: 819
Responses: 24
Summaries: 2

Peace, Love, and Tunes,



posted by Mac Tíre at 2:40 PM ¤ Permalink ¤ 0 comments
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Pages to a PhD: Response to Week 3, Term 1
As a scholar, you're lucky if you can learn to ask questions that have larger, broader implications. I've never felt particularly good at this, but I guess some of it comes with age. You read all of the articles, and then you take a step a back, and suddenly you're asking yourself questions, big questions, you've never thought about before.

What is the purpose of scholarship?

What are we trying to do? Ellie Hisama espouses a belief in using scholarship as a platform for advocacy, in her case, for the advocacy of ethnic and gender equity. Yet advocacy can be turned both ways. Imperialist/colonialist inspired literature which made up the larger body of Orientalist scholarship until very recently, advocated for a particularly troublesome characterization of the Oriental Other. Does advocacy fit into scholarship? Again, what are we trying to do? Present a factually based interpretation of history? While interpretation implies bias, much as advocacy does, does it shade the scholarship as much as outright advocacy?

And if advocacy does have a place in the purpose of scholarship, how are (or maybe just are) we ethically compelled to use that platform as a means to promote our own personal beliefs (ie, feminism, gay rights, etc.)?

We as scholars, and perhaps more importantly artists and scholars, are given a voice few others have as well as, hopefully, the training to clearly and persuasively use that voice. How do we balance the desire to make a lasting impact upon our world with the need for scholarship that remains as unbiased as possible? How do we use scholarship as a platform for advocacy without being subjected and sometimes limited because of labels (ie, feminist musicologist, in Hisama's case the Asian-American feminist musicologist, the queer theory musicologist) that are accompanied by social stigmas?

And I guess the larger question beyond the purpose of scholarship, is who do I want to be as a scholar and a musician? What do I feel morally compelled to do with my artistic and scholarly voice? And how do we learn to embody that voice that is only authentically ours, without being influenced by how the world perceives us?

These are the questions I've been asking after the first few weeks of readings. Any responses would be greatly appreciated.

Peace, Love, and Tunes,


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posted by Mac Tíre at 1:44 PM ¤ Permalink ¤ 0 comments
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Pages to a PhD: Week 3, Term 1
I'm also hoping to post reactions to class discussions after they happen....but that may fall to the wayside as projects and things get started.

Intro to Musicology: Orientalism
Garrett, "Chinatown, Who's Chinatown? Defining America's Border with Music Orientalism," pgs. 119-174
Hisama, "Postcolonialism on the Make: The Music of Jon Mellencamp, David Bowie, and John Zorn," pgs. 91-104
Locke, "Cutthroats and casbah dancers, muezzins and timeless sands: Musical images of the Middle East," pgs. 20-53
Said, Orientalism Ch. 1, pgs. 1-92

Music & Gender: Defining the Field, cont.
Feld, "Sound Structure as Social Structure," pgs. 383-409
Kisliuk, "Performance and Modernity among BaAka Pygmies: A Closer Look at the Mystique of Egalitarian Foragers in the Rain Forest," pgs. 25-50
Koskoff, "The Sound of a Woman's Voice: Gender and Music in a New York Hasidic Community," 213-224
Monson, "Music and the Anthropology of Gender and Cultural Identity,"pgs. 24-32

Research Methods:
Turabian, Ch. 4-7, 16; pgs. 36-81 & 141-159
Bellman: Ch. 3-4 STILL NOT HERE!

Totals for the Week:
Articles: 7
Chapters: 7
Pages: 326
Responses: 4
Summaries: 1

Totals towards the PhD:
Articles: 18
Chapters: 16
Pages: 587
Responses: 16
Summaries: 2

While there are more pages to read this week, there are far fewer responses (thank god!). Responses are basically paragraph summaries of entire articles. It takes quite a bit of time to cut to the quick of an article in three or four sentences. However, I have found that the responses helped me articulate my understanding of some of the more difficult articles (ie Shepherd's Music and Male Hegemony from last week's readings). Summaries are longer, but I feel easier. You can go into more depth about the article (still only about 3 pages at most), which requires much less brevity (musicologists are never good about that). In addition to these, I'm starting the reading for my final projects, which I guess will take time as well. Back to reading and soup making!

Peace, Love, and Tunes,



posted by Mac Tíre at 6:11 PM ¤ Permalink ¤ 0 comments
Pages to a PhD: Week 1-2, Term 1
Sometimes blogging can keep you honest, or in this case help you keep perspective. There's a heavy reading load here at University of West Coast (UWC), and I think I want to blog those readings. Pages to a PhD, hopefully, will help me track what I'm doing/what I've done over the course of my PhD classes. In addition, I'm hoping that it might spark some discussion about what I am (or am not) reading. So below is my first entry:

For First Class:

Intro to Musicology: Defining Musicology
"Musicology" from The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians

Week 2:
Intro to Musicology: Thinking & Writing About History
Butterfield, Herbert. The Whig Interpretation of History, pgs. 1-33
Carse, Adam. The History of Orchestration (we quickly nicknamed this, "History gone wrong."), pgs. 110-111; 198-201
DeVeaux, Scott. "Constructing the Jazz Tradition: Jazz Historiography," Black American Literature Forum 25 (1991) 525-560.
White, Hayden. "Introduction" to The Historical Imagination in Nineteenth-Century Europ, pgs. 1-42

Music & Gender: Defining the Field: Historical & Theoretical Background
McClary, "Feminine Endings in Retrospect" & Ch. 1, pgs. ix-xx & 1-34
Ch'maj, "Reality is on our side," Sonneck Society Bulletin, 16/2 (1990), 53-58
Clement, Introduction to Opera, or the undoing of Women, pg. 3-23
Fausto-Sterling, "The Five Sexes," The Sciences, 33 (1993), pgs 20-25
Hisama, "Feminist Music Theory in the Millenium: A Personal History," pg. 1287-1291
Shepherd, "Music and Male Hegemony," pgs. 151-172
Solie, "Defining Feminism: Conundrums, Contexts, Communities," pgs 1-11
Solie, Feminism in New Grove

Research Methods:
Turabian, Ch. 1-3, 15 pgs. 5-35, 133-140
Bellman, Ch. 1-2, (book not in bookstore as of week 3, which is incredibly annoying)

Totals for the Week:
Articles: 11
Chapters: 9
Pages: 261 (excluding the two New Grove Articles)
Responses: 12
Summaries: 1

Totals towards the PhD:
Articles: 11
Chapters: 9
Pages: 261
Responses: 12
Summaries: 1

Here's to watching the numbers grow!

Peace, Love, and Tunes,



posted by Mac Tíre at 5:41 PM ¤ Permalink ¤ 0 comments
Saturday, October 10, 2009
Nose to the Grindstone
You know all of those "study hard" montages you see in really bad teen movies? If I don't blog for awhile, you should imagine me in one of those montages (because it's true).

I am working on trying to find a place for a slow session. Once I find a place, I really hope someone shows up.....but I guess I'll worry more about that when I get to it.

I've been thinking a lot. The program out here is, by it's very nature, a rather solitary one. Classes meet once, maybe twice a week, and since reading and writing are not generally group activities there's quite a bit of time at my apartment. I'm sure there will be more outings once I get to know people in the program a bit better (the other two entering musicology grad students are in most of my other classes), and I'm going to the wushu meeting (again....no Soo Bahk, but free martial arts are good), but right now there's a lot of sitting in my apartment and thinking.

A PhD program is a time to learn to do for yourself what teachers have previously done for you. It's a time to realize that (hopefully) at some point in the not too distant future, you're going to be the musicologist at the university, the mentor in the mentor/mentee relationship. And I find myself wondering how I'm going to step into those shoes. In addition, I've been thinking about what I want done when I go out on the job search. So that I can point and say, "See, I've done that." And I also wonder if I'll be able to do that. A PhD program is a time for self-doubt you learn to dispel yourself, and it's a time to learn to create for yourself and your students the community that has supported you, and the love and holiness inherent in your art (even if you can't feel it sometimes).

Here's hoping I'm up to the challenge.

Peace, Love, and Tunes,

posted by Mac Tíre at 8:50 PM ¤ Permalink ¤ 0 comments