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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 ¤


  • At 12:45 AM, Blogger Dharmonia

    Fascinated by the notion of gender roles in the accompaniment of Irish music. If my observations over the past 20 years are any indication, I believe I R doin it rong.