JOSEPH KERMAN MUSICOLOGY PDF

Joseph Kerman , a musicologist and critic whose learned, far-ranging and sometimes acerbic writings helped overturn accepted ideas about music both within the academy and in the wider cultural world, died Monday at his Berkeley home after a long illness. He was Kerman, who taught at UC Berkeley for more than 40 years, was a man of many parts: a scholar whose work on such topics as Beethoven and the Renaissance madrigal reflected deep research and study; a disciplinary gadfly who almost single-handedly changed the direction of academic musicology; a powerful and influential teacher; and a prolific public intellectual whose writing in the New York Review of Books and elsewhere brought his ideas to a lay audience. Most music lovers are apt to know Mr. Kerman's work primarily from his incendiary first book, "Opera as Drama," published in

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One of the leading musicologists of his generation, his book Contemplating Music: Challenges to Musicology published in the UK as Musicology was described by Philip Brett in The Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians as "a defining moment in the field. He then joined the faculty of University of California, Berkeley where he became a full professor in and was chairman of the music department from to In , he was appointed Heather Professor of Music at Oxford University , a post he held until , when he returned to Berkeley and again became chairman of the music department from until his retirement in He based his first book, Opera as Drama , on a series of essays written for The Hudson Review beginning in For Kerman, the value of an opera as drama is undermined when there is a perceived disconnection between text and music.

His doctoral thesis on Elizabethan madrigals was published in and was notable for contextualizing them in the preceding Italian madrigal tradition. He maintained an interest in the English madrigal composer William Byrd throughout his career, and wrote several influential monographs on his work.

With his wife, Vivian Kerman, he wrote the widely used textbook, Listen , [8] first published in and now in its 7th edition co-authored by Gary Tomlinson. Described in The Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians as "a defining moment in the field", [1] the book has been credited as helping to shape a " new musicology " that is willing to engage with feminist theory , hermeneutics , queer studies , and post-structuralism.

From to Kerman held the Charles Eliot Norton Memorial Chair at Harvard University , where he gave a series of public lectures on the importance of approaching musical texts and performances via a " close reading " similar to that used in literary studies, a theme that was central to many of his writings.

Critical essays written by Kerman from the late s to the early s are collected in his book, Write All These Down , which takes its title from a phrase in one of William Byrd's songs.

Kerman died at his home in Berkeley on March 17, He was In addition to obituaries which appeared in the days following his death, two of his former associates in the field of musicology, Professors Roger Parker and Carolyn Abbate , published some additional comments about working with Kerman in the obituary which they wrote for the British magazine, Opera. There, they conclude that "the usual obituary language would not work" [17] and continue:.

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Joseph Kerman obituary

One of the leading musicologists of his generation, his book Contemplating Music: Challenges to Musicology published in the UK as Musicology was described by Philip Brett in The Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians as "a defining moment in the field. He then joined the faculty of University of California, Berkeley where he became a full professor in and was chairman of the music department from to In , he was appointed Heather Professor of Music at Oxford University , a post he held until , when he returned to Berkeley and again became chairman of the music department from until his retirement in He based his first book, Opera as Drama , on a series of essays written for The Hudson Review beginning in

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Joseph Kerman

Joseph Kerman. Professor of Music, Emeritus. UC Berkeley. Joseph Kerman was one of the giants in the discipline of musicology and an influential music critic.

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Joseph Kerman, musicologist, critic, cultural shaper, dies

As a writer, the American musicologist Joseph Kerman, who has died aged 89, brought the highest standards of scholarly rigour and precision to his chosen musical specialisms. He was also a teacher at American and British universities for more than 40 years. But the fact that he was probably the only music academic regularly included in dictionaries of quotations — for his description of Puccini's Tosca as a "shabby little shocker" — points to Kerman's other role, as a remarkable critic and proselytiser. Unlike many of his colleagues, Kerman was convinced that thinking and writing about music was too important to be left to academics. For him, writing about music was a humane discipline along the lines of literary criticism, and he deplored the tendency he noted towards arcane jargon and "scientism" in musicology. Producing convoluted explanations of musical mechanisms with the aid of sophisticated analytical tools he felt was a waste of time: what counted was finding a deeper understanding of the values and meanings in the music itself.

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