Notes Volume 73 Number 4 June 2017
Notes: Quarterly Journal of the Music Library Association, is regarded as the foremost scholarly journal for music libraries and librarianship. For nearly sixty years, Notes has presented interesting, informative, and well-written articles on music librarianship, music bibliography, the music trade, discography, and certain aspects of music history. Each quarterly issue offers critical reviews of significant books and printed music, as well as columns providing complete bibliographic citations for new books, music, and music publishers‘ catalogs.
The Unique Patroness: Louise Hanson-Dyer’s Letters to the Library of Congress, 1936–1952
Elina G. Hamilton
The Australian-born Louise Hanson-Dyer (1884–1962) was known in her day to be an equal to her contemporaneous music patronesses, compared most regularly to her more well-known American equal, Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge (1864–1953). The publishing house she founded, l’Oiseau-Lyre, specialized in producing publications of early music, and is still considered to be the cornerstone for editions of medieval and renaissance music today. Hanson-Dyer’s audio recordings featuring the same music provided the first widely-available sound reconstructions of music from the distant past. Although she supported many composers and performers through financial donations, she is singled out as a unique patroness in her obituary by Fontes Artis Musicae owing to the nature of her contribution to the world of music publishing.
Among the Music Division Old Correspondence at the Library of Congress are preserved forty-one letters between Hanson-Dyer and staff of the Music Division. The discourse within the letters reveals a professional and personal relationship developed between the owner of l’Oiseau-Lyre and members of the Library of Congress—a relationship that was an essential part of her business to provide copyright protection for her unusual publications. This article retells the difficulties and triumphs of an ambitious enterprise through letters that crossed the Atlantic prior to and immediately following the Second World War. They reveal how nothing was too difficult for Hanson-Dyer, who ignored geographic barriers, gender stereotypes, cultural misunderstandings, and societal restrictions to provide informed, scholarly editions and recordings to an international community of music scholars and enthusiasts.
From Budapest to Florida—and Back: The Journey Taken by Ernst von Dohnányi’s American Legacy
Decades had passed without considerable musicological writings on Ernst von Dohnányi (1877–1960) when James A. Grymes published an excellent, revealing article in the Music Library Association’s journal Notes in 1998. He discussed the recently explored American legacy of this significant Hungarian pianist and composer, then held by the Warren D. Allen Music Library of the Florida State University (FSU), Tallahassee. By a curious turn of events, there developed at the same time a similar interest in Dohnányi’s home country, where he had long been neglected. This study—a “Part II” to Grymes’s article—sets out to explore how this international body of Dohnányi scholarship arose in the late 1990s, what political and aesthetic factors led to his reevaluation (one might say renaissance), and how the American Dohnányi legacy has continued to grow since. Also explained is how the collection was transferred to Hungary in 2015, as a symbolic gesture by Dohnányi’s American grandson, Seàn E. McGlynn, owner of the legacy. Further aims are to offer a sample of the material for prospective scholars and performers, and to call attention to an unusual oeuvre that seems to be gaining new relevance in the twenty-first century
An Archive and a Collection of Rare Music Scores: The William Crawford III Collections
William (Bill) Crawford III (1932–2013), a collector of first-edition printed music, left his prized collection and its accompanying papers to the University of Washington’s Music Library. The collection focuses on vocal music, especially opera piano-vocal scores. The collection spans six centuries, beginning with Palestrina’s second book of madrigals (1586), and ends with Peter Schickele’s Music for Judy (2013). The bulk of the publications, however, date from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The accompanying materials include purchase records and research on the items in the collection; collected letters including some from Rossini, Puccini, and Britten; photographs of performers; and photographs taken during the Spoleto Festival (Italy) when Crawford was manager. The paper highlights some of the treasures of the collection, the acquisition history and Crawford’s collection plan, and the principles on which the archival collection is arranged.
Notes for Notes
Special Collections of the Claremont Colleges Library (Claremont, CA) has acquired an important copy of the piano-vocal score of Ferruccio Busoni’s first comic opera, Die Brautwahl, in time to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the composer’s birth in 1866. The work was premiered in Hamburg on 13 April 1912, but was not a success. The young conductor Artur Bodanzky (1877–1939), soon to become the head of the “German Wing” at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, offered to present a shortened version of the opera in Mannheim, where he had been chief conductor of the Grand Ducal Theatre since 1909. Busoni undertook the revisions in August 1912, and Bodanzky used this copy of the piano-vocal score, which became available from mid-May 1912, to indicate in ink the revisions he required. The score also contains cuts in red pencil that may derive from Busoni himself. The revised opera was performed in Mannheim on 24 May 1913. In November 1914, Busoni gave this annotated copy of the score to the American pianist Richard Buhlig (1880– 1952) in Berlin. Buhlig passed the score along to his student Peter Hewitt, after whose death in 1999 it came to the Victor Montgomery Music Library at Pomona College, where he had taught for many years. It was recently transferred to Special Collections, and it is available for study and research.
Sociology of Singing
Singing and Wellbeing: Ancient Wisdom, Modern Proof by Kay Norton (review)
Norton describes her project in Singing and Wellbeing as an attempt to synthesize recent scholarship on the social and historical importance of singing with medical evidence of music’s health benefits. Her work, which combines the fields of music, the medical humanities, and medicine, is timely given the rise in prominence of the work of Oliver Sacks (especially his book Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain [New York: Knopf, 2007]) and the 2014 film Alive Inside, which documents the power of music to activate neural pathways, especially in Alzheimer’s patients. (The clip “Henry Wakes Up” went viral on multiple social media platforms.) The task of combining these three disciplines is daunting, given that all are highly specialized.
In the industrialized West, the fields of music and medicine exist in separate worlds, but historically they have been inextricably linked. (It is not by chance that Apollo was the god of music and medicine.) In recent centuries, Western culture and science created a false dichotomy that separated the activities of the mind and those of the body. According to the medical anthropologist Arthur Kleinman, before the seventeenth century, human consciousness was not only collective but also a bio-psycho-spiritual unity. With the rise of scientific thought, that consciousness split, and we were suddenly “simultaneously [aware of ] being a body and having a body,” a phenomenon that is associated with “the rise of a discursive, metatheoretical ‘modernist’ orientation to the self that is secular, self-reflexive, and ironic” (Arthur Kleinman, Rethinking Psychiatry: From Cultural Category to Personal Experience [New York: Free Press, 1988], 50). What is most important for the purposes here is that this new split in consciousness “interferes with total absorption in lived experience” (ibid.). It is precisely this total absorption in a lived experience that is central to the act of singing, especially group singing. A hyper-individual and self-reflexive consciousness (as found in the West) may lead to discomfort with reuniting the art of singing and the scientific study of medicine. But the non-singing Western doctor is in the minority; the vast majority of healers—across cultures and throughout history—have employed an inflected human voice in some way during the healing process, whether through chant, prayer, or song. Western skepticism is one of the main challenges that Norton faces in her work.
A second challenge is the Western tendency toward discipline-specific specialization. Norton’s research is not just about music and medicine, but also music and wellbeing. Wellbeing involves far more than just physical health; it is a complex balance of physiological, psychological, social, and political elements. In some ways, this book addresses all of these—from how music changes our physiology to how music can be used to identify with others. Of course, studying such a complicated and multi-faceted phenomenon as wellbeing requires expertise in a wide variety of fields. Disciplinary integration creates profound challenges for the modern Westerner. Norton recognizes and indeed embraces her own limitations, and so my review must do the [End Page 703] same. Both Norton and I are trained in the field of historical musicology; neither of us is a scientist, psychologist, sociologist, or medical practitioner, but we are both deeply interested in the connection between music (singing specifically) and well-being in its broadest possible definition. Indeed, Norton’s work here extends beyond the fields of music and medicine in order to study the significance of the human singing voice using evidence from the fields of anthropology, evolution, world history, psychology, theology, and philosophy. For some, this might be a virtue of the book, in that it refuses to be pigeonholed into just one field of study, but for others it might be seen as an inadequate application of the disciplines.
The book is organized into two parts. In part one, “Singing in History, Cognition, and Parenting,” Norton demonstrates the centrality of the singing voice in human experience. In the second part, “Singing for…
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