Unending Protests, Unending Music

Beyond the Notes

Dr. Manabe in performance

Manabe photocredit Scott Gilbard

The Trump Presidency: A Revue

Wednesday, December 2, Noon

Since he announced his candidacy in 2015, Donald Trump has been a subject in music, much of it in the form of parodies, remixes, and mashups released on social media.This talk by Dr. Noriko Manabe reviews this music of the Trump presidency (mostly from the Trump Resistance) and the rhetorical tactics employed. Topics considered include humor, intertextual meanings, and circulation between cyberspace and street protests. Dr. Manabe is an associate professor of Music Studies at Boyer College of Music and Dance, and her research centers on music and social movements, popular music, and music and trauma.

Register Here.

This program will be presented via Zoom. On the day of the program, use this link to join: https://temple.zoom.us/j/94308554405 .

All programs are free and open to all, and registration is encouraged.


TU Libraries and Center for Performing Arts Logos





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Marimba with Phillip O’Banion!

Temple University Libraries
and the Center for the Performing
and Cinematic Arts present

Beyond the Notes logo

Photo by Kuba Bożanowski


Solo Marimba Recital

Phillip O’Banion, Marimba

Wednesday, November 18th, Noon


Join us for a solo marimba recital by Phillip O’Banion. Professor O’Banion is an associate professor and artistic director of the percussion program at Boyer College of Music and Dance.

This program will be presented via Zoom. On the day of the program, use this link to join: https://temple.zoom.us/j/91604800434 

All programs are free and open to all, and registration is encouraged.




Phillip O’Banion, marimba

November 18, 2020

12:00 pm


‘Gigue’ from Lute Suite in e minor                                  J.S. Bach (1685 – 1750)

Land                                                                  Takatsugu Muramatsu (b. 1978)

Time Well Spent                                                            Caleb Burhans (b. 1983)

Bag of Bones  world premiere                                        Gordon Stout (b. 1952)

Yesterday                                              Lennon/McCartney; arr. Toru Takemitsu


Phillip O’Banion is Associate Professor and Director of Percussion Studies at Temple University in Philadelphia. O’Banion performs often with the Philadelphia Orchestra and other symphonic ensembles, new music groups, and theater productions. He is a regular percussionist for Orchestra 2001 and Network for New Music. O’Banion has appeared as both performer and conductor on programs presented by the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, and he is a frequent collaborative guest with POPG (the Philadelphia Orchestra Percussion Group). Prof. O’Banion is the artistic director and conductor of the Temple University Percussion Ensemble, Boyer Percussion Group, and Philadelphia Percussion + Piano Project.

Over the last decade, O’Banion has been involved in the commission or premiere of over forty new works in the solo and chamber music genres. O’Banion has appeared internationally in Europe, Canada, South America, and across the United States. His solo album, Digital Divide for percussion and electronics, and his recording of Adam Silverman’s marimba concerto Carbon Paper and Nitrogen Ink are available through BCM+D records. His most recent recording, Radiant Outbursts: (In)Human Progress was released in August 2020 where he is heard as marimbist and conductor of the Philadelphia Percussion + Piano Project. The album’s namesake is another commission from Adam Silverman, juxtaposed with Bernstein’s ‘Halil’ for solo flute and percussion (soloist, Mimi Stillman) and a fresh take on George Antheil’s tour de force ‘Ballet Mècanique’.

Professor O’Banion currently chairs the Percussive Arts Society’s symphonic committee, and has been a regular contributor to the new music and literature review column for Percussive Notes. He has appeared at numerous PAS conventions, Days of Percussion, and international music festivals. O’Banion is an artist endorser for instruments and products made by Pearl/Adams, Sabian, Evans, Vic Firth, and Grover Pro Percussion.

Support for this program was provided by a 2020 Vice Provost for the Arts Grant, and an award from the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs; Temple University, Philadelphia, PA, USA



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Hispanic Heritage Month Song Celebration

Beyond the Notes logo

Hispanic Heritage Month Song Celebration
Wednesday, October 14, Noon

Join us for a celebration of beautiful songs of the Hispanic repertoire featuring music by Joaquin Rodrigo, Manuel de Falla, Jaime Leon, and Ernesto Lecuona.

The performers include Savannah Whittenburg, Daniel Arboleda, Jason Garcia-Kakuk, and Stephen Acosta.

This program is coordinated and produced by Daniel Arboleda.

This program will be presented via Zoom. On the day of the program, use this link to join: https://temple.zoom.us/j/94658225121.

All programs are free and open to all, and registration is encouraged.

Sign up for our mailing list!

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Triumph of the Human Spirit: Beethoven at 250

photo of Beethoven's piano

Hammerflugel Conrad Graf, photo by Andreas Praefcke

Portrait of Beethoven

Portrait of Ludwig van Beethoven from the Library of Congress











Wednesday, September 23rd, 10am-3pm

Join us as Temple faculty, students, and alumni present the inspiring works of Beethoven in celebration of his 250th birthday. This performance is led and coordinated by Dr. Joyce Lindorff.  View this program at

https://library.temple.edu/watchpastprograms/show?id=68db0f32-b443-4dbe-be2c-bdb3f68e2003   (part 1)

https://library.temple.edu/watchpastprograms/show?id=451cf5b8-77ad-411c-9ff3-159fd843e8f3  (part 2)


picture of manuscript

Beethoven Piano Sonata from the Library of Congress



A Marathon of Music by Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)

Wednesday, Sept. 23 10am-3pm

This performance is part of the “Beyond the Notes” Series

Sponsored by Temple Libraries

Hosted by Anne Harlow, Performing Arts Librarian

Coordinated by Joyce Lindorff, Professor of Keyboard Studies

Produced by John Pyle, Library Technical Specialist


Part 1:



 Anne Harlow Welcome                                                                 0:09
Joyce Lindorff Welcome                                                                3:52
Lambert Orkis Introduction                                                         7:24

Sonata in F minor “Appassionata,” op. 57
Allegro assai                                                                              15:15
      Andante con moto                                                                     26:32
      Allegro ma non troppo                                                              32:48
Lambert Orkis, fortepiano

Sonata in G major, op. 30 no. 3                                                     41:44

    Allegro vivace

Kimberly Fisher, violin

Michal Schmidt, piano


Sonata in F minor, op. 2 no. 1                                                       45:23


Mădălina-Claudia Dănila, piano


Beethoven Sonata in D major, op. 102 no. 2

Allegro con brio                                                                            49:28

    Adagio con molto sentimento d’affetto                                        57:03

    Allegro                                                                                          1:06:08

Jeffrey Solow, cello

Charles Abramovic, piano


Sonata in D major, op. 10 no. 3                                                     1:11:02                                                                                                               


Silvanio Reis, piano


Sonata in Eb major “Les Adieux,” op. 81a                                 1:18:17


Olena Haviuk-Sheremet, piano

Sonata in A major “Kreutzer,” op. 47                                          1:24:51


Luigi Mazzocchi, violin

David Pasbrig, piano


Sonata “Pathétique,” op. 13                                                          1:34:26                     

    Adagio cantabile

Matthew Culbertson, piano


Concerto in G major, op. 58                                                          1:39:12

    Andante con moto

Katelyn Bouska, piano

Temple University Sinfonia

conducted by Andreas Delfs


Sonata in Eb major, op. 27 no. 1                                                   1:43:56

    Allegro vivace

Jumyeong Lee, piano


Bagatelles, op. 126

    Andante con moto                                                                        1:49:20

    Allegro                                                                                          1:52:30

    Andante                                                                                        1:55:17

    Presto                                                                                            1:57:44

    Quasi Allegretto                                                                           2:01:22

    Presto – Andante amabile e con moto – Tempo I                         2:03:55           

Sirapat Jittapirom, piano


Sonata in A major, op. 69                                                              2:07:05


Chen Chen, cello

Nam Hoàng Nguyễn, piano


Sonata in C# minor “Moonlight,” op. 27 no. 2                          2:12:42

    Adagio sostenuto

Alessandra Tiraterra




Part 2:






Sonata in Ab major, op. 110                                                          0:01

    Moderato cantabile molto espressivo

Bolun Zhang, piano


“Emperor” Concerto in Eb, op. 73

Allegro                                                                                          6:13

    Adagio un poco mosso                                                               26:38

    Rondo. Allegro                                                                              33:40

Sara Davis Buechner, piano

Belgian National Orchestra

conducted by Georges Octors


Sonata in D minor “Tempest,” op. 31 no. 2                                44:40


Mingfu Han, piano


Sonata in E minor, op. 90                                                              51:11

    Nicht zu geschwind und sehr singbar vorgetragen

Charles Sekel, piano


Sonatina in C minor, WoO 43 no. 1                                             58: 38

Sonatina in C major, WoO 44 no. 1                                              1:02:51

Ekatarina Skliar, mandolin

Anna Kislitsyna, harpsichord


Sonata op. 31 no. 3 in Eb major                                                    1:05:30


Regina Amelinda Christy, piano


32 Variations on an Original Theme in C minor, WoO 80       1:11:40

Binghao Li, piano


Duo, WoO 27 no.1                                                                          1:22:27

    Allegro commodo

Abbegail Atwater, clarinets


Sonata in E major, op. 109                                                             1:25:56

    Vivace, ma non troppo and Prestissimo

Rachel Lee, piano


Sonata in A major “Kreutzer,” op. 47                                         1:31:57

(arranged for string orchestra)


iPalpiti Orchestral Ensemble

conducted by Eduard Schmieder


Sonata in C major “Waldstein,” op. 53

    Allegro con brio                                                                            1:42:31

    Introduzione-Adagio molto                                                          1:51:18

    Rondo-Allegretto moderato                                                          1:55:36

Clipper Erickson, piano


Beethoven “Ghost” Trio in D major, op. 70 no. 1                      

Lambert Orkis introduction                                                             2:06:28           

    Largo assai ed espressivo                                                              2:10:30

    Presto                                                                                            2:19:00

The Kennedy Center Chamber Players

Nurit Bar-Josef, violin

David Hardy, cello

Lambert Orkis, piano


Joyce Lindorff  Conclusion                                                           2:27:20


Anne Harlow Conclusion                                                             2:28:31

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Dig!Arts: Music Encoding Initiative

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POSTPONED: 3/18/2020 Concert, Elisabeth Jacquet de LaGuerre

The concert originally planned for 3/18/2020

of beautiful music

by Elisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre

has been postponed.

Stay tuned for rescheduling information.

Thank you for your understanding and support.


Elisabeth-Claude Jacquet de La Guerre and the Dance Culture of Versailles


photo of portrait of Elisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre

Elisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre

Music of Elisabeth Claude Jacquet de la Guerre

Wednesday, March 18th, 12:00pm – 12:50pm
Temple University Charles Library Event Space
Featuring Dr. Joyce Lindorff and her studio

Light refreshments served. Boyer recital credit given.

Parisian composer and harpsichordist Élisabeth-Claude Jacquet de La Guerre (1665-1729) made her mark very early in life. She first performed for Louis XIV at the tender age of five, impressing the “Sun King” with her prodigious abilities. Thereafter the phenom would serve the court of Versailles until the age of nineteen. Jacquet returned to Paris permanently after wedding the organist Marin de La Guerre in 1684. Despite losing her husband and only child in 1704, she continued to compose, perform, and teach until her passing.

Jacquet de La Guerre possessed formidable musicianship in every respect. In addition to accompanying and improvising on the harpsichord and organ, she could sight-sing the most difficult passages and transpose music on command. But Jacquet’s legacy rests primarily on her surviving compositions, including Céphale et Procris (Cephalus and Procris, 1694), the first opera written by a French woman, and two published collections of suites for harpsichord (1687 and 1707). The latter, of course, comprised the various social dances performed at the court of Versailles—to wit, the courante, gigue, and sarabande. Jacquet infused these binary forms with the style brisé (broken style), emulating the lutenists of her day. A hallmark of French style, this technique expanded the expressive potential of chords through arpeggiation.

Dancing at Versailles was serious business, a tool used by Louis XIV to instill qualities such as majesty, grace, and self-discipline in members of the court. Nobles received instruction from dancing masters and practiced the choreography for hours. They were also examined by the king himself, who would banish subjects for poor execution. Based on the following account of 1671, a superlative performance of the sarabande was nuanced, embodying the affect, agréments (ornaments), and rubato of the music:

“Now and then he [the dancer] would let a whole rhythmic unit go by, moving no more than a statue, and then, setting off like an arrow, he would be at the other end of the room before anyone had time to realize that he had departed. 

But all this was nothing compared to what was observed when this gallant began to express the emotions of his soul through the motions of his body, and reveal them in his face, his eyes, his steps and all his actions. 

Sometimes he would cast languid and passionate glances throughout a low and languid rhythmic unit; and then, as though weary of being obliging, he would avert his eyes, as if he wished to hide his passion; and, with a more precipitous motion, would snatch away the gift he had tendered. 

Now and then he would express anger and spite with an impetuous and turbulent rhythmic unit; and then, evoking a sweeter passion by more moderate motions, he would sigh, swoon, let his eyes wander languidly; and certain sinuous movements of the arms and body, nonchalant, disjointed and passionate, made him appear so admirable and so charming that throughout this enchanting dance he won as many hearts as he attracted spectators.” (McClary 2018, 116-118) 

Given the proximity of physical movement to music in baroque-era France, this description also sheds light on the ephemeral art of Jacquet de La Guerre: a succession of musical moments in which color and nuance delight the senses. On Wednesday, March 18, Joyce Lindorff and her studio will present an entire program of music by this extraordinary woman. We encourage all to attend.

Consult the following sources for more information:

Borroff, Edith. 1966. An Introduction to Elisabeth-Claude Jacquet de la Guerre. Brooklyn: Institute of Mediæval Music.

Cessac, Catherine. “Jacquet de La Guerre, Elisabeth.” Grove Music Online. 2001; Accessed 23 Feb. 2020. 

Farr, Elizabeth. 2005. Liner notes to Elisabeth-Claude Jacquet De La Guerre: Harpsichord Suites Nos. 1-6, Elizabeth Farr. Naxos 8.557654-55, CD.

McClary, Susan. 2018. “In the Realm of All the Senses: Two Sarabandes by Élisabeth-Claude Jacquet de La Guerre.” IAnalytical Essays on Music by Women Composers: Secular and Sacred Music to 1900, edited by Laurel Parson and Brenda Ravenscroft, 109-28. New York: Oxford University Press.

Porter, Cecilia Hopkins. 2012. “Elisabeth-Claude Jacquet De La Guerre: Versailles and Paris in the Twilight of the Ancien Régime.” In Five Lives in Music: Women Performers, Composers, and Impresarios from the Baroque to the Present, 39-77. Champaign: University of Illinois Press.


Gary Sampsell is a second-year PhD student in the Music Studies program at Boyer College. His research interests include the musical culture of baroque-era Saxony and Austro-German reception of early music in the nineteenth century.

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Stride: The Art of James P. Johnson

Beyond the Notes
A Celebration of Stride and Novelty Piano
Wednesday, February 12th, 12:00PM -12:50PM
Featuring Dr. Charles Abramovic and his studio
Light refreshments served. Boyer recital credit given.


Photo of James Johnson

James P. Johnson

As one of myriad styles falling under the rubric of jazz, stride is fundamentally an expression of the African American experience. James P. Johnson (1894-1955) pioneered the solo piano style while composing and performing in Harlem during the 1920s. What follows is a brief sketch of the conventions, innovations, and social contexts that produced it.

Stride derives primarily from ragtime in form and content. Tunes comprise three or four independent, sixteen-bar sections or strains. The initial strain features the theme in the tonicsubsequent strains variously treat the original material or present new ideas. Sections collectively called the “trio” modulate to closely related keys, typically the subdominant. Introductions and interludes of four or eight measures are common. Regarding content, left-hand stride patterns follow traditional dances in duple meter, notably the march and polka. Hence the bass often alternates between low notes and midrange chordsthe former imitates the tuba while the latter mimics the higher brass and woodwind instruments of marching bands, creating the oom-pah sound associated with folk music.

However, stride represents an evolutionary step in the lineage of jazz, placing greater demands on the performer. The harmonic rhythm and tempo are faster than those of ragtime. Stride also exploits the full range of the instrument. Finally, the style employs an array of pianistic devices, e.g., rapid scale passages, trills, and turns, suggesting that knowledge of classical idioms would be beneficial if not requisite to stride proficiency.

Johnson infused blue notes and call-and-response gestures into stride. Furthermore, the rhythmic feel of his style was more relaxed than ragtime, approximating swingHeard in the paradigmatic stride piece “Carolina Shout,” these elements allowed Johnson to connect meaningfully with his auditors at clubs and dance halls, many of whom migrated from the Deep South:

“The dances they did at the Jungles Casino were wild and comical—the more pose and the more breaks the better. These Charleston people and the other southerners had just come to New York. They were country people and they felt homesick. When they got tired of two-steps and schottisches (which they danced with a lot of spieling), they’d yell: “Let’s go back home!” . . . or “Now put us in the alley!” I did my “Mule Walk” or Gut Stomp” for these country dances. Breakdown music was the best for such sets, the more solid and groovy the better. They’d dance, hollering and screaming until they were cooked. The dances ran from fifteen to thirty minutes, but they kept up all night until their shoes wore out—most of them after a heavy’s day’s work on the docks.”

Johnson also cultivated the style while performing at rent parties in Harlem. Held in apartments, these informal gatherings enabled working-class tenants to raise additional money for rent by charging admission. Here we see the music of Johnson providing a modicum of relief in material as well as nonmaterial ways.

We invite you to join us on Wednesday, February 12, to hear stride performances by the studio of Charles Abramovic. In addition to works by Johnson, the program will feature those of his contemporaries, Thomas “Fats” Waller, Jelly Roll Morton, and Zez Confrey.

Consult the following sources for more information:

Barnhart, Bruce. “Carolina Shout: James P. Johnson and the Performance of Temporality.” Callaloo 33, no. 3 (Summer 2010): 841-856.

Berlin, Edward A. “Ragtime.” Grove Music Online. 16 Oct. 2013; Accessed 26 Jan. 2020. https://www-oxfordmusiconline-com.libproxy.temple.edu/grovemusic/view/10.1093/gmo/9781561592630.001.0001/omo-9781561592630-e-1002252241.

Martin, Henry. “Balancing Composition and Improvisation in James P. Johnson’s ‘Carolina Shout.’” Journal of Music Theory 49, no. 2 (Fall 2005): 277-299.

Robinson, J. Bradford. “Stride.” Grove Music Online. 2001; Accessed 20 Jan. 2020. https://www-oxfordmusiconline-com.libproxy.temple.edu/grovemusic/view/10.1093/gmo/9781561592630.001.0001/omo-9781561592630-e-0000026955.

Rouder, Willa. “Johnson, James P(rice).” Grove Music Online. 2001; Accessed 24 Jan. 2020. https://www-oxfordmusiconline-com.libproxy.temple.edu/grovemusic/view/10.1093/gmo/9781561592630.001.0001/omo-9781561592630-e-0000014409.


Gary Sampsell is a second-year PhD student in the Music Studies program at Boyer College. His research interests include the musical culture of baroque-era Saxony and Austro-German reception of early music in the nineteenth century. 

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Beyond the Notes! Spring 2020 Season Announcement!

  Beyond the Notes logo

Mark your calendars!

Beyond the Notes announces its Spring 2020 concerts!

Join us as we continue our exciting inaugural season in Temple’s beautiful new Charles Library.

All concerts are free and open to the public.

Light refreshments served.
Boyer recital credit given.

photo of Fats Waller

Fats Waller

Photo of James Johnson

James P. Johnson

photo of Jelly Roll Morton

Jelly Roll Morton

Photo of Zez Confrey

Zez Confrey






A Celebration of Stride and Novelty Piano
Charles Abramovic and his studio
Works by James P. Johnson, Thomas “Fats” Waller, Jelly Roll Morton, and Zez Confrey
Wednesday, February 12th
12:00PM – 12:50PM
photo of portrait of Elisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre

Elisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre


Music of Elisabeth Jacquet de La Guerre
Featuring Joyce Lindorff and her studio
Wednesday, March 18th
12:00PM – 12:50PM
photo of guitar and mandolin

Mandolin and Guitar. Photo by Andrewa.

Music for Guitar, Mandolin, Mandolin and Guitar, and even more Guitars!
Featuring Allen Krantz and his studio
Wednesday, April 8th
12:00PM – 12:50PM
Beyond the Notes thanks Temple University Libraries and the Boyer College of Music and Dance for their support of this concert series.
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From the Margins to the Fore

Logo Modern RevealA Modern Reveal

An Eclectic Compilation of Vocal Music by Women Composers, 1560-present

Wednesday, October 30, Noon

Charles Library Event Space

Light refreshments served. Boyer recital credit given.

Historiography has marginalized the contributions of women in many spheres of endeavor, and musical composition is no exception. Even as the names of contemporary female musicians found their way into eighteenth-century lexicons, e.g., Johann Gottfried Walther’s Musicalisches Lexicon (Leipzig, 1732), entries for famous opera singers far surpassed those of composers. This lack of representation alludes to social expectation and bias: women could thrive in the world of music by filling roles deemed appropriate to their gender. In the light of such social constraint, the legacy of women composers is remarkably rich. Our upcoming concert will showcase many of these little-known compositions, delivering them from the margins to the fore.

Given in collaboration with A Modern Reveal, the program features sixteen songs by fifteen different composers, some of whom will no doubt be familiar to music scholars and enthusiasts: among those representing the early baroque is Francesca Caccini (1587-1646), an employee of the Medici family who is recognized as the first woman to compose opera; the formidable composer-pianist Clara Schumann (1819-1896), who was dubbed “Queen of the Piano” in the age of Romanticism; Amy Beach (1867-1944), the first American woman to achieve distinction as a composer of large-scale art music; and the prolific Libby Larsen (b. 1950), whose catalog comprises more than 400 works, including several operas.

The content of the program spans more than four hundred years; as a result, there is great variety in material both lyrical and musical. The duet “Il gondoliere,” by Maria Malibran (1808-1836), belongs to the genre known as the barcarole (It. barcarola). The traditional song of the gondolier, the barcarole (6/8 time signature) depicts the lilting motion of the iconic vessels that traverse the waters of Venice. Another example is the Lied “Verlust” (Loss), a setting of the poem “Und wüssten’s die Blumen” (If the Little Flowers Knew) by Fanny Hensel (1805-1847). Hensel largely evades the tonic and closes the song with an unresolved dominant, reflecting the inconsolable anguish of Heinrich Heine’s text. Finally, a rendition of “I’m Nobody” will offer the listener a blend of modern music and nineteenth-century wit. Lori Laitman (b. 1955) composed the bouncy and comical setting, part of a cycle entitled Four Dickinson Songs (1996). In short, the stylistic diversity of this program ensures something for everyone.

We invite you to join us on Wednesday, October 30, for this special celebration of women composers. We also encourage you to visit https://www.amodernreveal.com/ to learn more about the women featured in the program.

Consult the following sources for more information:

Frasier, Jane. Women Composers: A Discography. Detroit, MI: Information Coordinators, 1983.

Jezic, Diane Peacock. Women Composers: The Lost Tradition Found. New York: Feminist Press at the City University of New York, 1994.

.Marrazzo, Randi, ed. The First Solos: Songs by Women Composers. Bryn Mawr, PA: Hildegard Pub. Co., 2000.

Marrazzo, Randi, and Nicole Leone.  A Modern Reveal: Songs and Stories of Women Composers.  18 Oct. 2019, www.amodernreveal.com/

Pendle, Karin, ed.. Women in Music: A History. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 2001.

Rodgers, Stephen. “Fanny Hensel’s Lied Aesthetic.” Journal of Musicological Research 30, no. 3 (2011): 175-201.

Schleifer, Martha and Sylvia Glickman. Women Composers: Music through the Ages. New York: G.K. Hall, 1996. https://librarysearch.temple.edu/catalog/991000427089703811

Tick, Judith, Margaret Ericson, and Ellen Koskoff. “Women in music.Grove Music Online. 2001; Accessed 17 Oct. 2019. https://www-oxfordmusiconline-com.libproxy.temple.edu/grovemusic/view/10.1093/gmo/9781561592630.001.0001/omo-9781561592630-e-0000052554.

(Note: Grove Music Online contains entries for all of the composers mentioned in this article.)

Gary Sampsell is a second-year PhD student in the Music Studies program at Boyer College. His research interests include the musical culture of baroque-era Saxony and Austro-German reception of early music in the nineteenth century.

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The Sound of History

Johann Sebastian Bach Concerto Festival!

Wednesday, October 2nd, 12:00 Noon
Charles Library Event Space

Presented by Dr. Joyce Lindorff
with Boyer College Harpsichordists
and Baroque Strings

Light refreshments served. Boyer recital credit given.

Hands on a harpsichordMore than a mere antecedent to the modern piano, the harpsichord is a keyboard string instrument with an otherworldly sound. Its metallic timbre and precise articulation result from an internal mechanism: quills pluck the strings when the keys are depressed, and dampers silence the strings when the keys are released. Creating the effect of cascading notes, this mechanical operation is ideal for the performance of contrapuntal music because of the clarity it lends to the middle and lower voices; in other words, the design and function of the instrument met the musical demands of its time.

Emerging in the years around 1400, the harpsichord reached its zenith in the 1700s. During this era, luminaries such as Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750), François Couperin (1668-1733), George Frideric Handel (1685-1759), and Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757) composed some of the finest music for the instrument. Famous examples from the solo repertory include J. S. Bach’s The Well-Tempered Clavier, a collection of 48 preludes and fugues in two volumes, and Scarlatti’s 555 keyboard sonatas. The harpsichord was also regularly used for accompaniment in the performance of both sacred and secular music. This role kept the instrument in service until the turn of the nineteenth century, when changes in musical tastereflected in the rising popularity of the pianofortediminished its presence. The resurgence of the harpsichord in the late 1800s may be attributed to the special qualities mentioned above, namely its suitability for the performance of early music. 

On Wednesday, October 2, Dr. Joyce Lindorff and her colleagues from Boyer College will present performances of J. S. Bach’s concerti for one, two, and four harpsichords. (The latter is a transcription of a solo concerto from Vivaldi’s L’estro armonico, Op. 3, no. 10.) Listeners will have the opportunity to experience the singular sound of the instrument thrown into relief by contrasting tutti (full ensemble) and solo sections. Do not forgo what is sure to be an eminently satisfying musical event.

Consult the following sources for more information:

Kottick, Edward L. A History of the Harpsichord. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2003.

Pollens, Stewart. The Early Pianoforte. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995.

Ripin, Edwin M., Howard Schott, John Koster, Denzil Wraight, Beryl Kenyon de Pascual, G. Grant O’Brien, Alfons Huber, William R. Dowd, Charles Mould, Lance Whitehead, and Martin Elste. “Harpsichord.” Grove Music Online. 2001; Accessed 11 Sep. 2019. https://www-oxfordmusiconline-com.libproxy.temple.edu/grovemusic/view/10.1093/gmo/9781561592630.001.0001/omo-9781561592630-e-0000012420.

Wolff, Christoph. Bach: Essays on His Life and Music. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1991.

Wolff, Christoph, and Walter Emery. “Bach, Johann Sebastian.” Grove Music Online. 2001; Accessed 11 Sep. 2019. https://www-oxfordmusiconline-com.libproxy.temple.edu/grovemusic/view/10.1093/gmo/9781561592630.001.0001/omo-9781561592630-e-6002278195.

Gary Sampsell is a second-year PhD student in the Music Studies program at Boyer College. His research interests include the musical culture of baroque-era Saxony and Austro-German reception of early music in the nineteenth century.



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