Musicology

Collaborative Creative Thought and Practice in Music

Margaret S. Barrett, editor
Books, Musicology
Farnham, England: Ashgate Publishing, 2015. 326pp. Also in ebook PDF, ebook ePUB.
ISBN: 978-1-4724-1584-4 (hbk)
Reviewed by , September 1st, 2015

Issues to do with both collaborative activity and creativity are of real interest and concern at this point in time. Not because either of these things are in any way new aspects of human activity, but because changes in social structures and mediating technologies seem to be altering both the mechanisms by which we collaborate… continue reading »


Encounters: musical meetings between Australia and China

Edited by Nicholas Ng. Authors: Wang Zhengting, Aline Scott-Maxwell, Kim Cunio, Yang Mu, Catherine Ingram, Tony Mitchell, Nicholas Ng, Shan Deng, Tony Wheeler, Erik Griswold, Vanessa Tomlinson, William Yang, Gao Ping, John Huie, Anne Boyd, Julian Yu, Larry Sitsky, John Curro, Ash Dargan.
Books, Musicology
Toowong, Qld: Australian Academic Press, 2012, 192pp.
ISBN: 9781922117069 (pbk) Also in ebook.
Reviewed by , February 1st, 2015

This paperback volume is a collection of papers and transcribed discussions derived from a conference-festival of the same title, held in Brisbane in May 2010. As such, the book falls into the sometimes maligned genre of conference proceedings. In this case, however, I feel that the relative informality of papers read at a conference is… continue reading »


Grainger the Modernist

Suzanne Robinson, Kay Dreyfus, editors
Books, Musicology
Farnham, England: Ashgate Publishing Limited, 2015 270pp
ISBN 9781472420220 (hardback) ISBN 9781472420237 (ebook- PDF) ISBN 9781472420244 (ebook-PUB)
www.ashgate.com
Reviewed by , October 1st, 2015

Should Percy Grainger be regarded as a modernist? Or should he be dismissed, as he has been in the past, as an inconsequential arranger of British folksong? Even a cursory scan of Grainger’s life reveals that he was an innovator in many diverse ways: his individually created language eg ‘over-soul’(= genius), his outré towelling clothing,… continue reading »


Loading the Silence: Australian Sound Art in the Post-Digital Age

Linda Ioanna Kouvaras
Musicology
Farnham, UK: Ashgate Publishing Ltd, 2013
ISBN 9781409441564
Reviewed by , March 1st, 2014

While several books have been written which seek to summarise music-making practices in this country, none have focused on non-instrumental art music like this rigorous study by Linda Kouvaras. Roger Covell’s landmark book of 1967, Australia’s Music — Themes for a New Society, was an important first step. Now nearly fifty years old, it was… continue reading »


Punk Aesthetics and New Folk: Way Down the Old Plank Road

John Encarnacao
Books, Musicology
Ashgate (Ashgate Popular and Folk Music Series). 298pp. Hardback, Also in ebook PDF, ebook ePUB
ISBN: 978-1-4094-3399-6 (hbk)
Reviewed by , September 1st, 2015

John Encarnacao’s study of the diverse field of ‘new folk’ is a wonderful contribution to popular music studies. Punk Aesthetics and New Folk is as much a fascinating and accessible genealogy of some of the more interesting and obscure popular music produced in the last 30 years as it is a new history of the… continue reading »


Roger Smalley: A Case Study of Late Twentieth-Century Composition

Christopher Mark
Books, Musicology
Farnham (Surrey): Ashgate, 2012, 272 pages
ISBN 9781409424116 (hbk) ISBN 9781409441991 (ebk)
Reviewed by , July 1st, 2014

This analytical study of the music of British-Australian composer, Roger Smalley (b. 1943), covers 25 works written between 1961 and 1996. From his English vantage point, the author, Christopher Mark, acknowledges that Smalley’s work is not well-known and hopes that the book will stimulate interest in a body of music that he believes “to be… continue reading »


The Australian Symphony from Federation to 1960

Rhoderick McNeill
Books, Musicology
Farnham, Surrey: Ashgate, 2014
ISBN 978–1–4094–4124-3
www.ashgate.com
Reviewed by , April 1st, 2014

It is not often that an elegantly written, well researched book can be used as an advocacy tool, but Rhoderick McNeill’s thorough investigation of the symphonies written before 1960 by Australian composers is one that requires attention.  Most of the works composed during the period covered in the book are probably known only to a… continue reading »


The Beethoven Obsession. The story of Gerard Willems recording of all Beethoven’s piano works on the Stuart piano

Brendan Ward
Biography, Books, Musicology
Sydney: NewSouth Publishing, 2013, 269pp.
ISBN 9781742233956 (pbk)
Reviewed by , January 1st, 2015

Ward recounts the fascinating story of three men, and their project to record the complete Beethoven piano works on the unique Australian made Stuart piano. These three men are Brendan Ward a former TV cameraman from Kingaroy QLD, Wayne Stuart the piano designer and pianist, and Sydney Conservatorium academic Gerard Willems, the Dutch immigrant who… continue reading »


The Music of David Lumsdaine: Kelly Ground to Cambewarra

Michael Hooper
Books, Musicology
Farnham (UK): Ashgate Publishing Limited, 2012, 232 pages
ISBN 978140-9428763 (hbk)
Reviewed by , April 1st, 2014

The subject of this book, David Lumsdaine (b. 1931), is an Australian modernist composer who established his career in the UK. Although Lumsdaine has lived in England more or less continuously since moving there in 1953, he has maintained a strong connection with Australia and is renowned for his soundscapes recorded in various Australian locations…. continue reading »


The Music of Peter Sculthorpe

John Peterson
Books, Musicology
Sydney: Wildbird Music, 2014, 220 pages
ISBN 978-0-9875145-0-9 (pbk)
Reviewed by , September 1st, 2014

In August this year, the response to news that Peter Sculthorpe had died was swift and heartfelt. The federal Minister for the Arts and the Prime Minister acknowledged the passing of a ‘musical giant’, sentiments echoed by the Opposition Leader and Shadow Minister. Obituaries and reminiscences quickly appeared in both mainstream and social media from… continue reading »


The Music of Richard Meale

Michael Hannan
Books, Musicology
Sydney: Wildbird Music Pty Ltd, 2014, 187pp.
ISBN 9780987514516 (pbk)
www.wildbird.com.au
Reviewed by , September 1st, 2014

The launch of a new publishing venture to support, promote and interpret Australian art music is a cause for celebration. Composer Brian Howard has established Wildbird to publish both music and books on music, and the first two books in a planned series on Australian Composers have just been released: The Music of Peter Sculthorpe… continue reading »


World’s Best Jazz Club: The Story of Bennetts Lane

David James
Books, Musicology
Highett, Vic: Major Street Publishing Pty Ltd, 2014. 239pp.
ISBN 9780987542946 (hardback).
Reviewed by , October 1st, 2014

Is Bennetts Lane the world’s best jazz club? David James’s new book on the iconic Melbourne jazz venue makes a compelling argument that it is. Considering the recent news that Bennetts will close next year, with owner/founder Michael Tortoni admitting the “planning laws, the taxation arrangements, they don’t allow a niche business which is basically… continue reading »


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