"In Search of Rhythm: Time, Gesture, and Music Theory Beyond Pitch""In Search of Rhythm: Time, Gesture, and Music Theory Beyond Pitch"http://www.haverford.edu/calendar/details/165231Union Maccrate2011-03-21T19:00:002011-03-21T21:00:00
March 21, 7:00PM
Young Academic Alumni Lecture Series Talk by Joti Rockwell '97, Assistant Professor of Music at Pomona College
As traditionally construed, music theory has tended to focus on elements of pitch, such as harmony, melody, scales, and keys. This talk gives a glimpse of four investigations into other theoretical aspects of music involving performance, rhythmic interpretation, and musical time. First, the solo violin music of J.S. Bach poses a number of rhythmic challenges to the listener, and an analysis of pulse within this repertoire gives insight into a wealth of theoretical and compositional possibilities that Bach explores. Second, examining the relationship between rhythmic patterns and layers of meter within 1970s funk music lends new perspectives on the role of syncopation for the genre. Third, interpreting the history of old-time and bluegrass fiddle music through the lens of rhythmic and gestural translation suggests an alternative model of musical transmission for folk music scholarship. Last, including damping and muting techniques within a framework for analyzing Balinese gender wayang performance extends existing theories regarding interlocking parts in gamelan music. The emerging picture from these studies is a return within theoretical discourse to the tangible physicalities of musical performance.
Joti Rockwell is an Assistant Professor of Music at Pomona College, where he has taught courses on music theory, popular music, and music and natural order since joining the faculty in the fall of 2007. He does research in the realms of American popular music, mathematical music theory, roots music, rhythm and meter, genre, and analysis. He has published in Journal of Music Theory, Music Theory Online, Journal of Popular Music Studies, and Ethnomusicology, and he is a contributor to the upcoming second edition of The Grove Dictionary of American Music. He received a B.S. in Physics and Music from Haverford College in 1997, after which point he recorded and toured professionally as a multi-instrumentalist and vocalist in the acoustic duo Rockwell Church. He received his Ph.D. in the History and Theory of Music from the University of Chicago in 2007, with a dissertation examining the sonic and discursive foundations of bluegrass music. He performs roots music, bluegrass, and contemporary concert music on the acoustic guitar, mandolin, and banjo, and he has been performing as part of Pomona College’s Balinese gamelan since 2008.
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