Category: Music History-Theory and Ethnomusicology

Stony Brook to Host Sound and Secularity Symposium

“Sound and Secularity” is a day-long symposium at Stony Brook University on April 12, 2019 that will engage what it means to speak, sing, and listen when secularism falters as the dominant frame for modern religious and political life. Scholars from several disciplines—anthropology, music, history, and religion—will join Stony Brook faculty to discuss how secularity and religious faith shape conceptions of sound and the meanings we attach to them.

  • WHEN: April 12, 10 am to 6 pm (registration at 9, full schedule on the website)
  • WHERE: Humanities Institute 1008
  • WHO: Visiting Scholars in Music, Religion, History, and Anthropology; Stony Brook Faculty from Music, History, and WGSS.
For more information and to register, please visit the “Sound and Secularity” website: you.stonybrook.edu/soundsecularity

Music Students Win Graduate Student Awards

DMA Candidate Ju Hyeon Han won the President’s Award to Distinguished Doctoral Students,  and will present a synopsis of their research (geared to a non-specialist audience) at a symposium held in conjunction with the Graduate Awards Ceremony. One of the winners will be asked to give a commencement speech at the Doctoral Hooding Ceremony.

Ph.D. Candidate Matt Brounley won the President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching by a Graduate Student, and will be invited to participate in the August 2019 Workshop for New Teaching Assistants, presented each year to new doctoral students during graduate orientation events.

Jon Fessenden, PhD Candidate in Music History & Theory, published in Journal of Literary & Cultural Disability Studies

Congratulations to Jon Fessenden, PhD Candidate in Music History & Theory, on the publication of his article “Autistic Music, Musicking, and Musicality: From Psychoanalytic Origins to Spectral Hearing, and Beyond,” in Journal of Literary & Cultural Disability Studies 13 (2019): 1–19.

Read the summary below, and check out the article at the link! Delighted to see your research in Music and Disability Studies reaching an international audience, Jon! https://online.liverpooluniversitypress.co.uk/toc/jlcds/current

Abstract:
Observations of autistic musical behavior have been recorded for as long as the modern concept of autism has existed. Early autism researchers such as Leo Kanner identified autistic musicking—including listening and performing—as skilled but bizarre: autistic musicality was subsequently conceptualized from a psychoanalytic perspective as integral to the self and deeply interconnected to a pervasive pathology. Upon the decline of psychoanalytic approaches to autism in Anglophone research, autistic musicality transformed into more a myth than a serious topic of inquiry. However, a flurry of diverse studies over the past two decades has reignited interest in the topic. Music scholars drawing from disability studies began celebrating autistic musicians, and offered theories of autistic hearing and listening. In the sciences, trials revealed curious auditory processing abilities among autists, including perceptual strengths in tasks involving pitch, and weaknesses involving time. I argue that this specific combination—termed “spectral hearing”—is not only a sensory–cognitive imbalance, but portends to a neurodiverse aesthetics of perception. Like autism itself, autistic musicality is infinitely varied; however, spectral hearing and other differences appear as common subtypes that can be explored by integrating disability studies concepts, scientific data, and personal experience. Autistic musicality is a rich topic deserving of further consideration, as greater knowledge would help elaborate the nuances of the autistic lifeworld.

Skip to toolbar