Session/Séance 5c: CSTM Panel 2 Roundtable: Alliance Studies – Practical Applications in Musicologies

Session/Séance 5c: CSTM Panel 2. Friday/vendredi 26 May 2017. 11:00AM-1:00PM, EJB 215
Roundtable: Alliance Studies – Practical Applications in Musicologies
     Chair: SOPHIE BISSON (York University)


1. Creating Community Alliances – The Suzuki Method
     Sophie Bisson, York University

In 1945, Japanese violinist Shinichi Suzuki began a small talent education movement now internationally known as the Suzuki Method. Suzuki believed that musical ability, like language acquisition, was developed rather than inherited (1983, 8), and that parental involvement is crucial in the development of these abilities. As a consequence of high parental involvement and the desire to subscribe to the Suzuki philosophy of teaching, alliances are formed amongst teachers, families and communities of particular Suzuki schools as well as with the larger Suzuki community. I study and contextualise these alliances and propose to expand the field of Alliance Studies to include community alliances.


2. Citation and Collaboration: Alliance and Technology
     Doug Wilde, York University

The identity of most contemporary (North American, European, “Western”) composers, regardless of genre, is defined in some way by alliances formed through the use of modern technology. The internet, digital sampling, and digital recording, all facilitate alliances that would have been unimaginable a few decades ago. My experience with digital technology, especially as a composer/ producer, will allow me to offer some thoughts, and perhaps a unique perspective, on alliances formed through citation and collaboration.


3. Language and Dialect – Canadian Choirs and Contemporary Compositions
     Natasha Walsh, York University

I expand on Beverley Diamond’s ‘Language and Dialect’ category of her Alliance Studies model. The choral directors and composers Leo Marchildon of Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island and Michel Guimont of Ottawa, Ontario highlight different regions. I demonstrate their efforts to forge alliances, and discuss groups that may be excluded by them. This paper is centred around the annual Christmas Midnight Mass of Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica, featuring Guimont’s Schola Cantorum Choir, and Marchildon’s recent composition Canada, Our Dear Home, performed at the 50th Flag Day Anniversary celebration in Charlottetown.


4. Access and Ownership: From Distinctiveness to Mainstreamness
     Levon Ichkhanian, York University

The tipping point between distinctiveness to mainstreamness could be both beneficial and disadvantageous in world music. Finding the right balance between the opposing factions of access and ownership, citation and collaboration, language and dialect and genre and technology, is needed to contract patron discourse in order to secure and maintain audience sustainability. When successful, the music itself can become a recognized genre in its own right, but at what sacrifice to its original intent? I will share through my experiences as a performer and composer, the positive and negative impacts of balancing the alliances outlined in Beverly Diamond’s Alliance Studies Model through world music in contemporary society, specifically as they relate to Armenian music.

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