[Smt-talk] Bruce Campbell

Benjamin Ayotte benjamin.m.ayotte at wowway.com
Wed Jan 4 13:20:51 PST 2012

Dear Colleagues, 

I was privileged to have known Bruce during my time at Michigan State. I got to know him pretty well during that time: I served as his teaching assistant for a year, completed two semesters of counterpoint study with him, and was rewarded with his insight when he gladly agreed to serve as co-chair of my dissertation committee. O ne of my fondest memories was a conversation we were having the day I arrived to tour the campus, and before I actually committed to study there: I found his candor refreshing and disarming: I felt that here was a man of sincerity and integrity; a man posessed of a deep knowledge of, and  love for, music and music theory. I knes that I wanted to study with him. 

As I got to know him through working with him as he prepared and taught his freshman classes, I gained more admiration for his dedication to the art of teaching. He spend innumerable hours developing materials and carefully crafting his approach to a complex subject matter to ensure clarity and transparency. As a teacher of counterpoint, his pedagogy was nothing short of masterful, and he spent time with each individual student in order to bring out the strongest aspects of his or her work, develop motivic ideas, and keep us focused on a solid and idiomatic tonal structure. His socratic method of questioning questions was often homorous to those inclined to find humor in advanced contrapuntal studies. When I asked what we should do in a contrapuntal situation that seemed to have no solution, he wrote "WWJD" on the board and asked, "What would Johann do?" 

I have been enriched by by association with Bruce, and have been inspired by him.  I pray for strength and comfort to his family duting this most sorrowful time. 

Requiem æternam dona eis domine, et lux perpetua luceat eis. Rest in peace, Bruce. You are missed. 


Benjamin Ayotte  

----- Original Message -----

From: smt-talk-request at lists.societymusictheory.org 
To: smt-talk at lists.societymusictheory.org 
Sent: Wednesday, January 4, 2012 3:04:58 PM 
Subject: Smt-talk Digest, Vol 36, Issue 2 

Send Smt-talk mailing list submissions to 
        smt-talk at lists.societymusictheory.org 

To subscribe or unsubscribe via the World Wide Web, visit 

or, via email, send a message with subject or body 'help' to 
        smt-talk-request at lists.societymusictheory.org 

You can reach the person managing the list at 
        smt-talk-owner at lists.societymusictheory.org 

When replying, please edit your Subject line so it is more specific 
than "Re: Contents of Smt-talk digest..." 

Today's Topics: 

   1. Bruce Campbell (Elizabeth W. Marvin) 
   2. Bruce Campell (Elizabeth W. Marvin) 


Message: 1 
Date: Tue, 03 Jan 2012 13:04:49 -0500 
From: "Elizabeth W. Marvin" <bmarvin at esm.rochester.edu> 
To: <smt-talk at lists.societymusictheory.org> 
Subject: [Smt-talk] Bruce Campbell 
Message-ID: <CB28AD71.3E9D4%bmarvin at esm.rochester.edu> 
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1" 

We are writing with the sad news that our colleague Bruce Campbell, recently 
retired from Michigan State University and former faculty member at the 
Eastman School of Music, died on December 29, 2011, of a heart attack while 
driving.  His memorial service is Tuesday, January 3 at 4:00 p.m. at 
Eastminster Presbyterian Church in East Lansing, where he had served as 
organist for many years.  A few biographical notes from his obituary:  Bruce 
had degrees from Brandeis University, the Juilliard School, and Yale 
University.  He studied organ with Anthony Newman, harpsichord with Fernando 
Valenti and Ralph Kirkpatrick, composition with Leonard Stein and Frank 
Lewin, and advanced theoretical studies with Allen Forte, Oswald Jonas, and 
Ernst Oster.   He was also a composer, whose published works include music 
for band, orchestra, choir, and many solo instruments.  Bruce had a passion 
for hiking, travelling, and bagpipe playing, and had recently spent three 
months living and working in Scotland's Iona Community. 
We remember Bruce from his time at Eastman, where we heard him perform and 
where we had many conversations with him about music theory and music theory 
pedagogy.  He was well known at Eastman for his deep knowledge of Baroque 
and species counterpoint, and also for his work as an early Macintosh 
adopter and HyperCard programmer. Bruce was a ?straight talker? who was not 
shy about voicing his opinions about our discipline, as any one who knew him 
will attest.  But a conversation with him was almost always stimulating, and 
even when his critique became particularly pointed, it still grew out of a 
deep engagement with music and musicianship. 

Betsy Marvin, Bob Wason, and Steve Laitz 
Eastman School of Music 

-------------- next part -------------- 
An HTML attachment was scrubbed... 
URL: <http://lists.societymusictheory.org/pipermail/smt-talk-societymusictheory.org/attachments/20120103/00a9ba7c/attachment.html> 


Message: 2 
Date: Tue, 03 Jan 2012 16:29:29 -0500 
From: "Elizabeth W. Marvin" <bmarvin at esm.rochester.edu> 
To: "smt-talk at lists.societymusictheory.org" 
        <smt-talk at lists.societymusictheory.org> 
Subject: [Smt-talk] Bruce Campell 
Message-ID: <CB28DD69.3E9F1%bmarvin at esm.rochester.edu> 
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii" 

Julie Nemire asked me to post this response to the list: 

I was so saddened to learn this. Dr. Campbell was the advisor for my 
dissertation at MSU, which was completed in 2002. I was pretty self-directed 
about my dissertation, and he allowed me to be, for which I will ever be 

I took his graduate species counterpoint class and can testify that his 
teaching of that class was sublime. I also studied HyperCard with him (still 
have the massive manual at home somewhere!) and probably owe my fondness for 
Macs to him, as well. Several of us on Facebook were swapping stories and 
the many little gems he uttered are still memorable these many years later. 
I specifically remember his great reverence for J. S. Bach (whom he always 
referred to as "The Great Man") and for Heinrich Schenker. 

May he rest in peace ... he will be missed and fondly remembered. 

Best wishes, 
Julie Nemire 

Posted by:  Elizabeth Marvin 
Eastman School of Music 

-------------- next part -------------- 
An HTML attachment was scrubbed... 
URL: <http://lists.societymusictheory.org/pipermail/smt-talk-societymusictheory.org/attachments/20120103/6d5e231a/attachment-0001.htm> 


Smt-talk mailing list 
Smt-talk at lists.societymusictheory.org 

End of Smt-talk Digest, Vol 36, Issue 2 
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.societymusictheory.org/pipermail/smt-talk-societymusictheory.org/attachments/20120104/31783b37/attachment-0003.htm>

More information about the Smt-talk mailing list