[Smt-talk] Criteria for Old and New

Dave Headlam dheadlam at esm.rochester.edu
Wed Mar 6 05:24:56 PST 2013

Dear Colleagues:  Kudos to Michael for his response and my thanks for 
the voice of reason speaking up. We are all by now used to seeing 
"opinion" instant responses to everything on the web (please "like" 
Schenker on facebook, etc.), but whether or not someone wrote a nasty 
footnote about a rival, was unfair to unsuspecting predominant chords, 
or indeed was an insufferable bastard, hell-bent on dominating the whole 
music-theoretical enterprise, has little bearing on the usefulness of 
their ideas.  As for old and new, I recently referred to Anonymous 2 as 
a neo-neo-Riemannian, and I am of the opinion, to quote the "BareNaked 
Ladies" (a rock group from Toronto, Can, which, BTW, is the best country 
in the world, no kidding -- look it up!), that "It's all been done before."

Dave Headlam

On 3/5/13 9:36 AM, MICHAEL KLEIN wrote:
> Dear Colleagues,
> These attacks on Schenkerian analysis are really growing tiresome, in 
> my opinion.  I see them on the list from time to time, and I usually 
> just let them go.
> Up front -- I'm not a Schenkerian (in the sense that I do not do 
> research in Schenkerian analysis).  But in another sense -- to quote 
> Charles Smith -- we're all Schenkerians.
> That aside, these anit-Schenkerian postings are often riddled with 
> errors.  I don't know what Ildar means by "his theory has never been 
> contemporary to any other theory," unless he's trying to say that 
> Schenker's theory is not set up for contemporary music (and, of 
> course, it's not -- it is a theory of how harmony and voice-leading 
> work/interact in a certain repertoire of tonal music). The statement 
> that Schenker's theory "has never been a part of any larger project" 
> is flat out wrong. And there has been plenty of work to show 
> Schenker's deep connection to the history of theory.  So, that part of 
> Ildar's claim is incorrect, as well.
> As the current saying goes, we're entitled to our own opinions, but 
> we're not entitled to our own facts.  If Ildar and others on the list 
> don't like Schenkerian analysis -- fine.  But please stop it already 
> with the attacks on an analytical system that many find deeply useful 
> and rewarding.
> I know I'll regret that I posted this (as I always do).  But I'm 
> starting to get tired of seeing these same issues reappear throughout 
> the year -- usually with few facts to back up enormous claims.
> All Best,
> Michael
> -- 
> Michael Klein
> Chair, Department of Music Studies
> Professor of Music Studies
> Temple University
> Boyer College of Music and Dance
> 316 Presser Hall
> michael.klein at temple.edu <mailto:michael.klein at temple.edu>
> http://www.youtube.com/user/MLKPianist
> /Intertextuality in Western Art Music/: 
> http://www.iupress.indiana.edu/product_info.php?products_id=21727
> /Music and Narrative since 1900/: 
> http://www.iupress.indiana.edu/product_info.php?isbn=978-0-253-00644-8
> "Denn alles Fleisch ist wie Gras. . ."
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Dave Headlam
Professor of Music Theory
Eastman School of Music 585-274-1568
Joint Professor of Electrical and Computer
  Engineering    University of Rochester
david.headlam at rochester.edu

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