Doctoral Colloquium (Music) | Jeffrey Swinkin
The Doctoral Colloquium is open to all.
Doctoral Colloquium: Dr. Jeffrey Swinkin, University of Oklahoma
Title: “Four Modes of Music-Analytic Interpretation”
Biography: Jeffrey Swinkin holds a bachelor’s with high distinction in piano performance from The Eastman School, a master’s in piano from the University of Michigan, and a PhD in music theory also from Michigan. As a pianist, he has performed across North America. As a theorist, Dr. Swinkin has published in such journals as Music Analysis, The Journal of Musicology, and the Journal of the Aesthetics and Sociology of Music. He is the author and editor of five books, including the forthcoming Oxford Handbook of Musical Variation and Thematic Techniques. Dr. Swinkin is Associate Professor of Music at the University of Oklahoma.
Abstract: I offer here a resolutely anti-formalist stance, even as I focus on formal, metric, motivic, and Schenkerian structures. For, I locate those structures not in the score (or the sound patterns it represents) but rather in the interpretive domain. That is, I posit that scores have no intrinsic determinate features other than pitches and rhythms. All other properties come down to constructive interpretation. This talk, after expounding the above, will outline and exemplify four interpretive strategies: (1) amplifying a thematic feature via repetition; (2) structurally integrating a feature via motivic enlargement; (3) identifying and grappling with a thematic ambiguity; and (4) locating and actualizing a thematic potentiality. The talk will conclude by anticipating and briefly answering three possible objections.