July 14, 2015—Two recent UO music theory alumni, Wing Lau and Timothy Mastic, were recently published in Music Theory Online, the journal of the Society for Music Theory.
Lau’s article, “Composing Declamation: Notated Meter Changes in Brahms’s Lieder” offers a new perspective on the function and expressive effect of notated meter changes in Brahms songs—a topic that has gone largely unexplored in current scholarship on rhythm and meter. Drawing upon poetic prosody and metric analysis, Lau’s article demonstrates how a pervasive but under-examined aspect of Brahms’s songwriting style—his sensitivity to the pacing of music and words, as evidenced by careful attention to the notated meter—relates to both the sound and sense of the poems Brahms set.
Mastic’s work, “Normative Wit: Haydn’s Recomposed Recapitulations” approaches Haydn’s treatment of sonata form from the perspective of the eighteenth-century listener, asking: if a moment is allegedly “witty” according to modern analysts, would Haydn’s contemporary audience have heard it as such? Mastic argue that Haydn’s work is witty in the eighteenth-century sense of the term, but not in the sense that the term has been used by recent scholars who emphasize the disruptive aspects of wit.