michael tenzer

Research and Publications: Rossini, 'Repeated Borrowing,' and RRC residencies

Balinese composer Dewa Alit

Balinese composer Dewa Alit

The Rhythm Research Cluster (RRC) closed its initial funded period with two exciting residences that brought innovative Balinese composer Dewa Alit, and the popular music scholar Anne Danielsen, director of the RITMO Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies in Rhythm, Time and Motion (Norwegian Centre of Excellence, Oslo) to the School of Music. Organized by Prof. Michael Tenzer, Alit’s residence culminated with a public performance at Western Front by School of Music students and alumni of works by Alit and others — including the world premiere of Alit’s RRC-commissioned work, “Simalakama.” During Danielsen’s residence, graduate students and faculty participated in a workshop on micro-rhythmic analysis; the residence closed with a Music Colloquium Series lecture on the impact of digitization on rhythm and groove in African-American popular music. 


Prof. David Metzer published “Repeated Borrowing: The Case of ‘Es ist genug’” in the Journal of the American Musicological Society. The article explores “a group of songs that musicians have frequently taken up in creating new works, from the chanson ‘L’homme armé’ in Renaissance masses to ‘Apache’ in hip hop tracks… and provide[s] the first study of repeated borrowing and trace[s] it across centuries and genres.”

Prof. John Roeder published “Lines in Harmony: Types of Cooperation in Four Recent Chinese Compositions” (“和声中的声部线条:近期中国四部音乐作品中的声部协作类型” translated by Zheng Yan) in Music Research, the leading peer-reviewed academic journal of music theory in China. And, picking up on an item from the last issue of High Notes, Prof. Roeder’s keynote address to the Meter Symposium 3 in Sydney, Australia is now available to watch here. 

Dr. Brandon Konoval published a new article, "From Sexuality to Governmentality: The Oedipus Complex of Michel Foucault," in Modern Intellectual History. The article looks at how “Foucault's attention to classical texts—in particular the Oedipus Tyrannos of Sophocles and the Republic of Plato—thereby helped to clear a critical pathway through the conventional Marxism embraced by the “repressive hypothesis,” and to arrive at a Nietzschean genealogy of sexuality and power.”



Dr. Claudio Vellutini published a new essay, "Rossini's Operas in Vienna and the Politics of Translation, 1816-1822," in Gioachino Rossini 1868-2018, a new volume celebrating the 150th anniversary of Rossini's death (Pesaro, Italy: Fondazione Rossini, 2019). Dr. Vellutini also presented a paper on the composer, "Rossini's German Singers (Vienna, ca. 1817-1825)," at the international conference Beethoven und Rossini in ihrer Epoche organized by the Beethoven-Haus in Bonn and the University for Music and Dance in Cologne. 


How 'situated' is your ear? Listen to the new episode of the podcast and find out!

Graphic by Dina MacDougall/UBC School of Music

Graphic by Dina MacDougall/UBC School of Music

What notes are hiding between the keys on your piano? How 'situated' is your ear? And most importantly, what does the music from Battlestar Galactica have in common with Balinese Gamelan?

In episode two of On That Note, we try and answer these questions and much more.

Join host Graham MacDonald as he sits down with UBC professor and ethnomusicologist Michael Tenzer for a discussion about the different ways we hear, play, and define music (hint: it's all about context!) and how breaking out of our musical bubbles might help us communicate better.

Subscribe on iTunes or play the episode below:

New research and publications


Dr. John Roeder presented two conference papers recently:  “Formative processes of durational projection in 'free rhythm' world music” at the Fourth International Analytical Approaches to World Music Conference in New York last June; and “Durational process and affect in a Papua New Guinea song” at the SMT World Music Analysis interest group meeting, in Vancouver in November. Dr. Roeder also published "Superposition in Saariaho's 'The claw of the magnolia….'" in Analytical Essays on Music by Women Composers: Concert Music, 1960-2000, ed. Laurel Parsons and Brenda Ravenscroft, 156-175. New York: Oxford University Press. 

Drs. Alan Dodson, Nathan Hesselink and Ève Poudrier were awarded a grant from the Grants for Catalyzing Research Clusters: Performing & Creative Arts for a series of three symposium on the theme “Exploring Musical Time” during the academic year 2017-2018. The newly formed Rhythm Research Cluster brings together the research interests of six UBC faculty members (including Drs. Richard Kurth, John Roeder, and Michael Tenzer) in the fields of music theory and ethnomusicology that converge on the study of musical time and the production and experience of musical rhythm, timing, and periodicity. The first symposium on “Entrainment and the Human-Technology Interface” is planned to take place in September 2017; stay tuned for more details in the next issue!


Dr. Brandon Konoval published a chapter entitled "Discipline and Pianist: Foucault and the Genealogy of the Etude" in Foucault on the Arts and Letters: Perspectives for the Twenty-First Century (Rowman & Littlefield, October 2016). In July, he presented a paper at St. Anne's College, Oxford, "Pythagorean Pipe Dreams? Ratios of Pipe Scaling from Vincenzo Galilei through Marin Mersenne," for the international conference in early modern science, Scientiae. In December, he was a panelist at the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies for 'Foucault on the Arts and Letters.'

Sessional lecturer Elizabeth Volpé Bligh published “From Solo to Section,” a new article in Harp Column magazine about the role of harpists in an orchestra.

Dr. Stephen Chatman published three new educational books for piano at part of Canticle Publishing’s “Mix and Match” series. His compositions offer “an array of stylistically varied pieces, all paired with harmonically rich duets” for beginning students to learn from. 

Sessional lecturer James Palmer published “Humorous Script Oppositions in Classical Instrumental Music,” an article about humour in the works of Joseph Haydn, Michael Haydn, and Mozart, in the latest issue of Music Theory Online.