The end of the first week

Well, summer school is going swimmingly so far. My German class is so neat! I tend to get tired having to sit in there for two hours (we have a short break in the middle), but other than that, I'm really enjoying all the translating we're doing. My one semester of German at Temple has helped so much. Because this class doesn't start with a focus on learning numbers, family members, travel vocab, etc., like a normal language class would, most of my classmates don't know those words yet, but I do, and I don't have to look them up! There's more to it than that, since I've had practice thinking in the language already as well. The major grade in that class will come from a translation project, and I've decided to translate some Riemann (he was a nineteenth-century music theorist and I think the first to write a comprehensive history of music theory). I had toyed briefly with the idea of translating Schenker, but (a) Dave, another music theorist who's in this class, is already doing Schenker, and (b) I didn't want to ruin my summer. I'm willing to spend some more quality time with Schenker eventually, but it's just too soon.

The class I'm teaching is exciting. I started off feeling a bit spastic on the first day (my main fear as a teacher), but I've been prepping like mad and have come up with what I think are some good ways of illustrating what can be really boring basic concepts. Several of the students already read music, so they're a bit bored anyway and will have to wait a bit before learning new information, but most are starting from square one. It's cool to watch the process develop in them. I feel all teacherly with my lesson plans and posting grades online for the students to see. =) One week down, six more to go...

I've got a huge break in the middle of the day (from 11 to about 3:30) between my classes, so I get a little bored since none of my friends or professors are here to hang out with during the day. However, I do have a lot of time for prep and grading, and I've been getting all my German homework done during the day so I don't have to do it at night. Next week, I'll start individual tutoring of two incoming music ed graduate students who need to pass the theory diagnostic exam, so I'm at the library now scoping out books to use. Their advisor suggested that I make a tape of dictation exercises for the one who needs help on eartraining, so I'm trying to figure out how that will work, i.e., whether I'll make one huge tape at the beginning or several throughout the summer depending on how quickly we go. I think I'll probably make one big tape and let her work through it at her own pace. Of course, that means I'd have to do all of it before Monday, which is possible but slightly unpleasant to think about. We shall see. Okay, I have office hours in just a bit, so I must skidaddle. I wish the wireless internet in the music building would work on my computer, but it's so unpredictable that I've never been able to get a connection. I lug my laptop to school every day since it has all my lesson plans on it, so it'd be great if I could just sit in my office to do internet things instead of walking over to the library in the ridiculous heat index of 102 degrees (N.B. Turn-offs under "About Me" to the left).




By the way, Riemann wasn't the first to attempt a comprehensive history of music. Padre Giovanni Battista Martini began his Storia della musica in the 1760's, though he didn't get past draft stage for the medieval ages. Martin Gerbert published his De cantu et musica sacra a prima ecclesiae aetate usque ad praesens tempus 1774. (On chant and sacred music from the first church age up to the present time). We mustn't forget Burney and Hawkins, two English music historian amatuers, who each wrote a comprehensive music history in the early 19th c.

Riemann's history is sort of the part of the jumble. Maybe I wouldn't even consider his more important than any others. Of course, I haven't read it extensively in German, but he doesn't surface immediately as a significant historian.

Okay, I've rambled on at length. That's what you get when you're friends with a musicologist! ;) Esp one who finds a certain fascination with music history writing...
I said he wrote the first history of music THEORY. LOL. Pay attention. =)
Hmmm. I still find that hard to believe. But as I can't think of any other... In my defense, though, along with said historians, great anthologies/collections of music theory treatises were assembled. And I think it's fair to say, that they didn't have a concept of the separation of the two. You find people like Guido Adler beginning to sketch out taxonomies, etc.
In your defense, perhaps music theory and history as separate disciplines were invented in the 19th c then making Riemann the first to write a history of theory as such.
VERY interesting to ponder!!
I see your point. One of the points on which I was admonished by the theory faculty during my qualifying exam was for not knowing more about Riemann, and that was one of the factoids they provided me with. I'll ask somebody, though. I'll bet it will come up in Dr. Herlinger's class this fall!
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