Happy Birthday Amusicology

March 11, 2008 at 10:00 am 3 comments

Happy Birthday Amusicology!

Time flies.  I almost let the day go by unmarked, despite the fact that I’ve been telling myself that I’d write something for the anniversary of our little blog.  And here it is, 11:15pm and I’m exhausted—it is hard to imagine the energy to have a “Very Musicological Day” like the one I wrote about a year ago.

Not to say that I didn’t have a very musicological day today:

8:00am – Final prep for teaching a section on the “Dream Ballet” from Oklahoma! for course on American Musicals in American Culture taught by my advisor, Carol Oja

10:07am – Section meeting #1

11:00am – Rewind

11:07am – Repeat (aka Section meeting #2)

1:00pm – Attend lecture for aforementioned course

2:00pm – Teaching staff meeting

3:00pm-5:00pm – Dissertation support group #1 (Students writing American music dissertations)

6:30pm-9:30pm – Dissertation support group #2 (Third years graduate students finalizing prospectus—is the plural of prospectus really prospectus?)

While it doesn’t sound as glamorous as other musicological days I’ve had recently (the SAM conference in San Antonio was full of them), it was a productive one—both professionally and personally.  And, like most career choices, that’s a good thing.  The reality of our field is that it’s not every day that you meet a “famous” musicologist (my wife likes to remind me to put that word in scare quotes), give a conference paper, or are blessed with a publication.  The day to day is sometimes nothing more than just the day to day, but looking over the course of a year progress emerges—exams are passed, chapters get written, hires are made.

My advisor recently said something that I’ve really come to embrace—her original phrasing was much more elegant than my summary here:  Many of us musicologists started our musical lives as performers.  For those of us that are pianists, our transition into the world of scholarship meant trading one type of keyboard for another.  Words are our art and, just like music, we need to practice continually.  To create truly enjoyable (and readable) scholarship, we need to spend some time each day in front of our instrument refining our skills.

Some days I share my “practice room time” with the world.

My first post to amusicology got one comment (from my sister (who made fun of me (fair enough))).  I think she was the only one who visited the site for a few weeks.  Since then, Drew and I have been fortunate enough to create a small group of dedicated readers.  Google Analytics informs me that we’ve got a core readership (people who visit at least once a week) of just over 1000 readers, which is quite humbling, really.  Thank you to everyone who stops by—especially those who take the time to comment.

We’ve had a great deal of support (and traffic) from the musicological blogosphere.  Dial M, Musicology / Matters, Soho The Dog, Phil Gentry (aka Barnet Bound), People Listen to It, Musically Miscellaneous Mayhem, to name only a few—visit them if you don’t already.

I’d also like to thank our guest bloggers: Jake, Gina, Zoe, Sarah, Ben, and Jack.  If you haven’t read their insightful posts, I hope you’ll take the opportunity to do so now.

Also, a reminder:  We’re always open to submissions.  Click “Contact” in the top left corner if you’ve got an idea you want to share.

Thanks for reading!

Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

Jake Cohen’s Guest Blog: Scaling the musicological walls Lessons Learned


  • 1. Gina Rivera  |  November 15, 2008 at 8:08 pm

    Posted by Gina Rivera at 2008-03-11 20:09

    How appropriate, Ryan. Carl Ruggles and amusicology share a birthday.

  • 2. Jake Cohen  |  November 15, 2008 at 8:08 pm

    Posted by Jake Cohen at 2008-03-17 23:18

    And here I was, thinking I was the only one celebrating Carl Ruggles birthday! Thanks Gina for sharing in the fun with everyone’s favorite ultramodernist curmudgeon.

    By the way, to all readers out there, if your institution’s library owns a hard-to-find book about Carl Ruggles, chances are I’ve got it on ILL right now. The pile is increasing every day.

  • 3. Phil Gentry  |  November 15, 2008 at 8:08 pm

    Posted by Phil Gentry at 2008-03-13 11:41

    Congratulations on your first year!


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