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Home :: Archive :: 1995 :: May ::
Re: Music; Kiddieology
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 6, No. 0372.  Wednesday, 10 May 1995.
 
(1)     From:   David Lindley <
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        Date:   Friday, 5 May 1995 11:23:26 GMT
        Subj:   Re: Music
 
(2)     From:   Daniel L. Colvin <
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        Date:   Friday, 5 May 1995 12:58:27 -0500 (CDT)
        Subj:   Kiddieology and Music
 
(3)     From:   Steve Urkowitz <SURCC@CUNYVM>
        Date:   Monday, 08 May 95 23:12:50 EDT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 6.0364  Kiddieology; Shakespeare and Company; Music
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Lindley <
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Date:           Friday, 5 May 1995 11:23:26 GMT
Subject:        Re: Music
 
I can't agree with Roger Gross that no music is worse than canned music - not
because I hold any brief for canned music at all, but because the modern
practice of applying a cinematic 'surround sound' of incidental music in
performance seems to me profoundly to distort the ways in which music functions
within the play texts. I don't think that there are any examples of moments in
plays where the music the audience hears is not also heard by the characters on
stage (the odd counter-example, in The Tempest for instance, uses the failure
to hear music by Antonio and Sebastian as a moral marker). When texts want
'mood music' it is called for - in Twelfth Night for example; to supply more is
to risk at best devaluing, at worst distorting and simplifying  the verbal
texture. That, at least, is my view - one which, I recognise, is a mark of my
authenticist puritanism, and is vigorously opposed by most colleagues and
students!
 
(But I do agree that the music, such as is called for, should be 'live'.)
 
David Lindley
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Daniel L. Colvin <
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Date:           Friday, 5 May 1995 12:58:27 -0500 (CDT)
Subject:        Kiddieology and Music
 
As the semester draws to an end, I did want to respond to two recent posts.
 
Don Foster bemoans the new kiddie-lit popularizations of Shakespeare and
worries that we might have some of those students in our classes in the future.
 Actually, I would look forward to having those students.  I usually find that
students who are excited about Shakespeare -- as a result of any earlier
stimulus, no matter what type -- are the most interesting and able in my
classes.  And often they are some of the most creative when it comes to
envisioning staging of the plays or other "production" considerations. The way
things are here (a regional state university), I would be glad to get as many
students as I could.
 
Second,  let me second Roger Gross's comments regarding origional music. For
our recent production of *MACBETH* we had a composer from the music department
create original music.  He came to the fight rehearsals to get a feel for the
battles, and then actually scored the music to highlight the movements of the
battle.  He did the same for the Weird Sisters and for several other parts of
the play, besides creating music to open each of the three parts (acts) of the
play.  The music became an integral part of the experience.  I highly recommend
it.
 
Have a good end of the semester, friends, and a good summer.
 
Daniel Colvin
Western Illinois University

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(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Steve Urkowitz <SURCC@CUNYVM>
Date:           Monday, 08 May 95 23:12:50 EDT
Subject: 6.0364  Kiddieology; Shakespeare and Company; Music
Comment:        Re: SHK 6.0364  Kiddieology; Shakespeare and Company; Music
 
Music and productions:
 
Susan Spector and I worked with composers for scores in the OTHELLO and the
TWELFTH NIGHT we've done in the last few years.  A delicious experience both
times.  With OTHELLO we were able to use electronic renaissance instruments
doing all kinds of tricks, like Othello's trumpeters coming closer and closer
during the entry into Cyprus scene.  Ah, electric echo-control!  And storms and
alarums built to order . . . CCNY's Digital Music Center was a great resource.
The TWELFTH NIGHT bounced along to calypso beats, some live, some recorded, all
original scores.
 
With enough lead time, collaboration with a music department's composition
classes might be a nice way to pull together otherwise distant or estranged
academic functions on  a liberal arts campus.
 
Advertising for a composer?  Offering a prize for a competition within a
composition class?  Any way one goes at the task, articulating thoughts about
overall  impact of a production and fine details of a moment's auditory blast
or whisper can radically aid any director's thoughts.  Actually, that might be
a valuable project for a group of students, to pound out tunes and rhythms of a
style appropriate to a specific scene set to underscore specific production
conditions. "Invent a musical accompaniment for ____________."
 
From the budgetary whirlwind of CCNY,
                   Steve Whirledowitz 
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