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Social Dynamics and Musical Sensibilities: The Case of Collegiate A Cappella

Joshua S. Duchan

This article explores contemporary collegiate a cappella music and considers the efficacy of two theoretical approaches to its study: performance and practice theories. For collegiate a cappella groups, musical performances and recordings are the result of intense, musically-oriented social interaction balancing political and social structures, and individual sensibilities, around performances of power. Drawing on participant-observation, numerous interviews with performers, and examinations of arrangements and recordings, the article
proposes a preliminary model for shared musical behavior while attempting to account for influence and interaction on an interpersonal level within groups, as well as across larger campus scenes and through (inter)national venues.

Chen Yi's Multicultural Approach in Ba Ban for Piano Solo

Xiaole Li

Chinese-born composer Chen Yi (b. Guangzhou, 1953) writes that her music combines the essences of Eastern and Western musical traditions. Her piano solo Ba Ban shows an interesting example of a multicultural approach. From interdisciplinary perspectives, this paper examines how the Chinese aesthetic elements in Ba Ban--such as theyin-yang and the Yijing--blends with the techniques of Schoenberg, Stravinsky, Bartók, Chou, and Davidovsky through the juxtaposition, superimposition, and development of three themes (called Ba Ban, twelve-tone, and Chen Yi themes) in pantonal-atonal contexts. Ba Ban symbolizes the interaction East and West and Chen’s role in bridging cultures.

Digital Composer Archive: Jeffrey Holmes

Kevin Cooper

USC composer Jeffrey Holmes has been attracting attention for his uncompromising, arresting compositions. According to the Los Angeles Times, "the haunting and slightly disorienting sound [of his music] disrupts and engages the open ear." Kevin Cooper, a Los Angeles area guitarist and new music proponent, interviews Jeff about his dissonant, yet tonally hierarchical music as well as his compositional process, influences, and
aesthetic values.