About the Song Seminar
The Song Seminar is run by the Cambridge Interdisciplinary Song Group, a network of researchers from a range of disciplines, including English, Music, Modern and Medieval Languages, Philosophy, Theology, History, and Classics. We are all of us, in our different ways, interested in songs – what they are, how they work, how they are used. Our regular lunchtime seminar fosters cross-disciplinary conversations about songs – their forms, functions, relations, histories – and about the poets, composers, songwriters, and performers who make them. We consider songs of all periods and traditions, and try to feature live performances when we can. See below for a list of past events, and watch this space for upcoming sessions. If you’d like to hear about the seminar programme and to receive materials (texts, scores, links to recordings), please join our email list by clicking here and following the instructions.
All meetings of the seminar are on Wednesdays, 12.30-2 pm in Emmanuel College
25 April 2018 (Harrods Room)
Ewan Jones: ‘What entrainment can teach aesthetics’
This paper will explore the ethnomusicological and biological concept of entrainment, which explores the tendency for organisms to synchronise their endogenous rhythms to external periods or phases.
Under its aspect, I will consider eighteenth- and nineteenth-century texts by writers including Adam Smith, Charles Dickens and George Eliot. Some of these texts feature songs.
9 May 2018 (Old Library)
Micha Lazarus: ‘The English PetRAAWRK! Birdsong in an Elizabethan Madrigal’
seminar conveners: Corinna Russell and Gavin Alexander
21 February 2018 – Caroline Egan: ‘Aztec Baroque: the uses of Nahuatl in Sor Juana’s carols’
7 February 2018 – Heather Glen: ‘What happens to words in songs?’
23 November 2017 – Lucy Taylor (mezzo-soprano) and Jeremy Thurlow (piano) performing and discussing Baudelaire settings with Miranda Gill
8 November 2017 – Sean Curran: ‘Music writing and music history in a thirteenth-century song’
25 October 2017 – Discussion session: Katherine Bergeron, ‘A Bugle, A Bell, A Stroke of the Tongue: Rethinking Music in Modern French Verse’, Representations 86 (2004): 53–72
17 May 2017 – Rachel Adelstein on what we talk about when we talk about ‘a song’
3 May 2017 – Ross Cole: ‘Cannibal Song? Poetics and Personae in “Visions of Johanna” and “Diamonds & Rust”‘
8 March 2017 – Phyllis Weliver: ‘Triangulated Criticism, Song, and Daniel Deronda‘
22 February 2017 – Simon Jackson and Simone Kotva: ‘Writing animal song: the case of Charles Butler’s “Melissomelos, or Bees’ Madrigall” (1624)
8 February 2017 – Ceri Owen and Corinna Russell on Vaughan Williams’s ‘Linden Lea: A Dorset Song’
23 November 2016 – Composers Jeremy Thurlow and Tim Watts in performance and conversation
9 November 2016 – Katharine Dell and Danielle Padley on the Psalms
26 October 2016 – Gavin Alexander and Edward Wickham on Dowland’s ‘In darkness let me dwell’