Music Studies Research
See some of the representative highlights of research activity by the staff at Te Kōkī New Zealand School of Music. Follow the link to the staff member's biography to find out more about their research outputs in recent years.
Dr David Cosper
Dr David Cosper’s research centers on theoretical intersections between music and literature, with particular focus on questions of narrativity in musical experience. He balances specialties in jazz of the 1960s, contemporary popular music, and twentieth-century performance practice in the Western concert tradition.
David Cosper, “Breaking (From) the Tradition: Postmodern narrativity in the music of Jaki Byard.”Jazz Perspectives 6.1 (2013)
As a pianist and improviser, Jaki Byard seems to have had an unabridged, if unbound, history book of jazz styles at his fingertips. Rather than synthesising these in ‘add-and-stir’ fashion, Byard often strings together coherent stylistic gestures in delightfully unintuitive ways. His solo and small-group records of the 1960s and 1970s consistently demonstrate this proclivity for creative anachronism. Yet despite having performed with, recorded with, or taught many better-known jazz performers over an exceptionally long and productive career, Byard has been unfortunately (and in my opinion, unjustly) relegated to a marginal position in prevailing popular and academic jazz histories. In this context, I approach Byard as a kind of ‘symptom bearer’ whose failure to fit comfortably into received style-based historical narratives offers a unique opportunity to interrogate the critical apparatus behind them. In response, I suggest an alternative theoretical approach to Byard’s stylistically transgressive performance-as-historiography based in contemporary narrative theory.
Dr Brian Diettrich
Dr Brian Diettrich’s research profile in music focuses on ethnomusicology and the specific area of Pacific Island musics. His work has especially centered on the music cultures of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) and since 2000, he has conducted over five years of ethnographic research in the FSM that has closely informed his scholarship and publications.
Brian Diettrich, Jane Moulin, and Michael Webb, Music in Pacific Island Cultures: Experiencing Music, Expressing Culture, edited by Bonnie Wade and Patricia Campbell, New York: Oxford University Press, 2011.
This co-authored book and audio CD is the 23nd in the acclaimed Global Music Series of ethnomusicology texts and provides new ethnographic studies of Pacific music through three cultural case studies (Papua New Guinea, Tahiti, and Chuuk). The book is the first single volume introduction about Pacific music, and Brian’s contributions include new cultural and musical material never before published from this area of the Pacific, including the first audio publication and discussion of several Micronesian musical practices. The book presents an innovative approach to Pacific musical life through themes of cultural diversity, colonialism, spirituality, global flows, and representation.
Dr Inge van Rij
Inge van Rij’s research centres on nineteenth-century Western art music, approached from a range of historical and critical approaches and drawing on interdisciplinary perspectives to illuminate both the historical and contemporary significance of this repertoire. Within nineteenth-century studies, Inge’s research has centred around two major projects, focussing on Brahms and Berlioz respectively.
Inge van Rij, Brahms’s Song Collections, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006.
Through an investigation of the implications of Brahms's publication of songs in what he described as 'song bouquets' (typically disregarded by performers and scholars alike), this book offers new ways of thinking about not only Brahms’s Lieder, but also about fundamental issues such as the interconnectedness of the arts, and the relationships between work, performance, and reception. The book was funded by a Marsden Grant.
Inge van Rij, The Other Worlds of Hector Berlioz, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, forthcoming.
Examining Berlioz's constructions of otherness in both his writings and music, and drawing both on a distinctive New Zealand perspective as well as on new archival research conducted in France, this research explores the role of gender, technology, and exoticism in the formulation of Western art music’s aesthetics of transcendence. In particular, the book examines the ways in which Berlioz situates orchestral performers and conductors within the developing discourse around the ‘other worldliness’ of composers’ works.
Prof Donald Maurice
Bartok's Viola Concerto - The Remarkable Story of His Swansong by Donald Maurice. Oxford University Press, New York
The Leipzig Diary, Alfred Hill - edited by Donald Maurice. Wirripang, NSW
Georges ENESCO, "Sonata Op. 25 for piano and viola in the Romanian Folk Character. Transcribed by Donald Maurice for viola and piano. Enoch & Cie, Paris
Douglas Lilburn - Salutes to Seven Poets. Transcribed by Donald Maurice for viola and piano. Waiteata Music Press
Publications and Awards
Boris Pigovat - Requiem CD. Donald Maurice - viola. Atoll Records
Supersonic Award from Pizzicato Classical Music Magazine in Luxembourg