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.
Geoffrey Coker's research focus is generalist and his interest is in Context and Function in Music. Present research projects include The Effects of the Introduction of Girl Choristers into Traditional English Cathedral Choirs, for which he has conducted extensive field research, and interviewed a number of those involved in the choirs, and Musical Activity on the Island of Guernsey during the German Occupation 1940–1945, for which his Guernsey background and family records of the period have provided a stimulus and as well as valuable source material. Creative output includes arrangements of Carols for use in churches during those church festivals for which there is a need for a greater selection of repertoire.
Geoffrey Coker (arr), Splendours of Nature and The Salutation, Aberdeen: fagus-music.com, 2011.
These arrangements are for the Advent season, and specifically to complement readings dealing with the fall of Adam, and the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. These arrangements have been performed and broadcast by a number of New Zealand Cathedral choirs. Performances of these by the choir of the Wellington Cathedral of St Paul have also been released by Raven CDs.
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.
Assoc Prof Greer Garden
Associate Professor Greer Garden's research focus is French music of the 17th and early 18th centuries. Her interests are the court ballet, connections between opera and cantata, and the music of Jean-Baptiste de Bousset (c.1662-1725), a prolific songwriter and composer of large scale sacred works.
Greer Garden (ed.), La Delivrance de Renaud: Ballet danced by Louis XIII in 1617, Turnhout, Brepols, 2010, XXI-293p.
This court spectacular was one of the most important politico-cultural events of its era, devised to entertain the fifteen-year-old King and his courtiers - and draw attention to the glory of the French monarchy. Greer Garden's edited book includes a facsimile of the ballet designer's illustrated account of the event, and a modern edition of the music. Thirteen studies on the sources, the court ballet genre, the origins of the story in Tasso, participants, music, dance, staging and costumes, and notes for a modern performance complete the book. As one of its authors, Greer Garden overturns received views on the ballet's political aims using new evidence from memoirs, discusses the likely influence of an earlier enactment of the story, and sums up the historical evidence on singing style. The other contributors are Charles T. Downey and Kate van Orden (USA), Georgie Durosoir and Anne Surgers (France), and Peter Walls (New Zealand). Marsden funding, awarded jointly to Peter Walls and Greer Garden, assisted the book's completion.
Greer Garden (ed.), J.-B. de Bousset: Les Motets, Versailles, Centre de Musique Baroque de Versailles, 2011, XXX-82p.
This edition makes Bousset's two surviving sacred works accessible for the first time to performing groups of today. From the only source extant, a reduced score copied out in the early 1720s for the use of a choral society in the city of Lyons, Greer Garden reconstructs the full score of Bousset's Psalm 45 Deus noster refugium (God is our refuge), for soloists, chorus and orchestra. Showing Bousset's mastery of large-scale writing, this work has added interest for being the only one that survives from a 100-year tradition of sacred written works for the French Academies. The other work presented is Quae est ista, a small sacred work for soloist, violins and continuo composed to verses from the Song of Songs for Louis XIV's private chapel music.
Assoc Prof Robert Hoskins
Associate Professor Robert Hoskins is a specialist in late eighteenth-century English music and the series editor of the collections of works of Larry Pruden and Douglas Lilburn. Much of his work is focussed on establishing authoritative critical editions based on archival research.
Thomas Arne: Love in a Village (1762). Auckland: Artaria Editions, 2011. 381 pages. ISBN 1-877369-98-5. ISMN M-67451-262-6.
This is the first full-score edition of a work that enjoyed huge success in the late 18th-century and which can be regarded as the first modern English comic opera. The edition, based on MS 342 in the Royal College of Music, London, includes an introductory essay, a transcription of the libretto, and a critical commentary of sources.
Editions of national importance under Robert Hoskins’s editorship are:
Larry Pruden Collected Edition in 10 volumes. This is the first collected edition of the complete works of any New Zealand composer. For details www.promethean-editions.com
Douglas Lilburn: Complete Piano Music Edition in 10 volumes. This edition is the first scholarly and practical edition of Lilburn’s completed piano works and is thus aimed at both scholars and musicians. For details www.promethean-editions.com
Assoc Prof Norman Meehan
Associate Professor Norman Meehan’s research foci include New Zealand music in the jazz and pop idioms, and the composition and interpretive performance of music informed by poetic text.
Norman Meehan, Bill Manhire, Anne Noble, Hannah Griffin, These Rough Notes, Wellington, Victoria University Press, 2012
Drawing its title from one of the last pages of Scott’s journal, These Rough Notes is a collaboration between writer Bill Manhire, photographer Anne Noble, composer Norman Meehan and singer Hannah Griffin. ‘Beneath the Ice’ remembers the tragedies of Scott’s polar expedition of 1912 and the crash of NZ901 into Mt Erebus in 1979. The ‘Notebook Songs’ capture the experiences of scientists and other contemporary visitors to the ice. This volume was listed as a ‘Top 100’ book by NZ Listener in 2012.
Norman Meehan, Serious Fun: The Life and Music of Mike Nock, Wellington, Victoria University Press, 2010
The first critical biography of New Zealand’s most famous jazz musician, this book explores Nock’s early life in New Zealand, his rise to international prominence and his musical idiom and legacy. This book was listed as a ‘Top 100’ book by NZ Listener in 2010.
Norman Meehan, “Sounds Like Home: Trinity Roots and Jazz-Dub-Reggae in Wellington”, in Tony Mitchell, Glenda Keam (eds.), Home, Land and Sea: Musical Landscapes in Aotearoa / New Zealand, Auckland, Pearson, 2011, pp. 134-144
This chapter explores the emergence of a distinctive local music scene in Wellington Aotearoa, and considers social and environmental factors that give rise to the unique musical expression found in this locale.
Dr Stephan ProckSenior Lecturer Stephan Prock is a composer and musicologist with a focus in film music studies. Though he composes in diverse mediums and genres, he has a particular interest in orchestral music and music for voice. In his recent music he has been exploring the technical and aesthetic possibilities of symmetrical structures governing both the local field (pitch) as well as the larger issue of form. His work on film music centres on issues of music and issues of gender and subjectivity in postwar Hollywood cinema.
Stradivariazioni, Promethean Editions, 2012, iv - 27 p.
I. Tema (Con Amici)
II. Le Rossignol (The Nightingale)
IV. Le Messie (The Messiah)
V. Red Diamond
VI. Alard (Epilogue)
Stradivariazioni was commissioned by Martin Riseley and Diedre Irons for their 2011 national tour of New Zealand with funding support from Chamber Music New Zealand. This work was chosen by Promethean Editions in the chamber music category to inaugurate Prometheans new University Edition, New Zealand Series. The composition itself is a theme and variations, with each variation cast in the form of a character piece. Instead of a single theme, three themes—or ciphers— are presented in the ‘Tema (con amici)’ (Theme (with friends)). A musical cipher translates letters of the alphabet into musical notes which are then represented as melodies (or harmonies). The B–A–C–H cipher (B-natural, A-natural, C-natural and B-flat in German usage) first used by Bach himself, is perhaps the most famous. The three ciphers in Stradivariazioni are derived from the surnames of those who inspired the piece: Diedre Irons, Martin Riseley and Antonio Stradivari. Throughout the work the ciphers are manipulated and appear in varying permutations. Though not always immediately recognisable, the assorted combinations of the ciphers provide a sense of coherence and intimate relationship between the five variations. This work represents a major consolidation and expansion of Prock’s research into music and symmetry.
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