A càrrec d’Elizabeth Markhamis & Rembrandt F. Wolpert
“Fragment -Short Tune- Tiny Detail: Structural Approaches to Early Sino-Japanese Courtly and Buddhist Music Corpora”
A càrrec d’Elizabeth Markhamis. Professor Emerita of Historical [Ethno-] Musicology in the Department of History, University of Arkansas. She holds a PhD in Music (1980) from the University of Cambridge, where she studied early musical sources for Japanese court song with Laurence Picken and also began her long-term commitment to the Cambridge Tang Music Project and its publication series Music from the Tang Court (Oxford University Press and Cambridge University Press, 1981). She is the author of a two-volume monograph Saibara: Japanese Court Songs of the Heian Period (Cambridge University Press, 1983/2009) and in her essays has addressed the interaction between early practical treatises and neumated sources for Sino-Japanese Buddhist chant. She co-authored with Naoko Terauchi and Rembrandt Wolpert What the Doctor Overheard – Dr. Leopold Müller’s Account of Music in Early Meiji Japan (Cornell University Press, 2017), which was awarded the Bruno Nettl Prize 2018 of the Society for Ethnomusicology. Her research continues to focus on musical thinking and the voice in early East Asian poetry, declamation, chant, and song, and she is currently working to complete a songbook and a collaborative musico-analytical study of the secular artsongs of Chinese poet and musician Jiang Kui (1127–1278). Abstract. For the courtly culture in early Japan, where the composition, recitation and singing of both Chinese and vernacular verse were central, indeed where they served some of the functions of rhetoric in the ancient Graeco-Roman world (Denecke 2014), we are confronted with a fundamental question. What knowledge(s) and supports did generations of singers need to be able to fulfill these considerable tasks in a highly literate “bilingual” and musically “globalized” community – where court and temple boundaries were permeable, their common musical language acculturated but with much structurally sourced to borrowing from the Asian continent, where instrumental notations of Chinese origin survive from the eighth century on, but where written memory support as melodic notation specifically for the voice ostensibly enters the scene only hundreds of years later? Continuing my long term concern to try to work as closely as possible with musical conceptions expressed at the time of extant notated musical witnesses to early song and singing (in contemporaneous treatises for example), my talk offers some tentative answers. My suggestions are based on tiny details of a specific but important temple repertory as documented in the late thirteenth century – – tiny but potent details that evidently mattered much for singer and listener. What I am (1) seeing there notated as graphics for the voice (neumes), (2) reading as expressed in an extraordinary analytical treatise of the time and (3) following as drawings in summary- diagrams point to a general linguistic and musical toolbox for “singing verse written in Chinese”. This toolbox is taking shape as shared by both Japanese court singer and Buddhist cantor alike for their evidently intricate and filigree specialist-work, but in its rudimentary set-up it seems to be equipped to service mode and melody widely across the musical board of the day.
“Fragment — Short Tune — Tiny Data: Structural Approaches to Early Sino-Japanese Courtly and Buddhist Music Corpora”
A càrrec de Rembrandt F. Wolpert. Professor Emeritus of History and a George M. and Boyce W. Billingsley Endowed Chair in Fulbright College, University of Arkansas. He trained as a’cellistat the conservatory in München, then studied Sinology at the universities of München (MA, 1972) and Cambridge (PhD, 1975), and Computer Science at the University of Otago (MSc, 2000). He held research and teaching positions at the universities of Cambridge, Würzburg and Queen’s, Belfast, and he was Ordinarius for Systematic Musicology and Ethnomusicology in the University of Amsterdam. He spent visiting residencies at Kyōto University’s Jinbun kagaku kenkyūsho (twice), at NIAS (The Netherlands), and several times at Peterhouse, Cambridge. His research interests include historical sources for musicology and music in context in East Asia (especially 7th- to 13thcentury China), grammars (musical and ‘a-musical’), and functional programming. Among his publications are the collaborative volumes of Music from the Tang Court, the coedited Music and Tradition: Essays on Asian and other Musics Presented to Laurence Picken (Cambridge University Press, 1981/2009), the CD Immeasurable Light with Wu Man (Crossroads, 2010), and a body of articles on Sino-Japanese tōgaku. He recently co-authored with Elizabeth Markham and Naoko Terauchi What the Doctor Overheard – Dr. Leopold Müller’s Account of Music in Early Meiji Japan (Cornell University Press,2017), which was awarded the Bruno Nettl Prize 2018 of the Society for Ethnomusicology. Since the late 1990s he has been developing (and maintaining) analytical computer software for the Tang Music Project and other large Sino-Japanese music corpora. Abstract. A fragmented single page of musical notation for lute dating from the mid-eighth century in Japan is held in the store-house of the ‘Eastern Great Temple’ in Nara. Literary, architectural and musical fragments are often too irresistible not to ‘complete’, newly composing the unfinished or only partly surviving piece of music (Bach’s Contrapunctus 14 or Mozart’s Requiem are two well-known examples). However, in the Far East we are confronted with a different situation. There two opposing paths are taken. One leaves the fragmented or unfinished work as it is: as the perfection in something that has an unfulfilled promise. The other tries to find related (usually later) sources that maybe surviving copies of the complete original, or at least later adaptations and editions of such copies, by means of which a ‘more complete’ version could be grafted on to the original. The tradition of copying, and indeed, of mostly faithfully copying important works of art supports this notion: in East Asia, the perfect copy of a work of art is seen as sign of the greatest respect for the original, a crucial difference between ‘western’ and ‘eastern’ valuation. However, trying the ‘completion’ of a fragment of an Eastern manuscript containing musical notation is full of pitfalls: notations are to be contextualized within lineages of notations as refinements, reflections over generations of a performance-tradition that works through the authority of the already existing –even over hundreds of years. In notational manuscripts we can demonstrate this through copies differing in detail and/or in layout, through developments in interpretation via the introduction of interpretative additional material, and in editions through annotations often offering copious differing versions as glosses. Should we ‘complete’ an eighth-century fragment?