Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Dissertation Digest: The Spanish Lamento: Discourses of Love, Power, and Gender in the Musical Theatre (1696–1718) by Maria Virginia Acuña

[Ed. Note: This "Dissertation Digest" is the first in an ongoing series aimed at drawing wider attention to in-progress and recently completed dissertations in musicology. Drafts of posts as well as inquiries are welcome at musicology-now@ams-net.org.]

Francisco Herrera el Mozo. Hall of Plays, Royal Alcázar of Madrid. c. 1670.
[Vienna, Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, Cod. 13217 Han.]

I was born in Toronto to Argentine immigrants. My mother, a trained performer of flamenco and Spanish classical dances, exposed me to Spanish music at a very early age. During our years in Toronto, and while my father was a graduate student at York University, I watched my mother perform on countless occasions and became enamoured with the sound of Spain. At the age of eight, I moved to Buenos Aires where I lived for nearly two decades. In Buenos Aires I started a degree in voice performance at the Conservatory of Music “Manuel de Falla,” where I learned a great amount of operatic repertoire, including Argentine and Spanish music from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. In my late twenties, I returned to Canada to complete an undergraduate degree in music at the University of British Columbia (UBC). Here I sang my first Spanish tonadas with the UBC Early Music Ensemble and became increasingly interested in Spanish early music. In our music library, I found Louise Stein’s book on seventeenth-century Spanish theatre music together with a handful of other writings on the subject. I became fascinated with seventeenth-century Spain, a period that, to my surprise, had received very little attention in Anglo-American scholarship. At UBC I completed a master’s thesis that explored the intersection of politics and music in early modern Spain as well as the reception of Spanish music of this period both within and outside Spain. But in my first year of doctoral studies at the University of Toronto, my traditional interest in audiences expanded to embrace what was happening on the stage.

My dissertation, “The Spanish Lamento: Discourses of Love, Power, and Gender in the Musical Theatre (1696–1718),” examines a little-studied period in the history of Spain through the lens of the lament, a climactic musical scene that peaked in popularity in the mythological zarzuela—Madrid’s leading court musico-theatrical genre of the period. This study asks why so many male characters sing laments in zarzuelas from the turn of the eighteenth century, and how the local theatrical practice of cross-dressing—namely, women en travesti—affected representations of masculinity in this genre, specifically in its lamenting scenes. (During this period, men, including castrati, were not allowed to sing serious roles in Spanish theatre.) I employ an interdisciplinary approach that addresses a full range of issues informing the Spanish lament. These include philosophical, medical, literary, and gender discourses on suffering love as well as local theatre practices. My analysis of both music and poetry further reflects this interdisciplinary approach. As a result, I bring into dialogue the fields of musicology and Spanish literature within a wider context of Spanish culture, while focusing specifically on Madrid’s musico-literary expression at the turn of the eighteenth century.

I examine sixteen laments appearing in nine extant zarzuelas from the period 1696–1718: Salir el amor del mundo (1696), Selva encantada de amor (ca. 1698), Apolo y Dafne (between 1701–04), Hasta lo insensible adora (1704), El imposible mayor en amor le vence amor (ca. 1705; rev. 1710), Las nuevas armas de amor (ca. 1705; rev. 1711), Veneno es de amor la envidia (ca. 1705; rev. 1711), Acis y Galatea (1708), and Jupiter y Semele (1718). Thirteen out of sixteen are male laments, while only three are for female characters. Among the numerous laments occurring in this repertory, I identify three types: first, Cupid’s laments as an allegorical representation of the Spanish monarch and of his struggle for power, second, male amorous complaints as a manifestation of contemporary philosophical perceptions about love and medical discourses about lovesickness and, finally, female laments carrying implicit pedagogical values meant to strengthen notions of female virtue and conduct.

To begin, I contextualize these zarzuelas and their laments within a broader socio-political and historical context. I suggest that the pre-existing literary tradition of the suffering male spanning from the 11th century courtly love lyrical performance through Renaissance Petrarchism and its 16th and 17th century imitations, re-surfaced in the genre of the zarzuela as a reflection of Spain’s socio-political turmoil, beginning with the decline of the Spanish Habsburg dynasty and followed by the War of the Spanish Succession (1701–14). I also suggest that, during the tumultuous years surrounding the war, the recurring lamenting male characters in this allegorical genre reflected the concerns and anxieties of Madrid’s male ruling classes. Indeed, according to my findings, most male laments seem to appear in zarzuelas dedicated to, and performed for, the monarch or for a male of the high nobility; in other words, they are intended for an aristocratic or royal male recipient and for his predominantly male entourage. Female laments, in contrast, are not only fewer in number but they also generally appear in zarzuelas dedicated to the Spanish Queen. Thus, the large number of male laments in the genre—especially, in comparison to female laments—also suggests that the zarzuela is heir to the same dominant literary tradition in which male suffering is privileged over female sorrow.

In this study, I suggest that the Spanish theatre practice of cross-dressing determined to a great extent the transformation of the lament into a highly climactic and well-anticipated musical scene within the zarzuela. At a time when issues regarding effeminacy were systematically brought up in Spanish writings of the period including medical texts and treatises on music and Spanish theatre (such as those by Tomás Murillo y Velarde, Pedro de Cerone, and Ignacio de Camargo), the representation of male weakness and sorrow only became widely accepted because it was circumscribed and controlled. Aside from pleasing the audience with their costumes and the sound of their voices, women performing the roles of weeping male characters helped mitigate the overtones of effeminacy conveyed in the male lament. Indeed, these overtones implied in the character’s loss of power or in his excess of emotion and irrationality frequently appear in conjunction with musical gestures and devices traditionally associated with effeminacy, such as the “effeminate minor second” described in Cerone’s music treatise. Using both primary and secondary sources, I trace the female performers that were at the height of their careers during this period, including Teresa de Robles, Paula María, and Manuela de la Cueva, and I explore the possibility that their vocal skills and their fame may have contributed to the cultivation of the lament.

Ultimately, the goal of my dissertation is to open the door to an exciting field of study that requires further investigation, while making available to the modern reader some of the most beautiful and moving Spanish theatrical songs that I have encountered during my years of researching the music of seventeenth- and early eighteenth-century Spain.

Maria Virginia Acuña received her Ph.D. from the University of Toronto in June 2016. The main focus of her research is music of the seventeenth and the early eighteenth centuries, and her interests include Spanish literature and theatre, philosophy, religion, as well as issues of gender and sexuality. Virginia has presented papers at conferences in North America and Spain, including national and regional meetings of the American Musicological Society and the Spanish Musicological Society, and her research has appeared in Sebasián Durón (1660-1716) y la música de su época (Vigo, Galicia: Editorial Academia del Hispanismo, 2013) and Musicología global, musicología local (Madrid: Sociedad Española de Musicología, 2013). She is the past recipient of several awards and prizes including the Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship for doctoral research awarded by the Social Sciences and Research Council of Canada, the Eugene K. Wolf Grant awarded by the American Musicological Society, the Pilar Sáenz Annual Student Essay Prize awarded by the Ibero-American Society for Eighteenth Century Studies, and the SOCAN Foundation/George Proctor Prize awarded by the Canadian University Music Society. Virginia is currently a part-time instructor at Kwantlen Polytechnic University.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Preview: Categorizing Sound: Genre and Twentieth-Century Popular Music

by David Brackett

[Author note: This excerpt contains excerpts from chapters one and nine.]

Like many readers of this blog, after I tell people that I’m a musicologist I’m frequently asked about what type of music I study. I usually answer something like “mostly popular music and jazz,” which is then followed by a question asking what type of popular music I write about. Despite having been asked this question many times, I have to brace myself at this point and respond that I don’t really write about a type of popular music; rather I write about the process of grouping music into “types.” After the initial grimace of bewilderment flits across my interrogator’s face, I apologize for what may seem like a very abstract preoccupation. Following a bit more explanation, however, the mood tends to lighten, and the person I’m talking to often reveals that this is something that they too have contemplated.

The book I am previewing here, Categorizing Sound: Genre and Twentieth-Century Popular Music, is the result of many years of studying how musical utterances come to be grouped together and why. My fascination derives in part from how musical categories (or genres) of popular music exist in an odd kind of limbo in public and scholarly discourse. On the one hand, musicians and consumers often resist requests to categorize themselves, insisting that their tastes are unclassifiable. It is common to hear discussions that have invoked the idea of genre end with the declaration that musical genres do not really exist, that they are mere fabrications of the music industry. Yet despite these disavowals, the use of genre labels to describe taste continues to return in a wide variety of contexts. For example, on an episode of the television series, Glee, the character Mercedes (who is African American) explains to the character Puck (who is white) that a romance is simply not in the cards: “It’s never going to work. You’re Top 40 and I’m Rhythm and Blues.” Even songs confirm the quotidian value of genre: Lonnie Mack proclaimed in 1988 that he was “too rock for country, too country for rock ‘n’ roll” in a recording with the same title. And no listing of “musicians wanted” ads (i.e., musicians looking for other musicians to play with) could function without an extensive listing of genre labels in order to indicate the musicians’ interests to one another. These anecdotes illustrate that the issue of genre is complex, possibly contentious, and difficult to escape. The exchange from Glee, Lonnie Mack’s song, musicians wanted ads, and many other texts suggest that the question of genre in popular music is often inextricably tied to how people identify with different types of music. Such genre designations indicate or imply the assumed audience for a particular type of music, and frequently raise questions about who produces and consumes the music.

Categorizing Sound asks how relationships between categories of music and people are formed. How do they become naturalized to the point where they are taken-for-granted, to the point where it becomes difficult to imagine that a particular label, a set of musical practices, routines, and gestures, a group of people, visual images, and social and political connotations, were ever not joined together? The book begins by tracing the emergence of “homological identifications” (how categories of music are associated with an extant demographic group) in popular music in the early years of the twentieth century. These were formed first in the now-almost-forgotten category of “foreign music” marketed mainly to European immigrants, and then quickly applied to the formation of “race” (connoting African-Americans) and “old-time” (connoting white, rural Southerners) music. Several chapters are devoted to the 1920s, when such processes first crystallized, and are followed by chapters that focus on the 1940s, the mid-1960s, and the early 1980s, all periods during which popular music categories in the U. S. underwent a controversy or crisis. These chapters dealing with the post-1920s are largely concerned with the relationships between popular music associated with African Americans and that associated with rural, white Americans in relation to the rather more amorphous assemblage that I refer to as the “mainstream.” The argument is that particular articulations of music and people are not natural or inevitable; and that categories respond to emerging concepts about sounds and social groups, and generate effects that enter into musical practice and the role of music in other types of social interactions, thus creating a feedback loop, a circular process that blurs the lines between the ideas of power imposed from above and the grassroots creation of musical meaning.

The idea for the book can be traced back to debates in the early 1990s in the humanities and social sciences around the notions of essentialism and anti-essentialism. From the attribution of stereotypical characteristics and putative biological differences thought to map directly onto a demographic group (“essentialism”), some academics moved to the disavowal that any link existed between cultural and practical activities and a demographic grouping (“anti-essentialism”). As sympathetic as I was to the basic tenets of anti-essentialism, such a move seemed over-simple. Alternatives to the stark binary of essentialism/anti-essentialism were proposed by scholars such as Paul Gilroy, who coined the term “anti-anti-essentialism” in his book, The Black Atlantic (1993). Music was particularly important to Gilroy’s notion of a Black diasporic identity due to its ability “to create a model whereby identity can be understood neither as a fixed essence nor as a vague and utterly contingent construction.” And even though Black identity “is often felt to be natural and spontaneous, it remains the outcome of practical activity: language, gesture, bodily significations, desires” (p. 102). Kyra Gaunt expanded upon Gilroy’s insights in her ethnographic study, The Games Black Girls Play (2006), in which she studied how a sense of black musicality becomes embodied and enculturated through repetition at a young age among African American girls via rhyming games. The continued pertinence of this debate over race and identity can be seen in social justice movements such as Black Lives Matter, which counterposes the lived experience of systemic racialized violence by African Americans with proclamations that we have entered a post-racial society where “color-blindness” should be the order of the day. In my studies of popular music, I found examples of anti-anti-essentialism in genres such as rhythm and blues, soul music, funk, and hip-hop—which had strong connotations of African-American-ness—and country music—which connoted rural, white people from the U. S. South—even if such designations did not cover everyone involved in producing or consuming these musics.

I turned to the history of popular music categories, with its sudden ruptures and its enduring continuities, because of the power these categories hold in the daily texture of contemporary musical life. Categorizing Sound is a history of how this pervasive power took root, and of the many sites through which it makes itself felt. Perhaps there is a hint here, however, not only of ideas about how to understand popular music categories from the 1920s to the present, but of a utopian gesture towards the future. For if popular music categories are made without the conscious imposition of an agent’s will (a point that I elaborate in the first chapter of the book), then these categories may be unmade as well. And if this is true for categories of popular music, then what of the larger social categories in which the musical categories participate, with those larger categories’ asymmetrical apportioning of resources and opportunities? Even if we cannot will a change to occur, we may live to recognize when we reflect back to earlier times that we do, in fact, know that we are living within a new, unforeseen arrangement of genre. Although we do not know what form this will take, we do know that a transformation of the arrangement of musical categories will be related to a reclassification of social categories. And that might not be so bad.

David Brackett is Professor of Music History and Musicology in the Schulich School of Music of McGill University. His publications include Interpreting Popular Music (Cambridge, 1995; repr. University of California, 2000), The Pop, Rock, and Soul Reader: Histories and Debates, 4th ed. (Oxford, 2014), and Categorizing Sound: Genre in Twentieth-Century Popular Music (University of California, 2016). Prior to being categorized as a musicologist, Professor Brackett was active as a composer and a freelance guitarist.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Dissertation Digest: The Flute in Musical Life in Eighteenth-Century Scotland by Elizabeth Ford

[Ed. Note: This "Dissertation Digest" is the first in an ongoing series aimed at drawing wider attention to in-progress and recently completed dissertations in musicology.  Drafts of posts as well as inquiries are welcome at musicology-now@ams-net.org.]

I became interested in the history of the flute in Scotland as a masters student and beginning traverso player at the Peabody Conservatory.  While looking for eighteenth-century flute music that didn’t make me cry when I tried to play it as I got used to a very different and very difficult instrument, I discovered a modern edition of something called The Airs for the Seasons by James Oswald, edited by Jeremy Barlow.  Not only was the music very satisfyingly playable, it helped keep me from giving on baroque flute entirely.  I began using Oswald as a warm-up for practicing Hotteterre and Philidor in flat keys in French violin clef, and he really was good for morale.  I didn’t cry nearly as much.

Several years later, during a break from academia while still deciding what to do with my life, I rediscovered Oswald.  I was reminded of the effortless quality of the and how it manages to combine an Italianate structure with characteristic Scottish sounds.  At the time I was listening to a great deal of Scottish and Irish music, as well as Appalachian old-time music, and Oswald seemed to fit right in with that overall aesthetic.

While there seemed to have been many collections of music for the flute from eighteenth-century Scotland, all the literature on the flute in Scotland said the same thing: the flute was unknown prior to 1725.  This struck me as improbable; the flute was one of the most popular, flashiest instruments in eighteenth century Europe and Scotland, while geographically remote, produced some of best-known writers and thinkers of the time.  Why would the Scots lag behind in flute playing?  It also struck me as odd that while most Irish bands have flute players and there are hundreds of books of Irish tunes for flute, Scottish bands (usually) lack flutes and there are practically no modern books of Scottish tunes for flute.

I decided to pursue this mystery by contacting David McGuinness and John Butt at the University of Glasgow.  And in the spirit of candor, I was a bit of a fangirl of both their recordings and I was afraid to write them, but I’m glad I did.  Both agreed that it was a Ph.D.-worthy inquiry and made suggestions for my initial application abstract. A few months later I moved to Scotland.

As I began my research, I found much that I expected: most research on Scottish music was centered on the fiddle, the bagpipes, Robert Burns, or Gaelic song, with the flute more or less relegated to a footnote saying that it was unknown prior to 1725.  I tracked the 1725 date to an essay by the antiquarian William Tytler that was written in 1792 about a St Cecilia’s Day concert in the late seventeenth century.  There was no other basis for the claim, and yet historians clung to it.  I decided one of my major tasks was to verify or disprove it.

As I worked, in archives, attics, basements, libraries and country houses, I realized my task was larger than disproving a date.  As much as Tytler’s claim annoyed me, it wasn’t just him and his date.  It was the whole notion that the flute wasn’t/isn’t a Scottish instrument that I was rapidly discovering was part of the cultural ethos of Scottish music, as rapidly as I was discovering that historically the flute was very much a part of music in Scotland.

I had already recognized that the idea of Scottishness in music took very particular forms, and that the flute just didn’t fit, perhaps because of the association with Irish music, or an association with gentility.  Although I do not play in a traditional idiom, many Scottish flute players I met told me that they have to play Irish music because there is no flute music from Scotland because the flute “isn’t Scottish enough.” I wanted to scream, but it is!  It is Scottish!  Scotland has a rich and varied history of flute playing.  There are hundreds of books from the early eighteenth-century onwards of Scottish tunes for violin or flute with specific flute versions!  Sonatas!  Difficult, challenging, flute sonatas!  Manuscripts!  Lots of repertoire, and history, and evidence, and no one aware of it but me and maybe six other people.  I began to evangelize.

So, here is everything, in no particular order, that you need to know about the flute in eighteenth-century Scotland and why it might be important to your non-Scottish music oriented lives: The flute was a major status symbol among amateur musicians, mostly men, but also ladies.  At least three gentlewomen played flute, and one of them received a flute with a rather racy love poem hidden inside it.  Scotland was not a cultural backwater, even considering the implications of the Act of Union (1707) and the last Jacobite rebellion (1745).  There is, however, evidence for a sense of nostalgia post-1745 with an increase in publication of Scottish tunes.  The flute, called the German flute, may have had political associations with the English (Hanoverian) court.  General John Reid was the best-known Scottish flute player, and when he wasn’t fighting Jacobites or defending Fort Duquesne from the French, he was composing sonatas and giving recitals that sent the ladies for their smelling salts.  James Oswald wrote flute sonatas too!  William McGibbon wrote the first sonatas for flute in Scotland.  One of them, 1729 number 6, is a reworking of a violin concerto set for German flute and violin.  There is little evidence for the flute in the Highlands, but then, I’m hampered by poor Gaelic.  There is, however, a great deal of evidence for overlap between flute playing and bagpipe playing in the Lowlands in terms of instruments and repertoire.  The earliest eighteenth-century mention of a flute from a Scottish source is a friend of the Marquis of Montrose in 1703.  The first English translation of Hotteterre was by a Scot, Mr. Urquhart, in 1726.  He was also a flute maker.  The earliest manuscript evidence of the flute in Scotland is Alexander Bruce’s manuscript, in the collection of Lord Balfour of Burleigh, from 1717.  It contains the second part to flute duets by Valentine, and much more interestingly, a fingering chart for German flute going to the B-flat five ledger lines above the staff.  The highest note on the one-keyed flute is the A just below that.  Hotteterre said it was best not to play above the E three lines above because it was in bad taste.  Tytler’s 1725 date is, as they say here, utter bollocks…but he did play flute.  Also, knowing the flute’s role in musical life in eighteenth-century Scotland gives us a better understanding of the history of the flute and the history of music in Scotland.

Elizabeth Ford has a Ph.D. in music from the University of Glasgow (2016) and her dissertation won the National Flute Association Graduate Research Competition.  Her work looks at the history of the flute in Scotland, Scottishness, performance practice, and pedagogical history.  Her edition of William McGibbon’s complete sonatas has been accepted for publication by A-R Editions.  She is the English language editor for Schott Music’s online texts, and co-research assistant on the Royal Society of Edinburgh-funded Eighteenth-century Arts Education Research Network (EAERN).  She was recently awarded a fellowship from the Handel Institute to work on an edition of the flute compositions of James Oswald. The picture shows her in a pub with a reproduction of the unique bell-ended flute from the ceiling of Crathes Castle, Aberdeenshire, c. 1599.  She likes to call it The Blunderbus.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Book Preview: Audible States: Socialist Politics and Popular Music in Albania

by Nicholas Tochka

There are shorthand ways for talking about popular music under repressive state orders, and we’re getting a refresher on them right now.

After November 8, we began hearing that Donald Trump’s election might (at least? hopefully!?) generate some good art. My well-left-of-center social media feeds, for instance, filled with gallows humor posts suggesting Trump’s election would, riffing on his campaign slogan, “make punk great again.” “If the political climate keeps getting uglier,” songwriter and performance artist Amanda Palmer later said, “the art will have to answer.” Cue the think-pieces, which came fast and furious, envisioning (or not) a golden age for dissent through popular music. “Remember, governments don’t cut arts funding to save money,” another friend recently posted. “They do it when they are afraid of what artists do and say.”

Music scholars write and do research in the same world that has produced these larger narratives about popular music, politics, and dissent [1]. Many of us believe deeply in the transformative potentials of music in general, and popular music in particular; we invest ourselves in seeking out instances where musicians talk back to power or challenge authority. But we also recognize that the situation on the ground inevitably reveals itself to be more complex. My recently published book, Audible States: Socialist Politics and Popular Music in Albania, explores the complexities of music-making under what was once widely referred to as “the most repressive regime in Europe.” I chose to focus not on musicians who in some sense resisted or challenged “the State,” but on those people who worked within actual political-economic structures, crafting and implementing policy, and creating, rehearsing, and broadcasting popular song. The book thus engages the larger, ongoing trend to understand the often messy, negotiated politics of making music during and after the Cold War.

The book’s narrative tracks a state-sponsored popular music genre, muzikë e lehtë (literally “light music”), from the 1940s until today. Its chapters examine how light music first emerged as a coherent domain for state administration, before then following the music’s subsequent stylistic evolution, institutionalization, and (with the end of socialism in the early 1990s) privatization. At the book’s core are the professional, salaried composers who directed the state-socialist economy, worked at the national conservatory and state-run media, and created the songs.

When I crafted my first proposal for the research that became this book, I struggled with how to express my approach. The narrative frame of “resistance” seemed ill-fitted to my case; Albania did not have an “underground” or an “unofficial” scene under socialism. And state officials did not seem to primarily silence musicians or to deny them funding or access to the media. In fact, investment in the media and kulturë dhe arte, or “culture and the arts,” rose sharply after 1945 before plummeting with the anticommunist political transition in 1992. I ended up suggesting something relatively anodyne: “The study will explore how musicians sought to position themselves vis-à-vis one another and the State.” And I settled on a handful of research questions. How was state policy about popular song created? How did intellectuals perceive policy? And how did musicians in particular navigate and implement policy?

One of my first interviewees gamely answered my prepared questions about the nitty-gritty, day-to-day activities of making and broadcasting song during the socialist period. But when I turned off my recorder, his tone shifted, and he began to question the need for the project itself. (I address this episode in a bit more depth in the book’s epilogue.) “This will be the first full-length, English-language treatment of a state-subsidized popular song genre!” I told him. “Albania represents an extreme case study! English-speaking readers know so little about your country! This will all be new to them!” He was unconvinced.  “They have read this story before,” he shrugged. “It is the story of Stalin’s Russia.”

I understood him to be suggesting that the story of popular music-making under a repressive order could be told either as the story of musicians resisting the State—or the State repressing musicians. That is to say, my interviewee was pushing back onto me and my project the narrative arc I had been trying to avoid. I carried on with my project, and the usual messiness of ethnographic research ensued. Later interviewees contradicted this person, of course, while some expressed qualified agreement. But everyone presented me with their own viewpoints.


In Audible States, I read these different stories against one another to situate the storytellers within the larger cultural field of production under state socialism. My approach came to integrate archival research with ethnographic interviewing in order to move back and forth between the top-down, birds-eye view of state policy and the bottom-up, quotidian perspectives of bureaucrats and musicians. (There’s also a smattering of poststructuralist jargon, which I use to parse the relationship between the cultural field, social structures, and individual agents.)

I submitted the manuscript for Audible States in late September 2015, just over a year before the 2016 election. And I would not suggest that there is an equivalency between contemporary America and communist Albania, or that it is futile for musicians to challenge political orders.

One of the book’s main takeaways, however, is that making-music under any modern political-economic order is complicated—and that holds for state-socialist and postsocialist orders, as well as liberal (and now, perhaps, postliberal) ones. And complexity arises because what we often call “the State” is, in reality, composed of overlapping institutions and projects, discourses and practices. Individual agents, including musicians, shape these social structures and norms—yet they can do so only while simultaneously being shaped by them.

The “Queen of Light Music,” Vaçe Zela, performing at the 15th Festival of Song on Radio-Television Albania (1976).  Screen cap from here.


Gaqo Çako, “Udhët e Atdheut Na Thërrasin” (1981)
Composed by Limoz Dizdari, on a text by Xhevahir Spahiu

Nicholas Tochka is Lecturer in Ethnomusicology at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, University of Melbourne. His research focuses on the politics and economics of making music in Europe and the Americas. He is presently working on a monograph that examines rock 'n' roll in Cold War America.

[1] In musicology, see especially recent publications by Danielle Fosler-Lussier and Lisa Jakelski, and in history, by David Tompkins and Dean Vuletic. For anthropological perspectives on the politics of culture more generally, see work by Laura Adams, Katherine Verdery, and Alexei Yurchak.