Monday, May 13, 2013

European Academic Adventure TIme!

I don't have any updates on Songs of the Victorians or Augmented Notes for today, because I spent last week finishing up the third chapter of my dissertation, polishing my writing sample for the job market, and working on my talk for NAVSA/BAVS/AVSA in Venice! I'll be presenting on Robert Browning's "A Toccata of Galuppi's," although my talk is not actually part of my dissertation, and I'll also be attending the professionalization workshop, where I'll learn more about the job market, grant writing, and tenure from experts in the field.  I plan to make lots of progress on Augmented Notes this week, and I'll add the Sullivan section of Songs of the Victorians soon, but I don't anticipate making any of these changes public until after NAVSA/BAVS/AVSA.

I'll actually be in Europe until the end of June, because I'll also be presenting at the Ninth Biennial Conference on Music in Nineteenth-Century Britain (MNBC) in Cardiff.  I'm on a panel with Phyllis Weliver, Alisa Clapp-Itnyre, and Donna Parsons, organized and moderated by Maura Dunst, and I'm thrilled to meet and to present alongside other scholars who are interested in the connections between music and Victorian poetry.  I'm giving a version of my paper on Caroline Norton's "Juanita," the first analysis I put on Songs of the Victorians, and I'm looking forward to demonstrating my project and "Juanita" analysis page at a music conference, since I've presented more frequently at English conferences.

I'll still post updates here about both my projects, but don't expect one until I arrive in Europe, and possibly not until after NAVSA/BAVS/AVSA (an acronym I'm enjoying more than I should).

Monday, May 6, 2013

New Content for Songs of the Victorians!

Today, I added new content to Songs of the Victorians:  specifically, I incorporated my analysis of Tennyson's Maud (1855) and of Michael William Balfe's setting (1857) of it.  Some of you may have heard of Balfe's "Come into the Garden, Maud," since it is one of the most famous (and most parodied) Victorian songs.  It was widely considered to be a fairly traditional love song in which a man waits in a garden for the woman he desires and sings of his affection for her, and many critics faulted it for being too sentimental.  I'm arguing that, while the song can be performed to sound like a traditional love song, it also gives voice to the speaker’s insanity, violent tendencies, and repetitive, obsessive speech through harmonic instability.  As with the "analysis" page for Caroline Norton's "Juanita," users can read my analysis and then click on the icon of a speaker interspersed throughout the analysis to see and hear the musical excerpts:  for each excerpt, a box, highlighting each measure, will move in time with the music so that all readers, regardless of musical expertise, can follow the score and my argument.

I'm planning to add my analysis of Sir Arthur Sullivan's "The Lost Chord" (1877) around the end of May/beginning of June, and then add my analysis of Sir Arthur Somervell's Maud (1898) around the end of June/beginning of July.  I'll make sure to post updates or changes to that schedule here and through my twitter account (@annieswafford) to keep everyone in the loop.

In the interim, please feel free to leave a comment on my blog! I'd love to know your thoughts about Songs of the Victorians:  are you enjoying it?  Have you used it in a particularly interesting way? (I've heard from one kind reader that he used the archive page it to learn how to play one of the songs for residents in a a retirement community who had requested it.)  Are you incorporating it in your classroom?  I'd be curious to hear how the site is being used!