Historical Lenses as a Means to Authenticity

The theme that has resonated with me most powerfully this semester is that of the different lenses through which we view history. We discussed a handful of lenses closely related to the topic of music in 1920s Paris (namely, class, race, nationality, sexuality, and...

“Le nègre,” according to Levinson

André Levinson’s opinion on the influence of African art in Parisian society is generally favorable, but chock-full of patronizing back-handed compliments. Josephine Baker’s dancing is repeatedly referred to as primitive. In fact, in Levinson’s writing on “Negro...

Bad Boy of Music

Who better to explain George Antheil than the man himself? In his autobiography, Bad Boy of Music1, Antheil relates his life as a performer and composer, dissected into his various places of residence. Although he was born in the United States, he begins his story in...

“Thick Mapping” Music History

With In 1926: Living at the Edge of Time, Gumbrecht strives to represent one specific year in history as vividly as possible. He depicts “history as a narrative,” rather than seeking to describe the historical environment of the year (page xi). With various essays on...