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SMT Announces Post-1945 Music Analysis IG Publication Award, 2021

The Post-1945 Music Analysis IG 2021 Publication Award committee had a difficult choice this year. We received 23 submissions from 25 authors covering a diverse set of topics and musical styles. Our decision came down to those papers that most closely followed the stipulations set out in the call for papers, which were then assessed for their quality and for the novel contribution they make to our discipline.
We felt strongly about our dual winners this year: both describe, with verve and style, post-1945 art music repertoires that have been either neglected or approached from a hitherto more limited perspective.
Drake Andersen’s “(Per)forming Open Form: A Case Study with Earle Brown’s Novara” (published in Music Theory Online, Sept. 2020) tackles two difficult analytic problems: how to analyze open form works and how to treat multiple performances of the same work that rely on different formal strategies. In a lucid and well-organized discussion, Andersen outlines the conductor’s agency in shaping the rhetorical effects and formal continuity of Earle Brown’s Novara.
Sumanth Gopinath’s “‘Departing to Other Spheres’: Psychedelic Science Fiction, Perspectival Embodiment, and the Hermeneutics of Steve Reich’s Four Organs” (published in the volume Rethinking Reich, Oxford University Press, 2019) is a tour de force of historically situated close reading. In a detailed parsing of constituent “moments” in Reich’s piece, Gopinath draws a vast array of cultural, historical, and musical signifiers into a multi-faceted hermeneutical inquiry. The analysis reveals a work we thought we knew well in an entirely new light.
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