CMSC2011     Call for Papers     Program     Abstracts     Archive conference 2010


CMSC Spring 2012 Date and Location TBA—James Napoli, Conference Chair


The eighth annual Columbia Music Scholarship Conference takes place on Saturday, March 5, 2011—301 Philosophy Hall, Columbia University. The theme of this year's conference is Sound at Play: Music, Humor, and Games..

Keynote Speaker: Roger Moseley, Cornell University,


As scholar, teacher, and pianist, Roger Moseley focuses on intersections between the musical disciplines of history, theory, and performance. His interests range from the music of Brahms, on which he wrote his PhD dissertation at the University of California, Berkeley, to music-based video games such as Guitar Hero and Rock Band, and from eighteenth-century keyboard improvisation to technologies of musical (re)production. In his current book project, the working title of which is Between Work and Play: Technologies of Musical Recreation from Mozart to Nintendo, Moseley examines how such diverse phenomena can be understood as practices that manifest and enable musical playfulness. His research aims to help establish an agenda for ludomusicology—the study of music as play—that complements and challenges the work-based approach that has characterized the scholarly treatment of Western art music. At the same time, it addresses the question of how music's social grounding in and as culture can create the conditions for flight away from "reality" and into the realms of the imaginary and the fantastical. The geographical and chronological scope of Moseley's investigations aims to facilitate the forging of new connections between historical musicology, ethnomusicology, media studies, and other disciplines.


Prior to his appointment as assistant professor of music at Cornell University in 2010, Moseley lectured in music history and theory at the University of Chicago. From 2004-2007 he was a junior research fellow at University College, Oxford, and in 2007 he was awarded an MMus with distinction in collaborative piano from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. In 2011-12, Moseley will be a faculty fellow at Cornell's Society for the Humanities, where he will offer a seminar on ludo-sonic technologies from the eighteenth to the twenty-first centuries. More information on Moseley's activities and recordings of his performances and improvisations are available at




Keith Johnston, University of Toronto, "Competition and the Comic Style in Il marito giocatore (1719)"


Ji-Young Kim, Cornell University, “'Mit gutem Humor:' Topics as Conveyors of Wit and Humor in Schumann’s Instrumental Music"


Dario Sarlo, Goldsmiths College-University of London, "Playing with perfection: Jascha Heifetz and the art of bad violin playing"


David Gutkin, Columbia University, “Games and Art: the Autonomous, the Everyday, and the Virtual”


Arnie Danial Schoenberg, San Diego City College, "Playing with leadership: adolescent music in Bahia, Brazil"


Peter Shultz, University of Chicago, "Rock Band Etudes: Pleasure and learning in music games and pedagogical pieces"


Patricia Alessandrini and Rob King, "A sea of others: play and its consequences in a physically-modeled video and sound environment"


Elizabeth Medina-Gray, Yale University, "Combat Music and Transitional Seams: Toward a Theory of Musical Modularity in 21st-Century Video Games"


Galen Brown,, "Minimalist Cultural Practice in Humor"






CMSC 20011
when: March 5, 2011
where: Saturday, Columbia University,
301 Philosophy Hall
theme: Sound at Play

The organizers of the CMSC would like to thank the following for their support:
Current Musicology
Department of Music
Graduate Student Advisory Council
Columbia University
The Center for Ethnomusicology