Sound Studies Institute Livestream

Musical Signifyin(g): Examining Aesthetics of Homage and Play in Selected Works by Black Composers with Horace J. Maxile, Jr.

Date: Wednesday, April 6, 2022

Time: 7:00pm – 8:00pm

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Through a framing of Samuel A. Floyd, Jr. ‘s concept of musical Signifyin(g), perspectives involving history, culture, aesthetic choices will converge in this exploration into sounds/sources that shape the expressive trajectories of selected works by Black composers. Brief introductions to each composer will include their own viewpoints as recorded in interviews and writings, and will serve as points of entry for interpretive stances of sonic manifestations in their works.  While not intentioned to posit the expressive voices of Olly Wilson, Harry Burleigh, and others as a monolith, I do seek to situate Signifyin(g) as a concept that forges a foundation for discourses on a Black compositional legacy.

Horace J. Maxile, Jr. is Associate Professor of Music Theory at Baylor University. Dr. Maxile holds the Ph.D. in Musicology (Music Theory emphasis) from Louisiana State University. He also completed studies at Louisiana Tech University (BS Music Education) and Southeastern Louisiana University (MM). Prior to his appointment at Baylor, he taught at The University of North Carolina at Asheville and served as Associate Director of Research at the Center for Black Music Research (Columbia College Chicago). His research interests include the concert music of African-American composers, gospel music, and musical semiotics. Among his publications are articles in Perspectives of New Music, The Annual Review of Jazz Studies, Black Music Research Journal, Journal for the Society of American Music, and American Music. He was Associate Editor of the Encyclopedia of African-American Music (Greenwood Press, 2011). He has served as Editor of the Black Music Research Journal, chair of the Society for Music Theory Committee on Diversity, and as a member of the American Musicological Society Council.