Monthly Archives: September 2012

Hall Street Quartet perform at City

With the arrival of the new academic year comes a new concert series at City University London and who better to kick it all off than our very own Hall Street Quartet?

The band will be performing a programme of both jazz standards and more contemporary reperoire at
7pm on Tuesday October 2 in the Performance Space, College Building, City University London, EC1V 4PB. Admission is free, no booking required.

Formed in 2010 at City University, the Hall Street Quartet is an exciting young jazz outfit consisting of Matt Racine (Tenor Saxophone), Tim Doyle (Drum kit), Matt Billington (Bass Guitar) and Rob Sherwood (Guitar). Originally intended as simply an avenue to hone jazz performance skills, the band has become a performing group in its own right, playing at the inaugural opening of the refurbished bandstand in Northampton Square, as well as at Cottons Caribbean Restaurant, Islington.

For more information and for future concerts visit:


Music Analysis and the SMA: a double anniversary

Michael Spitzer opening the SMA’s ‘A Celebration of Analysis’, 21-22 September 2012

Many thanks for the warm welcome!

For my first item, I’d just like to report from a symposium I helped organize as a committee member of the Society for Music Analysis (SMA). This year, the journal Music Analysis turned thirty years old, and the SMA twenty one. In honour of this double anniversary, the SMA held a symposium titled ‘A Cerebration of Analysis’ at London’s Institute of Musical Research (IMR) in Senate House, September 21-22. It featured Julian Horton, Adam Ockelford, John Koslovsky, Elizabeth Eva Leach, Daniel Leech-Wilkinson, Nicholas Marston, Danuta Mirka, Nicholas Reyland, Michael Spitzer, and Edward Venn. There was a special ‘Schenker Documents Online’ session convened by Ian Bent and William Drabkin, and Richard Cohn and Jonathan Dunsby were the Special Keynote Speakers.

Arnold Whittall addressing the SMA delegates

At the end of the first day, Arnold Whittall — the elder statesman of music analysis in the UK and one of the founders of the discipline (if we can call it that, the debate is still ongoing) — was refreshingly optimistic about the future  of analysis, despite changing fashions, withering attacks on its right to exist, etc. It is my understanding that this text will be published in the next issue of Music Analysis. More extensive reviews of the symposium itself will be published in the SMA’s Newsletter (forthcoming this October I hope), which yours truly is editing. In the meantime do have a look in the SMA’s website, which includes the programme and plenty of photos (captions are still work in progress, though):

Finally, a note to all postgrads: the SMA organizes special conferences for students (see for example and there are also informal meetings and events organized by our student reps (please get in touch with either Suzie or Kirstie via; their blog is on It’s a great way to meet students with similar interests, get conference practice and so on, and the SMA helps with travel and accommodation bursaries. The good news is that until the end of 2013 student membership is free — please have a look and do take advantage:



Thomas Hyde releases new CD on Guild Records

The Centre for Music Studies’ Visiting Lecturer in Composition, Thomas Hyde, has released a new CD of chamber works on Guild Records ( The disc features seven works composed between 2003 and 2011 and features performers including the Aquinas Piano Trio, Iuventus Quartet, pianist Evelina Puzaite and cellist Katherine Jenkinson. The CD was launched at a special concert in the Performance Space at City on 17th September.



The Centre for Music Studies welcomes Dr Shay Loya

The Centre for Music Studies is delighted to welcome Dr Shay Loya as a member of academic staff.

Shay taught at the University of Durham before joining City. He received his BA (2000) and MA (2001) from Tel Aviv University and a PhD (2006) from King’s College London, plus a few awards that ‘made his life easier’. His PhD thesis, entitled ‘The Verbunkos Idiom in Liszt’s Music of the Future’, was about the modernist and crossover aspects of Liszt’s Hungarian-Gypsy (verbunkos) musical style, as well as its problematic reception history. Several articles, research papers and reviews followed, culminating in the monograph Liszt’s Transcultural Modernism and the Hungarian-Gypsy Tradition (Rochester: University of Rochester Press, 2011).

Shay’s most recent papers presented in international conferences in England, the US and Canada deal with issues of Gypsy-band transcription as cultural practice (an article version of which is presently being prepared), the paradox of modernist folklorism in late nineteenth-century Hungarian composition, and issues of exoticism and auto-exoticism in Ferenc Erkel’s Hungarian national opera. Apart from Liszt, he is broadly interested in issues of exoticism, nationalism, modernism, transculturation and its application to music analysis, and bridging the knowledge gaps between the musicological disciplines.

Shay’s undergraduate modules at City will include ‘Investigating Western Music 1’, ‘The Classical Style: Music, Aesthetics, Society’, as well as supervision of Major Projects. He is also coordinating the MA module ‘Critical Readings’, contributing to ‘Performance as Research’ and involved in performance (he sometimes plays the piano too).

Shay co-organised the international conference Tonality in Perspective (King’s College London, 27-29 March 2008), which attracted prominent analysts and theorists. He is also the Society for Music Analysis’s information officer, and in that capacity will soon blog about an important SMA event this week (21-22 September).

Liam Cagney publishes in Musical Criticism, Sinfini Classical and the Daily Telegraph

Doctoral student Liam Cagney, who is being supervised by Ian Pace, has recently had a few articles published in the press.

Back in March he interviewed the Irish composer Gerald Barry for Musical Criticism (, and reviewed Einstein on the Beach at the Barbican for the same publication (

For Sinfini Classical, a classical music website funded by Universal Records, he wrote an article on Minimalism and pop music; the first article in a four-part series which will explore contemporary classical music’s crossovers with other genres (

And during the summer, Liam reviewed the premiere production of George Benjamin’s new opera Written on Skin at Festival Aix in France for the Daily Telegraph (

Dr Miguel Mera addresses international conference in Andalucia, Spain

Dr Miguel Mera gave a presentation entitled ‘audiovisual composition: functional, narrative and aesthetic criteria’ (La creacion musical para el audiovisual: criterios esteticos narrativos y funcionales) at the International University of Andalucia. The event was held in the beautiful town of Baeza which is a UNESCO world heritage site and contains the best-preserved examples of  Renaissance architecture in Spain.

Dr Mera’s presentation, which discussed various aspects of film composition practice, provided some insights into the dynamics between objectives, processes and final results.

Pictured (from left to right): Dr Kiko Mora (Universidad de Alicante), Professor Philip Tagg (University of Huddersfield), Dr Eduardo Viñuela Suárez (Universidad de Oviedo), Dr Miguel Mera  (City University), Cande Sánchez Olmos (Universidad de Alicante), Dr Teresa Fraile Prieto (Universidad de Extremadura), Dr Joaquin López González (Universidad de Granada).