Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Band Played On

by D. Kern Holoman
 
Alfred Cortot and Wihelm Kempff
 during the concert de clôture,
 Exposition Arno Breker
Orangerie, 1 August 1942.
Akademie der Künste, Berlin.
Even if you don't read a word of French, find and peruse a copy of this book for the pictures. La Musique à Paris sous l'Occupation (ed. Myriam Chimènes and Yannick Simon, Cité de la Musique / Librairie Arthème Fayard, 2013) presents the contributions to a colloquium of the same name that took place in Paris, 1314 May 2013—spoken version to book form in about six months. In some respects this constitutes a sequel to the precedent conference and widely admired book La Vie musicale sous Vichy (ed. Chimènes, 2001, rpt. 2004).

But the impressive extent and depth of the research ("scientific research," the French would say), documentation, and analysis of musical life in occupied Paris that has taken place in the dozen years separating the two conferences took me by surprise: all the periodicals scoured cover-to-cover, hundreds of archives—the Radio, the embassies, the concert societies—plumbed, pictures and recordings galore.

Many of the twenty or so contributions were, to a greater or lesser degree, eyebrow raising, perhaps most notably Yves Balmer and Christopher Brent Murray's reconstruction of Messiaen's activities in 1941, correcting the composer's liberally decorated accounts of his imprisonment and repatriation (and, thus, the history of such works as Visions de l'Amen). And, to no one's surprise, the polemics over wartime behaviors are far from done: the cases of Florent Schmitt and Jacques Chailley, for instance, remain the focus of sometimes heated debate.

Winifred Wagner at a reception
 at the German Embasssy, May 1941
La Semaine, 5 June 1941.

Meanwhile, as everybody knew already, concert life (and many other features of traditional Parisian culture) stumbled along, affording those who could gain admission some comfort and solace—and, for those who cared to mingle with the occupiers, the usual luxuries. Yet somehow, for me, the photographs (gathered between pp. 106 and 107) made these chapters come alive in a way I'd not experienced before: the stark juxtapositions of the concert room and the street below, and the agonizing conflicts of principle faced by music-providers week in and week out. “Anyone who was not there,” thought Simone de Beauvoir, “has little right to criticize those who were.”

Von Karajan and Rudolf Schleier,
German Consul General, same party.
Germaine Lubin, same party.


D. Kern Holoman is curator of Musicology Now.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Christian Wolff at 80

by Amy C. Beal
Christian Wolff at recording sessions
for his Exercises, September 2005,
near Poggiolo farm, Pozzuolo, Umbria, Italy.
Photograph by Larry Polansky.

I most recently saw Christian Wolff this last February, just three weeks before his eightieth birthday, which arrived on March 8th. Apparently neither impressed nor intimidated by the looming milestone, he spent much of the weekend shoveling massive amounts of snow at his houses in Hanover, New Hampshire and Royalton, Vermont. (No resting on his laurels for this hearty New Englander!) These days, moving regularly between those two properties, Christian divides his time between helping out on the family sheep farm, sorting through and cataloguing his extensive and historically significant personal archives, traveling the world in high demand as a performer, speaker, and celebrated guest, and somehow finding a few quiet hours each day to compose new work. He clearly inherited John Cage’s uncompromising work ethic. He also likes to watch the Yankees on TV.

Christian Wolff with Trio (Larry Polansky and Kui Dong).
Photograph by Douglas Repetto.
The first time I contacted Christian, in June of 1997, he was busy making hay—it just happened to be that time of the year. I was in the early stages of my dissertation research, and I wanted to interview him over the phone about his experiences in postwar Europe. Due to the hay, and, I suppose, a stretch of good weather in Vermont, the phone call was difficult to schedule. But eventually we talked, and he was patiently tolerant of my glaring ignorance about the things I intended to write about. Nonetheless, he was generous with his time, and genuinely helpful. He was only the second composer I had mustered up the courage to contact directly (the first was Earle Brown). Somewhere, many years of research later, I came to the conclusion that “American experimentalists” are generally people who answer their own phone. Christian confirmed this back in 1997 when he answered my call; many others have confirmed it since. But recently, the notion of “answering one’s own phone” has taken on a greater metaphoric meaning. It seems to represent a kind of openness—not just Cage’s “from zero” attitude (the Zen “Beginner’s Mind”), but a kind of curiosity and welcoming worldview that led to Christian’s beautiful notion of “abundance.”

Since that first phone call, our paths have crossed in various places, and I’ve mustered up (more) courage to write about him on occasion, about his activities in Europe, about his volatile Darmstadt seminars during the early 1970s, and about his connection to the Merce Cunningham Dance Company. Recently I’ve had the opportunity to read his collected writings (forthcoming, Oxford University Press), and I felt lucky to be able to call this person a friend, someone who has spent a lifetime (so far!) filling the world with thoughtful writing—both music and prose. Christian is rooted, burdock-like, in a rarified world rich with ideas—and the consequential actions those ideas suggest. He is beloved by many around the world who probably, in some part of their minds, still think of him as a promising youngster: The New York School’s little brother. Maybe he still feels that way himself. I haven’t ever asked him. But here he is at 80, traipsing around the globe with a backpack on his shoulder, a good mystery novel in one hand, and a melodica case in the other. He doesn’t seem a bit tired.
Christian Music IV (2007)
From a series of graphic rounds, by Wolff’s longtime colleague
and close friend, composer Larry Polansky, and designer Laura Grey. 


Amy C. Beal is professor of music at the University of California, Santa Cruz, where she is  director of the Contemporary Music Ensemble. Her research explores the history of American experimental music.She is author of New Music, New Allies—American Experimental Music in West Germany from the Zero Hour to Reunification (University of California Press, 2006); Carla Bley (University of Illinois Press, American Composers Series; 2011); and Johanna Beyer (University of Illinois Press, American Composers Series, forthcoming).

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Listening to Downton Abbey (part 2)

by Michael Accinno
Note: Listening to Downton Abbey (part 1) is available HERE
On 8 June 1926, a distinguished crowd gathered at London’s Covent Garden for Dame Nellie Melba’s farewell performance as Mimi in Puccini’s La bohème. Like many of the “Melba nights” of decades past, the performance left many in the audience—the King and Queen among them—captivated. (A reviewer boasted that a recording of the evening would “mark a new epoch in the power of the gramophone.”) For both Melba and her London audiences, the role had long held special significance. In her famed appearances with Enrico Caruso, Melba had helped Puccini’s opera achieve a lasting place in the canon. Fittingly, when the Royal Opera House reopened after World War I, the company’s opening night honors belonged to Melba and Bohème. Even in her own death, Melba was linked inextricably to Puccini’s Bohemian heroine; her headstone bears Mimi’s famous line from the third act: “Addio, senza rancor”—“Goodbye, without resentment.”



Dame Nellie Melba’s performance of “Donde lieta usci” on Downton Abbey—performed by Dame Kiri Te Kanawa—thus drew upon the complex web of cultural meanings linking Mimi to Melba. On the one hand, the aria presents Mimi at the height of her fragility and vulnerability. Weakened by consumption at this point in the opera, she bids her lover Rodolfo a plaintive farewell after his jealousy has pushed their relationship to a breaking point. On the other hand, the aria invites us to hear and reflect upon Melba herself as a cultural icon—as an intriguing Australian outsider who used her considerable talents to reach the heights of social and artistic power in London, Paris, and New York. 

Nellie Melba as Desdemona in Verdi's Otello, 1924.
Source: Nellie Melba, Memories and Melodies, p. 321.
At a lavish house party thrown by the Grantham clan, Melba’s appearance promotes the notion that her music has the power to overcome Downton’s entrenched class- and gender-based hierarchies. After Lord Grantham and his butler Carson conspire to send a food tray to Melba’s room (Carson: “An Australian singer? Eating with her ladyship?”), Lady Grantham admonishes both men and forces her husband to sit next to Melba at dinner. Although at first reticent (“What does one say to a singer?”), Grantham quickly bonds with Melba over their shared taste for Haut-Brion. At Melba’s ensuing recital, featuring Dvořák’s “Songs My Mother Taught Me” and two Puccini arias (“O mio babbino caro” and “Donde lieta usci”), Lady Grantham takes special care to invite Downton’s servants and wait staff to attend the event. When Melba takes the stage, her singing appears to deliver Lady Grantham her hoped-for “special moment.” But in a shocking twist, music’s capacity to edify and to uplift is promptly shattered.

Kiri Te Kanawa plays Nellie Melba on Downton Abbey.
Source: ITV. 
As Melba begins to sing “Donde lieta”—to be sure, it is Mimi’s most poignant moment of vulnerability—the on–screen action cuts away to a violent confrontation unfolding downstairs between Lady’s maid Anna Bates and a visiting valet, Mr. Greene. Since his arrival, Greene has unabashedly flirted with Anna despite the jealous protestations of her husband. Alone with Anna for the first time, he forces himself upon her. In lieu of witnessing the most visceral moments of the rape, we see Mr. Bates listening to Melba’s performance. Like Mimi’s Rodolfo, Bates’s jealousy dissipates and as he is driven to serene visions of his beloved Anna, he whispers: “I wonder what she’s doing. Maybe she’s fallen asleep.”

Although the scene has generated a steady stream of outrage from fans and critics of the show, there has been little discussion of the way in which Melba and her most famous role contribute a disturbing sonic counterpoint to the sequence of events. Building upon a well–established cinematic trope in which opera’s aesthetic beauty is juxtaposed with on–screen physical violence, Melba’s recital both embraces and rejects the capacity of music to empower women and to effect social change.



Michael Accinno is a Ph.D. candidate in musicology at the University of California, Davis, and assistant editor of Musicology Now.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

The Magical Power of “Let it Go”

In this recent video, musicologist W. Anthony Sheppard (editor of the Journal of the American Musicological Society and department chair at Williams College) investigates how the musical, poetic, and cinematic elements work together to create the powerful impact of “Let It Go” in the Oscar-winning movie Frozen. The song was written by Williams College alumna Kristen Anderson-Lopez and her husband Robert Lopez and won the 2014 Academy Award for Best Original Song.


Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Dear Abbé

Professional musicologists offer answers and advice. Free.


DEAR ABBÉ:

From time to time your namesake used to publish her favourite recipes. Have you any?
                                                                 S. COFFIER


MONSIEUR:

I am reminded of the holiday feast offered by the tenor Gustave Roger on December 23, 1848, to celebrate Meyerbeer's return to health (in time for the production of Le Prophète). Among the invités were Berlioz, Dumas, Halévy, and Adam. The pièce de résistance was a salade Meyerbeer (see below). 
     ABBÉ

VERSION ORIGINALE:
La postérité a droit aux œuvres du génie; et, en temps de révolution, un peu de cuisine, ça repose.

SALADE MEYERBEER

Cette salade est calculée pour quinze personnes. Elle est encore meilleure le lendemain, mais il est rare qu'il en reste. Prenez une balance et la pose majestueuse de la Justice telle qu'on la voit sur le papier timbré; et, pénétré de la gravité de votre mission, pesez sans partialité ni erreur les espèces suivantes:


Grammes
Raiponce,<1> la racine coupée à un pouce et la feuille coupée fin
57
Céleri
115

Cornichons confits dans le vinaigre
65
Câpres
60
Oignons confits
42
Betterave blanche cuite
70
Betterave rouge id.
70
Truffes cuites, noires et blanches
100
Cœur de chicorée
85
Escarole
150
Laitue ordinaire (petit cœur)
30
Haricots blancs cuits
130
Id. verts id.
85
Anchois
90
Achards (blés de Turquie, estragon, capucines)
35
Poivre long confît (gros comme une noisette)
"

Choux-fleurs cuits
70
Pommes de terre cuite
150
Fourniture (Estragon, cerfeuil, pimprenelle), hachés fin
25
Tout se met dans le saladier, par couches dans l'ordre ci-dessus, excepté les câpres, les betteraves et la fourniture qui se mettent dessus.

ASSAISONNEMENT
Deux cuillerées à café de moutarde de Bordin;
Une cuillerée de mignonnette;
Petite cuillerée à bouche de sel;
Neuf cuillerées de vinaigre à l'estragon;
Onze cuillerées d'huile d'olive d'Aix
Cet assaisonnement se fait dans un bol à part; on mêle bien le tout et on le verse sur la salade, bien également, religieusement, avec une cuiller, mais sans remuer. On laisse le tout reposer et s'imbiber trois heures, sans y toucher, ayant bien soin de le recouvrir d'un grand plat. On ne le remue qu'au moment de servir.

Et maintenant, si on trouve plus tard cette recette dans mes mémoires, et qu on en plaisante, je m'en console: une salade pareille, c'est une partition, et on ne doit reculer devant rien quand on peut rendre service au pays.
                    —Gustave Roger, Le Carnet d'un tenor (Paris, 1880), pp. 186-88.

EN ANGLAIS:

as found in the Food Journal, 1 August 1872:

A GRAND SALAD

Cooking is a fine art in Paris, and has its crowds of connoisseurs and amateurs, and, consequently, its exaggerations, its fantacies, in short, its dilettanteism. The following is the receipt given for a salad by the famous tenor Roger, who had it served at a dinner given by him in 1848 to his friend Meyerbeer:-- "Take a balance," says M. Roger, who has just published the receipt, "assume the majestic attitude of justice, and mindful of the gravity of your mission, weigh without partiality or error the following ingredients:-- Reponce, the root cut into pieces, an inch long, and the leaves cut small, 57 grammes; celery, 115 gram.; pickled gherkins, 65 gram.; capers, 60 gram.; pickled onions, 42 gram.; white cooked beetroot, 70 gram.; red cooked beetroot, 70 gram.; truffles cooked, white and black, 100 gram.; endive, heart only, 85 gram.; Escarole, 150 gram.; cabbage lettuce, heart, 30 gram.; white haricot beans cooked, 130 gram.; green French beans cooked, 85 gram.; anchovy, 90 gram.; turkey wheat, estragon, or capucines, 35 gram.; one long pepper pickled, "as big as a nut" (a capsicum); cauliflour, boiled, 70 gram.; potatoes, boiled 150 gram.; herbs,-- tarragon, cerfeuil, and pimpreuelle, chopped fine, 25 gram." The above was calculated for fifteen persons. The ingredients are to be placed in a bowl in the order given in the above receipt, the capers, beetroot, and herbs, are to be laid on the top. The mixture for the salad is given as follows:-- 2 teaspoonfuls of Bordin mustard; 1 tablespoonful of pepper; 1 dessertspoonful of salt; 9 tablespoonfuls of tarragon vinegar; 11 tablespoonfuls of olive oil of Aix. This is to be carefully mixed and finally sprinkled equally over the salad with a spoon; the whole is then to be covered with a plate, and left to stand for three hours, the salad to be turned over and mixed at the moment of serving only. This salad is better even on the second day than the first, says M. Roger, only none of it is ever left! "A salad like this," adds M. Roger, "is a grand harmony, and one should hesitate at nothing which can render service to our country. Posterity has a right to the works of genius." Now this has certainly more the air of an elaborate joke than anything else, but it is not so. The salad in question is known as La Salade Boursault, it has received the high enconiums of the late Alexandre Dumas, a famous gourmet, and it was only in honour of his celebrated guest that M. Roger called it La Salade Meyerbeer.

Gustave Roger
(1815-79)
<1>Raiponce = Campanula rapunculus, widely cultivated in 19th-century France for its salad leaves and roots. Rapunzel is named after the plant.



Thursday, March 27, 2014

Joe

by D. Kern Holoman

Joseph Kerman at 60
Just before his 60th birthday, after Andrew Porter had (yet again) cited Opera as Drama in that week's New Yorker, I asked Joe what it what it was like to be so remembered, so notorious, for what amounted to one's opening salvo—and for three words of that salvo, no less. He shrugged and said “I haven't really thought that much about Puccini since then: other things to do.”

(Opera as Drama appeared in 1956 and has been in one or another form of print ever since. A 50th-anniversary edition was published by the University of California Press in 2006.)

We had moved to California in 1973, and I suppose stayed here in part because of Joe and Vivian, who had welcomed us from the first and who were the patina on those early years of discovering an unknown land. For two decades we talked or corresponded—toward the end, e-mailed—almost every day, mostly about 19th-Century Music, the journal we founded together with Robert Winter in 1977.

In the introduction to Essays for Joseph Kerman (19th-Century Music 7/3, a double issue published on April 3, 1984—his birthday), I tried to evoke the merry circumstances of the magazine's birth and something of the power of his pen. He was, as noted elsewhere on this site, the brains behind the original “Dear Abbé,” and a certain amount of Writing about Music (3rd edn. 2014, first published 1988 for the tenth anniversary of the magazine).

19th-Century Music founders
DKH, JK, Cynthia Bates (ed. asst.), RW
For “Joseph Kerman: Bibliography” (pp. 192–98 of the Kermanschrift) I found and read everything he had written until then. Nothing was more formative to my own developing ideas of mission and strategy than reading all those pieces in a row. At the Press and the magazine, and in his inner circle (Vivian, Gary Tomlinson, Walter Frisch), we pushed Joe toward an anthology of what he thought his best writings, and the result was the fine volume Write All These Down (1994). It begins with his famous pieces “A Profile for American Musicology” (1965) and “How We Got into Analysis, and How to Get Out” (1980).

I chose his textbook, Listen (1972), for my first large-lecture class in 1975—largely for its gripping treatment of “Wotan's Farewell,” and the one-line score thereof—and used it, for nearly two decades, as we built the course into our campus's foundational curriculum. The inevitable result was a textbook of my own: I reveled in the notion of meeting JK on the field of commerce, though knew in advance the certain outcome. The close of Masterworks (1998, still going in its e-version), was meant as a salute to the Kerman style: “Art, properly done, will sustain you, challenge you, comfort you. And it may show you a path. Listen to it.”

Joe has at a typescript
Meanwhile there had come The Masses and Motets of William Byrd (1980) and the great Beethoven article with Alan Tyson, published in book form as The New Grove Beethoven (1983). Contemplating Music: Challenges to Musicology (1985) was the last of his works I was able to study in its genesis and execution. He began to be the guru of the “New Musicology,” of which I thought I might disapprove, and I became more consumed by conducting and administration and things French. Still his work kept coming out, each new book drawing us again to the canon: the Charles Eliot Norton lectures at Harvard, published as Concerto Conversations (1999), The Art of Fugue: Bach Fugues for Keyboard, 17151750 (2005), Opera and the Morbidity of Music (2008).

Joe relished being a shocker himself, now and then. You saw it in his titles—“How We Got into Analysis,” “Taking the Fifth”—and in the pleasure he took in shaking things up in general and the zinger in particular. When he was on the verge of retirement, we hosted an afternoon symposium in Davis on critics and criticism, with Joe and David Cairns and Richard Swift and maybe Michael Steinberg. In the Q&A I asked him what he was looking forward to most about retirement, to which he replied, without pause, “not going to concerts.” 

You simply didn't know what to think, and by the time you did, he was off on his compelling list of reasons why sitting in tidy rows to worship the Great Masters in silence had to change. And he was right, or pretty close to it.

I had already decided that the concept of finding one's voice would end this short essay when I re-read the preface to Write all These Down, where Kerman on Kerman says it all. His first voice, that of the Hudson Review and Opera as Drama, “was descriptive and evaluative, often enthusiastic and often judgmental. After the mid-1950s my work was addressed less to the Hudson Review readership and more to musicologists (and, one always hopes, to practical, performing musicians).

The need to speak technically—that is, in close detail—about music began to seem a more urgent matter than the intellectual and artistic common ground that I felt (or vaguely imagined) I shared with the Hudson readerships. I was also experiencing more and more difficulty coping with contemporary music—music past Elliott Carter—and felt as a result more and more uncomfortable with my stance as a critic. …

The scholarly voice cultivated after around 1960 was not a new voice—it had already been used for a dissertation and an AMS paper, inter alia—but it was now heard more often. The mode was descriptive, objective, and measured. ...

One cannot define criticism; one must be content with exemplifying it—bearing witness, as it were—and, sometimes, writing around it.

Professing, one might say. The memory of Joe that rings truest is that of his voice—rich-hued in sound, grand in the manner of Charles Rosen, gentle as Michael Steinberg. It is at once musical and musicianly: commanding, compelling, and comforting. Transfiguring. Listen to it.

LINKS:
D. Kern Holoman is curator of Musicology Now and was a co-founder, with Joseph Kerman and Robert Winter, of 19th-Century Music, which continues to be published by the Univerity of California Press and to maintain an office on the Davis campus.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Remembering Joe Kerman

Sarah Fuller

I came to graduate study at Berkeley in 1961 as someone unschooled in the labyrinths and habitudes of musicology and with great gaps in cognizance of repertory, and Joseph Kerman became a formative guide to me. I recall especially my two first-year seminars with him. One dealt with 16th-century English sacred polyphony that addressed not just style and imitative techniques of various composers, recusant oppression, and Italian influences on English music, but delved into music/text relations and expressive depths realized in key passages. From this experience came an abiding connection with the motets of Thomas Tallis and William Byrd.
The other was a seminar in Verdi opera.  By approaching the works “as drama” and presenting them in part through the writings of Abramo Basevi, he awakened in me a real love for opera, a genre that had been opaque to me. Our final test had two parts.  One was a written discussion-analysis of a passage from the end of act III, scene 1 of Falstaff that was to cover a wide range of aspects from unusual harmonic progressions to dramatic effects of reminiscences from earlier in the opera (“Reverenza!”). For the on-the-spot examination, we were told simply to know Falstaff well. We expected to have the usual listening identification exam—locate excerpted passages within the work, identify the character singing, comment on the importance of that dramatic moment and significance of the excerpt. What we got instead was a libretto of Gianni Schicchi, a single hearing, and the instruction to write on the influences from Falstaff that we perceived in the piece. A typically imaginative way of assessing whether we could indeed apply much that we had learned that semester to a practical situation, and a task that was stimulating for us, the students.
Joseph Kerman was unfailingly kind to me, and even entrusted me to scout the complex of watermarks in the “Kafka” sketchbook for his 1970 edition—I was at the time in London carrying out research in the distant realm of Aquitanian polyphony.
I have always admired the thoughtfulness with which he regarded the enterprise of musicology, his commitment not just to the academy but to the wider community of intelligent music listeners and to the education of young listeners, his genuine devotion to and appreciation for the music of many eras. 

 Coming unexpectedly upon his obituary in last Sunday’s New York Times, I felt a real pang of loss, but also a surge of gratitude for his teaching and for what he stood for in the profession. Rereading segments of Opera as Drama or The Beethoven Quartets has always invigorated me, and these studies, along with others, will, I believe, continue to inspire positive actions and reactions among musicologists for decades to come.
 Andrew Dell'Antonio 
His just-published Contemplating Music was one of the reasons I chose Berkeley for graduate school in 1985, and I was awed and a little cowed to have him lead the musicology boot camp course for entering Master's students. Later, as I was preparing for my comprehensive exams, he helped lead me through a focused independent study on Schubert, whom I had chosen as the "outside focus" for the comps, and I learned to love and understand that repertory much more deeply thanks to his guidance. At my doctoral graduationhe made a point of running up to his office for his regalia so that we could have a good photo-op; and ever since then he was always kind, gracious, generous in our interactions. He lived a long life, and shaped our discipline in so many important ways. May his memory always be for a blessing.
 Bruce A. Brown
A giant. I count myself lucky to have studied with him (I even TA'd for his Beethoven class). One of his best, and simplest, teaching strategies was to have those of us in his Renaissance proseminar sing and play through whole volumes of the complete edition of Clemens non Papa, as a way of acquiring a trained ear for the period's style, and also in order to actually make use of one of the many Gesamtausgaben piling up on the library shelves.
James Parsons
When I first started in musicology more years ago than I will admit, one of my teachers stated that his mentor thought some of Kerman's language a "bit too vernacular." I disagreed then and I disagree now. Who among us will ever forget the line, directed at Puccini's Tosca: that shabby little shocker? In my dissertation, I quoted one of my favorite Kerman passages, from an article of his from 1980, How We Got into Analysis, and How to Get Out.Lamenting back then that expression in music seldom plays a role in musicological discussion, Kerman concluded that when anyone states such is beyond the confines of their study one hears the sound of windows closing.Just these seven words made a profound impression on me. They still do. Kerman opened many windows and doors. I daresay he will continue to inspire that in we who remain.
Alejandro Planchart
He not only was a great scholar, he actually loved music.
David Rosen
I had looked forward to sending Joe Kerman greetings and perhaps a bottle on his 90th birthday next month! He was my principal mentor at Berkeley and was enormously kind and helpful to me. One example, I had been a history and social sciences major in college and had a relatively weak background in music other than piano playing (not that I was strong in that either). Joe spontaneously volunteered to meet with me one-on-one every week to talk about, well, thinking and talking about music (mainly about Beethoven quartets—he was working on the book then).
Lester Siegel
Kerman was a brilliant man who, though a musicologist, was able to write like a human being.
Chris Williams 
Joe Kerman died just a few weeks shy of his 90th birthday (he was born in the same year as my own father). To take Introduction to Musicology from this man was a life-changing experience. I will never forget his generosity in seminars and in the two independent studies I was fortunate enough to be able to take with him (on Sibelius and on Berlioz). His death leaves a massive void in the hearts of his former students, and really the entire profession.