The University of Iowa
The University of Iowa News Services Home News Releases UI in the News Subscribe to UI News Contact Us
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0072; fax (319) 384-0024

Release: Immediate

Symposium on musicality at UI Oct. 16-18 will feature international experts

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- A University of Iowa symposium on the subject of musicality -- how people relate to music -- will feature experts from the UI and from around the globe. "Multidisciplinary Perspectives on Musicality: The Seashore Symposium," to be held at the Iowa Memorial Union (IMU) and other locations on campus Thursday through Saturday, Oct. 16-18, will be free and open to the public.

Many leading, internationally known figures in the diverse fields represented in the symposium will speak, including neurologist Antonio Damasio from the UI, ethnomusicologist Anthony Seeger from the Smithsonian Institution, Suzuki violin teacher Doris Preucil from the Preucil School of Music in Iowa City, UI professor emeritus and former director of the UI School of Music Himie Voxman, UI Writers' Workshop Director Frank Conroy, and numerous distinguished members of the UI School of Music faculty.

Although admission is free, a no-cost registration is recommended. Registration materials will be available each morning: 8 a.m. Thursday and 8:30 a.m. Saturday in the Terrace Lobby of the Iowa Memorial Union, and 8 a.m. Friday in the Old Capitol.

The symposium is named in honor of Carl Seashore, a professor of psychology at the UI from 1902-46 who was a pioneer in the field of the psychology of music and the testing of musicality.

According to symposium coordinator Kate Gfeller, professor in the UI School of Music and the department of speech pathology and audiology, musicality includes not only why people are talented at music, but all the ways that people relate to music, and why some form of music is so important to people across all levels of society and in all cultures around the world.

"Music, which is as far as we know inessential to survival, is a significant activity in every known society," Gfeller said. "It is enjoyed by the youngest infants, and is an important part of our last moments -- our funerals. It marks most of our significant personal events and binds us together in our large social movements. We use it to underline emotions in the movies, and it brings tears to the eye."

"Trying to better understand this universal human phenomenon, to discover if we are born hard-wired to love music or if we are culturally taught to love music, that is why I wanted to see this conference happen, and why I think it will be of interest to members of the public."

Highlights of the three-day event will include:

-- At 10:45 a.m. Thursday in the Terrace Room of the IMU, a discussion of "Technology and the Arts" with John Fix, UI associate dean of Liberal Arts, and Ingo Titze, University of Iowa Distinguished Professor in speech pathology and audiology and the UI School of Music.

-- At 3 p.m. Thursday in the Terrace Room of the IMU, a discussion of the childhood development of musicality, featuring a demonstration by Preucil and students from the Preucil School of Music, followed by a series of reflections on their own development by three professional performing musicians, pianist Uriel Tsachor and jazz composer/performer John Rapson from the UI, and pianist Sylvia Wang from Northwestern University.

-- At 8:30 a.m. Friday in the Senate Chamber of the Old Capitol, presentations on "The Nature of Musicality" by experts from different fields: Psychologist Albert Bregman, professor of psychology at McGill University and fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and the American Psychological Association; neurologist Damasio,

Van Allen Distinguished Professor and the head of neurology at the UI and adjunct professor at the Salk Institute; music educator Bennett Reimer, professor emeritus at Northwestern University; and ethnomusicologist Seeger, curator and director of Smithsonian Folkways Recordings.

-- At 1:30 p.m. Friday in the Old Senate Chamber, a panel featuring the four speakers from the Friday morning session.

-- At 7:30 p.m. Friday in Clapp Recital Hall, a performance with the three professional musicians from the Thursday panel, plus reflections on Carl Seashore by Voxman, who once served as Seashore's graduate assistant, and a reading by Conroy, who has written extensively about music and performed as a jazz pianist.

-- Throughout the day Saturday in the Terrace Room of the IMU, a series of sessions on the development and measurement of musicality that will be of particular interest to music teachers and to anyone interested in the development of musical talent among young people.

"Multidisciplinary Perspectives on Musicality: The Seashore Symposium" is supported by a Humanities Symposium Award from the Obermann Center for Advanced Studies at the UI, the UI College of Education, the UI Graduate College and the UI School of Music.

* * *

Multidisciplinary Perspectives on Musicality

Schedule of Public Events


8:45 p.m.   IMU Terrace Room. "The Development of Musicality: Graduate Education in the Fine Arts."
   Leslie B. Sims, dean, UI Graduate College
   Robert Freeman, president, New England Conservatory
   Kermit Hall, dean of Arts and Sciences, Ohio State University
   Jon Whitmore, provost, UI.

10:45 a.m.  IMU Terrace Room. "Technology and the Arts."
   John Fix, associate dean, UI College of Liberal Arts
   Ingo Titze, University of Iowa Foundation distinguished professor, department of speech pathology and audiology and UI School of Music.
1 p.m.  IMU Terrace Room. "The Nature of Musicality: Psychological Foundations." Carol Krumhansl, professor of psychology, Cornell University
   Alf Gabrielsson, professor of psychology, Uppsala University, Sweden.

3 p.m.  IMU South Room. "The Nature of Musicality: Pedagogy and Performance." Musical Beginnings:
   Doris Preucil, Preucil School of Music, with students from the Preucil School.
   Personal Reflections on Musical Development:
   Sylvia Wang, associate professor of music, Northwestern University
   John Rapson, associate professor of music and director of jazz studies, UI School of Music;
   Uriel Tsachor, associate professor of piano, UI School of Music.

3:15 p.m.  IMU Lucas Dodge Room. Concurrent Session I: Technology Arcade: The Applications of Technology in the Arts
   Concurrent Session II: CIC Graduate Student Poster Session
3:15 p.m.

FRIDAY, Oct. 17

8:30 a.m.  Old Capitol Senate Chamber. Presentation of the Obermann Center Humanities Symposium Award:
   Jay Semel, director, Obermann Center for Advanced Studies
   "The Nature of Musicality: Multidisciplinary Perspectives:"
   Albert Bregman, professor of psychology, McGill University and fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and the American Psychological Association.
   Antonio Damasio, Van Allen Distinguished Prof. and head of the UI department of neurology and adjunct professor, Salk Institute.
   Bennett Reimer, professor emeritus of music, Northwestern University.
   Anthony Seeger, curator and director, Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, the Smithsonian Institution.

1:30 p.m.  IMU Terrace Room. "The Nature of Musicality: Multidisciplinary Dialogues"
   Music Perception and Aesthetic Response of Cochlear Implant Recipients: Interdisciplinary Perspectives
   Kate Gfeller, professor, UI School of Music and UI department of speech pathology and audiology.
   Multidisciplinary Response and Dialogue on Musicality:
   Albert Bregman.
   Antonio Damasio.
   Bennett Reimer.
   Anthony Seeger.

FRIDAY, Oct. 17, cont.

3:15 p.m.  IMU meeting room. Concurrent Session I: Technological Advances in the Analysis of Musical Expression:
   Rebekah Brown, assistant professor, University of Nebraska at Kearney
   Lawrence Fritts, assistant professor of music and head of electronic music studios, UI School of Music
   Walter Busse, University of Miami, Fla.
   Henkjan Honing, University of Nijmegen, The Netherlands
 IMU meeting room. Concurrent Session II: Sociocultural Perspectives on Musicality
   Charles Schmidt, professor of music, Indiana University
   Carlos Rodriguez, assistant professor, curriculum and instruction, UI School of Music
   T.M. Scruggs, UI assistant professor of music, literature, sciences and the arts
   Venise Berry, assistant professor, UI School of Journalism and Mass Communications
   Reading by Frank Conroy, director, UI Writers' Workshop

7:30 p.m.  Clapp Recital Hall. A Recital: Reflections on Musicality
   Sylvia Wang, piano
   Uriel Tsachor, piano
   Improvisers Orchestra, John Rapson, director
   Reflections on Carl Seashore, Himie Voxman, UI professor emeritus


9 a.m.  IMU Terrace Room. "The Measurement of Musicality: Traditions and New Directions"
   Edwin Gordon, distinguished professor in residence, University of South Carolina, Columbia
   Estelle Jorgensen, professor of music, Indiana University
   Peter Webster, professor of music, Northwestern University
 11:15 a.m.  IMU Terrace Room. "The Measurement of Musical Aptitude"
   Walter Vispoel, UI associate professor, psychological and quantitative foundations
   Raymond Pettit, High Tor Alliance for Community and Organizational Renewal, Warwick, New York
   Beth Bolton, assistant professor of music education, Temple University

1:30 p.m.  IMU Terrace Room. The Development of Musicality: Music for Children in the 21st Century
   Carol Scott-Kassner, professor of music education, University of Central Florida
   John Feierabend, professor of music, the Hartt School, University of Hartford
   Jeanne Bamberger, professor of music, M.I.T.

 4 p.m.  IMU Terrace Room. Symposium Summary