A Map To Reading And Finding Topics In Harmony: Eight Years of Research, Studies, and Articles

I have long had a soft spot in my heart for Harmony, which was the house journal of the Symphony Orchestra Institute. In part this was because the founders of SOI had the same curiosity about how orchestras really functioned as I did, and gave free rein to their curiosity in soliciting articles for Harmony. And, in part, it was because Harmony published a couple of articles I wrote, including one I co-wrote with my late father, an eminent researcher in the field of stress and developmental psychobiology, of which both he and I were very proud and which has had some influence in the field.

Very little in Harmony was light reading, however. This likely limited the number of readers who actually read each issue in depth, so there is a great deal of material in the Harmony archives that has yet to achieve the influence the material generally deserves. And, as Harmony covered many aspects of the organizational culture of orchestras, those looking for guidance on a specific issue had something of a slog to find articles on a specific topic.

Fortunately, a doctoral dissertation by a Colorado professor of management and accounting who is also an amateur musician provides a wonderful guide to the pages of Harmony. Accordingly. Dr. William Mesa’s A Map to Reading and Finding Topics in Harmony: Eight Years of Research, Studies and Articles is my first Editor’s Choice selection. It is not light reading either. But then neither is our art form light listening. Some things are worth spending time on, and Dr. Mesa’s article is one of them.

Click here to read A Map to Reading and Finding Topics in Harmony: Eight Years of Research, Studies and Articles.

About the author

Robert Levine
Robert Levine

Robert Levine has been the Principal Violist of the Milwaukee Symphony since September 1987. Before coming to Milwaukee Mr. Levine had been a member of the Orford String Quartet, Quartet-in-Residence at the University of Toronto, with whom he toured extensively throughout Canada, the United States, and South America. Prior to joining the Orford Quartet, Mr. Levine had served as Principal Violist of The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra for six years. He has also performed with the San Francisco Symphony, the London Symphony of Canada, and the Oklahoma City Symphony, as well as serving as guest principal with the orchestras of Indianapolis and Hong Kong.

He has performed as soloist with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Oklahoma City Symphony, the London Symphony of Canada, the Midsummer Mozart Festival (San Francisco), and numerous community orchestras in Northern California and Minnesota. He has also been featured on American Public Radio's nationally broadcast show "St. Paul Sunday Morning" on several occasions.

Mr. Levine has been an active chamber musician, having performed at the Festival Rolandseck in Germany, the Grand Teton Music Festival, the Palm Beach Festival, the "Strings in the Mountains" Festival in Colorado, and numerous concerts in the Twin Cities and Milwaukee. He has also been active in the field of new music, having commissioned and premiered works for viola and orchestra from Minnesota composers Janika Vandervelde and Libby Larsen.

Mr. Levine was chairman of the International Conference of Symphony and Opera Musicians from 1996 to 2002 and currently serves as President of the Milwaukee Musicians Association, Local 8 of the American Federation of Musicians, and as a member of the Board of Directors of the League of American Orchestras. He has written extensively about issues concerning orchestra musicians for publications of ICSOM, the AFM, the Symphony Orchestra Institute, and the League of American Orchestras.

Mr. Levine attended Stanford University and the Institute for Advanced Musical Studies in Switzerland. His primary teachers were Aaron Sten and Pamela Goldsmith. He also studied with Paul Doctor, Walter Trampler, Bruno Giuranna, and David Abel.

He lives with his wife Emily and his son Sam in Glendale.

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