ROCHESTER, NY — For the fourth time since 1992, Eastman School of Music Professor of Musicology Ralph P. Locke has been named one of the winners of the prestigious ASCAP Deems Taylor Awards. Presented annually by the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP), these awards recognize authors and journalists for outstanding print, broadcast, and new media coverage of music.
Locke is being recognized this year for an essay he wrote titled “What Chopin (and Mozart and Others) Heard: Folk, Popular, ‘Functional,’ and Non-Western Music in the Classical/Romantic Survey Course.” This essay was published as a chapter in the book Teaching Music History (Ashgate Publishing Ltd.), edited by Eastman alumna Mary Natvig and designed for college-level teachers of music history or music appreciation courses.
In his prizewinning chapter, Locke examines the beneficial aspects of integrating folk, popular, non-Western, and Western “functional” repertoires (such as parlor songs or military-band music) into the survey course of the history of Western art music (c. 1730-1880). “These multicultural repertoires,” he says, “can have a lot to say to students today — even, or especially, those who are particularly devoted to Western art music traditions.” Locke makes a convincing case for the opportunities provided by exploring the parallels and disparities, interactions and friction among various types of music.
A member of the Eastman faculty since 1975, Locke is a highly regarded scholar and widely published author on American musical life and on the music of Berlioz, Liszt, Saint-Saëns, Schumann, Loeffler, and other composers. His current work treats musical works that portray ethnic and racial difference, such as Verdi’s Aida and Bernstein’s West Side Story. ASCAP will honor Locke (who received his previous Deems Taylor Awards in 1992, 1996, and 1999) and the other winners at a special reception at the Walter Reade Theatre in New York City on Thursday, December 4.
The ASCAP Deems Taylor Award was established in 1967 in memory of Deems Taylor, president of ASCAP from 1942 to 1948, who died in 1966 after a distinguished career as a composer, critic, and commentator. Several other members of the Eastman faculty have been previous recipients of this award. They include Samuel Adler, professor emeritus of composition; David Headlam, associate professor of theory; Donald Hunsberger, professor emeritus of conducting and ensembles; Kim Kowalke, professor of musicology; Jürgen Thym, professor emeritus of musicology; Robert Wason, professor of theory; and last year’s recipient, Ellen Koskoff, professor of ethnomusicology.
Note to editors : Ralph Locke is available for interviews. A photo is available.