Robert M. Stevenson Speaks

1

November
2011

The Indiana University Latin American Music Center (Carmen Helena Téllez, dir.) recently hosted a conference to celebrate its 50th anniversary.

Among the musicologists, theorists, composers, and performers who contributed to the once-in-a-lifetime event, was the distinguished nonagenarian music historian Robert M. Stevenson, who sent along a video with an excellent presentation of his own.

The video presented as part of a paper delivered by Walter Aaron Clark, “Robert M. Stevenson’s Inter-American Music Review: Thirty Years of Landmark Publishing.” Clark is a professor at UC Riverside and a former Stevenson student.

Here is the abstract of Clark’s paper to give you some idea of the mammoth contribution Stevenson has made to musicology.

One of the most significant events in the history of Ibero-American musicology is certainly the launching, almost 33 years ago, of Robert M. Stevenson’s journal Inter-American Music Review. Unique in conception as well as execution, it became a major venue for leading research on an impressively wide array of topics, covering all of the Americas and related themes in Europe, Africa, and Asia.

Inter-American Music Review was notable precisely because there was nothing else like it. Though its name recalled Béhague’s equally important Latin American Music Review, the scope of Stevenson’s journal was larger. A random sampling of titles illustrates this point: “Pedro de Escobar: Earliest Portuguese Composer in New World Colonial Music Manuscripts,” “Brahms’s Reception in Latin America, Mexico City: 1884-1910,” “Charles Louis Seeger, Jr. (1886-1979): Composer,” “Ignacio Jerusalem (1707-1769): Italian Parvenu in Eighteenth-century Mexico,” “Marianna Martines = Martínez: Pupil of Haydn and Friend of Mozart,” and “Albéniz in Leipzig and Brussels: New Data from Conservatory Records.” Numerous distinguished scholars contributed to this journal, though many of the articles were written by Stevenson himself, as were the reviews. The amount of seminal research IAMR featured over three decades is staggering, research that, in most cases, would not have found any other viable outlet. Indeed, IAMR may constitute Stevenson’s single most important contribution to musicology.

Here is Dr. Stevenson’s video:

[N.B. This is not an official Department of State website or blog. The views and information presented are my own and do not represent the Fulbright Program or the U.S. Department of State.]

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