【Speaker】Anna Wang (Harvard Ph.D. candidate)
I research how intuitions about “musicality” are modulated by a listener’s cultural commitments. That is, I consider the question: why are certain musical structures and performance practices considered “well-formed” or “expressive” by the standards of certain communities, while others are not? To address this question, I bring music analytical and ethnographic approaches together to delve into perceptions of musicality that have historically lain outside of the cultural purview of North American music theory. My dissertation centers around my fieldwork among huangmei opera and koa-a opera communities in China and Taiwan, respectively, from whom I study how notions of phrasal, tonal, and temporal logic can vary widely depending on one’s sociopolitical bearings and philosophical disposition. I use my platform as co-chair of the SMT Analysis of World Music Interest Group to advocate for the disciplinary inclusion of a far wider breadth of cultural frameworks. I am also a guest editor of Engaging Students 8: Beyond Western Musicalities, a special volume which reflects on the ethics and logistics of diversifying music theory pedagogy and provides open-source teaching modules that foreground repertoires and frameworks from beyond the West. I am currently a doctoral candidate in music theory at Harvard University. Before that, I obtained my B. Mus from McGill University with majors in Piano Performance and Music Theory and Analysis.