Daniel Shanahan, Ohio State School of Music, presents "Distant Reading as Process: On the Use (and Misuse) of Corpus Studies."
Although corpus studies are becoming increasingly common in musicology and music theory, an implicit divide still exists between the questions that we address with distant readings, and those thought to require a close reading. This paper argues that corpus studies—and, to some extent, the digital humanities as a whole—should more actively attempt to break down this unspoken dichotomy. Specifically, Shanahan examines two questions in which corpus studies might be employed to address seemingly ineffable aspects of musical style and interpretation: the notion of authenticity in analyses of disputed authorship, and the expression of what Puri (2004) refers to as a Proustian moment bienheureux. While Shanahan hopes to illustrate that such questions can be partially addressed with corpus studies, he will also discuss the explanatory limits of such methodologies, arguing that, while corpus-based approaches should aid in questions too often confined to close readings, they should not entirely supplant them.
Daniel Shanahan is assistant professor of music at Ohio State University. Before arriving at Ohio State, Professor Shanahan was director of the Music Cognition and Computation Lab at Louisiana State University, where he also taught undergraduate and graduate music theory. He previously taught music theory, history and cognition at the University of Virginia. His work has been published in Music Perception, The Journal of New Music Research, The Journal of Jazz Studies, The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, Frontiers in Psychology and Empirical Musicology Review, among others. He recently contributed the chapter on tonality, harmony and counterpoint to The Routledge Companion to Music Cognition (Routledge, 2017), and has published chapters in Over and Over Again: Exploring Repetition in Popular Music (Bloomsbury), as well as multiple chapters in the Oxford Handbook of Music and Corpus Studies (Oxford University Press, forthcoming), for which he is also serving as co-editor.
Lectures in Musicology is co-sponsored by The Ohio State University Libraries.
Lectures are held Mondays at 4 p.m. in the 18th Avenue Library, 175 W. 18th Ave. (Music/Dance Library, second floor, room 205). These events are free and open to the public.