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Volume 24, Number 5 — May 2017

Professor's Research Recognized in Prestigious Journal of Music

Dr. Stephen Sieck is E&H director of choral and vocal studies
Dr. Stephen Sieck is E&H director of choral and vocal studies

September 03, 2007

An article by an Emory & Henry professor was recently chosen for publication in a renowned British journal of contemporary music.

Dr. Stephen Sieck, E&H director of choral and vocal studies, is the author of Be Fruitful and Multiply: a Theoretical Explanation of Copland's In the Beginning, an article that will be published in Tempo Magazine, the premier English-language journal devoted to 20th century and contemporary concert music.

Sieck's article describes how Aaron Copland, who was widely known as the dean of American composers, uses the opening phrase in his difficult choral work as the genetic source for all of the composition's melodic and harmonic materials. The theoretical analysis is set to be published in the journal in April 2008.

"This is richly symbolic; as God creates the heavens and the earth and then fills it with life, Copland creates a single theme and then enriches it a hundred different ways," Sieck said. "It's both interesting and odd to be publishing on an American composer, who isn't very avant-garde, in a European journal that focuses frequently on the avant-garde."

This fall, Sieck also will be presenting research during the annual Virginia Music Education Association Conference in Norfolk. At the conference, music educators in across the state gather to hear top student ensembles, attend conference presentations and connect with colleagues.

The presentation, titled Building a Beautiful Sound with Young Tenors, describes Sieck's personal experiences. "My own development as a tenor was rocky and it was only when I started voice lessons in college that I began to understand my voice at all. When I started teaching choirs, I was alarmed at how pervasive the mystery of the tenor voice seemed in choral rehearsal settings."

Sieck's research shows that men can and should retain the ability to sing high when their voices change. "It involves a different approach than the way we normally use our voices, but it can become a beautiful sound and will help tremendously as men mature into their voices.

A! ExtraTopics: Music