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Baseball and the Music of Charles Ives: A Proving Ground Paperback – July 15, 2004


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Editorial Reviews

Review

Johnson's style is direct and readable without being esoteric, even when discussing some of the weightier elements of music theory....Inasmuch as Johnson's stated intent is to show Ives' love of baseball as a 'proving ground' for later developments in his musical evolution, it would be a fair assessment to say that he achieves this goal well. (Aethlon: Journal of Sports Literature)

This study delineates how the art and sport of baseball affected Ives and presents analytical and contextual treatments of his musical compositions pertaining to baseball. (Reference and Research Book News)

No one before Timothy Johnson has attempted to examine the relationship of Ives's interest in baseball to his music. The topic is very innovative, the approach fruitful, and the findings illuminating both about Ives as a person and about his music. (J. Peter Burkholder, President, The Charles Ives Society)

About the Author

Timothy Johnson teaches music theory at Ithaca College in Ithaca, N.Y.

More About the Author

Timothy A. Johnson is professor of music theory at Ithaca College. He teaches in all areas of the theory and sightsinging curriculum, ranging from introductory courses for first-year students to upper-level and graduate courses.

Johnson received the PhD in Music Theory from the University at Buffalo in 1991, the MM in Music Composition from the University of Connecticut in 1986, and the BM in Music Theory-Composition from the University of Massachusetts-Lowell.

Nixon in China
Johnson's most recent book is John Adams's Nixon in China: Musical Analysis, Historical and Cultural Perspectives (Ashgate 2011). This book ties together analytical observations about the opera with cultural, political, and historical aspects of the scenes, characters, and issues raised in the opera. Johnson received a Society for Music Theory publication subvention grant in 2010 for this book. In 2006-2007 he was on sabbatical, during which he began research on this project.

Ives and Baseball
Baseball and the Music of Charles Ives: A Proving Ground (Scarecrow Press, 2004) discusses the importance of baseball in Ives's life, including his participation during his youth as a pitcher and shortstop, his baseball-related compositions musical depictions of ballplayers and baseball situations), and his use of baseball analogies in his writings. Baseball was a place where Ives felt he could prove himself as a man, and baseball provided a framework within which he could build new musical ideas. Johnson was awarded the 2004 Sporting News-SABR Baseball Research Award for this book.

Diatonic Theory
His textbook, Foundations of Diatonic Theory: A Mathematically Based Approach to Music Fundamentals (Scarecrow Press, 2008; originally Key College Publishing, 2003), is the first introductory, undergraduate-level book published on diatonic set theory. This textbook introduces a strong link between introductory pedagogy and recent scholarship in music theory by relating concepts in diatonic set theory directly to the study of music fundamentals through pedagogical exercises and instructions. This book is part of the Mathematics Across the Curriculum project at Dartmouth College, funded by the National Science Foundation. This innovative project was developed to achieve the goal of allowing students to concentrate on their disciplines while using and improving their mathematical skills.

He also has authored a chapter, "Some Pedagogical Implications of Diatonic and Neo-Riemannian Theory," in Music Theory and Mathematics: Chords, Collections, and Transformations. Edited by Jack Douthett, Martha M. Hyde, and Charles J. Smith (University of Rochester Press, 2008).

Other Research Areas
In previous scholarship Johnson has focused on music and baseball, the songs of Charles Ives, minimalist music, and the music of John Adams (including the first dissertation written about this enormously successful contemporary composer, as well as several related articles). In addition, Johnson has published articles or presented papers in the areas of the music and baseball, music theory pedagogy, music technology, twelve-tone theory, and the history of music theory. Johnson serves on the advisory board of The Baseball Music Project, which, in cooperation with major symphony orchestras and concert halls throughout the USA, presents concerts celebrating the National Baseball Hall of Fame through the great lineage of baseball music.

Recent Presentations
Johnson recently has given presentations at the Cooperstown Symposium on Baseball and American Culture at the Baseball Hall of Fame; the Second Conference on Music and Minimalism in Kansas City; the First International Conference on Music and Minimalism in Bangor, Wales; the Music Theory Society of New York State; the Joint Mathematics Meetings of the American Mathematical Society and Mathematics Association of America; and The Society for Music Theory.

One-Year Visiting Endowed Chair
In 2005-2006 he was on leave from Ithaca College to teach at the University at Buffalo as the Visiting Frederick and Alice Slee Professor of Music Theory, the oldest endowed chair in the field.
Publications

John Adams's Nixon in China: Musical Analysis, Historical and Cultural Perspectives (Ashgate Publishing, 2011).
"I Never Get Back: How 'Take Me Out to the Ball Game' Succeeds in Celebrating Failure," The National Pastime: A Review of Baseball History 28 (2008): 138-143.
"Some Pedagogical Implications of Diatonic and Neo-Riemannian Theory," in Music Theory and Mathematics: Chords, Collections, and Transformations. Edited by Jack Douthett, Martha M. Hyde, and Charles J. Smith (Rochester, N.Y.: University of Rochester Press, 2008), 161-173.
Baseball and the Music of Charles Ives: A Proving Ground (Lanham, Md.: Scarecrow Press, 2004).
Foundations of Diatonic Theory: A Mathematically Based Approach to Music Fundamentals (Lanham, Md.: Scarecrow Press, 2008; originally published by Emeryville, Calif.: Key College Publishing, 2003).
"Chromatic Quotations of Diatonic Tunes in Songs of Charles Ives," Music Theory Spectrum 18.2 (Fall 1996): 236-261.
"The Computer Presentation of Musical Research: A Case Study," Music Theory Online 1.3 (May 1995).
Typical Chord Successions in the Music of John Adams: An Interactive Computer Presentation (May 1995) [a computer program originally published by Music Theory Online via ftp; no longer available].
"Minimalism: Aesthetic, Style, or Technique?" Musical Quarterly 78, no. 4 (Winter 1994): 742-773.
"Harmonic Vocabulary in the Music of John Adams: A Hierarchical Approach," Journal of Music Theory 37 (Spring 1993): 117-156.
"Solmization in English Treatises Around the Turn of the Seventeenth Century: A Break From Modal Theory," Theoria 5 (1990-91): 42-60.

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