Elaine Sisman

Elaine Rochelle Sisman (born January 20, 1952) is the Anne Parsons Bender Professor of Music at Columbia University. The author of Haydn and the Classical Variation and Mozart: The 'Jupiter' Symphony and editor of Haydn and His World, Sisman specializes in music, rhetoric, and aesthetics of the 18th and 19th centuries, and has written on such topics as memory and invention in late Beethoven, ideas of pathétique and fantasia around 1800, Haydn's theater symphonies, the sublime in Mozart's music, and Brahms's slow movements. Her monograph-length article on "variations" appears in the revised New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, and she is at work on studies of music and melancholy, of Don Giovanni, and of the opus-concept in the eighteenth century.


Sisman has taught at the University of Michigan and Harvard University, as well as Columbia University where she currently teaches, having joined the faculty in 1982.[1] She serves on the board of directors of the Joseph Haydn-Institut in Cologne, the Akademie für Mozartforschung in Salzburg, and the American Brahms Society, and is an editor of Beethoven Forum and associate editor of The Musical Quarterly and 19th-Century Music. She was President of the American Musicological Society in 2005–06.[2]


Sisman studied piano at the Juilliard pre-college division. She graduated from Cornell University in 1972, studying with Malcolm Bilson and received her doctorate in music history at Princeton University in 1978.[3]


Sisman has been awarded grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities[1] and the American Council of Learned Societies. She received the Alfred Einstein Award of the American Musicological Society for best article by a younger scholar. Columbia has honored her with its Great Teacher Award in 1992 and the Award for Distinguished Service to the Core Curriculum in 2000. In 2014 Sisman was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.


Sisman's work has been highly regarded. Reviewing Haydn and the Classical Variation, Laszlo Somfai wrote, "Elaine Sisman's excellent book will be a major inspiration for younger scholars and for the vast majority of readers in and outside English-speaking countries."[4]

Works by Sisman

See also


  1. ^ a b "Elaine R. Sisman Wed To Martin S. Fridson". The New York Times. 1981-06-15. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-07-26.
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ [2]
  4. ^ Somfai, László (1995). "Review of Haydn and the Classical Variation". Notes. 51 (3): 912–914. doi:10.2307/899295. JSTOR 899295.
  5. ^ Brandenburg, Daniel (January 1999). "Sisman Elaine, ed. Haydn and His World. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1997. Pp. 474, musical examples. $55.00 cloth, $19.95 paper". Austrian History Yearbook. 30: 289–290. doi:10.1017/S0067237800016118. ISSN 1558-5255.
Autobiographical sketch (Haydn)

The Autobiographical sketch (1776) of Joseph Haydn is the only autobiographical document that was ever prepared by this composer. Haydn wrote the sketch, which is about two pages long, when he was 44 at the request, relayed to him by a chain of two mutual acquaintances, of Ignaz de Luca, who was preparing a volume of brief biographies of Austrian luminaries, Das gelehrte Oesterreich ("Learned Austria"). The sketch was published in 1778, in Volume 1, Part 3 of that work.

Beim Auszug in das Feld

"Beim Auszug in das Feld", KV 552, is a military-patriotic song, composed for tenor voice and piano accompaniment by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The title may be translated "On going forth to the field" (i.e., of battle).

Double variation

The double variation (also known as alternating variations) is a musical form used in classical music. It is a type of theme and variations that employs two themes. In a double variation set, a first theme (to be called A here) is followed by a second theme (B), followed by a variation on A, then a variation on B, and so on with alternating A and B variations. Often there is a coda at the end.

The double variation is strongly associated with the composer Joseph Haydn, who wrote many such movements during his career.

James Webster (musicologist)

James Webster is a musicologist, specializing in the music of Joseph Haydn and other composers of the classical era. His professional position is as the Goldwin Smith Professor of Music at Cornell University.

Joan Ambrosio Dalza

Joan Ambrosio Dalza (fl. 1508) was an Italian lutenist and composer. Nothing is known about his life. His surviving works comprise the fourth volume of Ottaviano Petrucci's influential series of lute music publications, Intabolatura de lauto libro quarto (Venice, 1508). Dalza is referred to as "milanese" in the preface, so it must be assumed he was either born in Milan, or worked there, or both.Together with the oeuvres of Francesco Spinacino and Vincenzo Capirola, Dalza's work constitutes an important part of early Renaissance lute music. The surviving pieces comprise 42 dances, nine ricercares, five tastar de corde, four intabulations and a piece called Caldibi castigliano. The dances are arranged in miniature suites. Each of the five pavanes (five alla venetiana, four alla ferrarese) is followed by a saltarello and a piva that are thematically and harmonically related to it. Other groupings include pairs of tastar de corde with a recercar dietro. Some pieces, such as Caldibi castigliano and those titled Calate ala spagnola, show Spanish influence, possibly because of vihuela cultivation in 16th century Italy.Dalza's music is, for the most part, comparatively simple and easy to perform. The composer himself acknowledged the fact in the preface to Petrucci's volume, and promised to publish more complex pieces at a later date. It is currently unknown whether this had been realized. Although contemporaries such as Spinacino and Capirola wrote in a more advanced idiom, Dalza's output is important because it consists almost entirely of original music, not vocal intabulations. Furthermore, Dalza's collection includes the earliest known pavanes (described as padoane diverse on the title page), which are also the earliest known variations: all pavane alla venetiana feature harmonic variations with a loosely defined tonic, and pavane alla ferrarese consist of series of open-ended phrases followed by varied repeats: AA'–BB'–CC'–.. etc. These variation forms are sometimes referred to as single-strain and multiple-strain, respectively.Dalza's collection is also one of the very few sources to feature tastar de corde, short introductory preludes. The name translates from Italian to "testing of the strings". Dalza's pieces are arranged symmetrically by key: G, C, D (with F), C (with E), G. They range from 16 (number 1) to 42 bars (numbers 3 and 4); the material essentially consists of static chords alternating with short fast passages.

Karl Holz (violinist)

Karl Holz (1798 – 9 November 1858) was an Austrian violinist. He played in Ignaz Schuppanzigh's string quartet and was a friend of Ludwig van Beethoven at the time when the composer was writing his late string quartets.

List of Cambridge Companions to Music

The Cambridge Companions to Music form a book series published by Cambridge University Press. Each book is a collection of essays on the topic commissioned by the publisher.

List of musicologists

A musicologist is someone who studies music (see musicology). A historical musicologist studies music from a historical perspective. An ethnomusicologist studies music in its cultural and social contexts (see ethnomusicology). A systematic musicologist asks general questions about music from the perspective of relevant disciplines (psychology, sociology, acoustics, philosophy, physiology, computer science) (see systematic musicology). Systematic musicologists often identify more strongly with their non-musical discipline than with musicology.

Martin Fridson

Martin Steven Fridson (born September 4, 1952 in Highland Park, Michigan) is an American author known for his application of rigorous financial theory to the field of high yield bonds. He is also a philanthropist and an author in the subjects of financial reporting, financial history, and political economy. Fridson has been referred to as the "dean of high yield debt." He is currently Chief Investment Officer of Lehman, Livian, Fridson Advisors LLC, an investment firm based in New York and Miami, and lives on Manhattan's Upper West Side with his wife, Elaine Sisman.

Piano Concerto No. 15 (Mozart)

The Piano Concerto No. 15 in B♭ major, KV. 450 is a concertante work for piano and orchestra by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The concerto is scored for solo piano, flute (third movement only), two oboes, two bassoons, two horns, and strings.

Piano Sonata Hob. XVI/52

The Piano Sonata in E-flat major, Hob. XVI/52, L. 62, was written in 1794 by Joseph Haydn. It is the last of Haydn's piano sonatas, and is widely considered his greatest. It has been the subject of extensive analysis by distinguished musicological personages such as Heinrich Schenker and Sir Donald Tovey, largely because of its expansive length, unusual harmonies and interesting development. The sonata is sometimes referred to as number 62 based on the numbering of Landon instead of the numbering of Hoboken.


The sarabande (from Spanish zarabanda) is a dance in triple metre.

Symphony No. 41 (Mozart)

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart completed his Symphony No. 41 in C major, K. 551, on 10 August 1788. The longest and last symphony that he composed, it is regarded by many critics as among the greatest symphonies in classical music.The work is nicknamed the Jupiter Symphony. This name stems not from Mozart but rather was likely coined by the impresario Johann Peter Salomon.

Symphony No. 49 (Haydn)

The Symphony No. 49 in F minor (Hoboken I/49) was written in 1768 by Joseph Haydn during his Sturm und Drang period. It is popularly known as La passione (The Passion). The scoring of the symphony is typical of Haydn in this period: two oboes, bassoon, two horns, strings and continuo.

Symphony No. 59 (Haydn)

The Symphony No. 59 in A major is a relatively early work by Joseph Haydn that is known popularly as the Fire Symphony. Composed under the auspices of Nikolaus Esterházy, it was written in the middle or late 1760s.

Symphony No. 64 (Haydn)

The Symphony No. 64 in A major (Hoboken I/64) is a symphony by Joseph Haydn dated between 1773 and 1775. The likely date of composition puts it at the tail end of the Sturm und Drang period that produced masterpieces such as symphonies 44 to 48. It is often known by the nickname Tempora mutantur.

Symphony No. 65 (Haydn)

Symphony No. 65 in A major, Hoboken I/65, is a symphony by Joseph Haydn which was composed by 1778.

Symphony No. 75 (Haydn)

The Symphony No. 75 in D major (Hoboken 1/75) is a symphony composed by Joseph Haydn between 1779 and 1781.

Women in musicology

Women in musicology describes the role of women professors, scholars and researchers in postsecondary education musicology departments at postsecondary education institutions, including universities, colleges and music conservatories. Traditionally, the vast majority of major musicologists and music historians have been men. Nevertheless, some women musicologists have reached the top ranks of the profession. Carolyn Abbate (born 1956) is an American musicologist who did her PhD at Princeton University. She has been described by the Harvard Gazette as "one of the world's most accomplished and admired music historians".Susan McClary (born 1946) is a musicologist associated with the "New Musicology" who incorporates feminist music criticism in her work. McClary holds a PhD from Harvard University. One of her best known works is Feminine Endings (1991), which covers musical constructions of gender and sexuality, gendered aspects of traditional music theory, gendered sexuality in musical narrative, music as a gendered discourse and issues affecting women musicians. In the book, McClary suggests that the sonata form (used in symphonies and string quartets) may be a sexist or misogynistic procedure that constructs of gender and sexual identity. McClary's Conventional Wisdom (2000) argues that the traditional musicological assumption of the existence of "purely musical" elements, divorced from culture and meaning, the social and the body, is a conceit used to veil the social and political imperatives of the worldview that produces the classical canon most prized by supposedly objective musicologists.

American musicologist Marcia Citron has asked "[w]hy is music composed by women so marginal to the standard 'classical' repertoire?" Citron "examines the practices and attitudes that have led to the exclusion of women composers from the received 'canon' of performed musical works." She argues that in the 1800s, women composers typically wrote art songs for performance in small recitals rather than symphonies intended for performance with an orchestra in a large hall, with the latter works being seen as the most important genre for composers; since women composers did not write many symphonies, they were deemed to be not notable as composers.Other notable women scholars include:

Eva Badura-Skoda

Margaret Bent

Suzanne Cusick

Ursula Günther

Maud Cuney Hare

Liudmila Kovnatskaya

Kendra Preston Leonard

Rosetta Reitz

Elaine Sisman

Hedi Stadlen

Rose Rosengard Subotnik

Anahit Tsitsikian

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