Dr. Timothy A. Johnson, Music Theory Professor and Graduate Chair, Publishes Third Book
Timothy A. Johnson, associate professor of music theory and chair of graduate studies in music, just published John Adams's Nixon in China: Musical Analysis, Historical and Political Perspectives (Ashgate Publishing). This publication is his third book, each of which engages music in an interdisciplinary context--along with Foundations of Diatonic Theory: A Mathematically Based Approach to Music Fundamentals and Baseball and the Music of Charles Ives: A Proving Ground (Scarecrow Press), winner of the Sporting News-SABR (Society for American Baseball Research) Baseball Research Award.
Dr Johnson has published and presented numerous papers on the music of John Adams, and his 1991 dissertation was the first dissertation on the music of John Adams.
John Adams's opera, Nixon in China, is one of the most frequently performed operas in the contemporary literature. Dr. Johnson illuminates the opera and enhances listeners' and scholars' appreciation for this landmark work. This music-analytical guide presents a detailed, in-depth analysis of the music tied to historical and political contexts. The book shows how the historical depiction in the opera is accurate, yet enriched by this operatic adaptation. The language of the opera is true to its source, but more evocative than the words spoken in 1972-due to Alice Goodman's marvelous, poetic libretto. And the music transcends its repetitive shell to become a hierarchically-rich and musically-compelling achievement.
Kyle Gann--associate professor at Bard College, prolific author, and former lead writer on new music for the Village Voice--wrote: "Note by note, line by line, Timothy Johnson crawls across what is perhaps the greatest conventional (opera-house) opera of the late 20th-century, and also grounds it in aspects of political context not well-remembered today. It's an impressive and thorough analysis of not only the music, but the historical gesture."
Originally published in Intercom: Dr. Timothy A. Johnson, Music Theory Professor and Graduate Chair, Publishes Third Book.