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About me

[The first post also gives some indication of who I am and what Im trying to do in the blog.]

Im a musicologist by training (Ph.D. from Cornell, 2005); musicology is where my heart is, but I end up doing all sorts of other musical things, whether or not I really should.  When I started this blog in August of 2016, this page went on to say

I serve as the chair of the music department in a small and remote liberal arts college (Erskine College, in Due West, SC).  In such an environment, I teach a broad range of things (the history and theory sequence for music majors, the core curriculum introduction to music, writing seminars, and themed courses that sometimes take me pretty far from music); I accompany students on piano and sometimes direct the chamber orchestra.  I arrange and compose.   As organist, I play for college events and fill-in in local churches.  My favorite musical activity is serving as a keyboard continuo player, and in rural South Carolina I seldom get to do it.  Im also a horn player, and play in the Upstate Winds; there Im keenly aware of my limitations compared to most of the other people in the ensemble.  (Im married to a horn player, toomuch better than I am; shes a public defender by day.)

Some of that is still true, but as of Summer 2017 I took a new job as the chair of the music department at the University of Mary Washington (Fredericksburg, VA).  The courses I teach will be generally similar, although I dont expect to be teaching far afield from music.  (I will particularly miss a course I used to teach at Erskine about Dorothy L. Sayers.)  Although there is more continuo playing in Northern Virginia, I dont expect to be doing it.  My horn-playing days may be numbered, but Im still married to a superior horn player; and long may that continue.

February 2018
The themes of this blog have been rattling around in my head for several years.  I finally realized it was a book that I would never feel ready to write (and would be out of date before publication anyway), and that a blog would be a good way to explore these issues.  For the first year I limited myself to two posts a month (an attempt to not let it run away with my time); even though the list of topics I want to discuss seems as long now as it did when I started, with the change of jobs I decided that I would have to lift my self-imposed posting deadlines, as settling my family in my new location is a more important use of my free time.  I am very grateful to have met friends and like-minded people during the first year of posting, and I hope you will stick around.  Starting in summer 2018 I am now aiming to post on the first of each month.

I find myself thinking about musical text all the time anyway, particularly when I am accompanying.  I regularly review editions of music in the Music Library Association journal Notes.  Otherwise most of my publications have involved my work on British music c. 1860s-1960s.  Among these are critical editions of music by William Walton (orchestral works c. 1960 and suites derived from his film scores), and a further volume forthcoming of orchestral song cycles by Charles Villiers Stanford.  Here are almost all of the sources for one of the works in the project, assembled fairly neatly for once:

Another major focus of my research has been the music of Arthur Sullivan.  Textual issues abound at every turn.  Indeed, it is the new wave of textual scholarship involving the Savoy operas (for example, this and this) that will revolutionize the scholarly understanding of those works.  It is an exciting time to work on Gilbert & Sullivan.  I have  just started a project with a student preparing an edition of John Philip Sousas 1879 orchestration HMS Pinafore, reconstructing the score from parts preserved in Sydney, Australia.  (Long story, and I don’t know it all.)

My hobbies:  reading, vegetarian/vegan cooking, and childcare.  (Weve got three youngish kidsand two retired greyhounds.)  Theres usually not much time for anything beyond that.  If there is, my fourth hobby should be sleep.

Pronouns:  he/him/his.  My last name is pronounced as if the "y" were an "r":  KIRK-in-dahl.