2023 Graduate Workshop

University of Southern Mississippi, Gulf Park Campus.

March 24-25, 2023

The 2023 Graduate Student Workshop is entitled “Theorizing Musical Climax” and will be led by Dr. Ji Yeon Lee (University of Houston).  

Workshop Overview:

When listening to music, we frequently perceive the rise and fall of tension. This perception of climax building and subsiding is common, ubiquitous, and effortless across genres and periods—so much so that it could be considered too basic to garner serious theoretical and analytical attention. Nevertheless, a handful of scholars have delved into this subject, such as Ernst Kurth, Kofi Agawu, David Huron, and Austin Patty, among others. This workshop aims to demonstrate that climax is not an arbitrary and intuitive phenomenon but rather a sophisticatedly constructed sounding architecture.  

The workshop introduces the current discourse on climax and highpoint, focusing on theorization of climax, its operational parameters and analytical demonstration. Based on this foundation, the workshop proceeds to analysis of pieces that the participants prepare in advance. Consequently, the workshop promotes climax as a new analytical model that may clarify our exciting, thrilling, and even suspenseful experience of tension and release.

Application Procedure:

Undergraduate and graduate students who are interested in participating in the workshop should complete the workshop interest form. Seating is limited and will be offered on a first-come first-served basis.