Writings

The items on this page include:
  • my major published writings on musicology (including my doctoral dissertation), with links to pdfs where available
  • “magnificent torsos” (substantial works in musicology that have not been published for one reason or another)
  • talks and sermons delivered at Theodore Parker Unitarian Universalist Church
  • links to ongoing series of posts on this blog (Confessions of a Recovering Musicologist and Reflections on Life with BDD)
  • links to other substantial original posts on this blog
  • my papers on the evolution of the perception and cognition of sound and rhythm for courses taken at Harvard Extension School.
For links to my complete CV and lists of publications and papers, see the “About” page of this blog.

If you are interested in publishing my writing or helping to support it, see my “Support” page.



Dissertation and Published Writings in Musicology

Mozart’s Viennese Copyists, Ph.D. dissertation, University of Southern California (2001). [pdf (95 MB)]

Musicological introduction to a complete facsimile edition of the autograph score of Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro (Packard Humanities Institute/Bärenreiter Verlag, 2007). [pdf of original version]

“Mozart’s Operas on DVD: The Peter Sellars Trilogy,” Newsletter of the Mozart Society of America (January 2007), review-essay. A reassessment of Peter Sellars’s productions of the Mozart/Da Ponte operas, on the occasion of their release as a boxed-set of DVDs in 2006. [pdf] For part 2 of this essay, see under “Magnificent Torsos”

Review of Eugene K. Wolf, Manuscripts from Mannheim, ca. 1730-1778, Journal of the American Musicological Society 59:3 (2006): 739–47. [pdf]

“Mozart and the Keyboard Culture of His Time, A Conference Held at Cornell University, 27–30 March 2003,” Conference Report, Eighteenth-Century Music 1:1 (2004): 139-43. A shorter version of this report appeared in the Newsletter of the Society for Eighteenth-Century Music.

“Attributing Mozart (i): Three Accompanied Recitatives,” Cambridge Opera Journal, 13:3 (2001): 197-237. A study of three accompanied recitatives that have been attributed to Mozart with varying degrees of plausibility; includes theoretical discussion of the concepts of authorship and attribution. [pdf] Parts 2 and 3 exist in complete draft, but have not been published (see below, under “Magnificent Torsos”)

“The Digital Imaging of Watermarks,” in The Virtual Score: Representation, Retrieval, Restoration, ed. Walter B. Hewlett and Eleanor Selfridge-Field, Computing in Musicology 12 (Cambridge, Mass. and London: MIT Press, 2001), 261-74.

“Viennese Music Copyists and the Transmission of Music in the Eighteenth Century,” Revue de Musicologie, 84:2 (1998), 298-304.

Guest Column, Newsletter of the Mozart Society of America, January 1998.

“Mozart’s Reception in Vienna, 1787-1791,” in Wolfgang Amadè Mozart: Essays on his Life and his Music, ed. Stanley Sadie (Oxford University Press, 1996): 66-117. [pdf] An earlier version of this paper was read at the Royal Musical Association Bicentenary Mozart Conference, London, 26-30 August 1991. Based on the discovery of the records of the box-office receipts from the Viennese court theater during the last years of Mozart’s life.

“A Newly Discovered Autograph Source for Mozart’s Aria K. 365a (Anh. 11a),” Mozart-Jahrbuch 1996 (Salzburg, 1996): 177-96. [pdf] See also below, under "Magnificent Torsos," regarding the long version of this article.

“Manuscript Parts as Evidence of Orchestral Size in the Eighteenth-Century Viennese Concerto,” in Mozart’s Piano Concertos: Text, Context, Interpretation (University of Michigan Press, 1996): 427-60. [pdf] An earlier version of this paper was read at the Michigan MozartFest, Ann Arbor, 16-18 November 1989.

“Some Recent Discoveries in Viennese Copies of Mozart’s Concertos,” in Mozart’s Piano Concertos: Text, Context, Interpretation (University of Michigan Press, 1996): 51-65. An earlier version of this paper was read at the Michigan MozartFest, Ann Arbor, 16-18 November 1989.

Review-article: Mary Sue Morrow’s Concert Life in Haydn’s Vienna, Haydn Yearbook 17 (1992): 108-66. [pdf]

“Mozart’s Viennese Orchestras,” Early Music (February 1992): 64-88. Revised and expanded version of a paper delivered at the symposium “Performing Mozart’s Music,” Lincoln Center, 19-24 May 1991. [pdf]

“A Newly Uncovered Autograph Sketch for Mozart’s ‘Al desio di chi t’adora’ K. 577,” Musical Times (December 1991): 601-6. Joint authorship with Janet K. Page. [pdf]

“Mozart’s Fee for Così fan tutte,” Journal of the Royal Musical Association, 116/2 (September 1991): 211-35. [pdf]


Magnificent Torsos

“New Sources for Haydn’s Early Biography” (1993)

Delivered as a paper at the Annual Meeting of the American Musicological Society, Montréal, November 1993, and in a version in German at a symposium in Cologne earlier that year. These versions were highly condensed presentations of a much more extensive body of research that investigated the context of these newly discovered Haydn documents from the 1750s.

“The Concerto in Vienna, 1740 to 1815” (1987–1996)

My original dissertation topic, for which I was awarded an AMS50 fellowship in 1992. Completed drafts portions include a substantial (ca. 200-page) theoretical, terminological, and sociological investigation of the concerto as a genre in 18th-century Vienna. Research includes detailed notes on over 600 concertos and a catalogue of several hundred music copyists (Viennese and otherwise) active in the 18th and early 19th centuries

In association with this project, I also created an extensive relational database of 18th-century Viennese musical life. This includes a biographical database of over 1100 musicians active in Vienna between 1740 and 1815, and a database of Viennese concerts from 1740 to the death of Mozart.

The database of concerts was intended to serve as the basis for a full-scale study of Viennese concert life from 1740 (and before) until 1780, supplementing Mary Sue Morrow’s study of Viennese concert life from 1780 to 1810. My annotated concert calendar for this earlier period includes 420 events, most of which are still unknown in the secondary literature. (The format of this calendar mirrors that in my review of Morrow’s book; see above.) This project was substantially completed by 1996, except for an introductory essay (although some additional musical events have turned up in the meantime).

“The Study of Eighteenth-Century Austrian Music” (1995)

This piece is a full-scale historiography of 18th-century Austrian music, intended as the introductory essay for the volume Music in Austria, 1750-1800 (papers from the conference held 12-15 July 1991, Cardiff, Wales, where the progenitor of this essay served as the keynote address). This essay exists as a complete edited final draft.

Review of James M. Morris, ed. On Mozart (1996)
Commissioned by Notes. Completed and submitted 24 September 1996, but not published. 18 pages plus notes in typescript.

I am planning to publish the review on this blog, as it is still relevant and contains some points that I have not subsequently published elsewhere.

“A Newly Discovered Autograph Source for Mozart’s Aria, K. 365a (Anh. 11a)” (1996)

The full version of the paper that was published in highly abbreviated form in the Mozart-Jahrbuch 1996. This full version served as the basis for a talk presented to graduate colloquia at the University of Chicago (25 October 1996), Northwestern University (28 October 1996), Peabody Conservatory (31 October 1996), the University of Washington (15 November 1996), the University of Victoria (18 November 1996) and the University of Southern California (21 November 1996).

“Attributing Mozart (ii): Der Stein der Weisen” (2001)

The second part of an article that begins with the article published in Cambridge Opera Journal (see above).  Considers the Mozart attributions in Der Stein der Weisen in the context of the problem of collaborative authorship. Exists as a complete draft.

“Discovery, Authorship, and Attribution”

Part 3 of the above series, a theoretical article growing out of my work on attribution and authorship. Exists as a complete draft.

Part 2 of “Mozart’s Operas on DVD: The Peter Sellars Trilogy”

Exists as a highly detailed prose sketch.

Theater Orchestras in Eighteenth-Century Vienna

A comprehensive institutional, social, and performing history of orchestras in Viennese theaters (opera, ballet, incidental music) in the long 18th century from Leopold I to the Napoleonic wars. Exists in a complete draft, plus extensive supplementary material. A short monograph (roughly 150 pages in the current typescript).

I had originally hoped to develop a large number of individual sections of my final dissertation into separate publications. The most important of these are perhaps:

“The Genesis of Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro

A substantially revised and extended rewrite of the discussion of this topic in my dissertation, based on additional research conducted in summer 2002, including an examination of the entire autograph of the opera. Versions of the revised material were delivered at the annual meeting of the American Musicological Society, Columbus, Ohio, November 2002. A longer version of this paper had been given as a colloquium talk at Indiana University in March 2002 (which, however, lacked the new information uncovered that summer).

This paper was to form the core of a book with the same title. The research for this book is substantially complete.

"Performance Practices of the Orchestras of the Viennese Court Theater at the Time of Mozart"


Miscellaneous writings and research on Mozart

“The Fragmentary Minuet in E-flat, K. deest, in the Palácio Nacional da Ajuda in Lisbon”

A presentation to the annual meeting of the Mozart Society of America, Toronto, 3 November 2000. Concerns a previously unknown fragmentary minuet by Mozart, which I was able to date to his visit to Italy at the beginning of 1773. Exists as a written talk.

“Where is Figaro?: Opera as Work(s)”

A colloquium talk delivered at New York University, Department of Music, 12 March 2004.

“The Compositional History of Mozart’s Wind Serenade, K. 361 (the “Gran Partitta”)”

A presentation at a symposium on that piece held at New England Conservatory, 28 February 2006. Other panelists included Robert Levin, Robert Marshall, and Daniel Leeson. A definitive presentation of the primary and source evidence for the date of K. 361, based on a new examination of the autograph.

A detailed analysis and discussion of all Mozart autographs in the Library of Congress, for an intended digital facsimile edition on CD/DVD by Octavo for the Warnock Library. Research completed.

An analysis of the early manuscript scores of Figaro and Don Giovanni, now in the library of the Julliard School

Various new research on Mozart’s Viennese and Prague copyists, resulting from archival work done in 2002.

This list of unpublished work is not exhaustive.  It omits, for example, the Ur-form of “Mozart's Viennese Copyists,” delivered at as a paper at the International Mozart Congress 1991 in Salzburg, 2-6 February 1991, and subsequently finished for publication in the Mozart-Jahrbuch 1991, but not published because the Jahrbuch made demands regarding the illustrations that I could not fulfill. This paper has been completely superseded by my subsequent work (most especially my dissertation).



Talks delivered at Theodore Parker Unitarian Universalist Church (TPC)

“Darwin and Music” (TPC, Sunday, 15 February 2009)

“Darwin’s Religious Evolution” (TPC, Sunday, 15 February 2009)

“The Evolution of Religion” (TPC, Sunday, 29 November 2009)

A survey of the archeological evidence for human religious behavior, and of various evolutionary and cognitive theories on the genesis of religious behavior.

“Making a Congregation a Community” (TPC, Sunday, 28 February 2010)

Reflections on Return (and a Return to Reflection)” (TPC, Sunday, 19 September 2010).

On my life with Body Dysmorphic Disorder.


Blog Posts (series)


Confessions of a Recovering Musicologist


“Is there abuse and corruption in musicology?” (3 and 4 October 2010)
Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4

The complete essay is also available as a separate pdf.

Reflections on Life with BDD

Reflections on Return” (20 September 2010)


A Selection of Other Longer Original Blog Posts

Marilynne Robinson: The Absence of Mind” (5 June 2010)  A major statement on my atheism.

Stupid Editing Rules and ‘Cognitive Editing’” (9 June 2010)

The perils of polymathy” (10 June 2010)

Famous Writers in Forest Hills Cemetery” (6 July 2010)

Così fan tutti, ovvero La scuola dei critici” (18 July 2010)

Frink” (7 August 2010)

More on Frink and the Iterative Translation Game” (8 August 2010)

The Google Book Count is Bunk (Probably)” (12 August 2010)

Gender Neutral” (29 August 2010)

My Life as a Blog” (15 September 2010)


Papers on the evolution of the perception and cognition of sound and rhythm

“Beat Synchronization in the Sulphur-Crested Cockatoo (Cacatua galerita): A Proposal for a Program of Research,” paper for Irene Pepperberg, “Animal Cognition,” Harvard PSYC E-1090, May 2008.

“The Coevolution of Hearing and Acoustic Signaling,” a term paper and seminar presentation for Evan Lau, “Evolutionary Biology” (masters level), Harvard BIOS E-18, January 2009.

“The Acoustic Dog: Hearing and Vocalization in Canis familiaris,” paper for Bruce Blumberg, “The Cognitive Dog,” Harvard PSYC E-1091, February 2009.


My special thanks to the donor who scanned publications of mine that were not available to me in this form, thus allowing me to make them available here.

[updated 10 October 2010]
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