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MusicPart of Humanities

Schenker Documents Online Receives Major Award

Published: 5 November 2013

The Society for Music Theory, the international professional body for scholarly work in music theory and analysis, has just recognised Southampton's Professor William Drabkin with a major award. At its 2013 annual meeting in Charlotte, North Carolina, the Society presented a Citation of Special Merit - given for scholarly work of extraordinary value to the discipline - to Professor Drabkin for his work on Schenker Documents Online.

Schenker Documents Online provides scholarly editions and translations of thousands of primary sources associated with the influential music theorist Heinrich Schenker (1868–1935), along with extensive critical apparatus and explanatory text. Professor Drabkin co-leads the project with Professor Ian Bent (emeritus professor at Columbia University, New York); the project is currently finishing its third phase of development with a £675K grant from the Arts and Humanities Research Council. Other Southampton researchers on the international team of scholars led by Drabkin and Bent include Southampton Lecturer in Music Dr David Bretherton.

In announcing the award, the chair of the Society for Music Theory's Publication Awards Committee said, 'Rare is the time when the work of a music theorist enjoys the kind of scholarly attention to life and works typically accorded major figures in intellectual history. In Heinrich Schenker we have a figure of that stature. However, the vast unpublished documentary record of Schenker's life as a theorist, critic, performer, teacher, and editor has remained largely invisible to the wider world. A major international team has undertaken the complex tasks of organizing Schenker's correspondence and other key records and coordinating a team of scholars to transcribe and translate these documents. This project, now in its third phase, has begun to yield a fuller, more nuanced picture of Schenker and his work, and its influence on Schenker studies cannot be overestimated'.

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