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Joseph Kerman Fund supporting publications in musicology

The Joseph Kerman Fund was established in conjunction with the OPUS campaign by the Board of Directors of the American Musicological Society to honor one of the most brilliant essayists of the Society’s first seventy-five years.

Joseph Kerman (b. 1924) studied with Oliver Strunk at Princeton and came to Berkeley in 1952. He left to become Heather Professor of Music at Oxford in 1972 but returned in 1974, retiring in 1994. He likes you to begin with Write All These Down (1994), an essay collection sampling his several fields of activity: Elizabethan music (The Elizabethan Madrigal, 1962, The Masses and Motets of William Byrd, 1980), Beethoven (The Beethoven Quartets, 1967, The Kafka Sketchbook, 1970, The New Grove Beethoven, 1983, with Alan Tyson), opera (Opera as Drama, 1956/1988), and criticism. An influential commentator on musicology (see Contemplating Music, 1986), he was an early champion of criticism within the discipline. He writes for general readers in the Hudson Review (1948-62) and New York Review of Books (1970– ). Other books are Concerto Conversations (1998) and The Art of Fugue: Bach Fugues for Keyboard, 1715-1750 (2005). He is also author, with Gary Tomlinson, of the textbook Listen.

Ruth Solie describes Kerman as “a kind of bellwether for musicological writing, one who has offered the discipline various kinds of programmatic challenges and then shown us how to meet them: . . . graceful, insightful, humane, even funny ways to get 'out of analysis' and into understanding musical meaning.” 

The Joseph Kerman Fund has been used to support the following publications:

Luigi Nono

Luigi Nono, Nostalgia for the Future: Luigi Nono's Selected Writings and Interviews. University of California Press. ISBN 9780520291195.

Holly Watkins

Holly Watkins, Musical Vitalities: Ventures in a Biotic Aesthetics of Music. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 9780226594705.

Benedict Taylor

Benedict Taylor, Towards a Harmonic Grammar of Grieg’s Late Piano Music: Nature and Nationalism. Routledge. ISBN 9781472456588.

Karol Berger

Karol Berger, Beyond Reason: Wagner contra Nietzsche. University of California Press. ISBN 9780520292758.


Lawrence Kramer

Lawrence Kramer, The Thought of Music. University of California Press. ISBN 978-0520288805.

Christopher Alan Reynolds

Christopher Alan Reynolds, Wagner, Schumann, and the Lessons of Beethoven's Ninth. University of California Press. ISBN 978-0520285569.

Scott Messing

Scott Messing, Marching to the Canon: The Life of Schubert's "Marche militaire". University of Rochester Press. ISBN 978-1580464383.

Emma Hornby and Rebecca Maloy

Emma Hornby and Rebecca Maloy, Music and Meaning in Old Hispanic Lenten Chants. Boydell Press. ISBN 978-1843838142.

Gundula Kreuzer

Gundula Kreuzer, Verdi and the Germans: From Unification to the Third Reich. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0521519199.

Tamara Levitz

Tamara Levitz, Modernist Mysteries: Perséphone. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0199730164.

Joel Sachs

Joel Sachs, Henry Cowell: A Man Made of Music. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0195108957.

Joanna Demers

Joanna Demers, Listening Through the Noise: The Aesthetics of Experimental Electronic Music. Oxford University Press, 2010. ISBN 978-0-19-538766-7.


Proposals appropriate for the Joseph Kerman Fund are accepted by the AMS Publications Committee regularly. See AMS Publication Subventions for further details.

Contributions to the Joseph Kerman Fund are warmly invited. Your support demonstrates an important commitment to the ideals and legacy of Joseph Kerman.