About this Event
Associate Dean Carlos Abril, director
Frost School of Music departments converge to showcase the exciting research spearheaded by our faculty and students. Learn more about the ground-breaking work taking place in music therapy, engineering, education, theory, and musicology fields.
For the first part of the evening, join us in the Knight Center for Music Innovation lobby for a research poster session featuring projects of our outstanding faculty and graduate students. Light refreshments and hors d'oeuvres will be provided. The evening concludes with short, engaging lectures by Dr. Christopher Bennett, Dr. Juan Chattah, Dr. Teresa Lesiuk and Dr. Marysol Quevedo, and the presentation of the Frost Centennial Medal to Dr. Lynne Gackle (Ph.D., 1987) for her outstanding contributions to voice research, music education, and choral artistry.
FRI / NOV 3, 2023 / 6:30 P.M.
Knight Center for Music Innovation
FREE with registration
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The Brain Network Connectivity of Autobiographical Music in Aging Adults
Teresa L. Lesiuk, Ph.D.
Professor & Chair, Music Therapy
Over the past two decades, the older population of the United States has grown consistently, reaching 55.8 million in 2020 (16.8% of the U.S. population). As the number of older adults increases, a growing segment of the population lives with some level of cognitive deficits. For instance, two out of three Americans experience a decline in their mental abilities at an average age of 70 years. Although age-related cognitive deficits are considered non-pathological, they affect mental domains such as processing speed, reasoning, memory, and executive functions. In addition, 12% to 18% of people aged 60 or older live with forms of dementia that lead to severe deficits and interfere with daily life. While pharmacological treatments are helpful to mitigate memory impairment, non-pharmacological treatments are also promising. This is where music can play a role. When music is long known and has an emotional significance (i.e., autobiographical music), it can trigger memories of past experiences that are particularly resilient and vivid. What happens in our brains when we listen to autobiographical music and recall past experiences? In this session, I will share our current research that examines brain connectivity, music, and memories in 25 older adults. Preliminary findings have revealed greater brain connectivity when older adults listen to autobiographical music. Greater brain connectivity can affect older adults’ functional living, thus helping them socialize, communicate, attend events, and be engaged. These findings have implications for a promising non-pharmacological treatment for those with age-related cognitive decline, mild cognitive impairment, and advancing Alzheimer’s disease.
Bridging Archives in Cuban Classical Music: The Work Behind Cuban Music Counterpoints
Marysol Quevedo, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Musicology
Over the course of fifteen years musicologist Marysol Quevedo has conducted research at Indiana University’s Latin American Music Collection, the Cuban Heritage Collection at the University of Miami, and Florida International University’s Diaz Ayala Collection in the United States, as well as the Centro de Investigación y Desarrollo de la Música Cubana, Museo Nacional de la Música de Cuba, Casa de las Américas, Instituto Superior de Arte, Laboratorio Nacional de Música Electroacústica, and the Biblioteca Nacional José Martí in Cuba. Her initial findings led her to search for more clues that would help explain how and why Cuban composers in a socialist country created rather experimental music after 1959. In this presentation, Professor Quevedo shares some of the unexpected and surprising finds she encountered in the archives, and how conducting multi-sited archival research allowed her to make connections between a vast number of composers, performers and ensembles, compositions, music institutions, and publications that circulated not only within Cuba but also around the world. Some of the stories that emerged from this archival research have been recently published in her book Cuban Music Counterpoints: Vanguardia Musical in Global Networks (Oxford). Tonight, however, she shares some of the items (photographs, music scores, recordings, and concert programs) that, although not included in the book, still hold fascinating information for future research
Sonifying Your Steps: Using Auditory Biofeedback to Improve Gait for Amputees
Christopher L. Bennett, Ph.D.
Associate Professor & Chair, Music Engineering
Professor Bennett works to innovate in the field of clinical and medical acoustics, bridging music engineering and medicine. Currently, he is working in collaboration with the Miller School of Medicine Department of Physical Therapy on a patented auditory bio-feedback rehabilitation program utilizing music-driven, real-time auditory cues through earbuds to enhance mobility and function for individuals with leg injuries. Their portable research system comprises instrumented knee sleeves and a mobile device, such as an iPhone. This system, funded by the Department of Veterans Affairs and Department of Defense, utilizes therapeutic cues embedded within music from users’ iTunes playlists to improve gait for people walking on leg prostheses. Additionally, they are adapting their auditory bio-feedback technology for real-time activities to enhance balance and agility performance in high-level athletes with lower limb injuries, partnering with Miami Hurricanes athletics teams and the United States Army. Looking forward, this system is being deployed at a half dozen VA Hospitals around the country to help veterans regain their gait at home.
Film Music: Cognition to Interpretation
Juan Chattah, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Music Theory and Composition
Film music often operates subliminally, conveying complex messages that motivate, support, highlight, complement, or even negate other facets of the cinematic experience. But what is the source of film music’s expressive power? Are we hardwired to respond to it? Do cultural practices and social norms govern our responses? To answer these questions, we must trace the logic underlying the perceptual and cognitive processes that elicit musical meaning in film. By recognizing how our bodies have adapted to our environment, we can better understand how film composers use innate behavioral mechanisms to connect with the audience and embed subtext through their music. In this presentation, I zoom into two cognitive processes (“entrainment” and “affordances”) to construct an exploratory framework that sheds light on the narrative and expressive power of the music’s meter. Applying this framework to scenes from a diverse repertoire of films (including Metropolis, The Truman Show, The Hunger Games, The Matrix) reveals how the music’s metrical structure makes us participants in the characters’ actions while revealing their intentions—from collective motor coordination for social bonding to constructing individual and group identities grounded in cultural practices and values. More broadly, I argue that our evolutionary history plays a vital role in our cinematic experience and that understanding the underpinnings of embodied mechanisms may provide valuable insights into how our evolutionary history has shaped (and continues to shape) our emotional responses to temporal arts.
ABOUT DR. LYNNE GACKLE | FROST CENTENNIAL MEDALIST
Dr. Lynne Gackle is a Professor Emeritus of Music at Baylor University, where she held the positions of Director of Choral Activities and Chair of the Ensemble Division. Throughout her illustrious career, Dr. Gackle has also taught at the University of South Florida, the University of Mississippi, and the University of Miami. Her educational background includes degrees from Louisiana State University (BME) and the University of Miami (MM/PhD).
Internationally renowned for her groundbreaking research on the female adolescent voice, Dr. Gackle is the author of Finding Ophelia’s Voice, Opening Ophelia’s Heart , and a contributing author for books published by Oxford University Press and GIA. She is the author of chapters in the Oxford Handbook for Singing and Choral Reflections. She also served as a lead author of Voices Inin Concert (Hal Leonard/McGraw Hill).
Dr. Gackle's mastery as a clinician and conductor is widely sought after both nationally and internationally. She has held key positions within the American Choral Directors Association, assuming roles such as National President, President of the Southern Region, and President of ACDA-Florida. She also served as the VP of College/Community Choirs for the Texas Choral Directors Association.
A distinguished editor, Dr. Gackle is the editor of Choral Artistry for the Singer (Walton Music/GIA) and the Lynne Gackle Choral Series (Colla Voce). Her exceptional contributions have been acknowledged with numerous accolades, including Baylor’s Outstanding Faculty Award in Research (2012) and the Texas Choir Masters Award (2021). In 2023, she received the MacPherson Prize from the San Antonio Chamber Choir for outstanding choral contributions within the state of Texas.