Michael Roberts

Michael Roberts

Dartmouth College



Michael was a 1995 McNair Fellow and served as our 1996 Peer Advisor. He wrote this article for our 1996 Symposium Program.

Unexpected Benefits

Continued involvement in the McNair Program has helped me realize its extreme importance in a number of areas. As a fellow in the summer of 1995, my research and writing skills developed as did my knowledge about graduate schools and their admission processes. These were the expected and intended goals of the program. Equally as significant but somewhat unexpected was the intellectual environment into which I was placed and its effect on me. Being challenged by a mentor or professor through assignments, lectures, or discussions was a norm in my college experience, but never before had I been with a group whose probing intellectual curiosity inspired me to a new level of critical thinking about my work and about the world.

As the peer advisor for this summer, I am fascinated to see the similarities and differences between this year's experience and last year's. The program has progressed administratively and in its coverage of important topics. What has remained the same is the intellectual environment created by the exceptional minds that are a part of the program. I am privileged to be a part of the McNair program this summer and to be continually inspired and challenged by the excellence that it attracts.


Mentor: Cleveland L. Howard, D.M.A. - Associate Professor of Music

Analysis for Performance: A Reasonable Study

As musical scholarship begins to free itself from the stifling purism created by a reaction to nineteenth century European Romantic thought, the strict separation between musical disciplines becomes less and less accentuated. Studies have begun to refer to or encompass aspects of the ideologies that previously distinguished areas of musical thought. Regardless of the growing inclusiveness seen in many recent papers, the musical community still lacks a model for a comprehensive analytical study for performance that incorporates relevant historical information and is supported by an explicit set of enabling premises.

This study proposes such a model, realized with the concept of time as central to its framework. The self-contained temporal reality of music in performance is explored in relation to music's position as part of a relevant historical continuum. In order to create a reasonable model it was necessary to come to a compromise between current and historical sentiments and practices. The result of this compromise and the time-based framework is a method of theoretically grounded, practical musical analysis that will aid musicians in their performative consideration of entire works. The musical material used in the model will consist of selected songs by Franz Schubert and Richard Strauss.


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