Ron Alexander Memorial Lectures in Musicology: Christopher Reynolds

Date and Time
Monday December 4th, 2023
4:30 - 6:00pm
Braun Music Center
541 Lasuen Mall, Stanford, CA 94305
Room 103
About this event

Topic: Recovering the Extraordinary Life and Songs of Carrie Jacobs-Bond

Abstract: Carrie Jacobs-Bond was the most successful songwriter in the first half of the 20th century, and yet, in contrast to her male contemporaries, there are no scholarly biographies of her. Her life story and cultural significance, like her songs, are today mostly unknown. In my presentation I will examine what it is that made her such an extraordinarily significant figure, and then discuss three of her songs that became central parts of American rituals: “I Love you Truly,” at weddings, “I’ve Done My Work,” at funerals, particularly those of Black Americans, and “A Perfect Day,” the iconic WWI song that was routinely sung to end public gatherings of all kinds.

Christopher Reynolds is Distinguished Professor, Emeritus, at the University of California, Davis. He has been elected to memberships in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and also the Academia Europaea. He has published much on musical allusion and modeling, chiefly regarding music of the Renaissance and the 19th and 20th centuries. His article, “Porgy and Bess: An ‘American Wozzeck’,” in the Journal of the Society for American Music, won awards from the American Musicological Society and the Kurt Weill Foundation. His most recent book is Wagner, Schumann, and the Lessons of Beethoven’s Ninth. He is currently writing a biography of Carrie Jacobs Bond, a study that is an outgrowth of his longstanding interest as a scholar and collector of songs by women. His collection of 7000+ songs by women from the late 1790s to the 1970s (as well as books, letters, and photographs) is mostly housed in Shields Library at UC Davis. He has been editor of the AMS Studies in Music monograph series and was a founding editor-in-chief of Beethoven Forum, and more recently, of the blog, Women’s Song Forum ( Reynolds has held visiting professorships at Yale, Stanford, UC Berkeley, and in Germany at the Universities of Heidelberg and Goettingen. He served as President of the American Musicological Society for 2013 and 2014.

Admission Information

  • Free admission
  • Note that Stanford University guidelines now state that masks are no longer required, but are strongly recommended. We encourage you to continue wearing masks for the comfort of our patrons, staff, and artists. Proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test is no longer required.
Event Sponsor
Department of Music