October 06, 2005 Volume 27, No. 7
Online tool aids music students
The Music Department’s Web page boasts a new tool to help applicants and students in its graduate program.
Associate Professor Paul Goldstaub, composer and coordinator for music theory, worked with two graduate students on the new feature, which allows computer users to practice harmonic dictation. (Think of it like a dictation exercise in a foreign language, except this test requires students to listen to a snippet of music and then write down the notes they heard.)
“We’ve zeroed in on the part of the entrance exam that is the most challenging, which is hearing and understanding the music in your mind,” Goldstaub said. “Music is not just the notes on the page. You have to develop a musical imagination.”
Previously, students had to purchase special workbooks with tapes or ask friends to help them sharpen their harmonic dictation skills. Now they can work at their own pace using a series of exercises of varying difficulty. They first click on a button to play the music and then click on another spot to see the “solution.”
“This makes it so much more convenient,” Goldstaub said. “Students anywhere in the world can visit the page and work the exercises.”
Marcus Lalli, who received his master’s degree in 2004, and Christian Ritter, who received his master’s in May, both helped Goldstaub develop the Web-based tool. Goldstaub expects to update and improve it once he receives feedback from users.
Lalli, a pianist and composer who’s now an adjunct lecturer at Binghamton, noted many students’ skills in this area are rusty, especially if they completed their theory requirements early in their undergraduate career.
“It gives students a great opportunity to get an idea about what to expect,” he said of the site.
Goldstaub notes that students need to have good technique and other skills to succeed as musicians and composers, but that an understanding of harmonic dictation can give them more creative control and more ownership of musical material. He speaks about harmonic dictation as a way for musicians to develop their “inner ear.”
To visit the Web page, go to http://bingweb.bing-hamton.edu/~grtheory/.
Shuttle established between ITC, campus
A shuttle service has begun to the Innovative Technologies Complex that runs every 15 minutes from 8:15 a.m. until 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Shuttles from the ITC to campus leave after each hour at 00:15, 00:30, 00:45 and 00:00. Shuttles to the ITC from campus leave after each hour from the main bus stop behind the University Union at 00:07, 00:22, 00:37 and 00:52. The shuttles run only between the ITC and campus. Schedules may be adjusted when the first ITC building fully opens in early 2006.
Additionally, in early 2006, a station serving breakfast and lunch items Monday through Fri-day as well as 24-hour vending services will be provided in that ITC building.
Student wins honor
David Zaslav ‘82, president of NBC Cable, recently called Uni-versity President Lois B. DeFleur to tell her that a Harpur College student had been named this year’s Most Valuable Intern.
Simon Shaw of Queens, a psych-ology major, worked in the sales division of the Cable Department. His job involved pitching chan-nels such as Bravo, CNBC, SCIFI, USA and MSNBC to other cable companies. He accompanied sales associates at conferences, meet-ings and on calls.
Shaw, who participates in intra-mural sports, said he hopes to pursue a graduate degree in business.
Family Weekend events planned Oct. 8-9
Family Weekend will bring guests to campus Saturday, Oct. 8, and Sunday, Oct. 9, for a variety of informative and fun activities.
• Tours of the University’s Nature Preserve at 11 a.m. and 12:15 p.m. Saturday, leaving from the upper end of Lot M.
• A food show sponsored by Sodexho Dining Services from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Sat-urday at the University Union food court.
• A concert presented by the Women’s Chorus, Harpur Chorale and University Wind Ensemble at 3 p.m. Saturday in the Osterhout Concert Theater.
• A concert featuring University a capella groups at 8 p.m. Saturday in the Osterhout Concert Theater.
There will also be opportunities to meet the deans, campus tours, a golf tournament and the Univer-sity Libraries’ annual book sale.
Musical composition by Paul Goldstaub, associate professor of music, was chosen for performance at Ithaca College as part of the Sept. 16 national day of prayer and remembrance for the victims of Hurricane Katrina. The piece was performed by the 24-member Trombone Troupe, which commissioned and premiered it in 2002.
Lynn Gamwells book Exploring the Invisible: Art, Science, and the Spiritual (Princeton, 2002) was just released in paperback. Gamwell also juried an exhibition of digital photography for the New York Hall of Science in Queens. This month, shes giving a paper on the impact of Darwin and Einstein on the visual arts at an Iowa State University conference as well as participating in the Clark-Getty Workshop, held at the Clark Institute in Williamstown, Mass. In November, Gamwell will give a lecture series in Barcelona and Girona on the impact of science and mathematics on the visual arts.
The 2004 annual report of the Binghamton University Foundation received an Award of Excellence from the University & College Designers Association (UCDA). David Skyrca, art director in University Publications, designed the award-winning entry, which was displayed at UCDAs 35th annual conference, Sept. 17-20, in San Diego.
IN THE NEWS
Reinhard Bernbeck, associate pro-fessor of anthropology, and Susan Pollock, professor of anthropology, were mentioned in a June 6 Mehr News Agency report on their findings at an excavation site in Iran. The site, reported to be more than 6,000 years old, is one of the most significant ancient areas in the Marvdasht region. The article also appeared on Iran Mania News – www.iranmania.com.
Binghamton University was men-tioned in a June 9 article on Newswise News Service related to the Uni-versitys participation in the creation of the worlds first fully online bachelors-degree program in elec-trical engineering. Funding for development of the program is being provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to the SUNY Office of Learning Environments. The new program was also mentioned in Buffalo’s Business First, the Buffalo News, the June 28 issue of Newsday and the July 5 issue of the New York Post.
Liz Rosenberg, professor of English, reviewed childrens books for the Boston Globe on June 12. In Danny Teppers Look Who’s Talking! On the Farm, she noted that the book “is as clever and happy an intro-duction to the world of farm animals as one might devise.” In About fish: A Guide for Children by Cathryn Sill, Rosenberg noted the book has “meticulous botanical-art-style water-colors one associates with the great wildlife artists. Rosenberg also reviewed Everglades Forever by Trish Marx Lee, noting that Marx “places the Everglades in a global ecological perspective.”
Binghamton University was inclu-ded in a list of “desirable dorms” in the spring issue of CollegeBound Teen magazine. A photo of a dorm room in Mountainview College was included in the article, which de-scribed the communitys suite-style living and noted “eco-friendly people preferred.”
Jessica Fridrich is an associate pro-fessor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department. Her title was incorrect in an In the News item published Sept. 29.