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UC Berkeley Press Release

Music professors honored for books

– Richard Taruskin and Kate van Orden of the University of California, Berkeley's Music Department have received top honors from the American Musicological Society (AMS) for their new books - one the history of Western music, the other on music in early modern France.

The two awards were among 11 honors announced earlier this month at the annual meeting in Los Angeles of the AMS and the Society for Music Theory.

Taruskin, a professor of Russian and 20th century music, won the Otto Kinkeldey Award for outstanding musicological scholarship by a scholar not in the early stages of his career for his six-volume "The Oxford History of Western Music," published in 2005.

Reviewer Roger Scruton in the Times Literary Supplement praised the book, calling it "not a work of reference, any more than was Gibbon's 'Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire' or Spengler's 'Decline of the West.' It is a visionary addition to our understanding of our culture."

Van Orden, an associate professor of music and specialist in cultural history, received the Lewis Lockwood Award for outstanding musicological scholarship published in the earlier stages of a scholar's career for her book, "Music, Discipline, and Arms in Early Modern France," published in 2005.

Through detailed studies of dance, kingship and warfare, van Orden illustrates how music became a disciplinary agent of the state on and off the battlefield. Her research for the book enabled her to reconstruct the equestrian ballet performed in 1612 for the engagement of King Louis XIII. The reconstruction premiered at the 2000 Berkeley Festival of Early Music.