School of Music Mourns the Passing of Musicology Visionaries

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Frank D'Accone and Marie-Louise-Gollner

Frank D’Accone and Marie Louise Martinez Göllner both passed away in 2022. Each had a pivotal role building the department of musicology at UCLA during their long tenures at UCLA, which spanned the 1970s to the 1990s.

“For me,” said Ray Knapp, current chair of the department, “Frank and Marie Louise will always be the visionaries who saw what musicology could be at UCLA. Together they led the group that created the department, they served as the department’s first two chairs, and through strategic hires, they set the stage for its emergence as the premier musicology program in the nation. We owe both of them a huge debt.”

Frank D’Accone joined UCLA as permanent faculty in 1968. Prior to that he taught at the State University of New York, Buffalo. His scholarly work explored, broadly, the music of northern Italy. His groundbreaking dissertation, which he completed at Harvard University, documented the music of Florence.

As a scholar, D’Accone was known for his judicious attention to archival manuscripts and penetrating critical analyses. His twelve volumes of the Florentine repertory in the Corpus Mensurabilis Musicae towers in importance. “There is no scholar working in the field of Italian Renaissance music,” wrote Dr. Bojan Bujic, a Fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford, in 2008, “who is unfamiliar with [it], or with his articles on Florentine music of the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries.”

In 1997, D’Accone published The Civic Muse: Music and Musicians in Siena during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance with the University of Chicago Press. The book was hailed for its exhaustive archival breadth, documentary record, and its nuanced cultural analysis of music’s place in Siena.

Marie Louise Martinez Göllner joined the UCLA musicology department in 1970. A former Fulbright Scholar, Göllner studied under the famed professor Thrasybulos Georgiades at the University of Munich, where she earned her PhD in 1962. She developed a passion for archival research, and published guides to cataloguing manuscripts in the 1970s. She translated Georgiades’s Music and Language (1954) into English and provided a new introduction, which was published by Cambridge University Press in 1982. She was known for her penetrating, deeply informed work on late medieval and early modern German music, and the development of the symphonic form.

In 2000, on the occasion of her retirement, a conference was held at UCLA’s Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies. The proceedings were collected and published by Harmonie Park Press under the title The Echo of Music: Essays in Honor of Marie Louise Göllner. A festschrift is a high honor for students to pay to an influential teacher. Frank D’Accone was also accorded the rare honor of festschrit: Musica Franca, Essays in Honor of Frank D’Accone, published by Pendragon Press in 1996.

il Professore (Frank D’Accone) always held us to his high expectations,” remembered Alyson McLamore, professor of music at CalPoly, San Luis Obispo, “but he made us believe we could achieve them. He was a pepper pot, but also very quick to laugh at his own foibles afterward. I am missing him dreadfully, as are many who called him friend and/or mentor.”

Maria Louise Göllner was herself a formidable presence, standing six feet tall with wavy black hair, and always quick to pitch an observation or comment. Steven Loza, now professor of ethnomusicology and chair of global jazz studies, first met her when she chaired the department and he was a graduate student. Loza remembered her as “gracious and fun.” Ray Knapp echoed the sentiment, recalling fondly her fierce pride in her students, colleagues, and department.

Both Göllner and D’Accone distinguished themselves as diligent scholars and conscientious teachers, and will be remembered for their grace, loyalty, and joy for life. The School of Music mourns their passing, but is grateful for the decades of teaching, scholarship and service of these two great scholars.