K. Christian McGuire - Home Page

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A native of northeastern Iowa, K. Christian McGuire is a Saint Paul, Minnesota based instructor, composer, author, carpenter, clinician, electric bassist and musicologist whose primary research interests lie with Historical Musicology, Philosophy, Anthropology and Philology (and anything else that pertains to primary sources [Paleography / Codicology and Archaelogy] of XI-XIII Century development of liturgical practices in the Rheinland.

McGuire serves on the faculty at Augsburg College in Minneapolis, MN where he teaches music history, music fundamentals, and small group improvisation ensembles. He also designed and teaches the curriculum for Augsburg's Electric Bass program the first of its kind which incorporates classical orchestral, ensemble, solo works written specifically for the instrument.

He has also served as an adjuct instructor of Music History at the McNally-Smith College Music in St. Paul, MN since 2005 and was on the team that co-developed the NASM approved Music History sequence for its baccalaureate programs.

Between 2004 and 2008, he served on the board for the Minnesota High School Music Listening Contest as musicologist, authoring & editing study guides and 3 CDs worth of musical samples (authored: 2004-05(08-09), 2005-06 and 2007-08 study guides, edited 2006-07(98-99).

As a composer, he specializes in pedagological works. His Spring Suite for Young Voices (available in multiple transpositions) was a commissioned work where each movement is designed to exercise specific musical elements. For instance the 3rd mvt, "I Know" utilizes a blatant sarabande rhythm in homophonic texture. Choristers are expected to work on precise attacks & releases at really soft dynamics without dropping pitch.

As a performer, McGuire is probably best known for his work as a recording session bassist and arranger as well as his past work in the 1990s with the Twin Cities based Green Pyramids and Nero's House Band. In recent years he has dedicated much of his time to both conducting and playing bass in musical theatre especially with those organizations focused on arts education such as Ashland Productions.

When not conducting musicological research or jamming with his kids, he like American football…he likes sitting and watching (and playing) football, bicycling, cross-country skiing, Yoga, baseball, chess, ping-pong, JavaScript as well as Klingon, astronomy, reading texts on philosophy, anthropology, US history and fencing with foil and/or German Longsword. He lives in the Como Park neighborhood of Saint Paul with his wife, two children and two cats.


Research interests

* Development of Cistercian Liturgical Practice in mid to late 12th century Rheinland - Women's communities / Also Hirsau Reform, Victorines; Servite practice
* Hildegard in Context: Transmission, Corruption and Restoration of a 12th Century Magistra.
* Codicology & Paleography / Indexing / source studies and transmissions / Digital Tools (tracking down suspected 12th century RI antiphoners).
* Medieval Philosophy (especially of Music) / Calcidius-Timaeus / (The Role of the Musicus: from Plato to Simone Weil)
* The Quadrivium (especially Music and Astronomy - from Martianus Capella & Boethius through Brian May)
* History of Improvisation from Early through modern Art music / Performance Practice & Methods of Reconstruction
* Music Archaeology

* Endangered Language and Music/Art projects - "Liturgies" of endangered World Cultures.
* Anthropological Linguistics and Historical Ethnomusicology

* Natural and Magical Philosophy of Music in Context (from A. Kircher to Mozart's "Dice Game")
* Opera as Liturgy: Act IV of Le Nozze di Figaro.

* History and Performance practice of the Electric Bass in the modern Orchestra (a sort of updated Rimsky-K treatise)

* Secular music of the Rheinland
* German Philology
* Byzantine and Arabic sources
* Medieval and Byzantine influences in the works of Martin Luther.
* 19th Century Lutheran Liturgy & Hymnody from Alsace to Indiana, Iowa, Nebraska and Washington.
* History, Performance, and Orchestral Timbres of the Electric Bass
* Late 1960s/early 1970s Heavy Blues and Progressive Rock