Awards / Grants

The Frances Densmore Prize

One of two publication prizes, the Frances Densmore Prize is awarded for the most distinguished article-length work in English which best furthers the Society's goal "to promote study of the history, design, and use of musical instruments in all cultures and from all periods." The first award in this category was given in 1988 and has been awarded in even-numbered years thereafter. In 2009, the Board of Governors voted to make the award annually. 

The prize consists of the sum of $500 and a certificate, and the winner is announced at the Society's annual meeting and in the Society's Newsletter. Nominations (including self-nominations) and copies of the publication nominated should be submitted by November 15.

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2020 Recipient

Jaime E. Oliver La Rosa

The 2020 Densmore Prize goes to Jaime E. Oliver La Rosa for his article “Theremin in the Press: Instrument remediation and code-instrument transduction,” published in the journal Organised Sound 23/3 (December 2018): 256-69.

This essay is a thorough and thoughtful account of the invention and early life of the theremin during the 1920s and 30s, covering aspects of its design, the social context in which it arose, and the ways it was used in musical performances.

Previous Recipients




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