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E. Bradley Strauchen-Scherer

(b New York, NY, 17 March 1922; d London, England, 12 Sept 1990). American ethnomusicologist and curator. Although born and reared in the Bronx, Jenkins portrayed herself as having been brought up in rural Arkansas surrounded by Ozark folk music. As a teenager, she learnt an extensive repertoire of folksongs and became active in American folk music circles. Like many folksingers of the era, Jenkins espoused socialism. She studied anthropology and musicology in Missouri but her support of trade unions and civil rights attracted the scrutiny of the FBI....

Article

Status  

Laurence Libin

Class ranking of instruments, high to low, in a society’s estimation. The relative position of a type of instrument must be distinguished from the status accorded a singular example. An ordinary guitar once owned by Elvis Presley would be elevated among his fans for its provenance alone. Usually an instrument’s social status seems inseparable from the status of its players and music. For example, the 18th-century hurdy-gurdy was held in low repute by the elite as a clumsy device for grinding out folk tunes by itinerant beggars, but refined models created for Arcadian ladies were considered fashionable and engendered a charming repertory. Baroque bagpipes display the same dichotomy; brash-sounding folk types with naked bags were portrayed as vulgar, even phallic, while elegant musettes taken up by aristocrats were esteemed accordingly. On the other hand, Baroque trumpets and kettledrums used in the service of persons and institutions of high estate as sounding symbols of their eminence were played by subordinates who were often hardly more than servants. Similarly, the church organ, regarded by Mozart as the ‘king of all instruments’ and often a symbol of civic pride, was commonly played by a humble schoolmaster. Thus, an instrument type does not automatically confer its status on its player and vice versa....

Article

Barbara L. Tischler

(b Louisville, KY, Oct 20, 1877; d Louisville, KY, Feb 24, 1919). American composer and folksong collector. She had no formal training as a composer. At the suggestion of May Stone of the Hindman Settlement School in Knott County (Kentucky), she spent the summer of ...

Article

Frances Barulich

(b Minneapolis, MN, June 12, 1892; d Albuquerque, NM, Jan 6, 1989). American composer, educator, ethnomusicologist, and attorney. He studied English at Yale University (BA 1915) and at Harvard, and practiced law until 1941, when he moved from New York to Albuquerque as professor and head of the music department at the University of New Mexico. He was soon appointed dean of the College of Fine Arts, serving until his retirement in ...

Article

Jonathan Pieslak

Music has always been a part of war. While much of music’s role throughout history has been to signal commands and maneuver troops, it also appears as a powerful way to inspire troops for combat, to boost morale, or even to intimidate an adversary. Plato believed that the Phrygian mode could incite aggressive behavior. In American history, George Washington felt that music was so important to the morale of his troops that he ordered drum and fife majors to improve the quality of music or suffer a deduction in wages....

Article

Daniele Buccio

(b Camden, SC, June 30, 1927; d March 12, 1995). American ethnomusicologist, composer, and gamelan performer. She obtained her BA degree in composition and performance from Cornell University and her MA degree in composition from UCLA, where she was among Mantle Hood’s first students to research Indonesian music. In ...

Article

A term adopted by the ethnomusicologist Jaap Kunst in his work on the gamelan music of Java and Bali, to describe the phrase structure of the gendhing (‘piece’). Each major section of a gendhing begins and ends on a gong beat and is further subdivided into subsections and phrases by several other single-note instruments of the gong type; their function is to mark the skeletal melody (adapted and played by the metallophones in unison) at regular metric periods. Over a dozen different colotomic structures are in regular use, each with its own name such as ...

Article

A lament over the dead in Gaelic-speaking Scotland. See Caoine and Lament, §1.

Article

Carole Pegg

The study of social and cultural aspects of music and dance in local and global contexts. Specialists are trained primarily in anthropology and in music, but the multidisciplinary nature of the subject leads to different interpretations.

The origin of the term ‘ethnomusicology’ is attributed to the Dutch scholar Jaap Kunst (...

Article

Carole Pegg

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