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[colotomy](from Gk. kōlon: ‘section’, ‘limb’)

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 ...

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Steven Knopoff

Wooden drone pipe played with varying techniques in a number of Australian Aboriginal cultures. Often regarded as a pan-Aboriginal instrument, the didjeridu is probably indigenous only to certain cultural areas lying along the north coast of Australia, especially in Arnhem Land and other areas in the ‘Top End’ of the Northern Territory. A number of didjeridu-playing cultures in immediately adjacent areas (e.g. the Kimberleys) have received didjeridu-accompanied song genres from their Top End neighbours.

Aboriginal mythology regards the didjeridu as a Dreamtime creation, while the historical origin of the instrument is uncertain. The earliest known depictions of the instrument in rock art suggest that its use might date back only to about 1000 ce, though some of the song genres which the didjeridu now accompanies clearly originate from a much earlier period.

The didjeridu is called by different names in the various cultures that use the instrument. One name for the instrument coined by the Yolngu people of northeast Arnhem Land, ...

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Carole Pegg, Philip V. Bohlman, Helen Myers, and Martin Stokes

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.

Carole Pegg

The origin of the term ‘ethnomusicology’ is attributed to the Dutch scholar Jaap Kunst (1950), who used it in the subtitle of his book Musicologica: a Study of the Nature of Ethno-musicology, its Problems, Methods, and Representative Personalities (Amsterdam, 1950). In European languages it is equated with French ethnomusicologie, Italian ethnomusicologia, German Ethnomusikologie or Musikethnologie and Polish etnografia muzyczna. The term ‘ethnomusicology’ has also been adopted by specialists in the Czech Republic and Slovakia and the Netherlands. In Germany and Austria some scholars continue to use the phrase Vergleichende Musikwissenschaft (‘comparative musicology’) to stress affiliation with the work of Stumpf, Hornbostel (Berlin) and Lach (Vienna) (see Wiora, 1975, Graf, ...

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Speranța Rădulescu

(b Romania, 1930; d Copenhagen, 4 April 2015). Romanian-Danish ethnochoreologist. She worked as a researcher at the Institute of Ethnography and Folklore in Bucharest from 1953 to 1979. She contributed to the foundation and development of scientific research on traditional dance in Romania, where she conducted extensive fieldwork, filming dances and rituals in over 200 villages. Her main interests concerned the contextual study of dance, the analysis of dance structure, the processes of dance improvisation, and dance as an identity marker for the Roma minority group. She also investigated the way traditional symbols were manipulated in Romania for national and political power legitimation.

After 1980 she lived in Denmark, where she conducted research on topics such as continuity and change in the traditional culture of the Vlachs (a Romanian speaking ethnic minority of Serbia) living in Denmark, the Romanian healing ritual căluş, and on the theory and methods of field research in contemporary society. She was the Honorary Chairperson of the ICTM Study Group on Ethnochoreology and the leader of the Sub-Study Group on Fieldwork Theory and Methods, a Board member of Danish National Committee for ICTM, and Doctor Honoris Causa of Roehampton University, London. She had a great number of publications and a fruitful activity as a lecturer on an international level. In her last years, she worked with Margaret Beissinger and Speranța Rădulescu on the volume ...

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Carole Pegg, Philip V. Bohlman, Helen Myers, and Martin Stokes

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Carole Pegg, Philip V. Bohlman, Helen Myers, and Martin Stokes

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Carole Pegg, Philip V. Bohlman, Helen Myers, and Martin Stokes

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Carole Pegg, Philip V. Bohlman, Helen Myers, and Martin Stokes

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Siv B. Lie and Benjamin Givan

Jazz manouche, also known as ‘Gypsy jazz’, is a musical style based primarily on the 1930s recordings of French jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt (1910–53) with the Quintet of the Hot Club of France. Well-known 21st-century exponents include Biréli Lagrène, Stochelo Rosenberg, Angelo Debarre, Tchavolo Schmitt, and Adrien Moignard. The style characteristically features stringed instruments (primarily the acoustic steel-stringed guitar, violin, and double bass) in ensembles of between three and six musicians. Repertoire largely comprises American and French popular songs dating from the 1920s and 30s, such as ‘All of Me’, and tunes composed by Reinhardt, such as ‘Minor Swing’, ‘Nuages’, and ‘Django’s Tiger’. Performances consist of accompanying guitarists playing a duple-meter percussive chordal stroke called la pompe over a pizzicato walking bass line while soloists take turns improvising virtuosically on the harmonies of a cyclically repeating form, typically 32 bars long (see example). Improvised melodies often use techniques derived from Reinhardt’s recordings; eighth notes are swung and tempi vary considerably, sometimes exceeding 300 quarter notes per minute. Jazz manouche originated in the late 1960s, when music inspired by Django Reinhardt’s improvisations and repertoire began to be played in some Romani communities (the term ‘jazz manouche’ was never used during Reinhardt’s lifetime and did not gain currency until around the year ...

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E. Bradley Strauchen-Scherer

[Jane Rogovin]

(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.

Her move to London in 1950 placed Jenkins beyond the reach of McCarthyism. There she continued her studies and secured leave to remain in the UK by marrying Clive Jenkins, a prominent trade union leader. In 1960 she became the first Keeper of Musical Instruments of the Horniman Museum and commenced fieldwork. She traveled in the USSR, Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and southern Europe to record and to build up a comparative collection of instruments for the Horniman. Jenkins organized exhibitions and published as curatorial duties permitted, but recording was her enduring legacy to ethnomusicology. She considered her banjo to be her most important piece of fieldwork equipment and she played to other musicians to encourage them to participate in recordings. Keen to capture music she perceived to be vanishing, she recorded more than 700 field tapes. Her frequent BBC broadcasts and commercially issued recordings introduced music from Asia and Africa to UK audiences and paved the way for the explosion of interest in ‘world music’. Jenkins’s original recordings and an archive of fieldwork photographs are held by the National Museums of Scotland....

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Nolan Porterfield

Member of Lomax family

(b Austin, Jan 21, 1921; d Portland, Nov 27, 2009). American folk music performer, scholar and arts administrator, daughter of John Lomax. She was introduced to folk music and music scholarship at an early age and was educated at the University of Texas (1937–8), Bryn Mawr College (BA 1941) and the University of California (MA 1970). From 1941 to 1952 she was a member of the Almanac Singers and participated in the recording of such albums as Talking Union, Citizen CIO, American Folk Songs and Songs of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade. She continued her work in folk music after being appointed assistant professor of anthropology in 1963 at California State College, Northridge, where she rose to the rank of professor in 1974. In 1977 she became director of the Folk Arts Program of the National Endowment of the Arts; she is credited with establishing folk arts programmes in virtually every state and territory of the USA by the time of her retirement in ...

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Darius L. Thieme

Member of Lomax family

(b Austin, TX, Jan 15, 1915; d Sarasota, FL, July 19, 2002). American folksong scholar, son of John Lomax. He was educated at Harvard University (1932–3), the University of Texas (BA 1936) and Columbia University (where he did graduate work in anthropology in 1939). In 1937 he began working under his father in the Archive of American Folksong, Library of Congress. He worked for the Office of War Information and US Army Special Services during World War II, and served Decca Records Inc. as Director of Folk Music (1946–9). He produced numerous educational radio and television programmes on folk music for use in the USA and Great Britain (such as the ‘American Patchwork’ series produced for PBS, 1990) and recorded and studied folksong in Great Britain, Haiti, Italy, Spain, the USA and elsewhere. He served on the boards of several American folk festivals and lectured at various American universities (Chicago, Columbia, Indiana, New York). In ...

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Nolan Porterfield

Member of Lomax family

(b Goodman, MS, Sept 23, 1867; d Greenville, MS, Jan 26, 1948). American folksong collector. While studying for his MA at Harvard (1906–7) he was encouraged by his professors George L. Kittredge and Barrett Wendell to collect the folksongs of cowboys in Texas, where he had grown up. This work resulted in Cowboy Songs and Other Frontier Ballads (1910), one of the first important collections of American folksong. He collected and published only sporadically between 1910 and 1932, after which he undertook a nationwide lecture and collecting tour that produced American Ballads and Folk Songs (with Alan Lomax, 1934), hailed as the largest single collection of indigenous American song to that time.

Lomax became curator of the Archive of American Folksong at the Library of Congress in 1933 and played a major role in its development. With support from the library and other government agencies, he and his son Alan made field recording trips throughout the 1930s, mostly in the South and Southwest, pioneering the use of instantaneous disc recording equipment for that purpose and eventually depositing in the archive recordings of more than 4000 folksongs. Among their discoveries was the black folk-blues artist Leadbelly, whom they found in prison in Louisiana in ...

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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 1914 in Knott and Letcher counties transcribing folksongs and tracing their origins to English and Scottish ballads. By her own description the people of the area called her “the strange woman huntin’ song-ballets.” She published Folk-songs of the Kentucky Mountains (1917, repr. 1922, 1926, 1937), in which 13 of the 20 songs are traced to precursors in Child’s English and Scottish Popular Ballads (1882–98). At a time when many American composers turned to folk music as the source of a distinctive voice, McGill’s activities contributed to the search for an American national music. Among her own compositions are the songs “Duna, when I was a little lad” (...

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American family of musicians.

Seeger, Charles (Louis) (b Mexico City, Dec 14, 1886; d Bridgewater, CT, Feb 7, 1979)

Crawford (Seeger), Ruth (Porter) (b East Liverpool, OH, July 3, 1901; d Chevy Chase, MD, Nov 18, 1953)

Seeger, Pete(r R.) (b New York, May 3, 1919...

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Judith Rosen

[Michael]

Member of Seeger family

(b New York, Aug 15, 1933; d Lexington, VA, Aug 7, 2009). American folksinger and instrumentalist, son of Charles Louis Seeger and Ruth Crawford. He received no formal instruction in music, but learned to play a number of folk instruments (including the fiddle, guitar, five-string banjo, autoharp, and jew's harp) from observing and imitating first other members of his family and then traditional musicians. Beginning in the early 1950s he sought to document folk music traditions of the mountains of the Southeast through field recordings and his own playing; he was responsible for the first recording of the guitarist and songwriter Elizabeth Cotten, and his own early recording of banjo playing in the style of Earl Scruggs is regarded as a classic in its field. With John Cohen and Tom Paley in 1958 he founded the New Lost City Ramblers, a pioneering traditional music group, and through it exerted a strong influence on the string-band revival that began in the 1960s; in ...

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Ann M. Pescatello

[Margaret]

Member of Seeger family

(b New York, June 17, 1935). American folksinger, song collector and songwriter, daughter of Charles (Louis) Seeger and Ruth Crawford. As a child she had formal training in both classical and folk music, and at Radcliffe College she studied music and began performing folksongs publicly. After studies and travels throughout Europe (1955–6) and China, she moved to Britain in 1956, becoming a British subject in 1959. As a solo performer and with her husband, Ewan MacColl [James Henry Miller] (b Auchterarder, Perthshire, 25 Jan 1915), she has helped lead the British folk music revival, extending traditional styles to modern media. Both separately and together they have performed in concerts, festivals and folk clubs, made many records and written music (for radio, films and television) and books.

ed., with E. MacColl: Travellers’ Songs from England and Scotland (London and Knoxville, TN, 1977)...

Article

Dave Laing

Member of Seeger family

(b New York, May 3, 1919; d New York, Jan 27, 2014). American folksinger, banjo player and songwriter, son of Charles (Louis) Seeger. As a teenager he assisted the folksong collector J.A. Lomax, then joined the Alamanac Singers, so meeting Woody Guthrie, Lee Hays and others. During the early 1950s he recorded such hit records as Kisses Sweeter than Wine, Wimoweh and So long, it’s been good to know you with the vocal quartet the Weavers. Following his appearance before the House Committee on Un-American Activities, he was blacklisted by concert halls and broadcasters. In the 1960s Seeger further established his pivotal role in the American folk revival, promoting its ideals and, through concerts and recordings, encouraging others to sing and play. He founded the Newport Folk Festival, published tutors for the banjo and 12-string guitar and contributed regularly to the magazine Sing Out!...