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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 ...

Article

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....

Article

Nalini Ghuman

[Maud Mann, Maud Foulds, Tandra Devi, Swami Omananda Puri, Maud Coote]

(b Cluain Meala (Eng. Clonmel), Tipperary, 4 July 1882; d Douglas, Isle of Man, 6 June 1967). Irish violinist, ethnomusicologist, authority on Indian music, writer, music therapist, and polymath. In 1884 the MacCarthys emigrated to Australia: in 1892 mother and daughter returned to Britain where Maud made her solo violin debut, playing to critical acclaim in Britain, Ireland, and the United States. Over-playing caused painful neuritis and led to a change in direction: she became deeply interested in Indian music. In 1907 she sailed alone to India, beginning her sojourn in Adyar, Chennai where she studied Karnatic classical singing. During journeys of 8,500 km north from Thanjāvūr to Vārānasī and Lahore she learned a variety of music and became proficient in Hindi and Urdu. Meticulous field notes document her pioneering ethnomusicological work.

Late in 1909 MacCarthy returned to London where, for two decades, driven by a commitment to bridging the colonial divide, she presented erudite lecture-recitals of Indian music across Britain and in Paris, singing in several languages and accompanying herself on ...

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 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” (...

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 1957. He studied composition throughout his life, training with horatio Parker , Nadia Boulanger, Roy Harris, paul Hindemith , and at Mills College with Darius Milhaud (1947–50). A prolific composer, he wrote two operas (including Little Jo, 1947–9), a musical comedy ( Joy Comes to Deadhorse), four symphonies, other orchestral and chamber music, numerous songs and choral works, and dozens of electronic works. He collected thousands of field recordings of traditional music, which comprise the John Donald Robb Archive of Southwestern Music at the University of New Mexico, and published ...

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 1953 she collaborated with Lester Horton on the realization of the ballet Yerma based on Federico García Lorca’s subject. She taught at Cornell University and from the 1970s until her death at Loyola Marymount University, where served as Associate Professor of Music and Chair of the Department of Music. She conducted field research in Bali, where she studied with the famous Balinese master of music Cokorde Agung Mas and also in India, Trinidad, and Ghana. Her ethnomusicological knowledge, particularly the Balinese gamelan, influenced her own compositions, including Bayang Bayangan (Shadows) for Western Septet, Balinese Octet, Dancers and Visuals (...

Article

Nicola Scaldaferri

(b Shkodër, Albania, 14 June 1920; d Tirana, 12 March 2008). Albanian ethnomusicologist, musician, composer, and writer. He began his musical studies as a boy in Shkodër. In the years between 1940 and 1944 he studied the flute and composition at the Conservatory of Florence, Italy. Back in Albania in the early years of the Hoxha regime, Sokoli was imprisoned, as were other scholars who had studied abroad, and he spent five years in incarceration.

In 1952 he moved to Tirana, where he taught the flute and folklore in the high school. Although he was not qualified to teach at the higher academic level, he played a key role in musical research in Albania. He collaborated on ethnomusicological expeditions carried out in 1957 with East German scholars and in 1958 with Romanian scholars.

He was the author of numerous pioneering books and articles on Albanian musical folklore, employing both descriptive and analytical approaches, as well as surveying important figures of the musical, and wider cultural, Albanian tradition. His writings and ideas shaped the discipline and educated two generations of Albanians ethnomusicologists, including scholars in Kosovo. His many publications include the books ...