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Nettl, Bruno  

Philip V. Bohlman

(b Prague, March 14, 1930; d Urbana, IL, Jan 14, 2020). American ethnomusicologist of Czech birth. He was educated at Indiana University (AB 1950; MA 1951; PhD 1953) and the University of Michigan (MA 1960). His distinguished teaching career was anchored at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (appointed associate professor of music, 1964; professor of music and anthropology, 1967–92; emeritus professor, 1992), but included numerous guest professorships, including Kiel (Fulbright professor 1956–8), Washington (1985, 1988, 1990), Louisville (Bingham Professor 1983), Colorado College (1992, 1998), Harvard (1990), and Chicago (1996). Among numerous honours are two honorary doctorates (Chicago 1993; Illinois 1996), the Fumio Koizumi Prize (Tokyo 1993), and a Festschrift (1991).

Nettl’s scholarship was seminal for the growth of ethnomusicology during the second half of the 20th century. He wrote or edited numerous works surveying and broadening theoretical and methodological principles, notably ...

Article

Nettl, Bruno  

Philip V. Bohlman

(b Prague, March 14, 1930; d Urbana, IL, Jan 14, 2020). Ethnomusicologist of Czech birth. He was educated at Indiana University (AB 1950; MA 1951; PhD 1953) and the University of Michigan (MALS 1960). His distinguished teaching career was anchored at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (appointed associate professor of music, 1964; professor of music and anthropology, 1967–92; emeritus professor, 1992), but included numerous guest professorships, including Kiel (Fulbright professor, 1956–8), Washington (1985, 1988, 1990), Louisville (Bingham Professor, 1983), Colorado College (1992, 1998), Harvard (1990), and Chicago (1996). Among numerous honors are four honorary doctorates (Chicago 1993; Illinois 1996; Carleton College 2000; Kenyon College 2002), the Fumio Koizumi Prize (Tokyo 1993), and a Festschrift (1991).

Nettl’s scholarship was seminal for the growth of ethnomusicology during the second half of the 20th century. He wrote or edited numerous works surveying and broadening theoretical and methodological principles, notably ...

Article

Paiute  

J. Richard Haefer

Native Americans of the Great Basin area of Nevada, southern Idaho, Oregon, Utah, and eastern California. They comprise many small bands or groups, each of which has political autonomy and its own informal social organization, and all of which share a common language, culture, and territory. Many groups, such as the Bannock, Snake, Piavosoto, and Kaibab, are known by their band names, although all are Paiute.

The most important Paiute instrument is the split-stick clapper, used to accompany most social and ceremonial songs; the most unusual instrument is the shaman’s rattle, made from a cocoon filled with rattling pieces and suspended from a forked stick. The flute, bone whistle, small double-headed drum, and bullroarer are also used. The musical bow, once prominent among many Paiute bands, was made from a piece of elderberry or maple wood 1.2 to 1.5 meters long; it was plucked with the finger, using the mouth as a resonating chamber....

Article

Robb, John Donald  

(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

Robinson, Gertrude Rivers  

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

Seeger family  

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...

Article

Seeger, Anthony  

Gregory F. Barz

Member of Seeger family

(b New York, May 29, 1945). American ethnomusicologist, grandson of Charles (Louis) Seeger and Ruth Crawford. He was educated at Harvard University (BA 1967), studying with Albert Lord, and at the University of Chicago, where he earned the MA (1970) and the PhD in anthropology, with a dissertation on social organization of the Suyá (1974), under Victor Turner and Terence Turner. From 1975 to 1982 he was a member of the department of anthropology at the Museu Nacional, Rio de Janeiro and an occasional professor at the Conservatório Brasileiro de Música (1979–82). In 1982 he became associate professor in the department of anthropology at Indiana University, where he also served as the director of the Archives of Traditional Music. In 1988 he became the curator and director of the Smithsonian Folkways Recordings at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. The main focus of his work has been the study of social processes influenced by and influencing musical performance, principally among Brazilian Indians. Other areas of interest have included the recording industry, archiving practices for audio and video, and anthropological approaches to music. He has served as president of the Society for Ethnomusicology (...

Article

Seeger, Charles  

Ann M. Pescatello

(Louis)

Member of Seeger family

(b Mexico City, Dec 14, 1886; d Bridgewater, CT, Feb 7, 1979). American musicologist, composer, conductor, critic and musical philosopher. His initial interest was in composition and conducting, and he joined numerous young American composers in Europe in the years immediately following his graduation from Harvard (1908). He spent a season (1910–11) as a conductor at the Cologne Opera before returning to the USA as a composer and chairman of the department of music at the University of California, Berkeley (1912–19), where he gave the first American courses in musicology in 1916. Several of his compositions were destroyed in the Berkeley fire (1923). Subsequently he was a lecturer and instructor at the Institute of Musical Art, New York (1921–33), the forerunner of the Juilliard School, and lecturer at the New School for Social Research (...

Article

Seeger, Mike  

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 ...

Article

Seeger, Peggy  

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

Seeger, Pete(r R.)  

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!...

Article

Sokoli, Ramadan  

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 ...

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

Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the  

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....