2009 - 2010 Colloquium Series Announcement!
The Center for Ethnomusicology at Columbia University is proud to announce this year's colloquium series!
Monday, November 10 at 4pm in 701C, Center for Ethnomusicology
Metaphoricity, Iconicity and Mimesis: Towards a Musical Semantics of Social Identity in Turkish Roman (“Gypsy”) Music
One primary concern of musicology and ethnomusicology has been refining
theoretical tools for analyzing the role of musical practices in
constructing, maintaining and challenging social identity. This paper
investigates the process by which social meanings are ascribed to sound
through the example of a Turkish genre, Roman (“Gypsy”) dance tune (Roman
oyun havası). By focusing on emergent moments in which successful---and
failed---linkages are formed between ideological referents and sound in
varied contexts, this paper explores the semantic dimensions of metaphor
theory for understanding the means by which representations of social
identity are formed through engagement with music.
Tuesday, December 1 at 4pm in 701C, Center for Ethnomusicology
The Pareto Software: A Journey through the Music of the Bedzan Pygmies... and through the World of Ethnomusicology
Pareto ["Patchs d'Analyse et de Resynthèse des Echelles dans les musiques de Tradition Orale" / patches of pitch-scale analysis and re-synthesis in the music of oral tradition] is a set of patches made for the software Open Music by IRCAM which offers three functions:
1) To transcribe an acoustic signal into musical information
2) To propose various statistical tools to help to determine the musical scale
3) To directly change or adjust the musical signal through new scales in order to validate or refute the results
This software has been computed for a CNRS/IRCAM mission in Cameroon in July/August 2000, to study musical scales of Bedzan Pygmies and Tikar repertoire (with the ethnomusicologists N. Fernando&F. Marandola, under the scientific direction of Simha Arom).
After the presentation of this software and its use in ethnomusicology, I will share my experience of this research project from a composer's perspective.
Tuesday, February 2 in 701C, Center for Ethnomusicology
Music as Law: “The Lion King,” Intellectual Property and South African Cultural Heritage
In March 2006 a landmark settlement was reached between Walt Disney Inc. and the estate of Solomon Linda, the South African composer of “The Lion Sleeps Tonight,” a song used (without approval from Linda’s estate) in the Disney movie and Broadway production “The Lion King.” Although it was widely hailed as a breakthrough in protecting authors’ rights in the developing world, the settlement raises numerous questions about the role intellectual property (IP) law is increasingly playing in global social, economic and political affairs.
In my talk I will make two interrelated arguments. First, I propose that musical practice shares with the law a fundamental concern with normativity. The way musicians, audiences and the music industry interact often seems more rule-like and self-referential than the model of law underpinning legal scholarship, having a profound impact on – and in a way even creating - many of law’s taken-for-granted concepts of authorship, originality, and appropriation. Consequently, such practices do not so much stand outside the law, as in the majority of studies on music and IP which frame the relationship between the music industry and the law as that of two distinct realms - as music and the law – than they are to be seen as law.
Second, I argue that in the South African context this approach is particularly useful because the attempts by the country’s formerly disenfranchised majority to reclaim its land, urban spaces, natural resources and, above all, cultural heritage are often couched in dichotomous terms; as part of a North-South conflict, a clash between the periphery and the center or an episode in a larger anti-imperialist struggle. As a consequence, such attempts risk obscuring the complex and contradictory landscape of musical and cultural practice in which author-centered visions of intellectual property are far from being universally accepted. Furthermore, liberally-inspired legal projects such as Linda vs. Disney not only fail to adequately reflect the implication of musical practices in the creation of power structures, they are themselves deeply complicit with a highly contested narrative about national heritage.
VEIT ERLMANN teaches at the University of Texas at Austin where he is the holder of the Endowed Chair in Music History. Born in Germany, he studied musicology, sociology, anthropology and philosophy in Berlin and Cologne. He has done fieldwork in several African countries such as Cameroon, Niger, Ghana, South Africa, Lesotho and Indonesia. Among his most recent publications are Music, Modernity, and the Global Imagination. South Africa and the West (New York, 1999) (which won the Alan P.Merriam Prize in 2000) and Reason and Resonance. A History of Modern Aurality, forthcoming from Zone Books, New York.
Tuesday, March 30 in 701C, Center for Ethnomusicology
"How Musical is Guitar Hero?"
How are games like Guitar Hero and Rock Band shaping
players' concepts of musicality, creativity, and embodied performance?
This talk explores new forms of musicking at the intersection of the
"virtual” and the “real,” showing how these games might illuminate
the changing nature of amateur musicianship in a technologically
Bio: Kiri Miller is Assistant Professor of Music at Brown University.
She holds the Ph.D. in music (ethnomusicology) from Harvard University
and is the author of Traveling Home: Sacred Harp Singing and
American Pluralism (University of Illinois Press, 2008). Her current
book project focuses on virtual performance, including case studies on
Grand Theft Auto, Guitar Hero, Rock Band, and music pedagogy on