Thursday, April 10, 2014 - 12:00pm - 2:00pm
701C Dodge Hall, Center for Ethnomusicology, Columbia U Morningside Campus (Broadway & 116th St.)
The Center for Ethnomusicology at Columbia University Presents:
Instrumentality: Technologies of Voice in the New Orleans Brass Band
(Associate Professor of Music, Tulane University, and alumnus, Columbia PhD program in Ethnomusicology)
(click image to enlarge)
Thursday April 10, 2014
Center for Ethnomusicology, 701C Dodge Hall
Columbia University Morningside Campus (Broadway at 116th St.)
Matthew Sakakeeny is Associate Professor of Music at Tulane University. An ethnomusicologist, journalist, and musician, Matt is the author of the book Roll With It: Brass Bands in the Streets of New Orleans (Duke University Press, 2013) and articles in Ethnomusicology, Black Music Research Journal, and other publications. He graduated from the Columbia University ethnomusicology PhD program in 2008.
The instrumentality of musical instruments is to act as a voice unmoored from language. Linguistic anthropologists have argued that speech acts produce subjectivity through vocal sound, and instruments extend this sonic materiality into domains where semantic meaning is augmented or even replaced by musical voicings. In New Orleans, the instruments of the brass band are sound technologies utilized to communicate particular messages to a community of listeners. In the local tradition of the jazz funeral, musicians determine the emotional register of the procession: mournful hymns regulate the slow march to the gravesite and upbeat popular songs signal the transition to celebratory dancing after burial. The musicians not only organize the memorial by changing tempo and repertoire, they communicate to the living and the dead through the material sound of their instruments. Black New Orleanians occupying public spaces where lynchings, race riots, segregation, and gentrification have taken place "give voice" to these submerged histories by marching and dancing to the beat of the brass band. And the most recent generation of musicians has drawn upon hip-hop, integrating the direct language of rap into a polyphony of voices that includes horns, drums, and group singing. In this case study of the brass bands of New Orleans, a holistic approach to sonic materiality integrates the spoken, the sung, and instrumental sound in a densely layered soundscape that creates meaning and value for radicalized subjects of power.
Friday, May 2, 2014 - 3:00pm
622 Dodge Hall (CU Morningside Campus)
The Department of Music and the Center for Ethnomusicology at Columbia University Present:
Blood on Fire: Sex and Music in America, 1840-1917
A talk by:
Prof. Dale Cockrell (Director, Center for Popular Music, Middle Tennessee State University; Professor of Musicology Emeritus, Vanderbilt University; Research Associate, University of the Free State, South Africa)
Friday, May 2, 2014
622 Dodge Hall (CU Morningside Campus)
Free and Open to the Public
Abstract: Prostitution in the United States between 1840-1917 was big business. Walt Whitman’s “plain truth” assertion was only a mild exaggeration when he claimed that “nineteen out of twenty of the mass of American young men, who live in or visit the great cities, are more or less familiar with houses of prostitution and are customers to them.” Tens of thousands of brothels, concert saloons, and dance halls across the nation—all common sites for prostitution—featured regular, full-time professional music-making for dancing, and thus provided a well-paid livelihood for working musicians. Indeed, a statistical analysis suggests that a third to half of all professional performing musicians during the period were directly employed full-time in the service of prostitution. Evidence of that music-making indicates that an energetic “noisy” dance music was developed specifically to stimulate eroticized male bodies, and hence to stimulate profits for the houses. This project thus explores the nexus between prostitution, music-making, dance, sexuality, blackface minstrelsy, the underground cultural economy, and the development of musical foundations upon which an extraordinarily vital twentieth-century American popular music was built.
About the speaker: Dale Cockrell is the Director of the Center for Popular Music at Middle Tennessee State University, Professor of Musicology Emeritus at Vanderbilt University, and a Research Associate of the University of the Free State (South Africa). He is widely published in the field of American music studies, including The Ingalls Wilder Family Songbook (2011), Vol. 22 in the Music of the United States of America series; Demons of Disorder: Early Blackface Minstrels and Their World (1997), which won the C. Hugh Holman Award; Excelsior: Journals of the Hutchinson Family Singers, 1842-1846 (1989), recipient of the Irving Lowens Award; ten other books and editions; and more than seventy scholarly articles. He is a former President of the Society for American Music, from which he received the Distinguished Service Award in 2010, an elected Member of the American Antiquarian Society, and the Founder and President of The Pa’s Fiddle Project, an educational, scholarly, and musical program dedicated to recording the music of the Little House books and reconnecting the nation’s children with the rich music legacies embedded in them.
Prof. Lila Ellen Gray presents her new book, Fado Resounding: Affective Politics and Urban Life (Duke Univ. Press) at Book CultureWednesday, April 9th, 20147:00pmFree and Open to the Public@ Book Culture536 W 112th St., NYC (Btwn. Broadway and Amsterdam Aves.)(212) 865-1588http://www.bookculture.com
Wednesday, April 9, 2014 - 7:00pm
Monday, March 24, 2014 - 5:30pm
701C Dodge Hall (Center for Ethnomusicology, Columbia Morningside Campus, 116th and Broadway)
The Center for Ethnomusicology Presents:
Music, history and literature in the work of Ernesto Nazareth
a talk by
Prof. Cacá Machado (University of São Paulo, Brazil)
Date: Monday, March 24, 2014
Time: 5.30 pm - 7.30 pm
Place: Center for Ethnomusicology, Dodge Hall 701C,
Columbia University Morningside Campus (Broadway and 116th St.)
Sponsored by: Center for Ethnomusicology
Center for Ethnomusicology events are always free and open to the public!
Cacá Machado is a musician and historian from the University of São Paulo, where he is also a visiting professor. He is author of O enigma do homem célebre: ambição e vocação de Ernesto Nazareth (Instituto Moreira Salles, 2007), (The enigma of the famous man: ambition and vocation of Ernesto Nazareth), Tom Jobim (publifolha, 2008) and Todo Nazareth: obras completas (6 volumes, Água-forte, 2011) (All Nazareth, Complete Works). Recently he also released his latest CD eslavosamba (YB Music/Circus, 2013) with the participation of several noted musicians from Brazil.
Friday, March 28, 2014 - 11:00am
701C Dodge Hall, The Center for Ethnomusicology (Columbia Morningside Campus, 116th & Broadway)
The Center for Ethnomusicology Presents:
Reengaging Research Praxis in the Real World: Politico-Epistemological Dimensions of Intercultural Dialogue in the Ethnography of Music-Making
Prof. Samuel Araújo
(Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Tinker VIsiting Professsor at The University of Chicago, Spring 2014)
Friday, March 28
11.00 am - 1.00 pm
Center for Ethnomusicology, Dodge Hall 701C
Center for Ethnomusicology events are always FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC!
ABSTRACT: Among other key issues in many post-industrial metropolitan areas today are the tight perspectives for inclusion of increasing numbers of their youth population in the formal job market, tending to render lasting if not permanent a situation previously had as transitory, i.e. to remain in what Marx termed the reserve labor army. Not sharing the values of older generations forged under the supremacy of industrial work ethics, these new contingents of urban subjects frequently lack identification with, and not rarely rage against older ideals of edifying musical heritages and identity markers, leading to the adoption of internationalized forms (e.g., funk, rap, graffiti), defying established artistic and cultural canons, which expose the signs of degradation of social life, as well as policies of isolation and extermination of the poor. Based on both his academic experience with participatory action-research on the favela soundscapes of Rio de Janeiro and as a public sector cultural administrator, the author will explore these challenges, highlighting a number of new demands this social equation poses to both academics and policy makers.
SPEAKER BIO: Prof. Samuel Araújo coordinates the Ethnomusicology Laboratory at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro and is a Tinker Visiting Professor at the University of Chicago for the Spring of 2014. He has published several articles and book chapters, besides editing three collective volumes, in Brazil and abroad on music, politics, cultural policy and violence, as well as on action-research projects in collaboration with organizations based in Rio de Janeiro’s favelas.
The Center for Ethnomusicology congratulates Professor Ellen Gray on the publication of her book Fado Resounding: Affective Politics and Urban Life (Duke
University Press). This ethnography of fado, Portugal's most celebrated
popular music genre, shows how a musical genre can sediment, circulate,
and transform affect, sonorously rendering history and place as soulful
and feeling as public.
The book's introduction is currently available for preview and free download on Scribd.
"Lila Ellen Gray positions Lisbon's amateur fado scene
in terms of all the contestation about what fado is and where the
action is taking place. This positioning is a unique and valuable
contribution to music ethnography, and Gray does major and convincing
intellectual work arguing for 'amateur' scenes as paths into the deepest
musical and ethnographic understandings of genre, style, performance,
poesis, and the ways that sociality is lived and experienced through
sound."—Steven Feld, author of Jazz Cosmopolitanism in Accra: Five Musical Years in Ghana
in the USA can receive a 20% discount on the book when ordering
directly from Duke University Press (use code P13GRAY at checkout).
In Europe, the book is available through Combined Academic Publishers with a 30% discount (use the code CS1113FADO).
In Lisbon, the book is available at the bookstore Fabula Urbis:
read more »
The Center for Ethnomusicology congratulates Columbia Ethnomusicology PhD candidate Adam Kielman,
who has won three prestigious prizes for papers presented at academic
conferences, in addition to a major research fellowship (Fulbright DDRA)
for his work in China.
The prizes awarded to Mr. Kielman include: The Hewitt Pantaleoni Prize
-- Awarded by the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the Society of
Ethnomusicology (MACSEM) for the best student paper presented at their
annual meeting held March 23-24, 2013 in Richmond, VA. Paper title: "
'Sounds like Home': Language and Place in Guangzhou's Modern Folk."The Martin Hatch Award
-- Awarded by the Society for Asian Music (SAM) for the best student
paper on Asian music presented at the annual Society for Ethnomusicology
national meeting held November 1-4, 2012 in New Orleans, LA. Paper
title: "Xiandai Minyao: 'Modern Folk' in Guangzhou."The Barbara Barnard Smith Prize
-- Awarded by the Association for Chinese Music Research (ACMR) to
recognize an outstanding student paper in the field of Chinese music,
broadly defined, presented at the annual Society for Ethnomusicology
national meeting held November 1-4, 2012 in New Orleans, LA. Paper
title: "Xiandai Minyao: 'Modern Folk' in Guangzhou."
Kielman, who is also an alumnus of Columbia College (EALAC major, LAJPP
performer), has also just successfully defended his doctoral
dissertation proposal, entitled "Sounding Configurations of Difference
in Postsocialist China." He is preparing to depart for field research
in China with support from a Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation
Research Abroad Fellowship, awarded in September 2013.
Congratulations to Mr. Kielman!
The Center congratulates PhD program alumna Prof. Amanda Minks (University of Oklahoma, PhD in Ethnomusicology, 2006), who has just published Voices of Play: Miskitu Children's Speech and Song on the Atlantic Coast of Nicaragua with the University of Arizona Press' First Peoples: New Directions in Indigenous Studies series (2013).
While indigenous languages have become prominent in global political and educational discourses, limited attention has been given to indigenous children's everyday communication. Voices of Play is a study of multilingual play and performance among Miskitu children growing up on Corn Island, part of a multi-ethnic autonomous region on the Atlantic Coast of Nicaragua.
Corn Island is historically home to Afro-Caribbean Creole people, but increasing numbers of Miskitu people began moving there from the mainland during the Contra War, and many Spanish-speaking mestizos from western Nicaragua have also settled there. Miskitu kids on Corn Island often gain some competence speaking Miskitu, Spanish, and Kriol English. As the children of migrants and the first generation of their families to grow up with television, they develop creative forms of expression that combine languages and genres, shaping intercultural senses of belonging.
Voices of Play is the first ethnography to focus on the interaction between music and language in children's discourse. Minks skillfully weaves together Latin American, North American, and European theories of culture and communication, creating a transdisciplinary dialogue that moves across intellectual geographies. Her analysis shows how music and language involve a wide range of communicative resources that create new forms of belonging and enable dialogue across differences. Miskitu children's voices reveal the intertwining of speech and song, the emergence of "self" and "other," and the centrality of aesthetics to social struggle.
Amanda Minks is Associate Professor in the Honors College and is affiliated with the Department of Anthropology and with the programs in Native American Studies and Women’s and Gender Studies at Oklahoma University. She earned the PhD in Ethnomusicology at Columbia University in 2006.
read more »
The Center congratulates Columbia Ethnomusicology PhD program alumnus David Novak.
Prof. Novak (UCSB) has just published Japanoise: Music at the Edge of Circulation
(Duke University Press, 2013).Visit the Japanoise website
Noise, an underground music made through an amalgam of
feedback, distortion, and electronic effects, first emerged as a genre
in the 1980s, circulating on cassette tapes traded between fans in
Japan, Europe, and North America. With its cultivated obscurity,
ear-shattering sound, and over-the-top performances, Noise has captured
the imagination of a small but passionate transnational audience.
its scattered listeners, Noise always seems to be new and to come from
somewhere else: in North America, it was called "Japanoise." But does
Noise really belong to Japan? Is it even music at all? And why has Noise
become such a compelling metaphor for the complexities of globalization
and participatory media at the turn of the millennium?
David Novak draws on more than a decade of research in Japan and the
United States to trace the "cultural feedback" that generates and
sustains Noise. He provides a rich ethnographic account of live
performances, the circulation of recordings, and the lives and creative
practices of musicians and listeners. He explores the technologies of
Noise and the productive distortions of its networks. Capturing the
textures of feedback—its sonic and cultural layers and vibrations—Novak
describes musical circulation through sound and listening, recording and
performance, international exchange, and the social interpretations of
media. read more »
is Associate Professor of Music at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and earned the PhD in Ethnomusicology in 2006, after which he served as a postdoctoral fellow in Columbia's Society of Fellows.
(Tulane University) has just published Roll With It: Brass Bands in the Streets of New Orleans
(with artwork by Willie Birch)Roll With It
is a firsthand account of the precarious lives of musicians in the Rebirth, Soul Rebels, and Hot 8 brass bands of New Orleans. The gripping narrative moves with the band members from back street to backstage, before and after Hurricane Katrina, always in step with the tap of the snare drum, the thud of the bass drum, and the boom of the tuba.Matt Sakakeeny
is an ethnomusicologist and journalist, New Orleans resident and musician. An Assistant Professor of Music at Tulane University, he initially moved to New Orleans to work as a co-producer of the public radio program American Routes. He earned the PhD in Ethnomusicology at Columbia University in 2008, where his field research was funded by the National Science Foundation. Read the introduction to Roll With It on Scribd
.Roll With It also features a supplementary website
Published by Duke University Press in their Refiguring American Music Series
read more »
The Center for Ethnomusicology's projects to "repatriate" recordings
of collector Laura Boulton, conducted in collaboration with Native
American and Alaska Native communities, are featured in a story in Columbia News, and in a video feature on the Columbia University home page.
read more »
Important Announcement to Prospective PhD Program Applicants (August, 2013):
WE ARE ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS IN FALL 2013 FOR FALL 2014 ADMISSION!
are pleased to announce that we will be accepting applications to the
PhD program in Ethnomusicology at Columbia University this fall (2013,
usually with a Dec. 15 deadline) for admission in the 2014-15 academic
We are unlikely to be accepting applications in 2014 for admission in 2015-16. Please factor that into your personal planning.Please review these links before you contact us!About the Columbia Ethnomusicology PhD Program
PhD Program Frequently Asked QuestionsMusic Department General Guidance for PhD/DMA ApplicantsGraduate School of Arts and Sciences
Congratulations to Columbia ethnomusicology PhD student Kevin Holt, who has been awarded a 2013 Predoctoral Fellowship from the Ford Foundation.
This fellowship, which provides three years of full support for
doctoral research, is sponsored by the Ford Foundation and administered
by the National Research Council of the National Academies. Mr. Holt's
selection for this prestigious award reflects Ford Foundation's
panelists’ "judgment of scholarly competence as well as the promise of
future achievement as a scholar, researcher, and teacher." read more »