Readings for May 3

Required readings:

Tenzer, Michael. Balinese Music. 11-25. Hong Kong: Periplus Editions, 1998. Available on Blackboard.

Brinner, Benjamin. Music in Central Java: Experiencing Music, Expressing Culture. 1-24. New York: Oxford University Press, 2008. Available on Blackboard.

Harnish, David. “Teletubbies in Paradise: Tourism, Indonesianisation and Modernisation in Balinese Music.” Yearbook for Traditional Music, 37 (2005): 103-123.

Readings for May 1

Required readings:

Nasr, Seyyed Hossein. “Islam and Music: The Legal and the Spiritual Dimensions.” In Sullivan, Lawrence E. ed. Enchanting Powers: Music in the World Religions. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1997. 219-236. Available on Blackboard.

Hirschkind, Charles. “Islam, Nationalism, and Audition.” In The Ethical Soundscape: Cassette Sermons and Islamic Counterpublics. New York: Columbia University Press, 2006. 32-66. Available on Blackboard.

Atia, Tarek. “Pimpin’ a Classic.” Al-Ahram. 1-7 June 2000. 

Sublettian Cuban influences on popular music

In class on Thursday I mentioned that an overwhelming majority of hip hop, and consequently, popular music in general over the past few decades, has rhythmic patterns that can be traced back to the Cuban influence on pop music that Sublette identifies in the essay we read. While a genealogical mapping of that influence from the nineteen sixties to today is a topic too vast for a single blog post, I thought it would be useful to look at the current top ten singles on the Billboard charts through the lens of Cuban rhythm. Of course, all of this is entirely speculative and up for debate.

#1. Gotye, “Somebody That I Used To Know (feat. Kimbra)”

While the rhythmic patterns here are more reminiscent of Brazilian genres, we can still here the influence of the habanera beat and the interplay of various percussive parts common to Afro-Cuban music.


#2. Fun, “We Are Young (feat. Janelle Monae)”

Check out the son clave rhythm in the snare before the verse kicks in. It continues in the kick drum throughout, more or less.


#3. The Wanted, “Glad You Came”

Like a lot of techno, nearly everything in this song except for the four-on-the-floor bass beat has the syncopated feel of the son clave.


#4. One Direction, “What Makes You Beautiful”

There’s the cyclic chord progression Sublette identified in Louie, Louie, as well as the cowbell and the clave beat in the bass drum.


#5. Justin Bieber, “Boyfriend”

It’s subtler here, but listen for the groove in the syncopated bass drum and the electric tom toms.


#6. Flo Rida, “Wild Ones (feat. Sia)”

Right away the piano is playing a form of the bossa nova clave beat, and this syncopation is picked up by various synth sounds throughout.


#7. Nicki Minaj, “Starship”

There’s the bossa nova clave again. The son clave shows up in the chorus (“meant to fly,” “touch the sky,” etc.).


#8. Carly Rae Jepsen, “Call Me Maybe”

While we didn’t immediately find anything in this song when we listened to it in class, it’s possible that the strings in the chorus could be playing the distant cousin of a clave beat, and the lead guitar lick in the chorus is very similar to the bossa nova clave.


#9. Kelly Clarkson, “What Doesn’t Kill You (Stronger)”

Not much here. Pretty straight ahead disco rhythms, although the rhythm guitar lick that pops up just before the bridge shares traits with the  tumbao.


#10. Katy Perry, “Part of Me”

This song is overwhelmingly a hybrid of rock and house, and the influence of Cuban music is less apparent, since syncopation has been wrested out almost entirely.

Readings for April 26

Required readings:

Roberson, James E. “Uchinaa Pop: Place and Identity in Contemporary Okinawan Popular Music.” Critical Asian Studies, 33:2 (2001): 211-242.

Gillan, Matt. “Imagining Okinawa: Japanese Musicians and Okinawan Music.” Perfect Beat 10.2 (2009): 177-195. Available on Blackboard.


Suggested readings:

Roberson, James E. “Singing Diaspora: Okinawan Songs of Home, Departure, and Return.” Identities: Global Studies in Culture and Power, 17.4 (2010): 430-453. 

De Ferranti, H. “Music and Diaspora in the Second Metropolis: The Okinawan and Korean Musicians of Interwar Osaka. Japanese Studies, 29.2 (2009): 235-253.


Readings for April 19

Required readings:

Stanyek, Jason. “Transmissions of an Interculture: Pan-African Jazz and Intercultural Improvisation.” In Fischlin, Daniel, and Ajay Heble. The Other Side of Nowhere: Jazz, Improvisation, and Communities in Dialogue. Middletown, Conn: Wesleyan University Press, 2004  87-130. Available on Blackboard.

Sublette, Ned. “Kingsmen and the Cha Cha.” In Weisbard, Eric. Listen Again: A Momentary History of Pop Music. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2007. 69-94. Available on Blackboard.

Suggested readings:

Brennan, Timothy. “Introduction to the English Edition.” Music in Cuba [Alejo Carpentier]. 1-58. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 2001. Available on Blackboard.

Readings for April 17

Required readings:

Askew, Kelly M. “Of Ginger Ale and Soda.” Performing the Nation: Swahili Music and Cultural Politics in Tanzania. 68-122. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 2002. Available on Blackboard.

Fair, Laura. “‘It’s Just No Fun Anymore’: Women’s Experiences of Taarab before and after the 1964 Zanzibar Revolution.” The International Journal of African Historical Studies. 35.1 (2002), 61-81.

Readings for April 12

Required readings:

Shain, Richard M. “The Re(Public) of Salsa: Afro-Cuban Music in Fin-De-Siècle Dakar.” Africa 79.2(2009): 186-206.

Meintjes, Louis. “Producing Liveness.” Sound of Africa!: Making Music Zulu in a South African Studio. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2003. 109-146. Available on Blackboard.

Agawu examples

Slow Agbekor (slightly different from transcription in reading)

Slow Agbekor dance

Beethoven, Piano Sonata in C Major, Op. 2, no. 3, first movement

Turino examples

Tom Turino and students playing the mbira

BaMbuti hindewhu singing with flute

“Ala L’a Ke,” by Kunye Saho

Ewe Gadzo dance

Ethnomusicology Conference, April 14, Tufts University

In a week I will be travelling to Boston to chair a panel at this year’s conference of the Northeast Chapter of the Society for Ethnomusicology. If you want to know more about ethnomusicology, this would be a great way to meet many people and get an introduction to the business, so to speak. Let me know if you are interested in attending.


Northeast Chapter of the Society for Ethnomusicology
2012 Annual Meeting

Saturday April 14

Tufts University, Medford Campus
Granoff Music Center

Sponsored by the Music Department of Tufts University.
Local Arrangements Chaired by Rich Jankowsky

8:30-8:45 Registration, coffee (lobby)

8:45-10:45 First Paper Sessions

Session 1A: Musicultural Cross-pollinations and Adaptations (Rm. 155)
Chair: Damascus Kafumbe, Middlebury College

Violin in Carnatic and Western Classical Music Traditions
Nicole Hansen, Middlebury College
9:15-9:45 Capoeira: Music and Dance of Resistance and Brotherhood
Taylor Bickford, Middlebury College
9:45-10:15 Isicathamiya: Missionary Influence on South African Acappella Music
Catherine Charnov, Middlebury College
10:15-10:45 Watoto Child Care Ministries: An Examination of Orphan Choirs in Uganda
Hannah Dietrich, Middlebury College


Session 1B: Interaction and Hierarchy within Four Musical Communities (Distler Recital
Chair: David Pruett, Univeristy of Massachusetts Boston
8:45-9:15 Musicking in Cyberspace: Creating Music and Fostering Community through a
Virtual Choir
Melanie Armstrong, Tufts University
9:15-9:45 Negotiating and Validating Immigrant Identity: Samba at Somerville High
Christiana Usenza, Tufts University
9:45-10:15 Timing and Groove in Irish Traditional Music and Dance
Samantha Jones, Boston University
10:15-10:45 Cat and Mouse: Music and Discipline in Traditional Dagbamba Society
Karl Haas, Boston University

10:45-11:00 Break

11:00-12:00 Second Paper Sessions

Session 2A: Theories of Sound and Sensation (Rm. 155)
Chair: Michael Birenbaum Quintero, Bowdoin College
11:00-11:30 Tuning, Timbre, and Temporality As A Modality of Being: Aesthetics of Tension
in Moroccan Gnawa Music
Tamara Turner, Tufts University
11:30-12:00 Writing with Sound: Composing a Philosophy that Listens
Justin Patch, Emmanuel College

Session 2B: Musical Encounters – Bali/USA (Distler Recital Hall)
Chair: Brita Heimarck, Boston University
11:00-11:30 Another American Gamelan in Bali: A portrait of Three Performance Events
Ellen Lueck, Wesleyan University
11:30-12:00 Slendro/Pelog: Experiments in Composition
Dewa Ketut Alit, MIT
With Jody Diamond, Harvard University

Lunch on your own
Coffee (lobby)


1:00-1:30 Student Concerns Meeting (Distler)

1:30-2:30 Business Meeting (Distler)

2:30-4:00 Third Paper Sessions

Session 3A: Ethno Tech Talk: Roundtable Discussion (Rm. 155)
Chair: Eric Galm, Trinity College
2:30-4:00 Ethno Tech Talk: A Conversation about Applied Technology within
Eric Galm, Trinity College; David Locke, Tufts
University; and Wayne Marshall, Brandeis University

Session 3B: Time and Place in American Music (Rm. 271)
Chair: Patrick Wood Uribe, Boston University
2:30-3:00 Poetry and Commerce in the American Song-Poem Industry
Francesca Inglese, Brown University
3:00-3:30 Marsalism, the B-Minor Madrigal, This Old House, and Slow Food: Advancing
Retro-Performativity in the 1980s
David Kjar, Boston University
3:30-4:00 When Raga Meets Jazz: Contemporary Fusions of Hindustani, Carnatic & Jazz
Tom Greenland, Independent Scholar

4:00-6:00 Fourth Paper Sessions

Session 4A: Music and the Politics of Self and Nation (Rm. 155)
Chair: Marié Abe, Boston University
4:00-4:30 No More Ch’angjak Kugak for Kugak’s Sake: In Search of Individuality Against
National Identity
Stephanie Choi, Wesleyan University
4:30-5:00 White Skin, Black Masks? Expressions of Identity in the Work of South African
Rave-Rap Crew ‘Die Antwoord’
Warrick Moses, Harvard University



Çeçen Kızı: Tracing a Tune through the Ottoman Ecumene
Panayoatis League, Boston University
Sounding dissidence: Retrospective resistance and postsocialist governance in 1990s
Nick Tochka, Stony Brook University

Session 4B: Authenticity and Identity in a Transcultural Landscape (Rm. 271)
Chair: Bill Boyer, Dartmouth College
4:00-4:30 Mediating Between Irish Diasporic Communities and ‘Imagined Ireland’: An
Analysis of The Yellow Bittern: The Life and Times of Liam Clancy
Colin Harte, University of Florida
4:30-5:00 Balancing the Authentic and the Exotic: Representing Musicians in the World Music
Aleysia Whitmore, Brown University
5:00-5:30 Dancing the Past in the Present: Tourism and Cultural Transmission
Colleen Ortiz, Boston University
5:30-6:00 Hybrid Musical Relations in the Bohemian Lands: Deciphering Transculturalism
Ulrike Prager, Boston University


Documenting Musical Evolution in Oral Tradition.” (Rm. 155)

Mehmet Ali Sanlıkol, Dünya, Emerson College, and Brown University
with Robert Labaree, New England Conservatory

6:30 Announcement of Prize Awards (Rm. 155)

6:40-7:30 Reception with Turkish Music Performance by Mehmet Ali Sanlikol, Robert Labaree, and
Panayotis League of Dunya (Remis Sculpture Court)

7:00-8:00 Dinner on your own

8:00-10:00 Performance by Rinengga Sih Tentrem, Tufts Gamelan Ensemble, and the
Boston Village Gamelan under the direction of Barry Drummond. Guest artists include
I.M. Harjito and Sumarsam of Wesleyan University. (Distler Recital Hall, free concert)

NECEM Officers: Brita Heimarck, President; David Pruett, Vice President; Fran Wildeboor,
Secretary; Peter Kvetko, Treasurer; Garrett Field, Website Editor; Michael Birenbaum Quintero,
Member-At-Large; and Corinna Campbell, Student Representative.