Ethnomusicology Theory and Practice symposium and spring 2017 seminars

Q. Please tell us about the upcoming May 19th symposium and about the classes that you're teaching this quarter.

A. The symposium on May 19th is one that's very meaningful to me. I am very pleased that Dean Judi Smith and our colleagues here at UCLA agreed to support, both morally and financially, this day-long symposium which is currently titled "Ethnomusicology in Theory and Practice." It reflects one strand of my career in ethnomusicology, which has been to write not only about Bulgarian traditional music, which is where I go and do fieldwork, but to write about the field of ethnomusicology itself. And it coincides with the publication of a new book of mine called Modeling Ethnomusicology, in which I collect together eight essays that I've written over a thirty-year period, from 1987 to the present, about ethnomusicology. In that book, I collect the eight essays and I write a new introduction to the book which surveys why I wrote each of those articles and what the response to them has been and how I think about them today. And I conclude that introduction with some new thinking that I have been doing about what I call "ethnomusicological theorizing," which is the process by which ethnomusicologists go from collecting data in the field, working in the field, working with musicians, taking music lessons, interviewing them, attending concerts and other kinds of events, and how they go from that data collection to theorize, to get to the kind of results that they eventually get to. The seminar I'm doing this quarter, which I am calling "Ethnomusicological Theorizing," is about that process. The symposium is in some sense the culmination of that, inviting some of the leading thinkers in ethnomusicology to come to UCLA to help me and help our students think about theorizing in ethnomusicology. I'm really delighted and I think it's going to be an important event and a very fun one and I think it will make a big splash in the field of ethnomusicology, nationally and internationally.

Q. Do you know how many people might attend?

A. I don't really. I assume that students and faculty from around California might come. To what extent people will come from farther afield I don't know. But I do hope to have it streamed live and then archived so that it will be available broadly.

NEXT set of interview questions          RETURN to interview main page