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Welcome Back!

Hello all,

We hope you all had wonderful summers and that you have had good starts to the academic year. I’d like to introduce the two new coordinators for EthNoise 2013/14 – myself, Laura Shearing (3rd year PhD Ethnomusicology), and Maria Welch (4th year PhD Ethnomusicology).

Please watch this space for information on upcoming workshop sessions. Workshops will be held on Thursdays every two weeks or so (beginning in week 2) at 4.30pm. Our first session will feature recent work of our very own Professor Travis A. Jackson. Later in the quarter, we plan to hold an IRB/ethics session led by faculty members and advanced students, and a ‘fieldwork showcase’, featuring short student presentations about recent experiences in the field. This, we feel, will be a great opportunity to hear what current students in different stages of their degrees have been working on.

Please check back here in the next few days regarding more details about our first workshop session on Thursday, October 10. We hope to see you there!



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May 24 – Lauren Eldridge in recital


I am giving a piano recital on Friday, May 24, 2013 at noon in the Fulton Recital Hall, 4th floor of Goodspeed Hall. The program features the works of Haitian composer Ludovic Lamothe and will be accompanied by a discussion. All are welcome. Any questions, please email me at


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May 23 – Andrea Harris Jordan and Melanie Zeck

Thursday, May 23 at 4:30 pm in Goodspeed 205
We have the honor of presenting both Melanie Zeck and Andrea Harris Jordan. Their abstracts are below, please come prepared to engage with their research.

Music plays an important role in yearly rituals, school activities, and the hobbies and daily life of the Japanese who live in the mountainous area of central Honshu, Japan. Based off a year of life and informal fieldwork in Taka-cho and its surroundings, I will paint a picture of musical life in these communities through four broad strokes. First, Japanese seasonal festivals are always accompanied by ritual music making. Second, school festivals are places of both recorded music, but especially choral music are highly prominent. Indeed, choral music and amateur music making is valued by people of all ages in Japan. Third, Western Art Music has come to hold a notable place in the musical life on Japanese people, even in small mountain towns. Fourth, I will argue that western-style recorded music is a prevalent tool in sonically demarcating the local community. – AHJ

“The ‘Victor’ in Education: The Implications of Early Sacred Music Recordings for a ‘A Higher Order of Citizenship’”
This paper explores the relationship between early sacred music recordings and the (re)defining of America’s ethical value system through music education between 1900 and 1940. A pioneer in the recorded sound industry, the Victor Talking Machine Company (VTMC), produced a continuous stream of recordings but differentiated itself from its competitors by establishing a demand for these recordings through an extensive educational program. In so doing, the VTMC strove to position itself as the nucleus of America’s musical life, as both facets of the VTMC’s agenda worked together to cultivate America’s musical taste in an era of technological innovation.
In 1910 renowned educator and founding president of the Music Supervisors National Conference Frances Elliott Clark first introduced recorded sound through Victor Talking Machines (Victrolas) in the Milwaukee public schools, championing increased exposure to music as the gateway to a “higher order of citizenship.” Recruited by the VTMC later that year to serve as chair of its new Department of Education, over the next five years, Clark oversaw the placement of Victrolas in schools throughout 2700 American cities. Her primary responsibility at VTMC was to ensure that, through the advent of recorded sound technology, all Americans had access to “good” music—namely, music that served as a tool of social uplift and as a positive force on the individual and collective moral compass of Americans. After consulting her copious writings (many of which are still in manuscript), I contend that her belief in and commitment to promoting music’s positive effect on America’s ethical value system remained stalwart throughout her career.
Meanwhile, the number of sacred music recordings produced by the VTMC increased dramatically, featuring artists such as tenor Harry Macdonough, evangelist and gospel song writer Homer Alvan Rodeheaver, and the popular Trinity Choir. I am investigating the process by which Clark and her VTMC Department of Education colleagues promoted these and other sacred music recordings to music educators. For example, in the book What We Hear in Music, A Course of Study in Music History and Appreciation (first published by VTMC’s Department of Education in 1913), author Anne Faulkner Oberndorfer recommends the study of “My Jesus, As Thou Wilt,” a hymn that had been recorded by Macdonough for the Victor label in 1902. Of particular relevance to this project, however, is my examination of the reception history of these musical recordings and the extent to which they were integrated into public school music curricula during the interwar period. – MZ

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April 25 – Suzi Wint

Come one, come all! This Thursday, we will feature a job talk by Suzi Wint, who recently defended her dissertation. The abstract is below, and refreshments will be served.

Thursday, April 25
4:30 pm
Goodspeed 205

Classical Music and Christianity: A Migrated Practice as Ugandan Everyday

Though East African cultural practices such as novel-writing and theatre performance have been scrutinized for hints of European colonization, classical music has not undergone such public processes in Uganda. I argue that Kampala’s classical musicians see Western art music as linked to Christianity, rather than colonization. As such, it has “indigenized” along with Christianity, and at least in current imagination is part of a transnational practice through Anglican and Roman Catholic relationships, rather than being seen as a residue of colonization. Kampalans’ use of transnational networks help make classical music part of a Ugandan everyday.

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April 18 – Andrew Mall offers a gamelan workshop

EthNoise! The Ethnomusicology Workshop invites you to a special lecture/workshop introduction to central Javanese gamelan. Ethnomusicologist Andrew Mall, an instructor in the Department of Music, at DePaul University School of Music, and the education coordinator for Friends of the Gamelan, will lead participants through the major instruments of this traditional percussion orchestra, with roots in the royal courts of Indonesia. We will learn some basic features of gamelan music, discuss the different roles of individual instruments in the ensemble, and learn to perform a short piece. No experience in gamelan or percussion instruments is needed or expected.

When: Thursday, April 18, 2013 at 4:30
Where: we will meet at Hyde Park Union Church on the corner of 56th and Woodlawn. Use the entrance on 56th, ring the buzzer for the ‘Fireplace Room,’ and identify yourself as part of EthNoise. The gamelan room is down the stairs and at the end of the
hall once you enter the building.

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April 5 – Karl Swinehart

Welcome back for the Spring Quarter! Our first workshop is co-sponsored with the Music History/Theory Workshop, and features Karl Swinehart, Collegiate Assistant Professor of the Humanities at the University of Chicago. Professor Swinehart will be discussing hip-hop collective Wayna Rap’s work and the sociocultural milieu from which they emerge and, in turn, actively reshape, drawing on interviews with these artists and analyses of their lyrics and videos to illuminate the changing conditions of indigeneity in this corner of contemporary Bolivian society. The paper is available below. Please join us!

When: Friday, April 5, 2013 at 3:30 pm

Where: Regenstein library, room 264

Who: ALL the music heads!

Swinehart Pre-Circulation

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April 9 – Alash


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March 7 – Will Faber

Kitchener 1953 London

We have quite the presentation at EthNoise this week! Will Faber will share a bit of his dissertation research called “Ghosts of Songs”: memory, media, and black British musical historiography. The abstract is below, and I also recommend the paper (please email me at for the password). See you on Thursday at 4:30, Goodspeed 205! Refreshments will be served.

Abstract: The figure of the S.S. Empire Windrush, a troop ship sailing from ports in the Caribbean to the docks at Tilbury outside London in 1948, remains one of the most potent and consistently invoked icons of black British history. In particular, the Pathé newsreel footage of Trinidadian calypsonian and Windrush passenger Lord Kitchener singing his newly composed song “London is the Place for Me” while standing on the deck of the ship, regularly marks the emergence of modern multicultural Britain in both popular narrative and documentary history. Standing in for histories of movement, migration, and settlement, representations of the Windrush offer a vital site for memory work while facilitating multiple claims to equality and belonging within contemporary Britain. While the historiography of black Britain regularly sets up a devision between the pre-Windrush and post-Windrush eras, and in turn routinely privileges the history of migration and settlement post-1948, the role of mediated sound and images in the production of this historical telos remains less widely discussed. Further, the specific musicality of the Windrush in both representation and event bears loudly on the production of a historiography of black music in Britain, and London in particular, functioning as an inception point and making audible a contested cultural politics of inclusion and exclusion; one in which the start of a history is also the beginning of a song.

Ghosts of Songs- memory, media and black British musical historiography


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February 28 – Bob Kendrick

This week at EthNoise, we welcome Bob Kendrick, Professor of Music at the University of Chicago. He’ll be presenting a paper entitled “Liturgy, Orality, and Passion Devotion: Italian Traditions Then and Now,” which can be found below. You can read more about him here.

Thursday, February 28 – Goodspeed 205 – 4:30 pm. Refreshments provided. See you soon!

Kendrick ethnoise paper

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January 31 – Andrea Harris Jordan

Join us in support of our own! Andrea Harris Jordan will be presenting work from her dissertation on Thursday, January 31 in Goodspeed Hall room 205 at 4:30 pm. The background info is attached below. Check out this abstract for starters.


My doctoral research explores the intersection of music, literature and nationalism in nineteenth-century Ireland and how people intentionally use the past for particular goals in the present. Music, embedded in literature, can serve as a lens to allow us to rethink the ways in which people interpret their history in the present as well as how we write the history of the Irish nation and nationalism. I consider how descriptions of music and music-making, musical notations, and song texts were used in the 1800s within literature to promote nationalist—cultural and political—ends. I ask how Irish people today view their nineteenth-century past in light of music, literature and nationalism. Inherent in my project are issues of violence done to oral traditions and struggles of linguistic representation in the development of Hiberno-English. I address the role of the artist in political movements; gaps and closures between popular arts; efforts and perspectives of a literati class; and questions of gender in national representation. I contribute to ideas and methods of ethnomusicology as I engage in ethnography in the archive and in the field site of contemporary Ireland.

See you soon!

Jordan Ethnoise 1.31.13

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