2015 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog. Here’s an excerpt: A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 6,700 times in 2015. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 6 trips to carry that many people. Click here to…

Peter Cooke – Sound repatriation in Uganda “And…er…of course, I…we didn’t just leave it at that.” And a saga from the pre-digital archiving age

Klaus Wachsmann Klaus Wachsmann’s remark (quoted above) was made when a mother singer burst into tears after singing for him on one of his first recording safaris in rural Uganda in 1950. It was discussed in the two-part exchange (Ethnomusicology 59/3, Fall 2015, 475–82) following the appearance of “The audible future: Reimagining the role of…

Stefan Fiol – Encouraging dialogue: A new workshop format at SEM conferences

  I have long felt the need for another kind of forum at conferences—supplementing paper sessions and roundtables—that encourages more intimate and sustained intellectual discussions between scholars with overlapping interests. As President of MIDSEM in 2013 I had the opportunity to introduce a new workshop format called Ethno in the Rough at the Midwest Chapter…

Catherine Grant – “They don’t die, they’re killed”: The thorny rhetoric around music endangerment and music sustainability

In a recent edition of the SEM newsletter, Robert Garfias reflected on the issue of music endangerment: [L]ike biological diversity, species are disappearing, languages are disappearing. And in a sense cultures are disappearing. Every few years some­body dies who was the last person who knew how to do something or other; the last person who…

Rasika Ranaweera, Michael Frishkopf, and Michael Cohen – Folkways in Wonderland

Folkways in Wonderland (FiW) is a cyberworld for musical discovery with social interaction, allowing avatar-represented users to explore selections from the Smithsonian Folkways world music collection while communicating through text and audio channels. FiW is built on Open Wonderland, a framework for creating collaborative 3D virtual worlds similar to Second Life. Figure 1. [Click images…

Ana Hofman – SINGing, SOCIALizing, SELForganizing: An insight into an engaged Viennese music collective

It is the evening of 11 December in Vienna’s 15th district, and I am sitting with Jana, Lejla, and Šarlot, eagerly awaiting the screening of a documentary about a unique community choir on the occasion of its fourth anniversary. We are in Brunnengasse, known as a migrant district of Vienna, at the AU Gallery, which is starting…