PUBLIC LECTURE: School of Music presents: Research Seminar Series - Victoria Rogers
|School of Music presents: Research Seminar Series - Victoria Rogers
Victoria Rogers: John Blacking, Composer
John Blacking (1928–90) made his mark as an ethnomusicologist and social anthropologist and his enduring reputation stems from his work in these areas. Yet his interests were more far reaching and included cognition and language, dance and movement, the biology of music making, music psychology, and – perhaps surprisingly – composition. The very existence of Blacking’s compositions raises a number of enticing questions. What was the nature of his musical language? What might a study of his compositions tell us about his ethnomusicology? What might his ethnomusicology tell us about his compositions? These questions give rise to the central focus of this article: the intersection of Blacking’s composition and ethnomusicology. The article concludes that Blacking’s conceptualisation of music as an expression of social processes and cultural values extended beyond non-Western musics, infusing the compositions which he himself created within the musical paradigm of his own culture.
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