The Music, Language, and Culture Workshop

EthNoise! Workshop, April 3: Suzanne Wint


EthNoise! The Ethnomusicology Workshop is pleased to announce the first meeting of the Spring Quarter, this Thursday, April 3, at 4:30pm in Goodspeed Hall 205:

“Classical Kampala: Expanding a Scene without an Infrastructure”

Suzanne Wint
PhD Candidate, Ethnomusicology
University of Chicago

Proponents of Western Classical music in Europe and the United States often advocate strengthening the “infrastructure” of classical music in order to build the dwindling audience. In Uganda, the classical audience has no classical radio stations, no shops in which to buy classical recordings, no professional symphonies or opera companies to do outreach in schools – in short, no “infrastructure” – yet it continues to expand along with a thriving performance scene. Based on fieldwork from 2006-2007, this paper investigates the mechanisms that drive the growth of classical music performance in Kampala. I consider the usefulness of the “scene” concept (T. Jackson, Becker, Goffman), while also revisiting work on kinship in Uganda (Fallers, Southwold), in identifying that which stands in for “infrastructure”. I also draw on media accounts and interviews with educators, performers, composers, government administrators and journalists, as well as knowledge won through participation in numerous performances, in assessing the applicability of Kittler’s theory of discourse networks to the shaping of both a discerning audience and an extraordinary amateur performance scene.

Persons with a disability who believe they may need assistance, please call Andrew Mall at 773-677-4410.

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