The Music, Language, and Culture Workshop

May 10th – Philip V. Bohlman


Please join us for the Ethnoise! workshop this Thursday, May 10th at 4:30, in Goodspeed Hall room 205.  We are excited to welcome our own Philip V. Bohlman, Mary Werkman Distinguished Service Professor of Music and the Humanities at the University of Chicago, as he presents:

“In Praise of Musical Thought”


This workshop session will break from our usual format in that we will circulate the paper in advance, and we strongly encourage everyone to read it generously since it will not be read out during the session.  Ethnoise will be moving in this direction in the future in order to facilitate a deeper level of discussion which will benefit presenters and workshop participants alike.  Please click on the following link to download the paper:

Bohlman EthNoise Paper


Dr. Bohlman will be joined by two graduate student discussants from the Department of Music:

Rehanna Kheshgi, PhD Student in Ethnomusicology, University of Chicago

Andy Greenwood, PhD Candidate in History and Theory of Music, University of Chicago



This presentation grows out of the John F. Larchet Memorial Lecture Dr. Bohlman delivered at University College Dublin on April 4th, in which he made a case for a more comprehensive music historiography of musical thought. In particular, and in the spirit of John Larchet, whom the talk commemorates, Bohlman followed the development of South Asian musical thought into Irish musical thought, both converging in the Irish and Bengali Enlightenments. The Larchet Lecture was also the final event of a daylong meeting of the Irish Musicological Society, devoted to questions of the meaning and survival of musical scholarship and pedagogy in an Ireland in financial crisis, which forms part of the political backstory for this presentation. The presentation engages in disciplinary domains spreading from ethnomusicology into historical musicology and music theory. As a result of the response, criticism, and discussion generated during our workshop, Bohlman plans to continue developing the ideas presented into a new paper commissioned for the 100th anniversary of musicology in Ireland.


Philip V. Bohlman is the Mary Werkman Distinguished Service Professor of Music and the Humanities in the College. As an ethnomusicologist, he continues to seek new ways of combining performance and research in his research on Jewish music and modernity. As Artistic Director of “The New Budapest Orpheum Society,” the Jewish cabaret troupe and ensemble-in-residence at the Humanities Division, he has initiated two new projects that follow the 2009 CD, Jewish Cabaret in Exile (Cedille Records). Intensive fieldwork remains a regular component of his research. From 2008 to 2011 he conducted research, funded by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, in Kolkata and Varanasi, India, and in May 2010 he was engaged in an intensive field study of the Eurovision Song Contest in Oslo, Norway. Since 2009, he has taught and conducted workshops as Honorary Professor at the Hochschule für Musik, Theater and Medien (Hannover) and at the Centre Marc Bloch (Paris-Berlin). Among his recent books are Music, Nationalism, and the Making of the New Europe (Routledge, 2011), Balkan Epic: Song, History, Modernity (with Nada Petkovic; Scarecrow, 2012), and Hanns Eisler (1898–1962): In der Musik ist es anders (with Andrea F. Bohlman; Hentrich & Hentrich, 2012). His future projects include the five-volume, Oxford Musics of the World, and the Cambridge Introduction to Ethnomusicology. Ongoing fieldwork includes studies of music in the Muslim communities of Europe and of religion and the arts in India.


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