EthNoise!

The Music, Language, and Culture Workshop

2/2: Prof Byron Dueck

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Please join us this Thursday, February 2 from 4.30-6pm in Goodspeed 205. We are excited to welcome guest speaker Prof Byron Dueck, head of music and senior lecturer at the UK’s Open University, and an alum of UChicago’s Music PhD program. His talk, “The Social Life of Chords”, will be co-hosted by the Music History & Theory Study Group. Please read on for a description of the talk and Byron’s biography. If you think you may need accommodations to participate fully, please email mleitner@uchicago.edu. As always, we promise excellent refreshments and company!

The Social Life of Chords

How do musicians acknowledge and extend relationships through the sounding materials they deploy? What kinds of connections do these deployments establish, and with whom (intimates, strangers, abstract publics, spirits)? This paper considers two sites where western harmony was initially disseminated in the context of colonialism, drawing on fieldwork conducted in Yaoundé, the capital of Cameroon, and the city of Winnipeg in western Canada. In Yaoundé, the focus is sacred and popular music played by xylophone ensembles (mendzaŋ); in Canada, it is gospel and country music performed by musicians of Indigenous (First Nations and Métis) heritage. In both sites, the talk explores how harmony mediates social ties.

Biography

Byron Dueck is Senior Lecturer and Head of Music at the Open University. He received his PhD in ethnomusicology from the University of Chicago in 2005 following degrees in piano performance at the University of Minnesota and Wilfrid Laurier University. His research interests include North American Indigenous music and dance, the music of Cameroon, and the musical mediation of relationships. He is the author of Musical Intimacies and Indigenous Imaginaries: Aboriginal Music in Public Performance (Oxford University Press) and the co-editor, with Martin Clayton and Laura Leante, of Experience and Meaning in Musical Performance (Oxford University Press).

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