Monday, October 5, 2015

New Lecture Series Explores Music, Culture Across Disciplines

Ingrid MonsoonIngrid Monson

From Verdi to video games, the complex web of music and culture will be explored by some of the world’s leading experts as part of the new Musicology Colloquium Series, presented by the Department of Music at the University of New Orleans. The discipline of musicology focuses on music’s historical and contemporary cultural contexts, and the lecture series will showcase musicology’s diversity and connections to the Crescent City.

Each of the series’ five lectures will take place at 2 p.m. in the UNO Performing Arts Center’s Recital Hall. They are free and open to the public, and a reception will follow.

The inaugural 2015-16 series begins on Oct. 23 with Cornell University’s Roger Moseley, whose recent work explores music, playfulness and technology as expressed through video games and other forms. Moseley’s talk at UNO is entitled “Play and Display: Representations of Musical Recreation.”

On Jan. 22, 2016, Yale University’s Gundula Kreuzer will speak about “Science, Timbre and the Gong in 19th Century Music.” Kreuzer’s recent research and writing focus on opera, technology and Germanic musical history. She is director of graduate studies in Yale’s Department of Music, and serves on the editorial board of The Journal of the American Musicological Society.

On Feb. 19, 2016, New York University’s Brigid Cohen explores questions of migration and the diaspora, the avant garde, and the intersections of music, the visual arts and literature. Her talk is entitled “Charles Mingus and Edgard Varese at Greenwich House, 1957.” Cohen’s research is particularly compelling when presented in the context of New Orleans’ musical evolution and population displacements. 

On March 11, 2016, Harvard University’s Ingrid Monson will discuss “Music, Resilience and Dignity.” Monson, who began her career as a trumpet player, is the Quincy Jones Professor of African American Music at Harvard. Her work focuses on the improvisational process through the lens of social history, particularly civil rights and the African diaspora.

The 2015-16 series will conclude on April 1, 2016, with the University of Virginia’s Bonnie Gordon delivering a talk called “Voice Machines: The Castrato, the Cat and Other Strange Sounds.” Gordon, a violinist, will offer her insights into her research on the human voice, sexuality and early music-making. 

The Musicology Colloquium Series is funded, in part, by a grant from the UNO Creative Endeavor Opportunities Program and the UNO Department of Music. For more information, call (504) 280-6381 or email