Mark Katz, 19 October 2017

Title of the Talk: Music as Technology

When? 19 October 2017 (Week 2) (17:00-18:30)

Where?  The Barn at St John’s College (Kendrew Quad)

Speaker: Mark Katz (University of North Carolina)

Abstract: In this lecture I argue that technology does not stand apart from music, influencing it from the outside, but is a part of music, integral to every aspect of musical activity and musical life. Technology has been a part of human music-making since at least the Paleolithic Age. In fact, history has no record of a pre-technological age of music. Humans are, and have always been, creatures of technology and of music. If we want to understand how music is made and experienced, if we want to know how music travels and how it gains meaning in human societies, we must investigate its relationship—ancient and inextricable—with technology.

Speaker Biography: Mark Katz, Ph.D., is the Ruel W. Tyson Jr. Distinguished Professor of the Humanities and the Director of the Institute for the Arts and Humanities at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. A scholar of music technology, popular music, and musical diplomacy, he is the author of Capturing Sound: How Technology has Changed Music and Groove Music: The Art and Culture of the Hip-Hop DJ. He is co-editor of Music, Sound, and Technology in America: A Documentary History and former editor of the Journal of the Society for American Music. In 2013 he developed, and continues to direct, the U.S. Department of State–funded cultural diplomacy program Next Level, which connects American hip-hop artists to underserved communities around the world to promote cultural exchange, conflict reduction, and entrepreneurship. In 2015 Katz’s work was recognized by the Hip-Hop Education Center in its inaugural awards ceremony, and in 2016 he was awarded the Dent Medal by the Royal Musical Association for his outstanding contribution to musicology.

Event hosted as part of the Seminar in Ethnomusicology and Sound Studies Series, based at St John’s College, University of Oxford.


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