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Musicology Distinguished Lectures (Winter 2013)

The Univ. of Michigan Department of Musicology is delighted to announce the full schedule for the 2013-2014 Distinguished Lecture Series.

All talks are scheduled on Fridays at 5 pm and held in 506 Burton Memorial Tower.


Friday, January 31, 2014

"Resurrection Symphony? Why Venezuela's Sistema Won't Save Classical Music"

Robert Fink (University of California, Los Angeles)

Venezuela's system of publicly funded youth orchestras ("El sistema") has become a powerful symbol for partisans of European art music, adopted as a model for 21st-century music education, social outreach, and music-based transformation. Insufficient attention has been paid to Venezuela's unique political and economic history, including the way the System plays into the redistributive politics of a "magical" petrostate, its intersection with Spanish colonialism, and its relationship with the current neoliberal moment in the West.

Friday, February 14, 2014

"Improvisation on the Sitar: Traditional Knowledge and Free Expression"

Sanjoy Bandopadhyay (Rabindra Bharati University, Kolkata [India])

This talk discusses the relationship between sitar performance and improvisation. Such on-the-spot musical combinations combine traditional repertoire, effective application techniques, and artistic logic. A free mind is required to perform the spontaneously generated flow of musical ideas. Co-sponsored by the Center for World Performance Studies.

Friday, April 11, 2014

"Bernardino de SahagĂșn's Psalmodia Christiana and Catholic Formation Among the Mexica in Sixteenth-Century New Spain"

Lorenzo Candelaria (University of Texas, El Paso)

In 1583, Pedro Ocharte published the first book of vernacular sacred song in the Americas--the Psalmodia Christiana by Bernardino de SahagĂșn. Its 333 songs composed in the Nahuatl language sought to promote the formation of Catholic communities among the Mexica (commonly known as the "Aztecs"). This lecture highlights the legacy of Western plainchant traditions in the Christian evangelization of the New World and shows how Mexica sacred music traditions were folded into the European thrust of the Christian mission in sixteenth-century New Spain.


Ethel V. Curry Distinguished Lecture in Musicology

In addition to lectures offered by visiting scholars, the Musicology Department boasts an endowed lecture series, created by H. Robert Reynolds in honor of his mother, Ethel V. Curry.


Past Musicology Lectures


Interdisciplinary Music Forum

IMF is a Rackham Interdisciplinary Workshop that fosters conversation among faculty and graduate students who work with music in their research. Lectures are open to all, and workshops are intended for graduate students. For more information, please contact Patrick Parker ( or Leah Weinberg (Musicology;



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Photography Credits:

U-M Photo Services

Joe Welsh

Peter Smith

David Smith

Glen Behring

Tom Bower