2012 Hollander Distinguished Lecture in Musicology to Focus on Humor and American Music

2012 Hollander Distinguished Lecture in Musicology
Sponsored by the Stanley and Selma Hollander Endowed Fund in Musicology

"Joking Matters: Humor and American Music"
Charles Hiroshi Garrett
Friday, March 30 • 3:00-5:00 p.m.
Hart Recital Hall, Music Building MSU Campus
Free and open to the public

Exuberant and accessible, mischievous and irreverent, humor not only occupies our private and public lives but also permeates American expressive culture. Musical humor has long afforded opportunities for play, pleasure, subversion, and cultural critique. But technological advances — including digital audio manipulation, ease of musical production, widespread sampling, and Internet distribution — have spawned a recent proliferation of musical humor, whether in the form of ironic mashups, musical-based skits, or YouTube song parodies. The accessibility and immediacy of such practices, by amateurs and professionals alike, cannot be dismissed as simple attention grabbing with a postmodern ironic sensibility but instead can best be understood as registering the contemporary place of music in a multimediated, quotation-rich, socially networked, individually responsive, and participatory culture.

Charles Hiroshi Garrett is associate professor of musicology at the University of Michgan. His research and teaching interests focus primarily on twentieth-century music, American music, jazz, popular music, music and racial/ethnic representation, and cultural theory. His book, Struggling to Define a Nation: American Music and the Twentieth Century, was awarded the Irving Lowens Memorial Book Award and Honorable Mention for the Woody Guthrie Award. He currently serves as editor-in-chief for The Grove Dictionary of American Music, second edition, a key reference work that will appear online and as a multivolume print publication. He is also working on a new book project on music and humor. He has presented papers at a wide variety of national and international conferences, and his articles and reviews have appeared in the Journal of the American Musicological Society, Echo, Notes, and American Music.

Posted on March 3, 2012

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