Call for Papers: Research in New Zealand Performing Arts

Research in New Zealand Performing Arts is now issuing a call for papers.

RNZPA is one of the only peer-reviewed scholarly journals in New Zealand that publishes music research. Although the journal examines performing arts generally, nearly half of its articles have been music-related. I serve on its editorial board.

For more information regarding the RNZPA call for papers please examine this website:


Here is a link to the previous issue of Research in New Zealand Performing Arts:



Tanglewood II: A New Declaration on Music Learning

Tanglewood II – Charting the Future: A Symposium on Music Learning for the Twenty-First Century” is an ambitious project that was launched in June of 2006, with the first of eight pre-symposium events offered at various American universities nationwide. It concluded on June 25th-29th of 2007, with the wrapping up of an online forum involving more than 5,000 participants followed by a week-long “think tank” residency hosted by Boston University in the Berkshires. Considering the magnitude of this project – in terms of the numbers of related events and participants (both physically present and in the virtual sphere of internet forums) – Tanglewood II appears to be the largest project to have systematically examined current challenges and future prospects for music learning in the United States and abroad.

The wider historical and institutional context of this event is that it is a forty-year anniversary of the original Tanglewood Symposium that was hosted by Boston University in 1967. Tanglewood I was a rather unique and unprecedented event in that it consisted of an intimate “think tank” discussion format that included music education specialists along with professional musicians and influential scholars from other disciplines. Notable participants included psychologist Abraham Maslow, ethnomusicologist David McAllester, and even the iconic American big bandleader and jazz arranger Stan Kenton. There were only 34 members of the 1967 symposium, along with a handful of observers, and it only lasted for 5 1/2 days. Within 3 days of its conclusion, a declaration was produced as a position statement that outlined key issues and new directions in the field of music. In retrospect, the Tanglewood I declaration could certainly be described as having an ethnomusicological agenda. Essentially, its primary emphasis was on opening up the field of music teaching at all levels to include music of non-Western cultures, popular music, and jazz, as well as the development of a broad range of musical activities in educational contexts beyond the traditional performance offerings of school bands, orchestras and choirs.

The world has changed dramatically over the forty years since that declaration was issued, yet it continues to be regarded as an especially important document in the history of music education (both in the USA and abroad), resulting from what is seen as perhaps the most significant event in the field during the latter half of the 20th century, the Tanglewood Symposium. Forty years later, Tanglewood II was modeled on the original Tanglewood Symposium. Its objectives, according to the symposium website were “to project a future that will act as a guide for music learning, both within and outside of formal programs . . . Since the original Tanglewood, much has been learned about how the human community processes music, what values it attaches to music experience, and, most importantly, how people learn music. This is the subject of Tanglewood II, a duplication of Tanglewood I in spirit, but decidedly and substantially of the 21st century.”

The Tanglewood II Declaration is scheduled to be published on the project website in the next few weeks (by the end of November 2007), and a DVD and other materials are currently in preparation. Hopefully these Tanglewood II outcomes will inspire further dialogue regarding the current state and future direction of music education.

For more information, please see the Tanglewood II website:



New Doctoral Candidates

Three outstanding music education Doctoral students have passed their examinations at Boston University, reaching the "ABD stage" of Doctoral Candidacy with approval of their dissertation proposals:
(1) Carol Reed-Jones
(2) Nancy Rosenberg
(3) Michael Simmons.

Each of these students has proposed a uniquely important and interesting study and I am excited to be supervising their dissertations.

About the Three New Doctoral Candidates:

Carol Reed-Jones is a music teacher and author who is writing an innovative dissertation that combines philosophical inquiry with recent findings from ethnomusicology to develop an organic model for the integration of music participation into educational settings. Her study will be of great interest to innovative private school systems, charter schools, summer camps, youth groups, indigenous schools, and other educational programs. She obtained a great new job this year, teaching several music courses for Whatcom Community College in the beautiful town of Bellingham, Washington.

Popular music specialist Nancy Rosenberg, an active composer and voice instructor at Emerson College and Brown University, is developing an effective new approach for the learning of music theory concepts and musicianship skills through popular music.
Nancy recently attended Bjork's concert in NYC and is writing about her unique music as well. Nancy Rosenberg's dissertation promises to help improve the teaching of musicianship and music theory at the secondary and collegiate levels, and is likely to develop into a popular textbook. This year Nancy has been quite active in her theatre composition, and has a new position as musical director for the theatre education program at Trinity Repertory Theatre in Providence.

Finally, Philadelphia-based professional guitarist and accomplished music teacher Michael Simmons is doing a ground-breaking experimental study that I will keep "under wraps" for now so he can complete his analysis before any other empirical researchers catch on to his great idea. For now, let me simply state that his findings promise to greatly improve our understanding of an important aspect of musical learning that is often perplexing for teachers.

It is a thrill to be mentoring such outstanding students, and I am quite confident of their future success and excited to see their continuing development.

Over the next year we will see some great achievements from these three Doctoral Candidates.

  • Here is a link to another student project I have been developing on campus:



Messiaen Conference in Boston

This weekend (October 12-13, 2007) is a fascinating international conference of the Boston University Messiaen Project entitled “Messiaen the Theologian.” Musicologist and organ virtuoso, Professor Andrew Shenton is the conference organizer.

French composer Olivier Messiaen (1908-1992) was inspired by Asian musical traditions, and his work has been quite influential among leading Asian and European composers.

Today I attended an insightful presentation by Wai-Ling Cheong (from Chinese University of Hong Kong) on Messiaen’s use of Japanese gagaku music and the inspiration that the Torii of Miyajima (pictured below) offered to his work:

Olivier Messiaen was among the most innovative composers of the twentieth century, and his creative output represents an important example of how European art music has increasingly incorporated elements from musical traditions of other parts of the world. This is a topic of great interest to those grappling with the issues of hybridity and transculturation in musical creativity and education.

I encourage any musicians and scholars interested in such topics to attend the remainder of this conference.


Honkfest Workshop is Here!


A multicultural brass band workshop with sociomusicologists Charles Keil and David Hebert.

Honk Workshop: Saturday, Oct 6, 12:30 - 2:30 PM

Tufts University Granoff Music Center
20 Talbot Ave

The purpose of the Honk Workshop is to enable high school, college, and community participants to form a performing Honk ensemble that can march in the Honk parade from Davis Square to Harvard Square on Sunday the 7th. This will entail learning some basic rhythms and horn riffs in the New Orleans second line tradition, a bit of funk, and perhaps some samba and salsa as well.

All levels of musical proficiency are welcome.

The "Honkfest Workshop" is organized by popular music expert Reebee Garofalo at Tufts University as part of Honkfest, October 5-7, 2007 [www.honkfest.org]. Street bands from throughout the United States, and as far away as Italy, Montreal, and New Orleans are joining Honkfest, and the associated workshop provides applied instruction in this important form of community music. The event is sponsored and hosted by the Tufts University Music Department community outreach initiative [http://www.tufts.edu/musiccenter/resources/].

Link to Boston Globe article on Honkfest:


After jamming a bit with them, Edward Buckner asked me to play solo trumpet with the
Original Big Seven Social Aid and Pleasure Club
for their performances at Honkfest. They are an excellent band with great grooves from the heart of New Orleans tradition, and I am thrilled to have the chance to perform with them.

Video of New Orleans Social Aid and Pleasure Club

  • Notable participants include the Somerville Mayor and renowned radio personalities Click and Clack.
  • Performers include the legendary band Original Big Seven from New Orleans in their first New England performance since Katrina.
  • Speakers at the event include Reebee Garofalo (author of notable books such as Rockin Out, Policing Pop, and Rockin the Boat) and Charles Keil (author of numerous music books, including Urban Blues, Tiv Song, Polka Happiness, Music Grooves, My Music, Bright Balkan Morning, and Born to Groove).


Honkfest West is coming next!:


Bluesman Lou Pride at Boston University

Renowned blues musician Lou Pride is performing with Professor Victor Coehlo’s Rooster Blues Band at the Boston University Tsai Center.

I will be playing with the band on trumpet.

The concert is Wednesday night, October 10th at 8pm at Boston University Tsai Center.

Video of Lou Pride:

*Update (8/14/08) - Below is a link to a sound recording from the above concert: