Symposium on the Current State of
Research in Ethnomusicology
University of Washington, 1963
Edited by Robert Garfias and Gordon Thompson, 2015
Facing the camera (L-R): Harold Powers, Mantle Hood, William Malm, Willem Adriaansz,
and Alan Merriam
Backs to the camera (L-R): Charles Seeger, David McAllester, Nicholas England,
and Thomas Kassa
At the board: Shigeo Kishibe
In the spring of 1963, Robert Garfias—who had recently taken a position at the University of Washington—and his colleague Shigeo Kishibe had the idea to invite some of the most prominent figures in the emerging discipline of ethnomusicology for conversations about their work. At the ensuing gathering, these members of the newly formed (1955) Society for Ethnomusicology engaged in numerous exploratory conversations about the nature of what they did, knowing that they had much in common, but aware that they espoused different approaches. With a tape recorder rolling, they listened to each other’s papers, talked about the problems of sources and research, and examined how their approaches compared. Subsequently, Garfias had these discussions transcribed and edited by graduate students (including Tim Rice) and combined them with the papers and photos of the symposium. Unfortunately, they failed to attract a publisher and the materials languished for decades. Today these documents offer a fascinating window on our history, a point made by Garfias in his reflections on the symposium. The transcripts allow one to imagine sitting in the room listening to Alan Merriam, Mantle Hood, Charles Seeger and others exchange opinions about the discipline. When SEM agreed to digitally publish the materials, what remained was to clean up the kinds of typographical errors that can occur in documents meant for oral delivery, to standardize style, footnote, and bibliographic entries, and to provide a common formatting.
Back wall (L-R): Millard Rogers, Ayame Tsutakawa, and George Taylor
At table, facing camera (L-R): Max Harrell, Thomas Kassa, Nicholas England,
David McAllester, Charles Seeger, David Morton (partially hidden), and Jose Maceda
At table, facing away from the camera (L-R): Robert Garfias, Alan Merriam,
Willem Adriaansz, and William Malm
Thursday 7 March 1963
Mantle Hood. Problems of the Panerusan.
Harold Powers. Theory and Practice in the Study of Indian Music.
Friday 8 March 1963
Shigeo Kishibe. Historical Research in Music without Oral Tradition, with Regard to the Music of the T’ang Dyansty.
Robert Garfias. Discrepancies between the Historical Evidence and Oral Tradition of Japanese Court Music
William P. Malm. Personal Approaches to the Study of Japanese Art Music.
David McAllester. An Anthropologist Studying Music.
Saturday 9 March 1963
Nicholas England. Fieldwork in the Kalahari.
Alan Merriam. Field Techniques in Ethnomusicology: The Basongye (Republic of the Congo).
Robert Garfias. Reflections on the 1963 Symposium.