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1987 Lecture: Hugo Zemp
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Hugo Zemp, director of research at the Centre National de Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) in Paris, will deliver the Charles Seeger lecture at the 32nd Annual Meeting of SEM in Ann Arbor, on Saturday evening, November 7, 1987. His lecture, "Filming Music and Looking at Music Films,” will include the première of the English version of Youtser et yodler, the first film of his series on Swiss yodeling. Three other films will be presented a 9 o’clock on Sunday morning (Session 19).

Hugo Zemp was born in Basle, Switzerland. In his teens he became a jazz enthusiast and learned to play the drums. He enrolled as a student at the Conservatory in Basle from 1957 to 1960, and finished with a diploma as a percussionist. He became interested in African drumming, and traveled in 1958 to the Ivory Coast, where his encounters with African musicians and with André Schaeffner and his wife, Denise Paulme, were decisive. In 1961, he traveled to Paris to study with Denise Paulme, a professor of African anthropology. His doctoral thesis, "Musique Dan. La musique dans la pensée et la vie sociale d’une société africaine” (defended in 1968), was one of the first monographs written from the ethnomusicological perspective of Alan Merriam’s The Anthropology of Music.

In 1969 Hugo Zemp accompanied the French anthropologist Daniel Coppet to the Solomon Islands. While learning to play the panpipes and performing with ۥAreۥare musicians, he took a keen interest in their elaborate verbalizations about music. When he returned from the Pacific, he found some guidelines for eliciting description and analysis in methodologies of American cognitive anthropology and French ethnolinguistics. His articles on the ۥAreۥare ethnotheory of music, published in Ethnomusicology, have thus become known to members of the Society.

Hugo Zemp returned to his homeland in 1978 to do research; he produced the two first (and still the only) records of field recordings of traditional Swiss yodeling.

Since his teens, Hugo Zemp had been interested in photography. On his first field trip to the Solomon Islands, he had the chance to try out a 16 mm movie camera. The humbling experience of seeing the rushes and trying to edit them persuaded him to learn film technology and film language. On the second and third field trips to the Solomon Islands, he made two films on ۥAreۥare music. In 1983, he started a series of four films about yodeling in the Muotatal valley of central Switzerland.

Hugo Zemp has been working since 1967 in a CNRS research group in the Ethnomusicology Department of the Musée de l’Homme in Paris. He teaches ethnomusicological field methodology and film analysis at the University of Paris X-Nanterre; in 1982, he succeeded Gilbert Rouget as editor of the record series "Collection CNRS-Musée de l’Homme.”

The Society for Ethnomusicology honored Hugo Zemp in 1985 with the first Klaus Wachsmann prize for his work on Solomon Islands organology and instrumental music, including the film of his Swiss yodeling series, "Tailler le bamboo". Two films, "Les noces de Susanna" and "Josef and Gattalp", were awarded the "Prix Nanook” in 1986, Grand Prix of the fifth international "Bilan du Film Ethnographique” in Paris, and the film "Youtser et yodler" achieved the "Prix de la Mission du Patrimoine ethnologique” at the sixth Bilan in 1987.
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