Cover for NETTL: Heartland Excursions: Ethnomusicological Reflections on Schools of Music

Heartland Excursions

Ethnomusicological Reflections on Schools of Music

A professor, an informant, and an extraterrestrial contemplate the Music Building

In Heartland Excursions, a legendary ethnomusicologist takes the reader along for a delightful, wide-ranging tour of his workplace. Bruno Nettl provides an insightful, sometimes tongue-in-cheek, always pithy ethnography of midwestern university schools of music from a different perspective in each of four chapters, alternating among three distinct voices: the longtime professor, the "native informant," and the outside observer, an "ethnomusicologist from Mars."

If you've ever been to a concert or been connected to a university with a school of music, you ll discover yourself--or someone you know--in these pages.

"In the music building you can't tell the quick from the dead without a program."--Chapter 1, "In the Service of the Masters"

"The great ability of a violin student whom I observed was established when his dean was persuaded to accompany him."--Chapter 2, "Society of Musicians"

"Some teachers of music history would accuse students who listen to Elvis Presley not only of taking time away from hearing Brahms, but also of polluting themselves."--Chapter 3, "A Place for All Musics?"

At commencement, the graduates "were perhaps not aware that they had just participated in an event in which the principal values of the Western musical world . . . had been taken out of storage bins for annual exercise."--Chapter 4, "Forays into the Repertory"


Bruno Nettl is a professor emeritus of music and anthropology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His many books include Following the Elephant: Ethnomusicologists Contemplate Their Discipline and The Study of Ethnomusicology: Thirty-Three Discussions, Third Edition,.

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