Dan Kruse
Dan Kruse

What is music? This and many other questions are considered by ethnomusicologists, of which Dan Kruse of Tucson is one. A lecturer, film-maker, writer, musician and the local host of NPR’s “All Things Considered”, Kruse recently acquired a Master’s in Ethnomusicology from the University of Arizona School of Music.

On Wednesday (March 13) from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., he will bring many musical questions to the Arizona Senior Academy and attempt to explore answers with the audience. He promises his presentation will be less of a ‘lecture’ and more of a dialogue, an inquiry into musical meaning.

Kruse encourages audience members to bring a pad and pen or pencil, as he’ll be asking them to provide their own answers to what he calls “the three big questions” of ethnomusicology. He’ll also provide a variety of listening and viewing examples to stimulate curiosity, questions and discussion.

While he has enjoyed a lifelong love of music, it was in an undergraduate course at the UA School of Music that he learned music in India is based on a completely different scale system than the West. That discovery piqued his interest in global music and his formal study of ethnomusicology.

He plans to reflect on four of the authors who have stimulated his fascination with the study of world music: John Blacking (1928-1990, Surrey, England), Michael Tenzer (1957-, New York City), Bruno Nettl (1930- , Prague, Czechoslovakia), and Christopher Small (1927-2011, New Zealand).

And, Kruse says, he hopes to send his audience home with more questions than answers.

Submitted by Janet Kerans, Academy Village Volunteer


What is Music? Ask an Ethnomusicologist: March 2013
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