September 11, 2013

Rock and Revolution

American Identities: Episode #3

“Music is too important to be left to the musicians,” ethnomusicologist Christopher Small wrote in 1977. A decade earlier, the experimental rock band the Godz seemed to agree. As associate professor Patrick Burke reveals, musicians in the 1960s resisted predetermined categories or simplistic musical identities. Instead, bands like the Godz chose to blend genres, adopt the musical styles of different racial and ethnic groups, and resist the idea that only competent musicians should be heard. In this interview, Burke describes the role of ethnomusicology in dispelling the myth of "authentic" American music.

image flickr: crnewbedford. music courtesy of Sean Garcia.