Paideia con Salsa: Charles Keil, Groovology, and the Undergraduate Music Curriculum
- Publisher: College Music Society
Despite being a professor in American Studies at SUNY-Buffalo for most of his academic life, Charles (Charlie) Keil’s (b. 1939) career was dominated by an interest in music and music education. His scholarly contributions took many forms, such as ethnographic fieldwork that resulted in wide-ranging books (Urban Blues, Tiv Song: The Sociology of Art in a Classless Society, Polka Happiness, My Music, Bright Balkan Morning: Romani Lives and the Power of Music in Greek Macedonia, Music Grooves), many essays and papers on music and music education, and efforts in promoting music education in the Buffalo area through his organization, M.U.S.E. (Musicians United for Superior Education). As an amateur musician with advanced training in American Studies (studying with, among others, David Schneider, Clifford Geertz, and Alan Merriam), Keil brought a keen eye, ear, and mind, along with his rigorous academic training, to the study of how people engaged with music, how they learned music, and the value music holds in the lives of people and their communities. As an example, the first chapter of Tiv Song reminds us that Keil is one of those rare individuals able to summon enormous intellectual resources—from classical Greek philosophy to linguistics, anthropology, ecology, economics, and everything in between—to bear on the problem of music and culture.
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