Monday, October 18, 2010

Jacqueline DjeDje's 'Fiddling in West Africa' Wins First 'Kwabena Nketia Book Prize'

[TOP: Fiddling in West Africa: Touching the Spirit in Fulbe, Hausa, and Dagbamba Cultures; Indiana University Press (2008) BOTTOM: "Department chair Jacqueline DjeDje learned to play the African fiddle in northern Ghana. Becoming bimusical is an important skill that ethnomusicology students develop."]

Jacqueline Cogdell DjeDje is Chair and Professor, Department of Ethnomusicology, Herb Alpert School of Music, UCLA. She sends twonews items: “A second book award (see email below dated October 7) for my book, Fiddling in West Africa (2008). In 2009, the Society for Ethnomusicology awarded me the Alan Merriam Book Prize for the same book.”; “Article in UCLA Today (an online magazine) that includes mention of myself (and Fisk).”

Oct 06, 2010 By Kathleen Micham
“Around the world of music in 50 years
Like many bold movements in the history of this country, this one began with a simple flyer.
The invitation to all students didn’t seem momentous at the time. Music Professor Mantle Hood wanted students to come to his home for a demonstration of the gamelan, an ensemble of string and percussion instruments from Indonesia that produces an unfamiliar, but intriguing sound to the Western ear.” “'Hood believed that it was important to learn how to perform the music by studying with master musicians from the culture,' said DjeDje. 'Just as students focusing on Western music were expected to take lessons from university teachers who were outstanding performers on piano, violin, bassoon and other instruments, Hood argued that instructor of musical traditions from Indonesia, Greece, India, China, Japan, Ghana, Persia, Korea and other world areas should be made available to teach students in ethnomusicology.'”

The following message was received from the Society for Ethnomusicology by Prof. Jacqueline Cogdell DjeDje:
“Dear Jackie.
It gives us great pleasure to inform you that you have won the first-ever Nketia Book Prize from the African Music Section. Felicitations! Please see the announcement below that I am about to send far and wide. Your superb book makes us Africanists proud to call you a colleague.”

DjeDje Wins Nketia Book Prize
The SEM African Music Section is pleased to announce that the inaugural Kwabena Nketia Book Prize has been awarded to Jacqueline Cogdell DjeDje for her book Fiddling in West Africa: Touching the Spirit in Fulbe, Hausa, and Dagbamba Cultures. We congratulate Professor DjeDje for this benchmark in African music studies, grounded in over thirty years of historical research and in-depth musical scholarship.

"An ambitious work with clear research goals, the book skillfully integrates materials and perspectives from multi-sited ethnographic fieldwork on an under-represented topic. This detailed comparative study is pertinent to historical ethnomusicology and musical ethnography in African and wider contexts. Using the ethnomusicologist's toolkit the author rounds out the study with analyses and insights into individual artists' music. Extracting, comparing and illuminating performance practices in different geographical and historical contexts it is an important step in explaining African performance traditions.

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