An Ethnomusicologist’s Last Lecture: Music and Globalism, Philosophy and Religion explores the frustration of many scholars and artists with the content and directions of studies on music, which continue to be mostly based on Western thought, methods, theories, and even the modes of communicating ideas, and mostly through written, published works. Steven Loza argues that this pattern has pervaded both philosophy and ethnomusicology, fields which should be much more globally based in terms of intellectual analysis, culturally diverse points of view, and the recognition of multiple ways of thinking and doing. He criticizes what he perceives as an intellectual hegemony and biased approach to studying music, including the standards to which academics are held responsible, the manner in which we and our students have had to study music, and the forms by which we are pressured to present our findings, many times adapting theories and ideas that have nothing to do with the cultures we are examining through a one way microscope – and often a distorted lens. Loza takes the reader through an assortment of historical and contemporary global examples of musical expression, creative artists, and thinkers, looking for ways that we can assess how music both reflects and enacts culturally diverse peoples’ beliefs, thoughts, and world views.
Steven Loza is professor of ethnomusicology and chair of Global Jazz Studies at The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music.
Table of Contents
List of Figures
Chapter 1: Thinking Globally: Thoughts and the Ideas of Others on Philosophy, Religion, and Music
Chapter 2: Composers and Ideologies through a World Prism
Chapter 3: The Spirituality of the Blues and Related Sacred Music
Chapter 4: Polarities, Windmills, and the Transcendence of the Universe
Chapter 5: James Newton, Composer of Faith
Chapter 6: Masked Phantoms: Thoughts on Our Research and Scholarship in Ethnomusicology
Chapter 7: Challenges to the Euro-Americentric Ethnomusicological Canon: Alternatives for Graduate Readings,
Theory, and Method
Chapter 8: Toward a Theory for Religion as Art: From Merriam to Guadalupe
Chapter 9: Social Justice and My Work as a Music Scholar, Teacher, and Artist
Chapter 10: Free Thoughts
Steven Loza is one of few grand pioneers in music, philosophy and religion! This magisterial text is his magnum opus - a rich multidimensional and cross-cultural inquiry into the musical creativity of suffering humanity across the globe! What a great gift to us all.
An Ethnomusicologist’s Last Lecture is an illuminating, provocative, and at once inspiring and perpetually challenging work. It is also an intensely personal book, one in which Steven Loza pulls no punches in articulating his views, beliefs, identity (or identities), and professional history. As such, it can and should be read as a personal testimonial of a senior, influential, and distinguished scholar in the field who has reached a point in life and career where there is no sense of need, let alone desire, to hold back from expressing their views on a great range of matters with candor, conviction, and frankness. In this mode of presentation, many gems of wisdom are shared amidst (and often in tandem with) bold pronouncements of faith, hope, cynicism, disenchantment, and rebuke.
Anyone looking for scholarship on music and religion that is animated by rich and diverse ethnomusicological experience, strong existential concerns, and a distinctive, creative voice will find much sustenance and inspiration in Steven Loza’s An Ethnomusicologist’s Last Lecture.