Interviews with ethnomusicologists

Alexander Knapp interviewed by Carolyn Landau. (3 of 4).

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  • Recording locations

    Rayners Lane, West London, Greater London

  • Interviewees

    Knapp, Alexander (speaker, male, interviewee)

  • Interviewers

    Landau, Carolyn (speaker, female, interviewer)

  • Recordist

    Landau, Carolyn (speaker, female

  • Abstract

    Track 3 [30:32] [Session one, continued: 25 June 2010]Discussion of why he has made the unpublished recordings he has: many are for lecture illustrations, and many of these are audio-visual; some are domestic recordings of performances he has given as an accompanist for a Cantor, which he likes to have as a souvenir of the performance; he estimates that his entire archive comprises about 6000 items, including printed material (lecture notes, compositions, arrangements etc). Discussion of how he intends to organise it into a rational collection so that, eventually, he can find a place for it to be housed/archived. Discussion of how his work has been used by others: his compositions have been played in the US and others sing his Sephardic songs and these have been used for exam set pieces and his published CDs have sold well. Reflects that he has made some sort of impact, mainly due to the repertoire. [10:42] Discussion of AK's legacy thus far in his career: AK reflects on how atypical his career has been in terms of ethnomusicology and that his recordings are not typical 'field recordings' - made for his pleasure at the time, but could be used scholastically at a later date for future researchers, particularly those recordings of lesser-known Cantors. Discussion of copyright and intellectual property rights of recordings. Discussion of Cantors within the Jewish world and diaspora. Discussion of AK's perception of how ethnomusicology has developed in the UK and how this relates to the UK and the role that AK has played. AK reflects that he came to Jewish music through Bloch and to ethnomusicology through Jewish music, which he sees as rather unconventional. Reflects on training within 'mainstream' musicology and its focus on Western Art Music within a certain time period and how this led to him to question these various assumptions, which meant he felt much more at home with ethnomusicology. Brief Discussion of AK's recent completion of his PhD thesis and his approach to the music of Bloch and relating this to his unique approach to ethnomusicology and Jewish music studies. Discussion of 'intercultural music' and how this relates to AK's own composing and arranging - how Jewish music relates to and reacts with other types of music (Arabic, Chinese etc). Reflects that he is more interested in Jewish music in the diaspora and less in Israel. Discussion of relationship between Jewish music and Arabic music. Reflects how he might be a 'Jack of all trades', being a scholar/researcher in various different areas, as well as being a composer and performer and wants to continue in all of these pursuits. [26:42] Return to discussion about experiences of ethnomusicology developing institutionally with the UK. Brief description of one-off experience in Cambridge in mid 1960s with Laurence Picken, reflecting on how Picken was perhaps before his time. Discussion of his attendance of the very first meeting of the IFMC UK chapter in the early 70s and remembering how John Blacking, Stanley Glasser, Peter Cooke and others were there. Discussion of various institutions where ethnomusicology was being taught in the UK at this time. [telephone rings, end of track]

  • Description

    Interview with Alexander Knapp (3 of 4). The ethnomusicologist talks about his research. Interviewer: Carolyn Landau.

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