Associate Professor of Music
She teaches ethnomusicology, popular music studies, music theory, and Asian studies courses. Her research interests include traditional and contemporary Japanese music cultures; performative identity politics in Asian diasporas, especially in Brazilian expatriate communities in Japan; national and nationalized identity performances in the trans- and post-national world; music and collective memory construction; and organology and music instruments building.
As a musician, she trained to perform piano, koto (Japanese long zither), and jiuta shamisen (Japanese long-necked lute). At Hampshire, she has been playing viola da gamba in an ensemble in the Five College Early Music Program.
This course examines contemporary Japanese popular culture as a way of understanding cultural dimensions of globalization and its complex operation, which transcends traditional national boundaries. Narrowly defined, J-Pop refers to a genre of music that has dominated Japan's music scene since the early1990s. In this course we extend our investigation to include various other media, forms, and expressions of popular culture related to our interest, e.g., manga, anime, films, computer games, and distinctive fashions. These cultural industries together play an important role in the transnational production and dissemination of images and ideas about race, gender, and sexuality. We also examine the phenomenon from a consumers' side, by delving into the subcultures and subcultural praxis of people called "otaku" (nerd, geek, mania) who have supported and propelled the transnational trend through their compulsive consumption of both tangible and intangible commodities of J-pop and avid networking.
This course is for students with the solid knowledge of Western music fundamentals including the proficiency with notation, intervals and chords identification as well as basic melodic and rhythmic sight-reading skills. The class explores a musical language that has been extremely influential in the shaping of Western musical cultures, particularly focusing on its formative periods. Studying four-part diatonic harmony and voice-leading techniques, we examine organizational principles of music and underlying sonic sensibilities with this particular music. Students will then apply their newly acquired skills to composition and analysis. In addition to regular class meetings, participation in the weekly ear training is mandatory.
"Asia" is a diverse, dynamic, and complex cultural entity that encompasses a vast geographic area and a long rich history. In this course we will investigate some representative performing arts traditions of South, Southeast, and East Asia, e.g., Indian classical music, Javanese gamelan, Japanese noh theatre, as a way of learning about the regions' unique history, different value systems, aesthetic sensibilities, spiritual beliefs, philosophies, and ways of life. We will also cross-culturally examine these performing arts traditions to understand the past and ongoing trans-regional cultural interactions. This is not a performance course. No previous music training is necessary but the students are expected to engage in critical listening and basic musical analysis of various music examples.
Every culture bears unique sensibilities to sounds. People cultivate distinctive ways of hearing, understanding, and relating to them. These sensibilities are also reflected in the processes of sound- and music-making. Different instruments are devised to encapsulate distinctive cultural values not only acoustically but also visually in their material forms. This course aims to explore diverse music cultures of the world through the lens of organology (the study of musical instruments). We examine a wide range of sound-making devices broadly defined as "musical instruments" in their sociocultural and historical contexts. Our investigation encompasses topics such as social functions and significations of the instruments, e.g., ritual objects, status symbols, and exotic commodities; myths and symbolism attributed to the instruments; technology and craftsmanship involved in the fabrication, and ecological and ethical concerns for the use of certain materials, e.g., exotic wood, tortoise, shells, and ivory.
Ethnomusicology is a field of music scholarship, which examines a wide range of music and music-related human activities with distinctive sociocultural perspectives and methodologies. This course offers an introductory experience of the field for students pursuing ethnomusicological projects in their Div II and III and those interested in exploring this relatively unknown field. Students are introduced to the historical development of the field since its emergence in the late 19th century and more recent discourses and directions, subjects that many ethnomusicologists investigate, and how they approach them. Fieldwork being a central methodology, students learn how to document, analyze, and interpret ethnographic information, how to preserve and share their research findings, and ethical issues pertaining to the handling of individual and collective cultural properties. The course also entails a brief introduction of other methodologies such as archival, organological, and iconographical research. Previous experience in music scholarship, anthropology, or cultural studies is desirable.
This course examines "guitar" as a cultural artifact that serves different functions and purposes beyond producing sounds and making music. It is a commodity, collectible, engendered object, icon, symbol, and agency. Starting with the basic anatomy, we explore how these different functions have, quite literally, shaped the architectural and acoustic design of the instrument, as well as its technological development over many centuries. The course also delves into the culture of "guitar people" who devote their lives for their obsessions. Although the guitar people are typically good guitarists, guitar playing techniques and styles are not our primary concerns. We focus more on their work as luthiers (guitar makers), retailors, collectors, aficionados, curators, and environmental activists, which are intricately interconnected to form a curious sub-culture, which performers and audience also partake in their own capacities. This is a cultural studies course. Students with no guitar playing or musical experiences are welcome.