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.
"Listening" occupies a special place in Japanese cultures. Whether it be in literature, folklore, or everyday activity, indications are plentiful that listening has been nurtured as a multisensory experience and that it encompasses a wide range of phenomena, beyond so-called music. This course explores Japanese sound cultures, with special attention to the underlying unique conceptions of "listening": how have people in Japan cultivated distinct sensibilities in listening, and how, in turn, such sensibilities have constituted Japanese sound cultures. This is a cultural studies course and music training is not a prerequisite. However, the required coursework includes listening exercises, various analysis assignments, and occasional hands-on activities. Through these exercises, selected readings, and class discussion, students are invited to open their ears, senses, and minds to unique cultural values, sensibilities, and practices of listening in Japanese sound cultures and rigorously question their own practice and conception of "listening."
Every culture bears unique sensibilities to sounds. People cultivate distinctive ways of hearing, understanding, and relating to them in their everyday life. 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 explores diverse music cultures of the world through the lens of critical 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. (keywords: world music, ethnomusicology, material culture, organology)
This course explores and critically examines what constitutes "music" and its manifold practices. Presented from transdisciplinary and multicultural points of view, the course consists of several thematic modules, in each of which two instructors will lead the unpacking of specific subjects, such as the nature of sound, listening, sonic realization of time, musical space, and embodiment. By using different kinds of expertise and methodologies drawn from music theory, sound studies, ethnomusicology, etc., the music we analyze will represent diverse traditions around the world as well as contemporary sound practices representing various global styles. No previous training in music theory is necessary, but the required coursework includes weekly listening, creative transcription, various analysis assignments, and hands-on performative activities. Through these exercises, selected readings, and class discussion, students are invited to open their ears, senses, and minds to unique cultural values, sensibilities, and practices, and rigorously question their conception of "music" and musical discourses.
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.