The School of Music has 19 full-time faculty members, all of whom are scholars, performers or composers. Ethnomusicology courses have been offered in the School of Music by Dr. Kati Szego since the mid-1990s. The curriculum in this area expanded with the addition of courses in local performance traditions (accordion, fiddle, and Newfoundland song) taught by some of the finest traditional musicians in St. John’s, and with the establishment of the Canada Research Chair in Ethnomusicology, filled by Dr. Beverley Diamond in 2002. The areas of particular strength in the School of Music are Asia-Pacific studies, Native American and Saami studies, Canadian studies, urban ethnomusicology, feminist musicology, and cultural theory. Additionally, other colleagues in Music have complementary areas of expertise, for instance, in performance practice , sacred music in indigenous communities , music theatre , and world percussion.
The Folklore Department has 10 full-time faculty members, all of whom are highly reputed as scholars in such areas as traditional music, narrative, material culture, belief and custom, or popular culture. Since the establishment of the Graduate Program in Folklore in 1968, music has been a central research area of numerous distinguished faculty (Buchan, Widdowson, Goldstein, Rosenberg, Narváez, Hiscock) and an occasional subject of inquiry for several others (Ashton, Halpert, Lovelace). The publications of this prestigious group and those of their graduate students include the definitive study of bluegrass (Rosenberg), a ground-breaking anthology on Canadian folklore and women (Tye), bibliographic and discographic projects (Taft, Mercer, Thomas) and significant studies of country music (Rosenberg), folk collectors (Lovelace), traditional music and dance (Quigley, Wareham), song history (Hiscock, Guigne) and mumming (Halpert, Story) in Newfoundland. Nineteen M.A. theses and seven Ph.D. dissertations have been completed in Folklore on music-related topics, including studies of performers, song makers, and performance contexts.
Graduate students in Ethnomusicology will find that their courses and other program-related activities are scheduled in three different campus facilities. The M.O. Morgan building (the School of Music) is a technologically advanced building for performing, studying and recording music. It houses the D. F. Cook Recital Hall and Petro Canada Hall, the latter equipped with web-casting technology. The Folklore Department and MUN’s renowned Folklore and Language Archives are housed in the Education Building. The third space, the Research Centre for the Study of Music, Media, and Place (MMaP) is located in the Annex to the Arts and Culture Centre of St. John’s, at the east end of campus. Through the program of the Canada Research Chair in Ethnomusicology, the Centre promotes national and international exchange by sponsoring visiting lecturers, symposia, and conferences. Its multimedia and audio restoration studios are used for various website and other media projects.
Memorial University libraries have consistently been ranked first among Comprehensive Universities in the annual ratings done by Macleans magazine. The Music Resource Centre (School of Music) and QEII libraries have steadily built collections concerning expressive traditions, vernacular culture, and world music. An intensive phase of development has occurred since 2002. MMaP has a substantial private collection of audio, video, and print materials relating to indigenous cultures and multicultural communities in Canada.
Resources relating to Atlantic Canada are particularly rich. The Memorial University of Newfoundland Folklore and Language Archive is a remarkable institution with over 40,000 audio recordings. It comprises extensive collections of folksongs and music, folk narratives and oral history, data on folk customs, beliefs and practices, childlore and descriptions of material culture. It has special collections of Newfoundland vocabulary, proverbs and riddles, and houses material for a projected linguistic atlas of the province. Newfoundland popular culture is an increasing element in MUNFLA’s holdings, including commercial recordings, radio broadcasts, and recordings of theatrical performances. The Centre d’Etudes Franco-Terreneuviennes (CEFT) houses a unique collection of tape, video, and manuscript materials pertaining to the traditional culture of the Port-au-Port Peninsula/Bay St. George region. The Centre for Newfoundland Studies, located in the Queen Elizabeth II Library has a remarkable collection of materials in all forms for the study of all aspects of Newfoundland and Labrador.
Graduate students in Folklore have published an annual journal,
Culture and Tradition, for over twenty-five years. They
welcome high quality essays and reviews, as well as editorial and
administrative assistance. See www.ucs.mun.ca/~culture.