Dr. Beverley A. Diamond
Canada Research Chair in Traditional Music/
Achievements: Author or editor of five books; frequently invited to lecture and speak at top international universities, including a visiting professorship at Harvard University; elected and appointed to executive positions with the Society for Ethnomusicology and the International Council for Traditional Music.
Research Involves: In-depth study of the histories of different media and production processes in relation to diverse traditional music cultures, with particular emphasis on indigenous music cultures of Canada and Scandinavia.
Research Relevance: Will provide musicians, producers, archivists and others with a deeper understanding of the ways in which people assign meaning to media or to media processes, and of the specific problems of access to traditional knowledge in a globalized world.
Getting in Tune with Success
Atlantic Canada has long been renowned for the rich traditional music culture of its Anglo-Celtic, Acadian, Aboriginal, African Canadian, and other ethnocultural communities. Consequently, it serves as an excellent location to examine how media and transnational communication networks are raising new questions about appropriate access to local knowledge of all kinds, including music, and shaping the work of traditional musicians in new ways.
What issues do musicians, technicians, producers, marketers and listeners face when commercial recordings are produced or when deep-rooted, community-based "traditional" music is broadcast over transnational media networks? What processes are used to select, arrange, record, produce and circulate local music? How does live performance relate to recorded performance? How do the social relations of the music studio vary for musicians from different ethnocultural traditions, genders, or ages? These are some of the questions Professor Diamond is tackling as chair in Traditional Music at Memorial University of Newfoundland.
To support her own multi-faceted research projects and connect her work to a wider network of scholars, Professor Diamond is creating a Centre for the Study of Music, Media and Place (MMAP). The MMAP Centre will serve as a central point of electronic access for sound archives in Atlantic Canada and beyond. It will house a state-of-the-art audio restoration facility and multimedia studio, and facilitate discussion and collaboration among scholars and community musicians.
Professor Diamond's exciting research will lead to several social and economic benefits for Canada. Her work will foster pride in the uniqueness of Canadian places and communities. It will contribute to our understanding of: cultural diversity; issues of intellectual property; and access to traditional knowledge. Through knowledge sharing, traditional musicians will more fully understand issues affecting their work. The research will enhance the profile of Canada's music scholars within the international community and help to develop Canada's next generation of music scholars and artists.