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Looking Back on 50 Years of Musical Research in Afghanistan

Tuesday, February 9, 2016
4:00 PM - 5:30 PM
10383 Bunche Hall

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2016 marks the 50th anniversary of the beginning of Sakata’s musical research and fieldwork in Afghanistan. She will reflect on her fieldwork experiences in remote regions of Afghanistan during an era now gone by; a time of peace, a time when the country was ruled by a constitutional monarchy, and a time when hospitality and friendship were openly and freely offered to foreigners. For this talk, she will focus on her work with the Hazaras of central Afghanistan in her pursuit to find the meaning of music and musical expression in Afghanistan. She will also show footage of three musical performances that were rare at the time of filming (1972), and presumably no longer performed in the Hazarajat or for that matter, in Afghanistan.


Hiromi Lorraine Sakata is Professor Emerita of Ethnomusicology at UCLA. Before joining the UCLA faculty as professor and associate dean of the UCLA School of the Arts and Architecture, she was professor of music and head of the ethnomusicology division in the School of Music at the University of Washington. Her publications on Afghan music include Music in the Mind: The Concepts of Music and Musician in Afghanistan (Kent State and Smithsonian) and Afghanistan Encounters with Music and Friends (Mazda Publishers) as well as numerous articles and recordings. From 2004-2010, she directed a digitization project funded by NEH for the Archives of Radio Afghanistan.

Sponsor(s): Program on Central Asia, UCLA Center for World Music