Each semester, CCM welcomes distinguished experts for a series of free musical discussions. This fall, the Thinking About Music lecture series will present two free public talks, beginning with a presentation by Kenyon College Professor Maria Mendonça at 5:30 p.m. this Friday, Oct. 20 in CCM’s Baur Room.

Sponsored by the Joseph and Frances Jones Poetker Fund of the Cambridge Charitable Foundation, these music theory and history discussions feature diverse topics presented by distinguished experts from all over the United States and are designed to engage participants’ imaginations and to consider music in new ways.

This semester’s series also includes a presentation from University of Kansas, School of Music Professor Scott Murphy at 2:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 17. See the listings below for more information on this semester’s presentation topics.

Since its inception in 1997, the Thinking About Music Series has presented nearly 130 lectures and one symposium by guests from a number of different colleges, universities, schools of music, foundations, institutes, museums and publications.

The subjects of the lectures have covered historical musicology, music theory and ethnomusicology, along with the ancillary fields of organology, dance, music business and law, cognitive psychology, and the philosophy, theology and sociology of music.



5:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 20
• The Joseph and Frances Jones Poetker Thinking About Music Lecture Series •
Maria Mendonça, Kenyon College
The Indonesian gamelan – a predominantly bronze percussion ensemble comprised of gongs, metallophones and other instruments– has had a long entanglement with the discipline of ethnomusicology from its foundational moments to the present. But ethnomusicology is only one of several networks of circulation, including colonial administration, cultural diplomacy, educational ideology and prison rehabilitation, that have facilitated the movement and reinterpretation of the ensemble and its music outside of Indonesia. In this lecture, Maria Mendonça explores the ways in which the ensemble and its music has been reimagined and localized in Britain, drawing on her recent ethnographic film project Gamelan Encounters (2017).
Location: Baur Room
Admission: FREE

2:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 17
• The Joseph and Frances Jones Poetker Thinking About Music Lecture Series •
Scott Murphy, University of Kansas, School of Music
Earlier this year, Harvard professor Mihir Desai published The Wisdom of Finance, which demonstrates how certain economic structures parallel humanity’s timeless struggles and aspirations as encoded in works of culture. One of those structures is the set of incommensurable preferences: citing Martha Nussbaum’s The Fragility of Goodness, Desai finds this set embedded in notions of what makes for a good life. In this talk, Murphy demonstrates that this set also undergirds many stylistic aspects of Western classical tonal music, in direct contradiction to a prevailing trend in music-theoretical research. From this perspective, defaults such as major-minor tonality and four-part textures emerge as solutions.
Location: Baur Room
Admission: FREE

Event Information
Unless otherwise indicated, all Thinking About Music lectures take place in the Baur Room of CCM’s Corbett Center for the Performing Arts, which is located on the campus of the University of Cincinnati.

These events are free and open to the public. All event dates and programs are subject to change. Visit ccm.uc.edu for the most current event information.

Parking and Directions
Parking is available in the CCM Garage (located at the base of Corry Boulevard off Jefferson Avenue) and additional garages throughout the UC campus. Please visit uc.edu/parking for more information on parking rates.

For detailed maps and directions, please visit uc.edu/visitors. Additional parking is available off-campus at the U Square complex on Calhoun Street and other neighboring lots.

For directions to CCM Village, visit ccm.uc.edu/about/directions.


A preeminent institution for the performing and media arts, CCM is the largest single source of performing arts presentations in the state of Ohio.

All event dates and programs are subject to change. For a complete calendar of events, please visit us online at ccm.uc.edu.

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