Achievements of Professor Barbara Barnard Smith in Ethnomusicology

YAMAGUTI Osamu      

        Ms. Barbara B. Smith, whose perfectionism in performances as a concert pianist from the 1940s to the 1950s are still recounted by many, has shown this same quality as an educator/researcher in the field of ethnomusicology, in which she became engaged in the early days of the discipline. The fact that she started living in Hawaii (as spelled in those days) had an immeasurable impact on her career shift from pianist/theoretician to ethnomusicologist; namely, the cultural pluralism of the community to which the University of Hawaii belongs, awakened her consciousness of the importance of cultural relativism. As one of the pioneers to argue for the efficacy of “performance” as a conduit for research and intellectual understanding of Asian musicality, she achieved a high degree of musical literacy in Japanese, Korean and Chinese musics through conscientious self-initiative. She studied with local musicians who were Asian immigrants or their descendants, with visiting musicians from Asia, and even with Asians by visiting them in their respective countries. She was just as meticulous in training her students. Following in her footsteps, they have devoted themselves to relevant social interaction in whatever topics of research they chose.
        In accordance with paying respect to the different cultural values of diverse communities, whether in small areas of a country or in large-scale societies or countries, her strategy of diversifying the music curriculum at the University of Hawai‘i – the official spelling as determined by the State of Hawai‘i in recognition of the importance of the language of the native people, particularly that of the glottal stop as a phonemically distinctive feature which is to be precisely written with an “upside down comma” – was accepted not only by her university and its general community but also by other universities in the United States of America as well as abroad. At the same time, she was enthusiastically engaged between the 1950s and 1970s in programming a number of lecture concerts in order to make a wider public familiar with Asian and Pacific musics not only at the university but also outside the campus in Honolulu and on the other islands of Hawai‘i.
        One of her most significant achievements in publication was editing a special issue of the periodical, Music Educators Journal (October 1972). The significance of this work lies in its influence upon music educators in high schools and colleges. Until then, the general tendency of ethnomusicology had been to produce publications intended for other specialist ethnomusicologists. Her signal publication established a welcome trend to make ethnomusicological works as accessible as possible to “non-ethnomusicologists”, whether music educators or lay people. In other words, it can safely be said that her scholarship has had a direct bearing on the appreciation of world musics among the citizens of the USA and abroad. A similar effect is evident in her productions of recordings as listed below.
        Ms. Smith is one of the earliest members of the International Council for Traditional Music (ICTM), originally known as the International Folk Music Council (IFMC). Because this scholarly society covers the entire world of music and a diversity of methodologies, it has officially designated various “Study Groups” so that ethnomusicologists with common interests may be able to communicate effectively with one another on specific matters rather than addressing themselves only to a wider circle of the general membership. The Study Group of Music and Dance of Oceania (SGMDO) has been one of the most active ones under Professor Smith’s leadership as chair (from 1984 to 2001). Her devotion to this task included editing circulars and mailing them herself. (Current communication uses an internet mailing list.) She is both a scholarly contributor and a patron for the Society for Ethnomusicology (SEM) and the College Music Society (CMS).
        Professor Smith is an extraordinary example of the researcher / performer / educator / advocate who has made the understanding and celebration of world musics, particularly those of Asia and the Pacific, her life’s work.
(Professor Emeritus, Osaka University; Visiting Professor, Osaka University of Arts)

Biography of Professor Barbara Barnard Smith

Born: Ventura, California, 10 June 1920 カリフォルニア生まれ

Academic Education 学歴
  • Pomona College with music as the major: BA, magna cum laude 1942学士
  • Eastman School of Music, University of Rochester: M.MUS (in Music Literature) 1943修士; Performer’s Certificate in Piano 1945 演奏免許

  • Private Study of Asian Instruments アジア楽器習得
    Japanese koto (w/ Kay Mikami, Honolulu) 1955-1962, (3 months w/ Miyagi Michio, Tokyo) 1956; taiko -- Iwakuni Bon Dance (3 months w/ Goichi Fukunaga, Honolulu) 1959; Okinawan koto (6 months w/ Otoyo Maeshiro, Honolulu) 1961; Chinese yangkum (3 months w/ Chang Hoon, Honolulu) 1959; Chinese zheng (briefly w/ Liang Tsai-Ping, Taipei) 1960; Korean piri (2 months at predecessor to National Classical Music Institute, Korea) 1960; Korean changgo (periodically w/ Halla Huhm, Honolulu) 1960-63; Korean kayagum (briefly w/ Hwang Byongki, Seoul) 1962 , 日本の箏、太鼓、琉球箏、中国の揚琴、韓国の篳篥、杖鼓、伽倻琴

    Professional Appointments 職歴
  • Eastman School of Music: faculty of piano and theory, 1943-1949 ピアノおよび理論講師
  • University of Hawaii (University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa): Ass’t. Prof. 1949-, Assoc. Prof. 1953-, Prof. 1962-, Prof. Emerita 1982—. ハワイ大学勤務。現在、名誉教授
  • East-West Center: Senior Fellow 1973; Director of programs for Pacific Islanders: Women’s Leadership in Music 1967; Ethnomusicology 1973, 1975, 1976 シニア・フェロー;東西センター太平洋諸島プログラム等担当
  • Visiting Professorships: Ewha Womens University (Seoul, Korea); Ohio State Univ.; Univ. of Arizona-Tucson 客員教授勤務

  • Performances: 主要演奏歴
    Piano (with orchestra and ensemble): 1940s and 1950s in New York, Honolulu & Korea; koto (soloist with orchestra): Miyagi Michio’s setting of Yatsuhashi Kengyo’s Midare (from her own transcription of an old recording for koto and western orchestra) at UH in 1959 初期にはコンサートピアニストとして協奏曲、室内楽、歌曲伴奏。後に箏ほかを演奏

    Main Works by Barbara B. Smith

    1) 辞典類項目担当  As Author for Articles in Dictionaries
  • Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart. Basel: Bärenreiter Kassel. 1962 and 1994 editions.
  • The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. London: Macmillan. 1980 and 2001 editions.
  • The New Grove Dictionary of Musical Instruments. London: Macmillan. 1984.
  • The Garland Encyclopedia of World Music, Vol. 9, Australia and the Pacific Islands. New York: Garland Pub., Inc. 1998.

  • 2) 学術雑誌等への寄稿  Articles in Scholarly Journals, etc:
  • “Indigenous and Non-Indigenous Researchers: Implications for content and method in the study of music in Oceania.” International Musicological Society: Report of the Twelfth Congress. 1981.「文化担い手側と外部研究者-オセアニア音楽研究の内容と方法に関わる含意」
  • “Variability, Change, and the Learning of Music” (Charles Seeger Distinguished Lecture). Ethnomusicology Vol. 21, 1987.「音楽の可変性、変化、そして学習」

  • 3) 編集者として(ハワイ、東アジア、世界音楽関係) Editor
  • The Queen’s Songbook / Her Majesty Queen Lili‘uokalani. Honolulu: Hui Hanai.1999.
  • Musics of Hawai‘i: “It All Comes From The Heart”. Honolulu: State Foundation on Culture and the Arts—Folk Arts Program. 1994. [Special assistance/content accuracy]
  • Music in World Cultures. Washington, D.C.: Music Educators National Conference.  (Originally published as the October 1972 issue of Music Educators Journal with its articles re-published the same year as a separate book.) 1972. [“Field Editor”]
  • The Garland Encyclopedia of World Music, Vol. 7, East Asia: China, Japan, and Korea.  Eds. Robert Provine, Yosihiko Tokumaru, and J. Lawrence Witzleben. New York and London: Routledge. 2002. [“Consulting Editor” for entire volume]

  • 4) 視聴覚資料制作(ハワイ、韓国、世界音楽) Producer of Audio-Visual Materials
  • Enchanted Evening in Micronesia. Performed by The Micronesian Club of Honolulu at the University of Hawaii. (7”LP). Honolulu: Micronesian Club. 1961. [Advisor, technician, and author of liner notes]
  • Music From Korea: The Kayakeum Performed by Hwang Byongki. (LP recording) Honolulu: East-West Center Press. 1965. (Reprocessed and renamed: Kayagum: Byungki Hwang, Early Recording. (CD) C&L Music. 2001. [Music Editor, LP]
  • Ula No Weo [a film teaching the Hawaiian hula “Ula No Weo” as performed by Eleanor Leilehua Hiram]. A project of the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, Committee for the Preservation and Study of Hawaiian Language, Art, and Culture. Honolulu: Cine Pic. 1965. [Co-Director with Dorothy Gillett.] (Film reprocessed to videotape 1980 and to DVD 2006)
  • The JVC Video Anthology of World Music and Dance, English Language Edition, Smithsonian/Folkways Recordings. 1990. [Advisory Committee for English edition]

    Contact Us (Please change * into @)
    This page was updated on 6 June 2010.
    KOIZUMI Fumio Memorial Archives, All rights reserved.