Damascus Kafumbe

Assistant Professor of Music

 
 work802.443.5578
 on leave '15-'16 academic year
 Mahaney Center for the Arts 305

Damascus Kafumbe teaches courses in world music and ethnomusicology and directs the Middlebury African Music and Dance Ensemble. He holds an M.M. and Ph.D. in Musicology from Florida State University and is a performing ethnomusicologist (multi-instrumentalist and dancer). He performs and composes on various East African musical instruments, many of which he builds and maintains. He is an active member of the Society for Ethnomusicology (SEM), the African Studies Association (ASA), the African Theatre Association (AfTA), and the International Council for Traditional Music (ICTM). He has published articles and reviews in The World of Music (New Series), African Music, Ethnomusicology, and Yearbook for Traditional Music. He also serves on the editorial board of the journal Cultural Analysis, and is a board member of the Pabst Charitable Foundation for the Arts. His current research focuses on the royal musical cultures of Buganda, Uganda, and he is currently working on a book manuscript about the Kawuugulu clan and royal musical practice. 

 

 

Courses

Course List: 

Courses offered in the past four years.
indicates offered in the current term
indicates offered in the upcoming term[s]

FYSE1484 - World Musical Instruments      

World Musical Instruments
Every culture has musical instruments, and we admire musicians who play them well. Yet, musical instruments can tell us a lot more about a society if we have the tools to analyze their sounds, morphologies, functions, classifications, playing techniques, and scales or tuning systems. In this seminar we will develop critical skills for analyzing these elements through a selection of world musical instruments. We will also have the opportunity to construct musical instruments out of recycled materials. Course activities will include intensive reading, writing, discussions, research, oral presentations, and hands-on activities. No prior musical background is required. 3 hrs. sem. ART CMP CW

Fall 2016

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MUSC0234 - Music in World Cultures      

Music in World Cultures
In this course students will develop skills for analyzing music and appreciating its social, economic, and political importance within societies other than their own. We will explore world musical styles through readings, lectures, discussions, film screenings, listening sessions, workshops, concerts, and hands-on activities. Assuming a strong background in music, this course will be open to music majors and others by approval. AAL ART

Fall 2012, Spring 2014, Spring 2015

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MUSC0235 - Music Ethnography      

Music Ethnography
In this course we will study various methods and techniques for conducting field research about musical phenomena. Students will learn how to design feasible research projects, document musical activities in human communities, analyze collected data, and present their findings. Class and out-of-class activities will include writing ethnographic notes, making audio/video recordings, conducting interviews, photography, writing research reports, and making oral presentations. Students may have the opportunity to do field research that will involve field equipment and editing software. Some background in reading or writing about music is recommended. ART SOC WTR

Winter 2013, Winter 2015

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MUSC0236 - African Soundscapes      

African Soundscapes
This course will introduce students to musical cultures and practices from the African continent with a focus on particular regional styles. Through readings, lectures, discussions, film screenings, listening sessions, concerts, and hands-on activities, we will develop skills for analyzing and appreciating the diversity of African musical practices and their social, economic, and political value in traditional and contemporary contexts. Some background in music may be necessary. AAL ART

Spring 2013, Fall 2013

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MUSC0244 / DANC0244 - African Music Dance & Perform.      

African Music and Dance Performance
This course will introduce students to various techniques of performing East African (primarily Ugandan) musical and dance traditions through regular rehearsals, culminating in an end-of-semester concert. As an ensemble, we will learn and master how to play and sing/dance to bow-harps, thumb-pianos, xylophones, tube-fiddles, bowl-lyres, gourd shakers, struck gourds, reed-box rattles, ankle bells, leg rattles, and various types of drums. Some background in performing music is recommended, but prior knowledge of performing African music and dance is not required. 3 hrs. lect./lab AAL ART

Fall 2012, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Fall 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2016

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MUSC0400 - Senior Seminar      

Topic is determined by the instructor - refer to section for the course description. ART

Fall 2014

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MUSC0500 - Independent Study      

Independent Study
Admission by approval. Please consult published departmental guidelines and paragraph below.

Fall 2012, Winter 2013, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Winter 2014, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Winter 2015, Spring 2015, Winter 2016, Fall 2016

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MUSC0704 - Senior Work      

Senior Work
Senior work is not required of all music majors and joint majors. However, students interested in and eligible for departmental honors (see guideline above, in "Departmental Honors" section) may propose one or two-semester Senior Work projects. Projects may be in history, composition, theory, ethnomusicology, performance, or electronic music, and should culminate in a written presentation, a public performance, or a combination of the two. MUSC0704 does not count as a course toward fulfillment of the music major.

Project and budget proposals for Independent Study and Senior Work should be submitted by the previous April 1 for fall and winter term projects, and the previous October 15 for spring term projects. Budget proposals will not be considered after those dates. Project proposals will be considered after the deadline but are more likely not to be approved due to previous commitments of faculty advisors or other scheduling reasons.

Fall 2012, Winter 2013, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Winter 2014, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Winter 2015, Spring 2015, Winter 2016, Fall 2016

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Program in International and Global Studies

Robert A. Jones '59 House
148 Hillcrest Road
Middlebury College
Middlebury, VT 05753