Wayne State University

Knowledge on Tap presents … Sing us a song: Popular music’s place in culture

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Pull up a stool, grab a drink and learn something new.

If there is one commonality that binds us all, it is music. As poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow once wrote, “Music is the universal language of mankind.”

While some are passive listeners, ethnomusicologists make it their job to understand music as a social practice and study music in its cultural context. They research music from any part of the world and investigate its connections to all elements of social life.

Join Joshua S. Duchan, associate professor of music history and director of graduate studies in music at Wayne State University, as he discusses ethnomusicology, popular music and his recently published book about the music of singer-songwriter Billy Joel. He will take us from the basic elements of how music is put together all the way to how it reflects and affects our society, culture and history. Join us starting at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 14, at HopCat Detroit's Huma Room in Midtown. The presentation begins at 6 p.m.

Duchan is an ethnomusicologist specializing in American popular music. He has authored two books, Powerful Voices: The Musical and Social World of Collegiate A Cappella and Billy Joel: America's Piano Man, and numerous journal articles and book chapters. He has also been invited by the American Musicological Society to give a lecture in 2018 on his research at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum.

At WSU, Duchan teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in music history, world music, popular music and ethnomusicology. Outside of teaching, he is an active participant in the regional and national a cappella scene as an adjudicator, arranger, clinician and producer.

Knowledge on Tap consists of live — and lively — discussions with some of Detroit’s greatest minds. The events are held every other month and feature an informal presentation by one of Wayne State’s renowned faculty members on a topic of their choice, followed by dynamic conversation. All Knowledge on Tap events are free, open to the public and require no educational background. All ages are welcome.

HopCat Detroit
4265 Woodward Ave.
Detroit, MI 48201

For more information about this event, please contact Shawn Wright at 313-577-4562 or shawn.wright@wayne.edu.

Submissions for this form have closed on September 14, 2017.