Affiliated Faculty

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Michael Silvers


Assistant Professor of Musicology

Gabriel Solis


Associate Professor of Musicology

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B.A. (musicology), University of Wisconsin;

Ph. D. (musicology/ethnomusicology), Washington University in St. Louis

A specialist in African American music, Gabriel Solis has done ethnographic and historical research with jazz musicians and capoeiristas in the United States. His work views black music in both American and diasporic perspectives. Drawing on work in African American studies, anthropology, and history, he addresses the ways people engage the past, performing history and memory through music. Additionally, his work explores musicians' and audiences' interactions with and personalization of mass-mediated musical commodities in transnational circulation. He has received the Wenner Gren Foundation's Hunt Fellowship, the Arnold O. Beckman Fellowship for distinguished research, and the Madden Fellowship for research in technology and the arts. He is the author of articles on jazz and rock in The Musical Quarterly, Ethnomusicology, the Journal of the Royal Musical Association, the Journal of Popular Music Studies, and a number of edited collections. He is the author of a book on contemporary performances of Thelonious Monk's music, titled Monk's Music: Thelonious Monk and Jazz History in the Making (University of California Press, 2007), co-editor with Bruno Nettl of a collection of essays on improvisation cross-culturally, and is currently working on a book on Tom Waits and the theatrics of masculinity. In addition to jazz, Dr. Solis has studied capoeira with Professor Doutor of ASCAB and Instructor Macaquinho of Capoeira Angola Palmares, and works with Aboriginal Australian musicians and dancers in Sydney and Cape York, Queensland.


Teaching Philosophy

I believe that university-level education is a responsibility shared between teacher and students. Whether students are first-year non-majors or Ph.D. candidates, I am committed to helping them master course material, and in return I expect them to think critically and creatively about the ideas presented to them. I believe students learn best in an interactive environment, in which they are encouraged to actively participate in the discovery process. As students learn more, the balance shifts within the conversation and I expect them to bring a more extensive body of knowledge and more sophisticated analytical framework to the conversation. I strive to make my students’ engagement with ethnomusicology part of a broader humanistic study, challenging them to seek out the connections between musical sound and social processes. I want them to bring all of their knowledge about culture and history to bear on their musical learning, and in turn to be able to bring their understanding of music to bear on studies in the arts, humanities, and social sciences. Finally, I encourage students to draw on and analyze their very personal musical experiences as listeners and performers, humanizing theoretical study with practical application.

Thomas R. Turino

Thomas R.

Professor Emeritus of Musicology and Anthropology

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 B.A., Colgate University; M.M. (ethnomusicology/musicology) and Ph.D. (ethnomusicology), University of Texas; additional postgraduate work in music and ethnomusicology at Keene State College and Wesleyan University


Thomas Turino’s primary areas of specialization are Andean music, Latin American music, and the music of southern Africa. He also specializes in the semiotics of music and in theoretical issues of music and politics. He has done major fieldwork in Peru and Zimbabwe funded by Fulbright, Inter-American Foundation, and Tinker Fellowships. His articles and reviews have appeared in a variety of books and journals including Ethnomusicology, The Latin American Music Review, and The World of Music. He is the author of two books, Moving Away from Silence: The Music of the Peruvian Altiplano and the Experience of Urban Migration (1993), and Nationalists, Cosmopolitans, and Popular Music in Zimbabwe (2000), and is the co-author of Excursions in World Music. He is co-editor of the book Identity and the Arts in Diaspora Communities. He has recently finished the book, Musical Meaning and Social Participation. In addition to academic classes, he teaches performance of Andean winds and Shona mbira, and performs North American music on five-string banjo, button accordions, and guitar.

Bruno Nettl


Professor Emeritus of Music and Anthropology

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A.B. (music), M.A., Indiana University; M.A. (library science), University of Michigan; Ph.D. (musicology, ethnomusicology, with minors in anthropology and folklore), Indiana University.


Bruno Nettl’s main research interests are ethnomusicological theory and method, music of Native American cultures, and music of the Middle East, especially Iran. Professor Nettl has done field work with the Blackfoot people of Montana, and in Iran, Israel, and India, and he has an interest in the music history and folk music of his native Czech Republic. Professor Nettl has been focusing in recent years on the study of improvisatory music, the understanding of musical change throughout the world, and the intellectual history of ethnomusicology. He has published many articles and more than a dozen books, the best known being The Study of Ethnomusicology (1983), The Western Impact on World Music (1985), Blackfoot Musical Thought: Comparative Perspectives (1989), Heartland Excursions: Ethnomusicological Perspectives on Schools of Music (1995), and Encounters in Ethnomusicology (2002), a professional memoir. Certain of his books have been translated into French, Spanish, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, and Persian. Professor Nettl has received honorary doctorates from the University of Chicago, the University of Illinois, Carleton College, and Kenyon College. He is an honorary member of the American Musicological Society and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Professor Nettl has taught as visiting professor at Harvard, Northwestern, the universities of Chicago, Minnesota, Washington, and Texas, among others, and served as Benedict Distinguished Professor of Music at Carleton College. He is chairing a committee to organize an international and intercultural conference on the study of improvisation, and he is in charge of forthcoming celebrations to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the Society for Ethnomusicology. He continues teaching part-time in the University of Illinois School of Music.

Teaching Philosophy


Ideally, I would like to see all students develop (with their advisors) individual plans of study. Teaching of musicology, whether in lecture or seminar settings, should encourage students’ curiosity about fundamental questions and issues in music and culture, and help students to develop strong interests and skills of communication, which means independent projects, papers, and oral reports at all levels. Ethnomusicology has a significant role in musical education, as it provides for all students, no matter what their professional trajectory, a view of the musical universe as multi-faceted and diverse, and an understanding of music as an aspect of human culture related to social, spiritual, and material domains of culture. Students in their courses of study should be exposed to many intellectual and artistic options, and to a large variety of approaches and teaching philosophies.

Donna A. Buchanan

Donna A.

Associate Professor of Musicology

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B.A., Beloit College, M.M. and Ph.D. (ethnomusicology), University of Texas.


A specialist in the musical styles of Bulgaria, the Balkans, and the CIS (especially Russia and the Republic of Georgia), Donna Buchanan’s scholarly interests include music as symbolic communication, music in aesthetic systems, music and power relations, music and cosmology, and music and social identity. Her additional teaching areas include ethnomusicological methodologies, ethnography, Mediterranean traditional and art musics, the musical cultures of indigenous peoples, and Russian and East European classical music, particularly Bartók, Musorgsky, and Shostakovich.


Dr. Buchanan's articles have appeared in major journals of ethnomusicology, musicology, and East European studies. A faculty affiliate of the Russian, East European, and Eurasian Center (REEEC) since 1998 and its Director since 2005, Professor Buchanan also established “Balkanalia,” the University of Illinois Balkan Music Ensemble, which performs regularly under the auspices of both REEEC and the School of Music. Her first book, an ethnomusicological monograph entitled Performing Democracy: Bulgarian Music and Musicians in Transition (University of Chicago Press, 2006), is the result of more than ten years of intensive ethnographic research in Bulgaria, funded by IREX, Fulbright, ACLS-SSRC, Wenner-Gren, and NEH grants. A second, edited volume, Balkan Popular Culture and the Ottoman Ecumene: Music, Image, and Regional Political Discourse (Scarecrow Press), is forthcoming later this year.


Teaching Philosophy

My teaching philosophy is one that, like the field in which I was trained, is inherently interdisciplinary. All of my courses are concerned with conveying what and how musical sound signifies and communicates, in relationship to wider social, cultural, political, economic, and historical contexts. In constructing my lectures I therefore frequently draw upon literature in ethno/musicology, music theory, performance practice, aesthetics, anthropology, religious studies, social theory, gender studies, history, and political science. My teaching emphases include music ethnography; music and cosmology; social theory; musical styles of the Balkans, Eurasia, Russia, and the Mediterranean; the musical cultures of indigenous peoples; and Russian and East European art music, especially Bartók, Musorgsky, and Shostakovich.