Culture and Personal Experience

by Mark English A busker. A real musician, this one, with an acoustic guitar and a small amplifier, operating on a (by then) relatively quiet city street corner late the other night. You know how it is. You hear a song that is vaguely familiar, and you want to identify it. You Google a couple of keywords or phrases from […]

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Shostakovich and the Stories We Tell Ourselves About Ourselves

by Margaret Rowley Ethnographers tend to like stories, as do many non-ethnographers. Much of the point of ethnography is simultaneously to hear people tell their stories (interview) and watch them live their stories (observation), and then try to critically analyze what’s happening (theoretical intervention). At least one ethnographer, Clifford Geertz, has suggested that the definition of culture is “stories we […]

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Politics and Song

by E. John Winner Now, the whole business of Irish nationalism can get very serious if you’re not careful. – Liam Clancy [1] My father, Joseph Connelly, abandoned his family when I was two years of age.  I probably should have hated him and be done with it; but that’s not how children respond to their abandonment.  There’s a lot […]

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Music, Humor, and Politics

by Mark English P.D.Q. Bach was the youngest and oddest of J.S. Bach’s many children. His best known work is probably the dramatic oratorio, Oedipus Tex, featuring the “O.K. Chorale.” Another of his works is the Pervertimento for Bagpipes, Bicycle and Balloons. Peter Schickele, Professor of Musicology and Musical Pathology at the University of Southern North Dakota at Hoople, who […]

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