Class of '60 Lecture: Gary Tomlinson

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10/18/2010 - 4:15pm

1,000,000 Years of Music

Professor Gary Tomlinson of the University of Pennsylvania will give a lecture entitled “1,000,000 Years of Music” on Monday, Oct. 18, at 4:15 p.m. in Bernhard Music Center Room 30 on the Williams College campus. This lecture is sponsored by the Class of 1960 Scholars Fund and is both free and open to the public.

Professor Tomlinson has provided the following description of his lecture: “Musicking–either making or perceiving music–marshalls a number of universal, complex human capacities.  Behind these stands a deep history of biocultural evolution, a history entwined with similarly deep developments of technology, language, symbolic thought, and religion.  In this lecture Gary Tomlinson explores the forces that shaped the musical capacities of humankind.  He offers a chronology of these forces that reaches back before human modernity and indeed before _Homo sapiens_ itself emerged.”

Tomlinson is a musicologist and cultural theorist known for his interdisciplinary breadth. His teaching, lecturing, and scholarship have ranged across a diverse set of interests, including the history of opera, early-modern European musical thought and practice, the musical cultures of indigenous American societies, jazz and popular music, and the philosophy of history and critical theory.

Tomlinson's books include Monteverdi and the End of the Renaissance; Music in Renaissance Magic; Metaphysical Song: An Essay on Opera; The Singing of the New World: Indigenous Voice in the Era of European Contact; and Music and Historical Critique. He is the co-author, with Joseph Kerman, of the music appreciation textbook Listen, now in its sixth edition.

Tomlinson has garnered prizes from the American Musicological Society, ASCAP, the Modern Language Association, and the British Academy. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and a MacArthur "genius" award.

The Class of 1960 Scholars Fund, established at their 25th Reunion, brings eminent academics from other colleges and universities to campus to engage with Williams students both in the classroom and informally, and share their work with the college community in public lectures.

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