In the Loop

Thoreau's Ear

  • Date & Time
    • Friday, February 13, 2015 1:55pm to 2:45pm

      Colloquium - Reception to follow

    • Thursday, February 12, 2015 4:00pm to 5:00pm

      Roundtable discussion with musicology graduate students

  • Cost
    • Free
  • Description

    Musicology Colloquium

    Jeff Todd Titon is Emeritus Professor
    Brown University

    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) was the only 19th century US writer of the very first rank who paid prolonged and intense attention to sound-worlds, particularly non-human ones. As a naturalist, Thoreau’s fieldwork not only involved botany but also sound-collecting. Relying on his Journal and other written work, I show how Thoreau understood music as sound, paying particular attention to his writings on ambient sound and animal sound communication in acoustic ecological niches; showing how he understood sound announces presence and enables co-presence; and pointing to his development of a relational epistemology and alternative economy based in sound. 

    Jeff Todd Titon is emeritus professor of music, Brown University, where for 27 years he directed the doctoral program in ethnomusicology. He received the Ph.D. in 1971 from the University of Minnesota, studying musicology with Johannes Riedel and ethnomusicology with Alan Kagan. Known as a pioneer in phenomenological ethnography, applied ethnomusicology, and ecomusicology, his most recent work integrates music within the larger context of sound in the natural world and the built environment, and he has issued an appeal for a sound commons for all living creatures. His current research may be tracked on his blog at    

  • Venue
    University Auditorium
    Room #
    Friends of Music Room
    333 Newell Drive
    University Auditorium Website