Friday, October 30, 2015

[191] MTSU conference focuses on music’s role in political dissent through history

MURFREESBORO — Music has been one of man’s favorite ways to resist or support powerful leaders throughout history, and it’s the timely topic of an international conference hosted by MTSU’s School of Music Nov. 21-22.

“Tyranny and Music,” which is free and open to the public, will feature speakers on topics ranging from heavy metal in Egypt before and after the Arab Spring to the Irish harp and cultural genocide going back to the 15th century.

“2015 marks the 200th anniversary of Napoleon’s defeat by the allied forces at Waterloo, the 150th year since John Wilkes Booth shouted ‘Sic semper tyrannis!’ after assassinating President Abraham Lincoln, and the 800th year since the creation of the Magna Carta, perhaps the first English resistance to tyranny,” said Dr. Joseph Morgan, professor of musicology at MTSU.

“In recognition of this important date, we are hosting this conference dealing with the complicated relationship between powerful rulers and the music created to resist, support or just react to a real or perceived oppression.”

Much of the “Tyranny and Music” conference will take place in Room 104 of the Bragg Media and Entertainment Building on the east side of the MTSU campus beginning at 9 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 21.

Dr. Mei Han, director of MTSU’s new Center for Chinese Music and Culture and an ethnomusicologist specializing in Chinese music, will deliver the keynote address, “Battling the Typhoon – Weathering Political Storms in Maoist China” at 11:15 a.m. Nov. 21 in the Bragg Building.

The contemporary music ensemble aTonalHits will perform “Music Under the Soviet Regime” during a free lecture/concert at 5:45 p.m. that day in Hinton Hall inside MTSU’s Wright Music Building.

Scholars from across the nation and from as far afield as France and England will share their expertise on topics ranging from contemporary music to historical contexts and genres during the two-day event.

A searchable campus map with parking details is available at Off-campus visitors attending the event should obtain a special one-day permit from MTSU’s Office of Parking and Transportation at

The complete conference program is available at

For details on this and more events in the MTSU School of Music, call 615-898-2493 or visit

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