Past events

RAI Research Seminar: Jerome Lewis
Wednesday 18 November 2015, 05:30pm - 07:30pm
Hits : 3043
by This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Why Music Matters. Social Aesthetics and Cultural Transmission.

Dr Jerome Lewis, UCL

Wednesday 18 November at 5.30 pm

All social groups have their own music. Why should this be? This talk will argue that attending to musical activity provides great insight into a group’s core values and practices. Using the case study of BaYaka Pygmies in Northern Congo, this talk describes how their distinctive vocal polyphonic music provides a window onto some of the ways that music can act as a major avenue for cultural transmission. From structuring society or inculcating characteristic economic, political and religious ways of interacting, to instilling key values such as sharing and egalitarianism, and for creating a special world of time where the deep structure of myth and BaYaka cosmology can be experienced by each generation. In the context of an egalitarian society where no one has authority to judge others, the social and aesthetic nurturing provided by musical participation provides an anthropologist with privileged access to key cultural schema that otherwise ‘go without saying ‘.

This event is free, but tickets must be booked. To book tickets please go to

Location 3