Dr. Grasso will give a talk on “The Role of Musical Tradition Today”: For centuries in the West, people have gathered to make music together. Music traditions pass down domains of knowledge that have accrued over generations. Whether in contexts public or private, sacred or profane, casual or official, musical traditions have played a critical role in human culture. But, how does this knowledge transfer happen? What sort of knowledge does music impart? Why does musical tradition still live in the bedrock of culture? Does traditional music have anything to teach us about culture today? In his talk, Dr. Grasso will use the case study of Irish Traditional music to explore these questions.
Dr. Grasso will also lead a workshop on “Composing New Music, Traditionally”: No matter how novel, all new music is in dialogue with past traditions. Today, many musicians look to tradition for aesthetic and formal inspiration while they attempt to fashion new music that is both unique and personal. Participants in the workshop will collectively compose a new tune in a traditional style and discuss where and how innovation touches tradition. No compositional or performing experience is needed to participate!