February 16, 2018
Wayne C. Wentzel Lecture
Johann Buis: The Human Obsession with Music
Free and Open to the Public.
Humans need sound as much as they need air. Little wonder that the air is most often the carrier of sound. This presentation examines why humans are obsessed with music and the psychological basis for music enjoyment. An invitation explores ways in which universities of the 21st century could join in exploring music in its rich varieties and differences. The digital revolution causes academics to re-evaluate the democratization of the production, mediation, and dissemination of music. This reality is both a challenge and an opportunity to navigate music and difference. Conventional training best equips the next generation to develop new tools and strategies in order to address unprecedented new realities. Join in a thought-provoking presentation that looks at the human obsession with music and the call to the academic community: let’s explore both music studies and the studies of difference.
Dr. Johann S. Buis, Associate Professor of Musicology, Wheaton College, Illinois, was tenured in musicology both at the University of Georgia (1989-97) and Wheaton College (2003-present). He holds degrees and diplomas from Ball State University, the University of Cape Town, the Orff Institute of the Mozarteum University of Salzburg, and the University of the Western Cape, among others. He was a post-doctoral Rockefeller Research Fellow during 1995-96 at the Center for Black Music Research (CBMR) and held a Fulbright Fellowship in 1982-83.
His scholarship ranges from performance history of early music to the aesthetics and reception history of black music between the United States and urban centers in Africa. He is the co-author of Shout Because You're Free! The Ring Shout Tradition in Coastal Georgia (University of Georgia Press, 1998). A versatile public musicologist, he has published widely in journals such as College Music Symposium, Ethnomusicology, Early Music America, MLA Notes, to Torture: Quarterly Journal on Rehabilitation of Torture Victims and Prevention of Torture and Issue: A Journal of Opinion, among others.
He is Past-President of the Society for Christian Scholarship in Music (SCSM), an international professional academic organization. He chaired the Board of Directors of SDG Music Foundation (Soli Deo Gloria, Inc.), a commissioning and advocacy foundation for sacred music in the biblical tradition.
His professional activities include service as a Member-at-Large on the Board of Directors of the American Musicological Society (AMS) and many committee assignments of the AMS. He served on standing committees of the Society for American Music (SAM). He has served as Keynote Speaker at various conferences. In addition, he has presented papers internationally at Cambridge University, Oxford University, the Free University (Berlin), the University of Goettingen and other institutions.
He directed both International Initiatives at the Center for Black Music Research (CBMR), Columbia College Chicago, and the African Studies Program at the University of Georgia.
During recent years, he has been active in interdisciplinary scholarship integrating musicology, ethnomusicology, and cultural theory. At present (2017), he is in his twentieth season as a pre-concert lecturer at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. He has also held numerous professional development seminars in the USA, the Caribbean, Germany, and South Africa. His experience in exploring new pathways in American and Africanist scholarship is sought after for his fresh perspectives to music scholarship.