Pop music examined

2010-01-19 00:00

A PIETERMARITZBURG author travelled to the University of Strasbourg in France last year to give his verdict on a thesis which references his book, Origins of the Popular Style.

Peter van der Merwe’s book looks at the origins of 20th-century popular music and how traditional ­African music and European music came together in North America. In print for some 20 years, Origins is one of the few books written on the subject and “tackles pop music from a scholarly point of view”.

Van der Merwe, who works in the cataloguing department at the ­Bessie Head Library, was asked to take part in the event by the student Elvio Cipollone. “He wanted me to be an examiner on his thesis,” he ­explained. “In the ‘sustaining the thesis oral exam’, the person ­expounds their thesis, the examiners ask questions and the student ­responds.

“It was very flattering, but I didn’t want to do it initially. But, even though it was stressful, I’m glad I did it and, if I got a similar invitation in the future I’d do it again.”

Cipollone, who hails from Verona in Italy, worked on his thesis — ­Harmonic Patterns of Popular Music and its Relation to the Principals of Tonality — for five years, but only discovered Van der Merwe’s work after he’d already started this study.

Van der Merwe, who has a reading knowledge of French, was able to read Cipollone’s work before he and the three other examiners tested him on his literary ability, how well he ­argued his case and how he ­managed to explain the technical aspects of the thesis.

Unfortunately, he didn’t get a chance to talk privately to the Italian student, something he regrets.

“I would have liked to spend some time with Elvio, talking about ­academic styles and standards,” said Van der Merwe, who released a second book, Roots of the Classical in 2004.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.