Bonnie Wade
Professor and Chair

As a result of graduating from a Bachelor of Music program (Boston University 1963), but subsequently observing the liberal arts experience as a teacher (Brown University 1971-75), I am a believer in education that integrates study of the arts with study of many other subjects. Not surprising for an ethnomusicologist (MA 1967 and PhD from UCLA)! The ethnomusicology program that I began here at UC Berkeley (from 1975-1976) sits comfortably in a department of music in a College of Letters and Science.

I enjoy pursuing multiple interests and seeing the big picture. I very much enjoy teaching, both undergraduates (majors and non-majors, for whom I have written three textbooks--Music in India: The Classical Traditions, Thinking Musically, and Music in Japan: Experiencing Music, Expressing Culture) and graduate students. And I alternate periods when I pursue primarily professorial activities with periods when I add administrative work to the mix (Chair of the Department of Music 1983-88, Dean of Undergraduate Advising 1992-98, Chair of the Deans of the College of Letters and Science 1994-98, Chair of the Group in Asian Studies, since 1999, and now Chair of the Department of Music again).

My first research was in Japanese music (resulting in Tegotomono: 19th Century Koto Music, Greenwood-Praeger 1976) as a result of studying koto in Japan in 1963-64, but that was followed quickly by a focus on Hindustani music as a result of travel in South Asia in 1965. My book Khyal: Creativity Within North India's Classical Vocal Tradition (Cambridge University Press,1984) was a study of that improvisatory genre as performed in this century by multiple groups (gharanas) of musicians. For the next 14 or so years I focused on historical time (the 16th-17th centuries) and on visual sources (miniature paintings that depict music-making to trace the development of North Indian classical music); Imaging Sound: An Ethnomusicological Study of Music, Art, and Culture in Mughal India was published in 1998 (University of Chicago Press). I have since renewed my work in Japan, now focusing on contemporary Japanese musical culture, in a sense returning to where I started. A result of some of my recent research has been Music in Japan (Oxford University Press, 2005), a textbook for the Global Music Series.

Ever-mindful of the important connection between teaching and research, I was able to meld them together in Thinking Musically, Experiencing Music, Expressing Culture (Oxford University Press, 2004) for the Global Music Series (GMS). The GMS is an innovative introduction to world music that focuses on how people make music meaningful and useful in their lives. It consists of two framing volumes (one of which is Thinking Musically) and 17 case study volumes on music in various countries, all focused on themes and designed for in-depth study of a particular musical culture, and each accompanied by a CD. I am the co-General Editor of this Global Music Series for Oxford University Press.

Hindustani music, general Indian and Japanese music and ethnomusicology. Historical and theoretical approaches to ethnomusicology.
Ph.D., UCLA, 1971