UPM music department holds international colloquium

THE music department of Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) is spearheading the research in music with an international colloquium.

Scheduled to be held from May 3 to 5 at the university’s Faculty of Human Ecology in Seri Kembangan, the event will feature about 20 music researchers from Malaysia, Taiwan, Germany, Switzerland, Hong Kong, Singapore and Thailand.

Department head Dr Joanne Yeoh said the colloquium aimed to examine the intertwined relationship between music, dance and environment.

“We’ll look at how music and dance integrate with the environment, and how they relate to the general environment,” she said.

Yeoh will also be presenting a paper during the event. Her topic is “The pirating musician: an examination into the attitudes and justifications toward music piracy among musicians.”

Other topics are “Factors concerning music selection, rhythmic gymnastics, and tai chi competition routine” by Loo Fung Chiat and Loo Fung Ying from Malaysia, “The windmills of my mind: musings about music, nature, ecology, and sonic hygiene” by Marcello Sorce Keller from Switzerland, “The impact of music archaeology on local community culture in Wuhan” by Lee Soo Foon from Malaysia and “Cosmo­politanism in Hong Kong contemporary art music” by Joyce Tang Wai-Chung Tang from Hong Kong.

Research, as Yeoh noted, is important for the music industry to grow and develop.

“Playing is only one of the many aspects of music. A lot of research is needed, and it is not enough in Malaysia yet,” she said.

As part of the colloquium, a jazz and gamelan concert led by Prof Dr Gisa Jنhnichen from Germany will also be staged on May 4 at 5pm.

The music department welcomes students, researchers, musicians, government officers and people in the industry to participate in the colloquium.

Registration fee, including meals, tea and coffee, printed materials, workshops and performance, is RM90. Students get a 50% discount.

Founded in 1996, the music department is currently staffed by eight full-time lecturers (two of them are on study leave).

It has about 40 undergraduate students, 10 Master’s students and a handful of Ph.D candidates.

Yeoh said research had shown that all graduates from the department were highly sought after. They are employed within three months of graduation.

“They work as music teachers, recording engineers, orchestra players, composers or event managers,” she said.

She added that the department offered Bachelor of Music (Performance) and Master of Science, and had carved a name for itself with the music programme focusing on Western classical and jazz music.

“Students work really hard in our department — practising takes up 40% of the course while the rest consists of writing, reading and analysing.

“We have a lunch recital every week where they take turns to play in front of the other students and receive feedback from the floor,” Yeoh said.

The students put together a concert each year, and this year, they will be retelling the tale of Beauty and the Beast on May 19 with Klang Chamber Choir and vocalists from Young Choral Academy.

The production, featuring excerpts from the well-known musical, takes on a local twist.

“Wayang kulit characters are used in the story-telling.

“It’s an all-student production. They are in charge of everything, from costumes to lighting and sound to brochures,” said Yeoh.

She added that sponsorship was welcome for the production, which cost about RM4,000.

Entrance fee to the concert is priced at RM15 for public, RM8 for students and free for children below three years.

The event will be held from 8pm to 10pm at Dewan Kuliah Utama of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences in UPM.

For enquiries, call the music department at 03-8946 7132 (both events) or Bernard Tan at 017-323 0217 (Beauty and the Beast).

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