"As an ethnomusicologist with a background in music and anthropology, my integrated teaching and research programs draw heavily from the theoretical lineages of the social sciences to depict all musics within a common conversation about human experience and expression through sound."

Brian Hogan, Ph.D.
UCLA Ethnomusicology Alumnus
Specializations in African Music, African American Music, Jazz, New Media, Percussion, and Disability Studies

Brian Hogan, Ph.D.

UCLA Ethnomusicology Alumnus

With a background in ethnomusicology, anthropology, percussion, and computer science, Brian Hogan fuses an aptitude for technology and design with a deep commitment to the theoretical projects of ethnomusicology and anthropology. Utilizing the many documentary and educational technologies that fall under the blanket category of new media, Brian Hogan has theorized the spiritual and culture-specific dimensions of ableism and disability in rural West Africa, while contributing to discourses on historical memory, speech surrogation, and global percussive practice.

In the U.S., he has conducted fieldwork with professional drummers on the east coast and west coast, framing the drum set as the locus of an extended ethnomusicological praxis, situated within an African American tradition of expressive culture. As a documentarian, he has released a short film shot in West Africa, developed an extensive web resource on Ghanaian Birifor musical culture, and is currently working on a full length documentary film on blind Birifor xylophonists.

Cirriculum Vitae

Education

  • 2006-2011 Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles, Ethnomusicology
    Dissertation: “Enemy Music: Blind Birifor Xylophonists of Northwest Ghana”
  • 2004-2007 M.A., University of California, Los Angeles, Ethnomusicology
    Thesis: “Ethnomusicology and the Drumset: Musical Experience as an Emergent Quality of Performative Modalities”
  • 2000-2003 B.A., University of California, Santa Cruz, Anthropology
    Thesis: “When the Buzzing and Wailing Stops: The Enduring Elements of Traditional Birifor Funeral Xylophone Practices in Accra”
  • 2002 The School for International Training, Ghana
  • 1999-2000 Oberlin College and Conservatory
  • 1998 Certificate in Drumset Performance, Berklee College of Music

Honors & Awards

  • 2013 UCLA Nominee for the 2013-2014 CGS/ProQuest Distinguished Dissertation Award in the Humanities/Fine Arts
  • 2006-2009 University Fellowship, UCLA (awarded three consecutive years)
  • 2006 International Institute Research Grant, UCLA
  • 2003 Highest Honors in the Anthropology Major, University of California, Santa Cruz
  • 2003 Honors for senior thesis in Ethnomusicology, University of California, Santa Cruz

Teaching Experience

  • 2009 Teaching Associate, “Music of Latin America,” UCLA
  • Coordinated instruction between professor and TAs, gave lectures and demos in class and section on rhythmic and harmonic structures in Latin American music, advised students, administered tests, graded written reports
  • 2008 Instructor, “Teaching with Technology,” UCLA
  • Created course curriculum, lectured, advised students, administered tests, graded written reports and technical assignments, assigned final grades
  • 2008 Teaching Assistant, “Women in Jazz,” UCLA
  • Gave section lectures, assisted professor in testing and grading
  • 2007 Teaching Assistant, “Development of Jazz,” UCLA
  • Determined instruction and curriculum in coordination with joint lecturing faculty, assisted TAs without a jazz background, gave section lectures and demos on jazz rhythm, form, harmony, and musicianship, advised students, administered tests, graded written reports
  • 2007 Instructor, UCLA World Music Summer Institute
  • Co-taught the summer Brazilian music performance ensemble
  • 2007 Instructor, “Teaching with Technology,” UCLA
  • Created course curriculum, lectured, advised students, administered tests, graded written reports and technical assignments, assigned final grades
  • 2007 Teaching Assistant, “Folk Music of South Asia,” UCLA
  • Gave section lectures on the musical analysis of South Asian folk styles, assisted professors in testing and grading, gave lecture/demonstration on rhythmic structures in Indian classical music
  • 2007 Teaching Assistant, “Chicano Music in the U.S.,” UCLA
  • Coordinated instruction between professor and TAs, gave section lectures on compositional trends in Chicano music, advised students, administered tests, graded written reports
  • 2006 Teaching Assistant, “Development of Jazz,” UCLA
  • Determined instruction and curriculum in coordination with joint lecturing faculty, assisted TAs without a jazz background, gave section lectures and demos on jazz rhythm, form, harmony, and musicianship, advised students, administered tests, graded written reports
  • 2001-2013 Private Instructor, Drumset & Percussion Performance
  • Gave private individual and group lessons on jazz drumset and/or percussion performance

Conference Presentations & Interviews

2013 “Speech Surrogation as Historical Memory and Deep Knowledge in Birifor Funeral Xylophone Music.” FORTHCOMING paper and film excerpts to be presented at the 58th Annual Conference of the Society for Ethnomusicology. Indiana.

2013 “Blindness and the Enemy: Resisting Tropes of Disability as Spiritual Deviance in Birifor Xylophone Music” Paper and film excerpts presented at the Oxford Handbook of Music and Disability Studies Authors Conference. CUNY, New York.

2012 “Enemy Music: Blind Birifor Xylophonists of Northwest Ghana.” Paper and film excerpts presented at the 57th Annual Conference of the Society for Ethnomusicology. New Orleans.

2012 “The Life and Music of Zena Bacar.” Radio interview for “Music Time in Africa” hosted by Heather Maxwell. Voice of America. (www.bhogan.com/radio/hogan_voa.mp3).

2008 “A Great Man Has Gone Out: The Funeral of Ghanaian Xylophonist Kakraba Lobi.” Paper and short film presented at the 53rd Annual Conference of the Society for Ethnomusicology. Wesleyan University.

2007 “Gendered Modes of Resistance: Power and Women’s Songs in West Africa.” African Activists Association Symposium, University of California, Los Angeles.

2007 Created and facilitated “Negotiating Gender in Fieldwork and Academia,” a UCLA Ethnomusicology panel discussion on the dynamics of gender in the discipline, University of California, Los Angeles.

2006 “Collective Endeavors: Jazz Performance as Critical Analysis.” Presentation at the Society for Ethnomusicology, Southern California Chapter, University of California, San Diego.

Publications

FORTHCOMING. “Blindness and the Enemy: Resisting Tropes of Disability as Spiritual Deviance in Birifor Xylophone Music.” In The Oxford Handbook of Music and Disability Studies. Blake Howe, S. Jensen-Moulton, N. Lerner, and J. Straus, eds. New York: Oxford University Press.

2011. “Enemy Music: Blind Birifor Xylophonists of Northwest Ghana” Ph.D. dissertation, UCLA. (http://birifor.org/enemy_music/Enemy_Music.pdf).

2010. Book Review of The Garland Handbook of African Music, 2nd edition edited by Ruth Stone and Focus: Music of South Africa by Carol Muller. African Arts. Vol. 43/Spring 2010. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

2008. “Gendered Modes of Resistance: Power and Women’s Songs in West Africa.” InThe Pacific Review of Ethnomusicology. Vol. 13/Winter 2008. (http://www.ethnomusic.ucla.edu/pre/Vol13/Vol13html/V13Hogan.html).

2008. “A Great Man Has Gone Out: The Funeral of Ghanaian Xylophonist Kakraba Lobi.” Independently produced and published short film. (http://birifor.org/a_great_man_has_gone_out/index.html).

2006. “Ethnomusicology and the Drumset: Musical Experience as an Emergent Property of Performative Modalities” M.A. Thesis, UCLA. (http://bhogan.com/publications/brian_hogan_ma_thesis.pdf).

2006. “Locating the Chopi Xylophone of Southern Mozambique” in The Pacific Review of Ethnomusicology. Vol. 11/Winter 2006. (http://www.ethnomusic.ucla.edu/pre/Vol11/Vol11html/V11Hogan.html).

Professional Employment

  • 2008-2013 Founder and Lead Developer, Revolution in Design, LLC., a web design and development company
  • 2009 Teaching Associate, UCLA
  • 2007-2008 Teaching Apprentice and Technology Instructor, UCLA
  • 2007 Instructor, UCLA World Music Summer Institute
  • 2006-2007 Teaching Apprentice and Technology Instructor, UCLA
  • 2005-2006 Graduate Student Researcher, UCLA Ethnomusicology Lab
  • 2004-2009 Freelance instruction and performance of West African Music and Culture, California and Massachusetts
  • 1995-2013 Jazz Drummer and Percussionist

Fieldwork

  • 2009 Ghana, West Africa. Three months of dissertation research and community activism in Northwest Ghana and Accra
  • 2007 Ghana, West Africa. Three months of dissertation research and community activism in Northwest Ghana and Accra, documentation of the funeral of Ghanaian xylophonist Kakraba Lobi
  • 2002 Ghana, West Africa. Four months of research on various regional percussive practices culminating in an in-depth study of the Birifor kogyil xylophone.

Activism & Service

  • 2002-2013 Advocate for persons with blindness in the Sawla-Tuna-Kalba district and the greater Wa area, Northwest Ghana, continuing charitable donations to rural Birifor settlements, collaboration with the Methodist School for the Blind, Wa, and with the Cross Organization of Persons with Disabilities, Sawla-Tuna-Kalba District.
  • 2006-2008 Reviewer, The Pacific Review of Ethnomusicology
  • 2006-2008 UCLA Student Affairs Officer, UCLA
  • 2006-2007 Executive Board Member, The Ethnomusicology Graduate Student Organization, UCLA

Languages

  • Hausa: Intermediate reading, writing, and conversation, UCLA approved language competence
  • French: Intermediate reading, writing, and conversation, UCLA approved language competence
  • Asante Twi: Basic conversation
  • Birifor: Basic conversation

Professional Memberships

  • 2004-2013 The Society for Ethnomusicology
  • 2012-2013 International Council for Traditional Music
  • 2012-2013 American Anthropological Association
  • 2004-2009 The Ethnomusicology Graduate Student Organization

Computer Languages & Applications

  • HTML5, CSS3, PHP, Javascript (jQuery) & MySQL
  • Logic, Finale, Sibelius, Final Cut, Adobe CS, Coda, CssEdit, MAMP, & MS Office

Teaching Dossier

Philosophy of Teaching

Academic courses and performance classes about musical traditions from around the world, taught at all levels, teach a fundamental understanding of the diversity of human experience and expression worldwide. They foster a cross-cultural and often humanitarian awareness, while rigorously mapping and critiquing what music is on the species-scale.

From this broadened perspective, students understand the music of their own daily soundscapes in relation to the richness and vast array of world musical cultures historically. Hints of these musical worlds have already reached students’ ears through global music networks, exposure we as professors and teachers often leverage to make our critical contextualization of music interface with students’ lived experiences, and ultimately to give our teaching greater resonance.

The challenge remains that while we can already significantly impact the learning experience of students who are either committed to learning or show a general aptitude for the subject matter, how do we generate an effective baseline for all students? How do we maintain the crisp clarity of the complex musical and cultural insights we have to offer, while ensuring that students who are struggling still walk away with both their general and specific schemas thoroughly stimulated?

While these questions are answered anew each quarter/semester, I believe that in order to make things “stick,” we must utilize multiple complimentary modes of representation to depict musical history, musical performance, and the complex of expressive practices that surround music making. My approach to teaching emphasizes the theoretical lineages of ethnomusicology and cultural anthropology as a kind of North star, pushing students to use them to triangulate their own relationship with the music being studied. Using my experience as a jazz drummer and classical/world music percussionist, I guide students through the experiential and kinesthetic aspects of world musical practice through videos, websites, applications, performances, participation, and musical training.