Emmett Price, Professor
"One of my themes as an ethnomusicologist is exploring the power of the musical expressions of the people of the African diaspora—the cultural continuum from Africa, through the West Indies and Caribbean, into South America, Central America, and North America, and beyond."
"Our approach to the study of black music of the United States (African American music) is to analyze the music while also studying what inspired people to create the music they did. Music is a means of communication and expression. It is much more than a way to earn money and entertain. It’s important to see the roles musicians play in advocating for society’s desires and needs, and see the impact of music in the pursuit of freedom, democracy, and equity. The music we learn about, particularly within African American expression, is music of survival."
"I’ve been a professional musician (piano and organ) since the age of 11. I went to college as a math major, but met a professor who changed my life and my perspective on the study of music. I will never forget calling home and telling my parents I was changing my major from math to music! After our conversation about ‘why in the world would you do that?’ and ‘what are you going to do with a degree in music?’ my resolve was to double-major in math and music. I was passionate about merging history, sociology, music, spirituality, political art and theory, and economic criticism—and found all of it within music. That led me to graduate school and a career as a professor."
"One of my goals is to teach my students that, as musicians, we need to continue to listen outside of our comfort zones and push the boundaries in our music-making. The next great idea may come from the mistake you made yesterday, but you have to figure out how to capitalize on it and turn it into something beautiful. I also try to encourage students to explore their unique voice. Everybody plays a part in the universal symphony, and if you don’t play your part loudly, confidently, or strongly enough, then the work is never finished."
"As an eternal optimist, I believe music will be the thing that heals the world. The more music we can create, and the more we teach each other how to listen and receive music, the more some of the ‘-isms,’ phobias, and other human-created things will dissipate so we can look at each other through a lens of respect, admiration, and inspiration."
- B.A., Music, University California, Berkeley
- M.A., Music (Ethnomusicology), University of Pittsburgh
- Ph.D., Music (Ethnomusicology), University of Pittsburgh
- Author of HIP HOP Culture (ABC-CLIO, 2006), executive editor of the Encyclopedia of African American Music (ABC-CLIO, 2011) and editor of The Black Church and Hip Hop Culture: Toward Bridging the Generational Divide (Scarecrow Press, 2012)
- Former editor-in-chief of the Journal of Popular Music Studies, the academic journal of the United States branch of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music (IASPM)
- Published in African American Review, American Music, Ethnomusicology, International Jazz Archives Journal, GIA Quarterly: A Liturgical Music Journal, NOTES: Quarterly Journal of the Music Library Association, the Boston Herald, and the Boston Banner.
- Article, "What's New? The Effect of Hip-Hop Culture on Everyday English" published in 2007 by the U.S. Department of State in its prestigious electronic journal, eJournalUSA, has been translated into five languages.