Music and Sound Studies


The Music and Sound Studies Interdisciplinary Graduate Group aims to provide a space for the study of fields that fall outside of traditional music studies (that is, historical musicology, music theory, ethnomusicology, and music education), particularly those of interest to graduate students investigating acoustic phenomena at the University of Minnesota. Emerging or growing fields of interest include, but are by no means limited to, sound studies, popular music studies, neurocognition of music, and critical/cultural theory and philosophy of music.

Our main activity is to organize a speaker series. We also coordinate a reading group to discuss relevant readings suggested by colloquium guests and others related to music and sound studies. All of our events are open to any interested faculty, students, or others.

To join the group, or for more information on events and other activities, visit


The primary contact for this group is Solveig Mebust (School of Music; Leadership team members are Sumanth Gopinath (School of Music;, Michael Gallope (Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature;, and Matthew Rahaim (School of Music;


View the membership list.


Music and Sound Studies Colloquium: Nick Harkness
Glossolalia, Cacophony, "Intensity"
February 26, 2016 | 4:30 - 5:30 p.m. | Nolte 140

This paper discusses glossolalia (“speaking in tongues”) and the ritual production of cacophony in settings of fervent group prayer among Protestant Christians in Seoul. Ethnographic field data on prayer, preaching, song, and other features of Christian worship reveal how processes of semiotic intensification contribute to collective experiences of spiritual contact. The analysis develops broader questions about “intensity” both as a descriptive category in ethnography and as a local cultural category in South Korea.

This event is free, and all are welcome.

For questions, please contact Solveig Mebust: