Gerhard Kubik

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Gerhard Kubik (born December 10, 1934) is an Austrian music ethnologist from Vienna. Kubik studied ethnology, musicology and African languages at the University of Vienna. He published his doctoral dissertation in 1971 and achieved habilitation in 1980.

Kubik went to Africa every year for the past 48 years. From 1958, he has published over 300 articles and books on Africa and African-Americans, based on his field work in fifteen African countries, in Venezuela and Brazil. Kubik's topics are music and dance, oral traditions and traditional systems of education, the extension of African culture to the Americas (especially Brazil) and the linguistics of the Bantu languages of central Africa. Kubik has compiled the largest collection of African traditional music worldwide, with over 25,000 recordings, mostly archived at the Phonogrammarchiv Wien in Vienna.

Gerhard Kubik, perhaps the most broadly knowledgeable and prolific scholar of the musical traditions of Africa and the Black Diaspora first came to Tanganyika in 1960, after having already spent some months in Uganda in 1959.

When not studying and writing on the music of Africa, Professor Kubik performs as a clarinettist with a neo-traditional kwela Jazz Band from Malawi that has been highly successful performing throughout Europe and Brazil. The band accompanied him on his return-visit to Tanzania (late July 2007). They performed at the University of Dar es Salaam and at the National Museum. This trip was organised by Professor Mitch Strumpf and his right-hand man Khalifa Kondo (graduate of Music class- University of Dar es Salaam).

While in Tanzania, Professor Kubik presented 100 CD recordings of Tanzanian music traditions he collected since 1960 to the Department of Fine and Performing Arts, University of Dar es Salaam. This valuable collection, sponsored by a generous grant from the German Embassy in Dar es Salaam, will be used for research purposes by students and staff of the Department and the University, as a whole.

In Tanzania, Professor Kubik has spent much time especially in the central and southern parts of the country and has released an LP record in 1989 of multipart singing of the Wagogo, Uatumbuka, Wakisi and Wanyakyusa.


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