About this Collection
Mantle Hood (1918-2005) was a pioneer in the field of ethnomusicology. He taught at UCLA from 1954 to 1975 and was the founder of the Institute of Ethnomusicology (now Department) at UCLA. Hood trained numerous scholars who went on to found ethnomusicology programs at the University of Washington, UC Berkeley, UC Santa Cruz, University of Hawaii, Wesleyan University, Brown, and Florida State University, as well as programs and research institutes across the globe. One of his major theoretical contributions to the field was "bi-musicality," the idea that as a fundamental aspect of research methodology, ethnomusicologists—presumably musical in the Western classical tradition—should learn to play the music of the cultures they study. Considered controversial when published in 1960, the theory has now become an established part of the discipline. He was a leading figure in research on Javanese gamelan music and arranged for one of the first gamelans to be taught at a U.S. university. This set of instruments (bronze gongs and metallophones) was cast in Java and given by the Javanese the honorific name Khjai Mendung (Venerable Dark Cloud). Hood is also remembered for his ethnographic documentary film on Ashanti drumming, "Atumpan: The Talking Drums of Ghana." In 1971, he published "The Ethnomusicologist," which outlined research issues and questions in a then still nascent field. He received numerous awards and fellowships, including a Senior Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities, a Fulbright Fellowship, and a Ford Foundation Fellowship. Hood served as President of the Society for Ethnomusicology from 1965 to 1967.