Barbara B. Smith

Barbara B. Smith

University of Hawai‘i Professor Emerita of Music-Ethnomusicology Barbara B. Smith continues to participate in events of the program she initiated in 1957 to recognize the value of the musical heritage of her students of Hawaiian and Asian ancestries whose academic studies in music had been exclusively Euro-American. The program featured both outreach to and (especially in its instruction of selected genres of music and dance) inreach from the local community. In 1960 it developed into the MA in Music with concentration in ethnomusicology and a geo-cultural focus on the Asia-Pacific region that attracted outstanding students from Asia, the Pacific Islands and mainland USA, It has continued to expand through addition of faculty with expertise in this region and the offering of the Ph.D.

Although primarily an educator who considers the accomplishments of the program’s alumni more significant than her own, she has received numerous local, national and international honors and, until recently, has been an active participant in societies devoted to music education, ethnomusicology and regional research. Her most important published works are articles about music of the Pacific Islands (especially Micronesia) in German- and English-language encyclopedias and about music in Hawai‘i’s multicultural society in scholarly journals and elsewhere and, as editor, Music in World Culture (1972) for use in schools, and The Queen’s Song Book (1998) that has expanded the people of Hawai‘i’s performance and appreciation of Queen Lili‘uokalani‘s musical gifts.

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