Jay Rahn | The Canadian Encyclopedia


Jay Rahn

(Douglas) Jay (Philip) Rahn. Ethnomusicologist, musicologist, music theorist, b St Catharines Ont 28 Dec 1947; B MUS (Toronto) 1969; MA, M PHIL (Columbia) 1972, PH D (Columbia) 1978.

Rahn, Jay

(Douglas) Jay (Philip) Rahn. Ethnomusicologist, musicologist, music theorist, b St Catharines Ont 28 Dec 1947; B MUS (Toronto) 1969; MA, M PHIL (Columbia) 1972, PH D (Columbia) 1978. He studied ethnomusicology with Mieczyslaw Kolinski and musicology with John Beckwith, Rika Maniates, Harvey Olnick and Christoph Wolff at the University of Toronto. At Columbia U he studied ethnomusicology with Chou Wen-Chung, Dieter Christensen, Israel J. Katz and Willard Rhodes; musicology with Paul Henry Lang, Edward Lippman and Denis Stevens; and music theory with Benjamin Boretz and Patricia Carpenter.

He began to teach at York University in 1978, where he was appointed chair of the Fine Arts Department, Atkinson College in 1990. He also taught at the University of Toronto 1982-3 and the RCMT 1980-4 and held many research grants, including a full-time stipend from the Social Sciences and Humaities Research Council of Canada 1984-5 and a Canada Research Fellowship 1987-8, both of these for his work on Marchetto of Padua.

Rahn has published about 30 major articles in scholarly journals. These deal with Rumanian, African, South Asian and Indonesian music, French Renaissance song, late medieval modal theory, and issues of texture, metre, scalar structure, perception, pedagogy and methodology in music theory. His most important work, the book A Theory for All Music (Toronto 1983), examines theoretical problems in the analysis of non-Western music.

Rahn has produced several analytic studies of Canadian English- and French-language traditional song for the Canadian Folk Music Journal, of which he was associate editor (English) 1983-89, and became co-editor 1990. In 1987 he became a director and vice-president (English) of the CFMS/CSMT.

Selected Writings

'An introduction to English-language folksong style,' CFMJ, vols. 17-18, 1989-90

''M'en revenant de la joli' Rochelle': A song from ca. 1500 in the current French Canadian repertoire,' CFMJ, vol. 16, 1988

'Guidelines for harmonizing English-language folk songs,' CFMJ, vols. 14-15, 1986-87

'Stereotyped forms in English-Canadian children's songs,' CFMJ, vol. 9, 1981

'Text underlay in Gagnon's collection of French-Canadian folk song,' CFMJ, vol. 4, 1976

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