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An ethnomusicologist by training, Wayne Marshall's research is in media technologies and cultural politics with a focus on social dance music in the Americas, from ragtime to reggae. Marshall coedited Reggaeton (Duke University Press, 2009) and has published widely in academic journals.
Marshall complements his academic work with DJ mixes and mashups, and by writing for such outlets as Pitchfork, New York Magazine, and The Wire, as well as on his acclaimed blog, wayneandwax.com. He has taught at Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Wellesley College, and the University of Chicago, among others, and he has been teaching at Berklee since 2015.
"Music history is a deeply audible subject, so I organize class sessions around discussions of audio and video examples that provide perspective on particular historical moments and modes of musical experience. Despite their distortions and omissions, sound recordings offer a powerful picture of the past, especially the ways that musical performance and production relate to the social and cultural forces of their time. They also give students great opportunities to exercise critical listening skills."
"On the one hand, I certainly want students to come away with a more concrete sense of what something like, say, ragtime or reggae is—not only in musical terms, but in terms of how such genres functioned in particular social, cultural, and economic circumstances. On the other, I am always generally seeking to model a form of critical listening and rigorous inquiry that students can bring to all manner of other studies and encounters with music."
"I am especially impressed by the mix of talents and interests that Berklee students bring to the classroom and by their general enthusiasm and openness to learning. Berklee students' acuity when it comes to listening for or demonstrating musical figures and their eagerness to apply historical lessons to contemporary music culture always ensure a lively discussion."
"I'm trained as an ethnomusicologist, and I've been teaching for 15 years, but I also work as a DJ and publish works of 'scholarship' in the form of mixes, mashups, and other media productions. Sometimes such skills really serve me in the classroom: I can mash up swing standards and their bebop reharmonizations on the fly in class, or loop a snippet from a spiritual to show how it lines up with ragtime and rock 'n' roll rhythms. Students always respond favorably to such audible examples of continuity and contrast."