Magazine article Bulletin of the International Council for Traditional Music

IN MEMORIAM: Gilbert Rouget (1916-2017)

Magazine article Bulletin of the International Council for Traditional Music

IN MEMORIAM: Gilbert Rouget (1916-2017)

Article excerpt

Gilbert Rouget, the great French ethnomusicologist, died on 8 November 2017 at the age of 101.

It is not an exaggeration to say that Gilbert Rouget was the founder of modern ethnomusicology in France. He entered the Musée de l'Homme as a trainee during World War II, and began working on musical instruments with André Schaeffner at the Department of Musical Ethnology.

Rouget quickly became aware of the importance of sound recordings for the study of non-European and popular music.

In 1946, he conducted his first major investigation, the Ogooué-Congo mission, from which he brought back many sound recordings. In the 1950s, he created the first French collection of 78-rpm records devoted to ethnomusicology. Having joined the National Centre for Scientific Research, he founded in 1968 the Laboratory of Ethnomusicology at the Musée de ľ Homme, thus providing this discipline an institutional framework that allowed it to flourish. …

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