Dr John Napier

Senior Lecturer
BMus (Queensland Conservatorium), Graduate Diploma - Performance (Queensland Conservatorium), MMus (UNSW), MMus - Hons. (UNSW), PhD (UNSW)
School of the Arts & Media

Contact

+61 2 9385 6953
+61 2938 56812
Room 113, Level 1, Robert Webster
Fields: Musicology and Ethnomusicology

John Napier received his undergraduate training in music and postgraduate training in performance at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music, graduating in 1983 with the Medal for Excellence. He immediately joined the Queensland Theatre Orchestra as principal cellist. A year later he moved to Sydney to investigate other fields of music, performing in contemporary ensembles, the Latin Funk band The Mambologists, the salsa band Banana Republic, the multicultural group Southern Crossings, the Afro-Latin ensemble Krakadak-Imbosima, the Indian-Western fusion group Sangam, and the modern jazz trio Stiff Upper Lip. He has performed in Britain, Germany, Italy, New Zealand, Japan, China, Hong Kong, Korea, Canada, the United States, Indonesia, the Philippines, Fiji, Jamaica and Mexico.

In 1991 he recommenced theoretical studies in music, specialising in Ethnomusicological study of the music of India, and Latin American migrants to Australia. He completed a Masters Honours degree in 1994, and was appointed lecturer in music at the University of New South Wales shortly after. He received his a doctorate in 2001 for his study of accompanying ensembles in North Indian vocal music. His current research includes North Indian music, specifically the documentation of katha or epic singers in Eastern Rajasthan, popular music aesthetics, tribal music of South India, and diaspora music making. He is currently senior lecturer in Musicology and Ethnomusicology at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. He continues a part time career in performance.

Publications

    Books

    • Napier JJ, 2013, They Sing the Wedding of God: An Ethnomusicological Study of the Mahadevji ka Byavala as Performed by the Nath-Jogis of Alwar, Original, McFarland

    Book Chapters

    • Napier JJ, 2016, 'Sung Countries: Geographies and identities in minority song repertoires in Australia and India.', in Santosh KS; Pal S; Prasad GJV (ed.), Indo-Australian Connections: Retrospect and Prospects, Pinnacle Learning, New Delhi, pp. 115 - 134
    • Napier JJ, 2011, 'Kodova Song as private resistance', in Desrocjes M; Pichette M-H; Dauphi C; Smith GE (ed.), Territoires musicaux mise en scene, edn. 1, Les Presses de L'Universite de Montreal, Montreal, pp. 209 - 226
    • Napier JJ, 2010, 'Giving the Oldest Trees New Roots: Asian Music in Australia', in Jordan S (ed.), World Music: Global Sounds in Australia, edn. 1, UNSW Press, Sydney, pp. 140 - 161
    • Napier JJ, 2009, 'Vanished Islands: The Assimilation of the Extraneous to Conventional Pieces in Three Distinct Repertoires', in Mackinlay E; Bartleet B-L; Barney K (ed.), Musical Islands, edn. 1, Cambridge Scholars, Newcastle on Tyne, pp. 345 - 359, http://www.c-s-p.org/Flyers/Musical-Islands--Exploring-Connections-between-Music--Place-and-Research1-4438-0956-X.htm
    • Napier JJ, 2008, 'Old There, Young Here: Migration, Musical Adaptation and Youth Culture in Australia', in Hewitt N; Geary D (ed.), Diaspora(s): Movements and Cultures, edn. 1, CCCP, Nottingham, pp. 123 - 140

    Journal articles

    • Napier JJ, 2011, '“This is our culture, only for ourselves. Thank you for being interested”: Kodava song and the public non-assertion of difference', Global Media Journal: Australian Edition, vol. 4, pp. 1 - 14, http://www.commarts.uws.edu.au/gmjau/v4_2010_2/john_napier_RA.html
    • Napier JJ, 2007, 'Of Jogis and mediators, musicologists and administrators: an elaborated field note', Australian Humanities Review, vol. 41, pp. 1 - 17
    • Napier JJ, 2007, 'The Distribution of Authority in the Performance of North Indian Vocal Music', Ethnomusicology Forum, vol. 16, pp. 271 - 301
    • Napier JJ, 2006, 'Re-organization and rhetoric: Changes in the social organization of North Indian classical music', Musicology Australia, vol. 27, pp. 35 - 53
    • Napier JJ, 2006, 'A 'failed' unison or conscious differentiation: The notion of 'heterophony' in North Indian vocal performance', International Review of the Aesthetics and Sociology of Music, vol. 37, pp. 85 - 108
    • Napier JJ, 2006, 'A subtle novelty: Repetition, transmission and the valorisation of innovation within North Indian classical music', Critical Studies in Improvisation, vol. 1, pp. 1 - 17
    • Napier JJ, 2005, 'The svarmandal and its 'ancestors': from organological to aesthetic', Galpin Society Journal, vol. 58, pp. 124 - 131
    • Napier JJ, 2003, 'An old tradition but a very new practice: Accompaniment and thesaturation aesthetic in Indian music', Asian Music, vol. 35, pp. 115 - 134
    • Napier JJ, 2003, 'An old tradition but a very new practice', Asian Music, vol. 35, pp. 115 - 134
    • Napier JJ, 2001, 'Review of Tufa: Tufa (Sound recording)', Music Forum, vol. 8, pp. 44 - 45
    • Napier JJ, 2001, 'Review of Tufa: Tufa (sound recording)', Music Forum, pp. 44 - 45
    • Napier JJ, 2001, 'Review of Geng Gong:Not just music (sound recording)', Music Forum, vol. 8, pp. 45 - 46

    Conference Papers

    • Napier JJ, 2004, 'Entering a palance through the servant`s entrance: `a mid-career` approach to the learning of North Indian classical msuic', in Musemici O (ed.), Seminar of the Commission for the Education of the Professional Musician, Seminar of the Commission for the Education of the Professional Musician, Barcelona, Spain, pp. 165 - 174, presented at Seminar of the Commission for the Education of the Professional Musician, Barcelona, Spain, 05 - 09 July 2004
    • Napier JJ, 2004, 'Echo, appropriation, gloss: Hearing a second voice in North Indian vocal music', in Giourgoudes P (ed.), Cyprus Musicological Society 1st International Conference, Cyprus Musicological Society 1st International Conference, Nikosia, pp. 111 - 134, presented at Cyprus Musicological Society 1st International Conference, Nikosia, 15 - 16 December 2000
    • Napier JJ, 2004, 'Traditional `fakings`: Hank Williams, Jeff Buckley, Kamr`uddin Khan and other falsetto acts', in Music Research: New Directions for a New Century -- 25th National Conference of the Musicological Society of Australia, Music Research: New Directions for a New Century; 25th national conference of the Musicological Society of Australia, Newcastle, NSW, presented at Music Research: New Directions for a New Century; 25th national conference of the Musicological Society of Australia, Newcastle, NSW, 03 - 06 October 2002
    • Napier JJ, 2002, 'Which hat today ? OConnor, Gorecki, Bulgarian Voices and a Lectuer`s Fashion Sense', in Musical In-Between-ness, Musical In-Between-ness, UTS, Sydney, presented at Musical In-Between-ness, UTS, Sydney, 27 - 29 September 2001
    • Napier JJ, 2002, 'How soon is immediately', in Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Music Perception and Cognition, ICMPC7: 7th International Conference on Music Perception and Cognition, University of New South Wales, presented at ICMPC7: 7th International Conference on Music Perception and Cognition, University of New South Wales, 17 - 21 July 2002
    • Napier JJ, 2002, 'A subtle novelty', in Stevens C; Burnham D; McPherson G; Schubert E; Renwick J (eds.), Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Music Perception and Cognition, ICMPC7: 7th International Conference on Music Perception and Cognition, University of New South Wales, presented at ICMPC7: 7th International Conference on Music Perception and Cognition, University of New South Wales, 17 - 21 July 2002
    • Napier JJ, 2001, 'A song they sing themselves about themselves', in Joshi V (ed.), IV International Conference Rajastan, IV International Conference Rajastan, Jaipur, pp. 238 - 266, presented at IV International Conference Rajastan, Jaipur, 29 - 31 December 2001

    Conference Proceedings (Editor of)

    • Napier JJ, (ed.), 2002, 'Musical Creativity', Musical Creativity, University of Liege, presented at Musical Creativity, University of Liege, 05 - 08 April 2002

    Performances (Music, Theatre, Dance)

    • Napier JJ;Taikoz ;Ligalayam Dance Company ;Lee R;Parthiban A;Anandavalli, 2016, Chi Udaka Indian Tour, Chowdiah Memorial Hall, Bangalore. The Music Academy, Chennai. Andhra University Convocation Hall, Vizag. Ravindra Bharati, Hyderabad. Jamshed Bhabha Hall, Mumbai., Chi Udaka Indian Tour, Publication: Chi Udaka Indian Tour, https://www.taikoz.com/whats-on/chi-udaka-india-tour-2016
    • Napier J;Taikoz ;Lingalayam Dance Company ;Lee R;Parthiban A, 2016, Chi Udaka Australian Tour, Riverside Theatre, Parramatta, Sydney. Canberra Theatre Centre, Canberra. Nida Parade Theatre, Kensington Sydney. Memorial Entertainment Centre, Bathurst. Capitol Theatre, Tamworth. Glasshouse Theatre, Chi Udaka Australian Tour, Publication: Chi Udaka, https://www.taikoz.com/whats-on/chi-udaka-australia-tour-2016

    Music Compositions

    • Napier J;Cleworth I;Lee R;Parthiban A;Cleworth J, 2016, Chi Udaka Version 4, publication category:
    • Krishnan S;Napier J, 2015, The Dreaming Damsel, publication category:

    Other

    Theses / Dissertations

    • Napier JJ, 2001, Sangat: melodic accompaniment

Teaching

Undergraduate courses in Ethnomusicology, Musicology, Music for Dance, Performance, and Jazz Studies: World Music Group.