Colin Roust

Colin Roust Posing
February 2016
KU faculty member, School of Music. Assistant Professor of Musicology, focusing on music and politics, film music, and the composer Georges Auric. Member of KU Writing Center Faculty Writing Group.

“Musicologists are often bridges between the performance tradition and the writing tradition. One of my jobs is to help my students become better at writing and talking about music. Whenever I talk to my students about writing, I put it in terms of performance: as a musicologist, I perform not on stage (usually), but rather in writing, in the forms of conference presentations, pre-concert lectures, articles, books, and so on. I encourage everybody to treat writing as a performance—with all of the attendant expectations in terms of preparation. And like performance, writing is a social experience.” “I started off playing cello, then learned to play euphonium, and after that trombone and piano. Voice came along the way too. Right now I’m teaching myself to play the Chinese flute. In a lot of ways, it’s like learning languages: once you learn your first foreign language, it’s easier to learn the second, and then the third. In the process of learning the first instrument, you learn the language, the notes, the theory that informs it—and all of that translates over to the other instruments. After that, you’re really just learning technique.”


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