Sung Stories Research

Published research in linguistics-anthropology-composition

Music and language

Michael is a published researcher with research interests within an anthropological context including: music and language; cross-cultural compositional practice; and Melanesia.

Sung stories in the PNG Highlands

In 2006, Michael undertook extensive research into the relationship between music and language with particular respect to the pikono genre of Duna, Southern Highlands Papua New Guinea, for which Michael received the University Medal from both the Australian National University Department of Anthropology and School of Music in 2007.

Michael’s research is influenced by the work of Mikhail Bakhtin, Franz Boas, and Roman Jakobson.  Michael worked closely with anthropologist Dr. Alan Rumsey, ethnomusicologist Dr. Kirstie Gillespie, and linguist Dr. Lila San Roque as part of the cross institutional Chanted Tales project at the Australian National University.

The relationship between music and language has been a strong influence in Michael’s own work, such as Ballad of a Highlands Man, and The Raw and the Cooked, a musical interpretation of French anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss’ seminal work.  

Featured Research

Parallelism in Duna pikono

Published in 2011, in A, Rumsey (ed.), Sung stories from the New Guinea Highlands: studies in form, meaning and sociocultural context.

Tune-Tone Relationships in Sung Duna pikono

Published in 2010, in Australian Journal of Linguistics 30(1): 67-80.

Musical-Lingual Interplay in a Papua New Guinea Sung Story

Thesis written in 2007, Australian National University.

Get in touch to find out more about musical-lingual interplay and sung stories

Reach Me

Here’s how to contact me.

Belconnen Arts Centre
118 Emu Bank
ACT 2617, Australia

+61 411 113 769

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