is a contemporaneous Canadian professor of ethnomusicology
Ethnomusicology is defined as "the study of social and cultural aspects of music and dance in local and global contexts."Coined by the musician Jaap Kunst from the Greek words ἔθνος ethnos and μουσική mousike , it is often considered the anthropology or ethnography of music...
and a music writer. He currently lives in Toronto with both his children.
Formerly the director of York University
York University is a public research university in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It is Canada's third-largest university, Ontario's second-largest graduate school, and Canada's leading interdisciplinary university....
's Graduate Program in Ethnomusicology & Musicology in Toronto
Toronto is the provincial capital of Ontario and the largest city in Canada. It is located in Southern Ontario on the northwestern shore of Lake Ontario. A relatively modern city, Toronto's history dates back to the late-18th century, when its land was first purchased by the British monarchy from...
, he has written many liner notes
Liner notes are the writings found in booklets which come inserted into the compact disc jewel case or the equivalent packaging for vinyl records and cassettes.-Origin:...
, studies and books on pop music.
Specialized in the Stax Records
Stax Records is an American record label, originally based in Memphis, Tennessee.Founded in 1957 as Satellite Records, the name Stax Records was adopted in 1961. The label was a major factor in the creation of the Southern soul and Memphis soul music styles, also releasing gospel, funk, jazz, and...
story, his liner notes on the different boxed sets of The Complete Stax/Volt Soul Singles has been celebrated. His book, Soulsville, U.S.A. - The Story of Stax Records
, is considered to be the definitive history of the legendary Memphis-based record label.
Bowman won the 1996 Best Album Notes Grammy for his 47,000-word monograph accompanying the 10-CD boxed set of The Complete Stax/Volt Soul Singles, Vol. 3: 1972-1975. Bowman has also received 5 Grammy nominations. His fifth nomination being in 2002 for Best Album Notes for the 4 CD box set The Stax Story, which he also co-produced.
Philosophy of Teaching
Rob Bowman believes (and incorporates) that all music is created equal, and metaphorically, it could be said that musics, in his eyes, need advocacy, just as humans needed (and still need) human rights advocacy. When teaching his university courses, he places the music that is being studied into historical and social contexts and explores issues such as race, class, political economy, gender, and identity. The idea behind this is that rendering all members of each of these groups as equally relevant, would create an open-minded awe to all sonic communication and a necessity to understand its relevance through understanding the art's predecessors. This view is corroborated by his instrument choices, being proficient in both viola d'gamba and euphonium.