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News Release

Jan. 15, 2019

Kramer presents research at international conference in Hawaii

By Tara Garcia, communication assistant

Dr. Ernest Kramer

Dr. Ernest Kramer

Dr. Ernest Kramer, a professor of music at Northwest Missouri State University, presented a research paper, “Anti-intellectualism’s Influence on the Popular Music of the 21st Century,” Jan. 3 at the Hawaii University International Conference in Honolulu.

Kramer presented about the rise of “anti-intellectualism” in American politics, society, literature and popular music.

“While the effects of anti-intellectualism have recently become more prominent and even accepted in the political arena, its effects on popular and serious contemporary music have not been adequately explored,” Kramer said. “For example, there is a reappearance and heavy reliance on minimalism, a musical technique which first appeared in avant-garde serious music of such composers as Philip Glass and Steve Reich.”

Although Kramer is a classically trained musician, he has noticed distinct changes in characteristics of pop music.

“The melodic ranges have become much more narrow, the dynamic levels louder and the repetition of phrases more incessant,” he said. “Some of these changes are not only annoying but also artistically troubling. I decided to investigate the reasons.”

This was Kramer’s third time presenting a research paper at the conference. He says he enjoyed meeting other music colleagues from throughout the world and listening to their presentations.

“The conference was held in one of the world’s most beautiful venues, so of course I enjoyed the beautiful scenery,” Kramer said. “In true Hawaiian style, the conference organizers were friendly, helpful and wonderfully laid back.”

Kramer joined the Northwest faculty in 1985, and his academic interests include composition, theory, ear-training, music history, piano and harpsichord. He organizes a biannual “Essence of Europe” study abroad tour for music students. He is a member of College Music Society, Music Teachers National Association, Phi Mu Alpha music fraternity, Sigma Alpha Iota music fraternity and Kappa Kappa Psi.


Dr. Mark Hornickel
Administration Building
Room 215