Curt Bouterse
My Résumé
American Old Time Music
Spanish Old Time Music
Spanish Old Time Music Band
About Me
Nixon, Nancy, and Me
What's in a Name?
Pensées I: Pardon My French
Pensées II: For Believers Only
Bureaucracy & Chocolate
My Résumé
Contact Me

PO Box 84025 San Diego CA 92138
"curt at bouterse dot com"

My father, myself, and friend and mentor Jozef Pacholczyk, on the way to receive my PhD, 1996.

Cross-Cultural Studies

World History. Anthropology. Folk Art. Ethnomusicology.

My initial training was as an archeologist. The requirement was that most courses be in anthropology, but that a wide range of history, art, and other subjects should be included. This suited me just fine. I ended up with majors in history and art history in addition to anthropology, with minors in geography and music. It took five years. My interests in archeology were the early Aegean, pre-Incan Peru, and Central Asia, all fields which have taken off in the intervening years. I spent most of my energy on Central Asia, knowing full well there was little chance I would ever get to go there. In the 1960's the Russians were extremely sensitive about their inner Asian frontiers and "China," as far as the United States was concerned, was a small island between Japan and the Philippines.
My second degree was in music and I was fortunate to spend several years of intensive study with David Ward-Steinman, a dedicated, talented, and charismatic polymath. But I continued with all the world history courses I could fit in: the Middle East, the Soviet Union, the Far East, Africa, early Europe. One memorable year I was studying medieval music, medieval history, medieval art, medieval philosophy, medieval literature (with Jerry Farber, yes: That Jerry Farber), and the history of libraries. The university didn't have Latin or I probably would have taken that too, though I had studied it for 2 years in junior high school, back in the Dark Ages. They did offer Arabic, in which I did poorly.
After a decade of working, mostly in a bookstore, studying, and occasionally teaching, I returned to get my master's in World Music. I studied a wide range of areas, including American Indian music, Korean court music, Sumatran Batak music, and Indian classical music. But my main emphases were Bali and Africa. The department at San Diego State brought master native teachers from around the world and I was able to study gamelan with I Wayan Sinti, I Wayan Rai S., I Komang Astita, and K.R.T. Wasitodiningrat (Pak Cokro), among others. I studied African music with J.H. Kwabena Nketia, Ghanaian drumming with Kwaku Ladzekpo, and Senegalese drumming with Zak Diouf.
I had a genuine World Music Moment when, during a summer study in Indonesia, I watched a session with the rare Batak nine-drum ensemble at Lake Toba. They asked if anyone wanted to try, so I picked up the sticks and astonished them, and myself, when the breakneck, interlocking parts were channeled through Zak and Kwaku.
I presented my M.A. lecture-demonstration to a special meeting of the Southern California branch of the Society for Ethnomusicology. Mantle Hood was the honoree and he came up to me afterward, offered to publish my work, and invited me to come back to the University of Maryland Baltimore County to study with him. He had maintained for years that ethnomusicology was an approach and technique which could, and should, be applied to any and all music, not just "exotic" musics. My work had been about using world music styles and techniques to inform and understand medieval European music, so he was excited about the possibilities. It didn't take me long to say "yes."
While at UMBC I studied gamelan theory with Mantle, but most of my research was with Jozef Pacholczyk, my mentor and immediate friend. I often say that I walked into Jozef's office the first day on campus, sat down, and we talked nonstop for the next three years. I did find time to have wonderful academic experiences, including studying kora with the late Djimo Kouyate. And Wayan Rai came back to UMBC to study and we got our PhD's on the same day.
I believe, more strongly than ever, that everything is related and that no knowledge is ever wasted. My interests become broader with each passing day and each bit of information. I know my insights have deepened precisely because of the widening scope of my experiences, and I wish to share this understanding with all.

Curriculum Vitae


1987-96 University of Maryland Baltimore County. PhD, Ethnomusicology
1980-83 San Diego State University. MA, World Music
1966-68 San Diego State College. BA, Music
1961-64 San Diego State College. BA, Anthropology, History, Art History
1959-61 Oceanside-Carlsbad Junior College. AA, Humanities


1991-92 San Diego State University. Instructor
1987-88 University of Maryland Baltimore County. Teaching Assistant
1986 Mesa Community College. Instructor
1983-86 San Diego State University. Instructor
1981-83 San Diego State University. Graduate Assistant
1973-81 San Diego State University. Lecturer


Music of Africa and the Americas
Graduate Seminar: Organology
Introduction to Music Theory
Music in Contemporary Life
Medieval Performance
American Folk Music
Introduction to Music
Collegium Musicum
Ethnic Musics
Asian Musics


1971-Present. Founder, Director: Alfonso X, medieval music ensemble
1966-86. Founding Committee, Consultant: San Diego Folk Festival
1963-86. Founder, Director: San Diego Shape Note Singers



1977-85. Freelance graphic artist, layout editing, calligraphy (including: Eating Out in San Diego; The Best of San Diego; Annual Bookstore Guide, San Diego Booksellers' Association)
1980. Editor, The Lost Wine: Seven Centuries of French into English Lyrical Poetry, by Dr. John Theobald
1979. Author, Nixon's Farewell


1985. 'World Music as a Tool for Recreating Early Music,' in Progress Reports in Ethnomusicology, vol 1, no.
1979. 'Reconstructing the Medieval Arabic Lute,' in Galpin Society Journal, XXXII
1966-70. Numerous articles, reviews, transcriptions in The Khrome Kazoo, west coast folk music magazine

Doctoral Dissertation

1996. Literacy, Orality, and the Cantigas: Toward an Ethnomusicology of Medieval Europe. University of Maryland

Music Transcription

1976. 'Sakara' from Dahomey, Comparative Anthology of Musical Forms, by Dr. David and Susan Ward-Steinman


2008. 'Alfonso X Memorial Medieval String Band, Santiago de California' (CD in progress)
2008. 'Waiting for Nancy,' Eagle's Whistle Music
2006. 'Down the Road I'll Go.' Eagle's Whistle Music
1981. 'El Rayo X,' with David Lindley. Elektra Records
1980. 'The Long Riders,' with Ry Cooder. Warner Brothers, motion picture soundtrack and album
1979. 'Hangin' On,' motion picture soundtrack
1975. 'Bounty Man,' motion picture soundtrack


1971-Present. Alfonso X, medieval ensemble (since 1990, two performances per year)
1966-Present. Numerous solo concerts of American traditional music (appearing with such performers as Doc Watson, Jean Ritchie, and Brownie McGhee)
1966-Present. Annual performer, San Diego Folk Festival (later, San Diego Roots Festival)
1963-86. San Diego Shape Note Singers
1980-86. Trio Antiqua, early music ensemble
1980-86. San Diego State Balinese Gamelan Orchestras (gong kebyar, angklung, gambuh, & gambang ensembles)
1963-86. Radio & TV appearances, Texas & California
1970-73. Heritage String Band, San Diego


1992. Workshops on medieval music: Society for Creative Anachronisms
1984. Professional paper: "Early Music and World Music," Southern California Chapter, Society for Ethnomusicology, SDSU
1981. Professional paper: "Reconstructing Spanish Medieval Music," Colloquium on Early Music Performance Practice, SDSU
1978. Workshops: San Diego Early Music Society Weekend
1973. Performance-Demonstration: Comprehensive Musicianship Seminar for College Music Teachers, SDSU
1971. Performance-Demonstration: Southern California Chapter, American Musicological Society, UCLA


1973-75. Staff announcer and host of 'Around the World with Music,' KFSD-FM, San Diego


1974-Present. Southwest American Indian: Hopi, Navajo, Kumeyaay, PaiPai
1984. Oaxaca, Mexico
1982. Sumatra, Java, Bali

[Click on any picture to enlarge.]