Sarah Weiss

  • Director of Graduate Studies, Music

Sarah Weiss holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music from University of Rochester/Eastman School of Music and a Ph.D. in Musicology from New York University. She has taught in the Departments of Music at the University of Sydney and the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill. She was a Visiting Professor in the Department of Music at Harvard University, 2004-05. Sarah Weiss began her appointment in the Department of Music at Yale University in July of 2005.

Working primarily with Asian performing arts, Weiss has addressed issues of gender, aesthetics, postcoloniality, and hybridity in both her writing and teaching. Her book, Listening to an Earlier Java: Aesthetics, Gender and the Music of Wayang in Central Java was published in 2006 by KITLV Press in Leiden. Weiss is currently working on a comparative project exploring women and performance across several of the world’s major religions. In 2006 she engaged in fieldwork in Java, Bali and Sulawesi where she investigated composer Supanggah’s music and the reception of Robert Wilson’s international touring production I La Galigo. Her on-going projects include a comparative study of rasa in Indonesia and India; a long-term project on gender representation in Asian music-theatre genres; and an investigation into the effects of hybridity on listening reception across cultures. She was invited to give the Yung Wing lecture at Peking University on this topic in April 2008. Weiss’s most recent local research is a project on affinity groups and choral communities, engaging members of her Fall 2007 graduate seminar, entitled “Singing Community” (MUSI 712), in fieldwork with the dynamic Yale undergraduate a cappella ensembles.

In Spring 2007 Weiss began rehearsing with members of Yale’s new Javanese ensemble, Gamelan Suprabanggo. The group performed its inaugural concert on 26 January 2008 in Battell Chapel on the Yale campus. The group rehearses on Wednesday evenings and is open to members from around the Yale and New Haven communities.

Research interests

Javenese gamelan; aesthetics; gender studies; Indonesian and Southeast Asian performance traditions; Southeast and East Asian performance; hybridity and postcoloniality; aesthetics; theater studies; modal musics and improvisation.

Education
B.A., University of Rochester/Eastman, 1984
M.A., New York University, 1986
Ph.D., New York University, 1998
International activity summary
Professor Weiss, the author of Listening to an Earlier Java: Aesthetics, Gender and the Music of Wayang in Central Java, is working on a comparative project exploring women and performance across several of the world's major religions. Fieldwork for this project has led her to Java, Bali, and Sulawesi.