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Colin McPhee
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Colin McPhee

Colin McPhee was a gay Canadian composer and musicologist. He is primarily known for being the first European to make a ethnomusicological study of Bali, and for the quality of that groundbreaking work. He also composed music influenced by that of Bali and Java decades before any other similar world music influenced compositions.

He studied with the pronounced modernist Edgard Varese before marrying Jane Belo, who had studied with Margaret Mead, in 1931. The two moved to Bali together for Belo's anthropological work, once there McPhee became so interested in the local music he studied, built, and wrote extensively of the gamelans.

McPhee's A House in Bali, the chronicle of his life there, is one of the best introductions to Balinese culture. A must read for anyone going to vist Bali. His posthumoustly published Music in Bali was the first comprehensive analysis of Balinese music published in English.

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