Index of Memorial Resolutions and Biographical Sketches

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The School of Music lost a valued colleague when Dr. Gerard BĂ©hague died on June 13, 2005, after a long illness. He was a member of the School of Music faculty at The University of Texas at Austin from 1974 until his death. He held a diploma from the Brazilian Conservatory of Music, a diploma (equivalent to the M.M.) from the University of Paris, and a Ph.D. from Tulane University. He served as chairman of the Department of Music from 1980-89; in 1985, he was named the Frank C. Erwin, Jr. Endowed Professor in Music and, in 1991, the Virginia L. Murchison Endowed Regents Professor of Fine Arts.

Professor Béhague began his career in musicology in 1966 at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign by teaching music history, American music, and Latin American music. He gradually moved towards increased interest in ethnomusicology, eventually starting a strong program in Latin American ethnomusicology that is currently maintained there by one of his UT students, Tom Turino.

From 1969-1977, he served as associate editor of the Yearbook for Inter-American Musical Research, and from 1974-78, he was editor of the journal Ethnomusicology. In 1980 he founded and subsequently edited the Latin American Music Review, a journal that provides a unique forum for academics from all of the Americas to publish in three languages. He was president of the Society for Ethnomusicology (1979–1981) and served on the board of directors of several professional associations.

A prolific scholar and dedicated teacher, Professor Béhague was instrumental in establishing the graduate program in ethnomusicology at UT Austin. Recognized as the leading scholar of Latin American ethnomusicology, Dr. Béhague was particularly well known for his research on the music of Brazil, which he studied both as a music historian and as an ethnomusicologist. He trained several of the well-known Latin Americanist ethnomusicologists active today both in the United States and Latin America, and he researched and published extensively on various aspects of Latin American music, with several books and numerous articles to his credit. Among these were his popular textbook, Music in Latin America: An Introduction (Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1979), and Heitor Villa-Lobos: The Search for Brazil's Musical Soul (Austin, TX.: ILAS Monographs, UT Press, 1994). Professor Béhague’s life-long work in Latin American music earned him much recognition and many honors. A few among these are a Guggenheim Fellowship, several grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities to direct Summer Seminars for College Teachers, induction as Corresponding Member into the Brazilian Academy of Music, and the title “Commander of the Order of Rio Branco” from the Brazilian Government.

Professor Béhague was a dedicated scholar and teacher who worked tirelessly to advance the ethnomusicological enterprise within the School of Music and throughout the academic community in general. Whether the context was a graduate student’s comprehensive examination, a divisional meeting, or a session at a major conference, Professor Béhague was always ready to ask penetrating and challenging questions or to make sweeping observations of the issues at hand. He was a forceful speaker who was willing to exhaust every ounce of his energy and use every device of persuasion at his disposal to advance the causes in which he believed. He will be remembered for his debonair, out-going personality and his brilliant and challenging intellect. His colleagues in ethnomusicology will remain grateful for his many contributions to ethnomusicological scholarship.


Larry R. Faulkner, President
The University of Texas at Austin


Sue Alexander Greninger, Secretary
The General Faculty

This memorial resolution was prepared by a special committee consisting of Professors Stephen M. Slawek (chair), Elliott M. Antokoletz, and Hunter C. March.