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Prof Jeffrey Brukman

Assoc Prof Jeffrey Brukman BMus (cum laude), HonsBMus (cum laude), MMus (cum laude), DMus (UNISA), ATCL, LTCL, UTLM, UPLM, UALM

A member of the Rhodes University music staff since 2006, Jeffrey is Associate Professor in Music Theory and a former Head: Department of Music and Musicology. Specializing in musicology at the University of South Africa (BMus, HonsBMus, and MMus – all obtained with distinction) he completed his Doctor of Musicology (DMus) thesis in 2006 studying the life and music of little-known South African composer, Cromwell Everson. This “musical biography” has led to publications in peer-reviewed, accredited journals and presentations at numerous conferences. Earlier postgraduate studies into Béla Bartók’s expanded tonal idiom has resulted in publications in various peer-reviewed North American journals as well as papers read at national conferences.

Currently pursuing research into Africanist art music—blending of Western, African and/or jazz domains—Jeffrey has presented papers related to this topic in South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, and guest lectured at the University of Newcastle, Australia. Publications arising from these presentations have appeared in SAMUS, African Music, Musicology Australia, and a special edition of the University of Göttingen’s peer-reviewed journal, world of music (new series). These publications form the basis for symposia conducted by the Africa Open Initiative for Music, Research and Innovation (Prof Stefanus Muller), University of Stellenbosch. Jeffrey is a core member of the NRF Research Program delving into the life and music of Todd Matshikiza with Dr Lindelwa Dalamba (University of the Witwatersrand) as principal investigator. He is currently co-authoring a book on (South) African art music with Dr Bongani Ndodana-Breen, a Radcliffe Fellow at Harvard University. Another book project on the life and music of Paul Hanmer is unfolding with Dr Nishlyn Ramanna as co-author.  

 Recently, Jeffrey has supervised a brace of postgraduate composition portfolios compiled by some of South Africa’s foremost composers (Bongani Ndodana-Breen, Paul Hanmer, Andrew-John Bethke and Anthony Caplan). He has also co-supervised to completion a PhD student based at the University of Canterbury (Christchurch, New Zealand) and is currently co-supervising a PhD candidate based at the University of Kassel (Germany). 

 A sought-after external examiner Jeffrey has assessed portfolios and theses for seven South African universities, reviewed curricula for South African and Zimbabwean universities, served as specialist advisor (music theory) for the Directorate, Music (UNISA), reviewed articles for local and international journals, and edited two volumes for South African Music Studies (SAMUS); one in consultation with Harvard professor, Ingrid Monson. With an interest in South African jazz, Jeffrey served as Chief Reporting Officer for the Rhodes University/Mellon Foundation Jazz Heritage Project (2011-2013). He is currently the coordinator of the Rhodes University/Mellon Foundation Artist-in-Residence Program which features Paul Hanmer as the artist-in-residence.

An experienced collaborative pianist Jeffrey serves on the panel of examiners for the UNISA Directorate, Music.


Africanist art music, South African art music, Cromwell Everson, expanded tonality, Bartók.


Submitted (2019): ‘Exploring the life of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela: A Close Reading of Winnie, The Opera by Bongani Ndodana-Breen.’

In press (SAMUS, 2019): ‘Arnold Schoenberg’s Opus 11/1, Friedrich Hartmann’s fully-chromaticized scales and analytical system, and the Henk Temmingh-Bernard van der Linde debate.’

In press (Musicus): ‘Formative approaches to teaching and learning Music Theory: Processes towards true understanding.’

Brukman, J. 2018. ‘ “Less a New African Music than an African New Music”: A Close Musical Analysis of Bongani Ndodana-Breen’s Emhlabeni.’ Musicology Australia, 40/1, 1-25.

Brukman, J. 2018. ‘ “The White Claw Grabbing the Black Man’s Creative Work”: Dominant Culture and African Expression, One Festival and Two World Premieres.’ SAMUS 38, 261-288.

Brukman, J. 2018. ‘Bernard Smith van der Linde (1935-2015): A Life in Musicology.’ SAMUS, 36-37, 21-51.

Brukman, J. 2017. ‘ “Creative ethnomusicology” and African Art Music: A close musical reading of Wood and Clay, Kundi Dreams and Umrhubhe Geeste by Anthony Caplan.’ African Music, 10/3, 142-163.

Brukman, J. 2016. ‘Shifts and Turns in Paul Hanmer’s Nachtroep: A Close Musical Analysis.’ the world of music – new series, 5/2, 47-65.

Brukman, J. 2016. ‘Negotiating tonic sol-fa and staff notation: Two South African perspectives.’ Muziki, 13/2, 152-167.

Brukman, J. 2016. ‘The “Reshef Affair”: A Personal Reflection.’ SAMUS, 34/35, 69-89.

Brukman, J. 2013. ‘Cromwell Everson and Community Music-Making: The Worcester Music Group 1957-1967’. Musicus, 40/2, 22-30.    

Brukman, J. 2012. ‘Dominant culture, Afrikaner nationalism, and Cromwell Everson’s Klutaimnestra’. SAMUS, 32, 1-20.

Brukman, J. 2011. ‘Aspects of musical modernism: The Afrikaans song cycles of Cromwell Everson’. Journal of the Musical Arts in Africa, 8, 1-21.

Brukman, J. 2008. ‘The relevance of Friedrich Hartmann’s fully-chromaticized scales with regard to Bartók’s Fourteen Bagatelles, Op. 6’. Theoria (University of North Texas), 15, 31-60.

Brukman, J, 2007. ‘Kárpáti’s “Mistuning” Theory Reconsidered in the Context of Bartók’s “Supradiatonicismand Friedrich Hartmann’s Fully Chromaticized Scales’. ex tempore, (Westfield, Massachusetts), XIII/2, 36-55.

Last Modified: Mon, 20 Jan 2020 12:41:03 SAST