New B.A. in Music with a Concentration in Traditional Music

Visit the UL Lafayette and School of Music websites to learn about the Traditional Music Curriculum.

Traditional Music Courses at UL Lafayette
Fall 2014
(August 25 - December 5)

Don’t read music?  No problem! All of our hands-on courses are taught by ear. If you are not accustomed to learning by ear, prepare to add a new facet to your musicianship.

Not a UL student?  Contact University College, universitycollege@louisiana.edu or 337-482-6729337-482-6729 to learn how to enroll.

Cajun and Zydeco Music - MUS 360
Online, Mark DeWitt, Professor

Here is your chance to learn about the music that has made Lafayette and the rest of Acadiana world-famous, from old French ballads and Creole juré singing to the latest Cajun and zydeco crossover experiments. This course affords the opportunity to read about and listen to a lot of music including commercial and field recordings.

For the Fall 2014 semester, this course will be offered online only. Course content will include occasional synchronous sessions and video recordings of artists who have visited the course in the past. A classroom version of the class will be offered in the spring.

Traditional Musics of North America, MUS 450 (G) Tues & Thurs, 9:30-10:45am, Mark DeWitt, Professor
For upper division undergraduates and graduates students

This course will focus on blues, old-time music, Native American subgenres, and Texas-Mexican border music. We’ll ask: who made them, how they came to be, how they are put together musically, how they have been passed on, and what has become of them in our modern (and post-modern) world?

Ethnomusicologist Mark F. DeWitt holds the Dr. Tommy Comeaux Endowed Chair in Traditional Music. He is author of the book, Cajun and Zydeco Dance Music in Northern California (2008) and a contributor to The Accordion in the Americas: Klezmer, Polka, Tango, Zydeco, and More! (2012)

Beginning Cajun Fiddle - MUS 327
Tues & Thurs, 11:00am – 12:15pm
, Brazos Huval, Instructor
If you have never played the fiddle before but have an instrument and are ready to learn, you are ready for UL Lafayette’s Beginning Cajun Fiddle class.  Instructor Brazos Huval grew up in Breaux Bridge immersed in Cajun and Creole music. Known for his work with Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys, where he plays bass, he also performs with High Performance and other popular Cajun bands. Huval is also a master on the fiddle and teaches children and adults in his private studio and with Louisiana Folk Roots.

Beginning Button Accordion - MUS 329
Mon & Wed, 5 – 6:15pm, Nathan Williams, Jr.

If you have a button accordion in the key of C and are wondering what to do with it, you are ready for one of UL Lafayette’s traditional music courses, Beginning Button Accordion. You will receive instruction in traditional Cajun and Creole French dance music including zydeco from Nathan Williams, Jr. He fronts the band, Lil Nathan and the Zydeco Big Timers. They have released six CD’s and were nominated by “Offbeat Magazine” for best zydeco artist and album.

Cajun and Creole Vocals - MUS 331 (NEW Fall 2014)
Tues & Thurs, 12:30 – 1:45pm
, Kristi Guillory, Instructor
This brand-new course offers group instruction in how to sing traditional Cajun and Creole French songs, such as ballads, dance music, and other repertoire. You must be able to carry a tune; knowledge of French is helpful but not required. Kristi Guillory became a child prodigy of accordion in the early 1990s and has since earned her place among the modern masters. Kristi is obsessed with sad, pitiful Cajun songs, raunchy drinking ones and the fantastical lyrics of old Cajun a cappella ballads. A co-founder of the band Bonsoir Catin, she is a poet, a scholar, an emotional and passionate vocalist and a fearless songsmith.

Cajun Music Ensemble - AMUS 160, Section 001
Time TBD, Mitch Reed, Instructor

UL Lafayette students who play violin, accordion, or guitar: here is your chance to play Cajun French music for credit. We are also open to having other instruments. If you are interested in the ensemble but play another instrument, please consider auditioning. The ensemble meets for two hours a week for one credit. 

Instructor Mitch Reed started playing the fiddle at age 15. Through his father he became acquainted with some of Acadiana's great masters such as Canray Fontenot, Wade Frugé and Dewey Balfa. Mitch currently plays bass and fiddle with the Grammy-winning BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet.

Sign up for a 10-minute audition time by phone (482-1020) or email (dewitt@louisiana.edu). Regular rehearsal time will be set after auditions.

Zydeco Music Ensemble - AMUS 160, Section 002
Time TBD, Nathan Williams Jr, Instructor

If you already play accordion, rubboard, electric guitar or bass, drums, or another instrument you’ve seen with a zydeco band, you are ready to try out for our program’s newest ensemble.

Nathan Williams, Jr. has a degree in jazz performance from UL Lafayette and fronts Lil Nathan and the Zydeco Big Timers. They have released six CD’s and were nominated by “Offbeat Magazine” for best zydeco artist and album.

Sign up for a 10-minute audition time by phone (482-1020) or email (dewitt@louisiana.edu). Regular rehearsal time will be set after auditions.

Bluegrass Music Ensemble - AMUS 160, Section 003
Time TBD, Len Springer, Instructor

UL Lafayette students who play violin, banjo, mandolin, upright bass, dobro or guitar: here is your chance to play bluegrass music for credit. Singers welcome. The ensemble meets for two hours a week for one credit.

Instructor Len Springer is the leader and fiddler for the Louisiana Purchase Bluegrass Band. Their most recent CD is Story to Tell. Len toured widely with several Nashville-based artists including Brenda Lee, Donna Fargo, Ronnie Reno and Ray Price. He also worked as a staff fiddler for Top Tracks demo studio in Nashville. He was the founder and director of the South Louisiana Bluegrass Association, Inc. 

Sign up for a 10-minute audition time by phone (482-1020) or email (dewitt@louisiana.edu). Regular rehearsal time will be set after auditions.

If you are interested in becoming a traditional music major, contact Dr. DeWitt.

Not a UL student?  Contact University College, universitycollege@louisiana.edu or 337-482-6729337-482-6729, to learn how to enroll. Beginning Cajun Fiddle, Beginning Button Accordion and Cajun and Zydeco Music 360 online are all open to non-University students. Register for these courses through University College.

Don’t read music?  No problem! All hands-on courses are taught by ear. If you are not accustomed to learning by ear, prepare to add a new facet to your musicianship.

The mission of the Dr. Tommy Comeaux Endowed Chair in Traditional Music is to stimulate interdisciplinary research on the foundations and diversity of traditional music worldwide and to advance the preservation, instruction, and performance of traditional music with an emphasis on traditions that have developed in Acadiana. For more information, contact Professor Mark DeWitt, dewitt@louisiana.edu, www.tommycomeaux.com, 337-482-1020337-482-1020, or www.facebook.com/ComeauxTradMusic