Short Portrait: Alfons Dauer

Alfons Dauer
Alfons Dauer

Alfons Dauer was born in Bamberg in 1921.

After finishing school he took up his studies in 1941. His major subjects were English language and literature, Ethnology and African languages as well as Sociology and Musicology. Dauer not only studied in Erlangen but also in Cologne and Mainz. He received his Ph D in 1960.

After completing his studies Dauer did fieldwork in Senegal, Ghana and Simbabwe. Between 1965 and 1976 he chaired the ethnographic section of the Institute for the Scientific Film (Institut für den wissenschaftlichen Film, IWF) in Göttingen. During this period he was responsible for editing more than 400 movies concerning music ethnology.

In 1969 Dauer was among the founders of the International Jazz Research Association. Two years later he took up a professorship for Afro-American Studies at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Graz, Austria.

Throughout the following years Dauer did continuous research on the origins of afro-american music such as jazz and blues. Moreover, Dauer not only published a number of books on the traditions and styles of these genres but co-edited the jazz encyclopedia by Knaur. He retired in 1991.

Alfons Dauer died in Graz in 2010.

(text by Vincenz Kokot; photo source: Ekkehard Schröder, April 2017)

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