Behague, Gerard (November 2, 1937-June 13, 2005) | University of Illinois Archives
Gerard Behague (1937-2005) was born in Montpellier, France and spent his childhood in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Behague earned a diploma in piano performance and composition from the Brazilian Conservatory of Music in 1959. This was followed by a masters degree in musicology from the University of Paris in 1962. He earned his Ph.D. in musicology from Tulane University in 1966, where he studied with Gilbert Chase. While at Tulane, Behague also worked in the Inter-American Institute for Musical research.
Professor Behague began his career as a musicologist in 1966 at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Here he taught music history, American music, and Latin American music. Gradually, his research interests shifted toward ethnomusicology. In 1974, Behague became a professor of musicology at the University of Texas at Austin, where he would remain until his death in 2005. Two of his most notable students at the University of Texas were Tom Turino and Donna Buchanan.
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.
Behague was particularly well known for his research on the music of Brazil, which he studied both as a music historian and as an ethnomusicologist. Among the books he wrote were his 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).