Aaron Corn

Aaron Corn

Director, Centre for Aboriginal Studies

Elder Conservatorium of Music

Faculty of Arts

Eligible to supervise Masters and PhD - email supervisor to discuss availability.


Professor of Music
Director, Centre for Aboriginal Studies in Music (CASM)
Director, National Centre for Aboriginal Language and Music Studies (NCALMS)

My research investigates new strategies for strengthening human cultural diversity in the Digital Age with an emphasis on Australian Indigenous performance and mass media expressions. It examines the centrality of music to Indigenous law, and to the durability of Indigenous knowledge engagements across generations and cultures. I maintain long-term collaborations with Indigenous artists throughout Australia and Asia to broaden understanding and support for their cultural survival aims.

My most recent work explores: Digital futures for strengthening Australian Indigenous song and dance traditions, popular music expressions of Indigenous worldviews and values, song and dance as Australian Indigenous media for knowledge transmission in research and educational contexts, how the academy and the Australian education system value Indigenous knowledges, Indigenous cultural expressions of pre-C20 contact histories between Asia and north Australia, and building Indigenous understandings of relatedness into metadata schemes for use with collected Indigenous knowledge resources.

I welcome inquiries from Masters and PhD candidates interested in: Music and Digital Media, Popular Music, Musicology and Ethnomusicology, Strengthening Endangered Cultures, Ethnographic Research Methods, Intangible Cultural Heritage, Cultural Heritage Collections and Audiovisual Archives, Indigenous Pedagogies and Education Policy, Traditional Knowledge and Intellectual Property, Indigenous and Embodied Knowledges, Information Technologies and Indigenous Communities.

Current projects include:

  • Yolŋu Manikay: Digital Futures for Indigenous Song of Northeast Arnhem Land

    Manikay is the public ceremonial song tradition of the Yolŋu people of NE Arnhem Land. It is a key medium for transmitting ancestral observations of country across generations, and has inspired new creative expressions that are acclaimed worldwide. Yet despite its centrality to Yolŋu agency, the Manikay tradition is increasingly threatened due to present-day pressures with its cohort of seasoned singers thinning considerably. This pilot project enlists a leading team of investigators and organisations with expertise in Yolŋu knowledge, music, languages, ethnography, digital collections and rights management to research how emergent digital technologies can best be used to strengthen the transmission of Manikay to future generations.

  • Aboriginal Remote Narrowcast TV and the Audiovisual Archive

    This project investigates world-best practices in community narrowcast digital TV and contemporary methods for the long-term storage of both digital and analog audiovisual cultural materials with the aim of generating new knowledge about pertinent technical requirements for preservation and conservation. It engages multiple stakeholders and national institutions while building local Aboriginal community capacity in digital narrowcast and the management of Aboriginal audiovisual archives. It also investigates how narrowcasting health promotion and other public service messages into Aboriginal languages community impacts upon community wellbeing.

  • Mobilising the Global Legacy and Impact of the Aboriginal Artists Agency

    The Aboriginal Artists Agency was a driving force for change in the Australian arts industry. Founded in 1976, it was the first national body to administrate copyrights for indigenous artists, create international demand for Australian culture, and pioneer ways for Indigenous artists to reach audiences and markets worldwide. This project investigates the seminal work of the Aboriginal Artists Agency. It works to secure and analyse the Aboriginal Artists Agency’s exclusive corporate collection, and assesses the vast knowledge of its personnel through new interviews. This seminal analysis of the Aboriginal Artists Agency’s role in reshaping attitudes towards Australian national identity is informing new frameworks for assessing Indigenous arts initiatives.

  • The National Recording Project for Indigenous Performance in Australia (NRPIPA)

    The NRPIPA assists Indigenous Australians to record, document and archive their endangered traditions of music and dance, and empowers Indigenous communities to utilise new digital media technologies in determining how to realise these cultural survival aims. Conceived as a key outcome of the 1st Symposium on Indigenous Music and Dance during the 2002 Garma Festival in Arnhem Land, it maintains a committed network of performers, scholars, professionals and community stakeholders. The NRPIPA continues to convene its annual Symposium on Indigenous Music and Dance, which invites presentations by a wide array of Indigenous cultural practitioners and their collaborators. The NRPIPA became a Study Group of the Musicological Society of Australia in 2017, which is open to scholars, performers, community stakeholders, collections managers and allied professionals with an interest in Indigenous Australian music and dance.

    http://www.msa.org.au/Main.asp?_=NRPIPA

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  • Journals

    Year Citation
    2018 Corn, A. D. (2018). The Semantic Web: An exploration of its functionality for describing and discovering Indigenous Australian knowledge and heritage resources. Archives and Manuscripts, 46(3).
    2018 Corn, A. D. (2018). Joseph Gumbula, the ancestral chorus, and how we value Indigenous knowledges. Preservation, Digital Technology and Culture, 47(3–4).
    2018 Corn, A., Ormond-Parker, L., & De Largy Healy, J. (2018). From the Guest Editors, Aaron Corn with Lyndon Ormond-Parker and Jessica de Largy Healy. Preservation, Digital Technology and Culture, 47(3-4), 68-69.
    DOI
    2018 Corn, A. (2018). Joe Gumbula, the Ancestral Chorus, and the Value of Indigenous Knowledges. Preservation, Digital Technology and Culture, 47(3-4), 77-90.
    DOI
    2018 Corn, A., & Langton, M. (2018). A post-mortem of a pulped book: Making sense of the missed opportunities of Deadly Woman Blues. Musicology Australia, 40(1), 63-72.
    DOI
    2015 Corn, A., & Patrick, W. (2015). Pulyaranyi: new educational contexts for transferring Warlpiri knowledge. UNESCO Observatory Journal, 4(2), 1-27.
    2014 Corn, A. (2014). Nations of song. Griffith Review, (61), 10 pages.
    2014 Corn, A. (2014). Agent of bicultural balance: ganma, Yothu Yindi and the legacy of Mandawuy Yunupiŋu. Journal of World Popular Music, 1(1), 12-45.
    DOI Scopus4
    2013 Corn, A. (2013). Nations of song. Humanities Research, 19(3), 145-160.
    DOI
    2013 Corn, A. (2013). Sustaining Australia's indigenous music and dance traditions: the role of the national recording project for indigenous performance in Australia. Musicology Australia, 35(2), 268-284.
    DOI Scopus6
    2012 Corn, A. D. (2012). Now and in the Future: The Role of the National Recording Project for Indigenous Performance in Australia in Sustaining Indigenous Music and Dance Traditions. MUSICultures, 39(1), 231-250.
    2010 Corn, A. (2010). Land, song, constitution: Exploring expressions of ancestral agency, intercultural diplomacy and family legacy in the music of Yothu Yindi with Mandawuy Yunupiηu. Popular Music, 29(1), 81-102.
    DOI Scopus12
    2009 Corn, A. (2009). Sound exchanges: An ethnomusicologist's approach to interdisciplinary teaching and learning in collaboration with a remote indigenous Australian community. World of Music, 51(3), 21-50.
    Scopus5
    2009 Gumbula, N., Corn, A., & Mant, J. (2009). Matjabala Mali' Buku-Ru{eng}anmaram: Implications for archives and access in Arnhem Land. Archival Science, 9(1), 7-14.
    DOI Scopus9
    2005 Corn, A. (2005). When the waters will be one: Hereditary performance traditions and the Yolηu re‐invention of post ‐Barunga intercultural discourses. Journal of Australian Studies, 28(84), 23-34.
    DOI
    2003 Corn, A. (2003). Outside the hollow log: The didjeridu, globalisation and socio-economic contestation in arnhem land. Rural Society, 13(3), 244-257.
    DOI Scopus6
    2002 Corn, A. (2002). Burr-Gi Wargugu ngu-Ninya Rrawva: Expressions of ancestry and country in songs by the letterstick band. Musicology Australia, 25(1), 76-101.
    DOI Scopus8
  • Books

    Year Citation
    2009 Corn, A. (2009). Reflections & Voices Exploring the Music of Yothu Yindi with Mandawuy Yunupingu. Sydney University Press.
    2001 Corn, A. D. S. (2001). Ngukurr Crying: Male Youth in a Remote Indigenous Community (Vol. No. 2). Wollongong: University of Wollongong.
    1999 Corn, A. D. S. (1999). Dreamtime Wisdom, Modern Time Vision The Aboriginal Acculturation of Popular Music in Arnhem Land, Australia. North Australia Research Unit Australian National University.
  • Book Chapters

    Year Citation
    2018 Corn, A., & Patrick, W. (2018). Home within: Locating a Warlpiri approach to developing and applying an indigenous educational philosophy in Australian contexts. In J. Petrovic, & R. Mitchell (Eds.), Indigenous Philosophies of Education Around the World (pp. 168-194). New York: Routledge.
    DOI
    2018 Diamond, B., Corn, A., Fjellheim, F., L Hirondelle, C., Maniapoto, M., Marett, A., . . . Stålka, P. (2018). Performing protocol: Indigenous traditional knowledge as/and intellectual property. In J. Post (Ed.), Ethnomusicology: A Contemporary Reader, Volume II (pp. 17-34). New York; USA: Routledge.
    DOI Scopus1
    2018 Corn, A. (2018). Singing in the Presence of Knowing. In J. Oliver (Ed.), Associations: Research and Creative Practice (pp. 159-169). Melbourne: Lyrebird Press.
    2018 Corn, A. D. (2018). Before the first wave: Understanding the intersection of Yolŋu expressions of Makassan contact histories and independence from foreign influences in northeast Arnhem Land. In G. Dooley, & D. Clode (Eds.), The First Wave: Exploring Early Coastal Contact History in Australia. Adelaide: Wakefield.
    2014 Corn, A., & Patrick, W. J. (2014). Singing the winds of change: Ethnomusicology and the generation of new collaborative contexts for the teaching of Warlpiri knowledge across generations and cultures. In K. Barney (Ed.), Collaborative Ethnomusicology New Approaches to Music Research Between Indigenous and Non-indigenous Australians (pp. 147-168). Melbourne: Lyrebird Press.
    2014 Corn, A., & Ford, P. -L. (2014). Consensus and collaboration in the making of the National Recording Project for Indigenous performance in Australia. In K. Barney (Ed.), Collaborative ethnomusicology: new approaches to music research between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians (pp. 115-128). Australia: Lyrebird Press.
    2013 Gumbula, J., Corn, A., & Mant, J. (2013). Discovering the earliest shadows: A Yolŋu-led approach to managing community access to archived cultural resources. In L. Ormond-Parker, A. Corn, C. Fforde, K. Obata, & S. O'Sullivan (Eds.), Information Technology and Indigenous Communities (pp. 197-205). Canberra, Australia: AIATSIS Research Publications.
    2013 Corn, A. (2013). Building the National Recording Project for Indigenous Performance in Australia: Five years on…. In L. Ormond-Parker, A. Corn, C. Fforde, K. Obata, & S. O'Sullivan (Eds.), Information Technology and Indigenous Communities (pp. 247-254). Canberra, Australia: AIATSIS Research Publications.
    2013 Corn, A. D. (2013). The Indigital Revolution. In L. Ormond-Parker, A. D. Corn, C. Fforde, K. Obata, & S. O'Sullivan (Eds.), Information Technology and Indigenous Communities (pp. 1-8). Canberra: AISTSIS Research Publications.
    2013 Corn, A. D. (2013). The Indigital Revolution. In L. Ormond-Parker, A. D. Corn, C. Fforde, K. Obata, & S. O'Sullivan (Eds.), Information Technology and Indigenous Communities (pp. 1-8). Canberra: AISTSIS Research Publications.
    2013 Corn, A. (2013). To See Their Fathers' Eyes: Expressions of Ancestry through Yarraṯa among Yolŋu Popular Bands from Arnhem Land, Australia. In F. Jarman-Ivens (Ed.), Oh Boy! Masculinities and Popular Music (pp. 77-99). London: Routledge.
    DOI
    2012 Corn, A. D. (2012). Treaty now: Popular music and the Indigenous struggle for justice in contemporary Australia. In I. Peddie (Ed.), Music and Protest (pp. 443-456). Surrey: Ashgate.
    2011 Corn, A. (2011). Treaty now: Popular music and the indigenous struggle for justice in contemporary Australia. In I. Peddie (Ed.), Popular Music and Human Rights: Volume II: World Music (pp. 17-26). Ashgate.
    Scopus2
    2006 Corn, A. D., & Gumbula, J. N. (2006). Rom and the Academy Repositioned: Binary Models in Yolŋu Intellectual Traditions and Their Application to Wider Intercultural Dialogues. In L. Russell (Ed.), Boundary Writing: An Exploration of Race, Culture and Gender Binaries in Contemporary Australia (pp. 170-197). Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press.
    2004 Corn, A. D., & Gumbula, J. N. (2004). Now Balanda Say We Lost Our Land in 1788: Challenges to the Recognition of Yolŋu Law in Contemporary Australia. In M. Langton, L. Palmer, M. Tehan, & K. Shain (Eds.), Honour among Nations? Treaties and Agreements with Indigenous Peoples (pp. 101-114). Melbourne: Melbourne University Publishing.
  • Report for External Bodies

    Year Citation
    1995 Corn, A. D. (1995). A Report on the Musical Instrument Holdings of the Queensland Museum. Brisbane: Queensland Museum.
  • Internet Publications

    Year Citation
    2018 Corn, A. D., & Langton, M. (2018). What writers and publishers must learn from the Deadly Woman Blues fiasco. The Conversation.
    2017 Corn, A. D. (2017). Friday essay: Dr Joe Gumbula, the ancestral chorus, and how we value Indigenous knowledges. The Conservation.
    2017 Corn, A. D. (2017). My favourite album: Yothu Yindi’s Tribal Voice. The Conversation.
    2017 Corn, A. D. (2017). How Dr G.Yunupiŋu took Yolŋu culture to the world. The Conversation.
    2014 Corn, A. D. (2014). Aboriginal ceremonies are not ‘bullshit’. The Conversation.
Date Project Name / Number Investigators Funding Body Amount
2018 - 2020 Aboriginal Remote Narrowcast TV and the Audiovisual Archive Ormond-Parker L, Corn A & Sweeney D Australian Research Council

$573,032

2015 - 2017 Mobilising the Global Legacy and Impact of the Aboriginal Artists Agency Corn A, Morphy H & Myers F ARC

$481,766

2012 - 2014 Early Collections of Warlpiri Cultural Heritage and Resulting Community Access Needs in Remote Desert Australia Patrick S, Corn A & Wild S ARC

$530,000

2012 Thai Music Festival and Symposium, Canberra Corn A Australian Government, Australia–Thailand Institute Grant $6,500
2011 Equipment and Facilities Upgrade for the Pacific and Regional Archive for Digital Sources in Endangered Cultures Barwick L, Thieberger N, Arka I, Bird S, Evans N, Simpson J, Nordlinger R & Corn A ARC $238,000
2009 - 20013 Indigenising the Semantic Web: Ontologies for Indigenous Knowledge and Heritage Resources on a Machine-readable Web Corn A ARC $686,400
2007 - 2009 Elder Assessments of Early Material Culture Collections from Arnhem Land and Contemporary Access Needs to Them among Their Source Communities Gumbula J & Corn A ARC $245,000
2007 International Council of Traditional Music World Conference, Vienna Corn A & Gumbula J Australian Institute for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies $4,000
2006 Garma at Womadelaide Tripodi A, Corn A & Gumbula J Australia Council for the Arts, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts Presentation and Promotion $50,000
2005 - 2006 Sharing Access and Analytical Tools for Ethnographic Digital Media Using High Speed Networks Thieberger N, Simpson J, Barwick L, Wigglesworth G, Rumsey A, Bowden F, Buchhorn M, Hunderford S, Foley W, Marett A, Corn A, Nordlinger R, Evans N, Hajek J, Johnston T, Schembri A, Pfeiffer S, Hunter J, McConvell P, Gumbula J, Austin P, Holton G & Johnson H ARC $100,000
2005 Planning for the Sustainability of the National Recording Project for Indigenous Performance in Australia Marett A, Barwick L, Langton M, Corn A, Yunupiŋu M, James A & Marika W ARC $49,000
2004 - 2008 When the Waters Will Be One: Indigenous Performance Traditions at the New Frontier of Intercultural Discourses in Arnhem Land Corn A & Langton M ARC $275,000
1998 - 2000 Arnhem Land Blues Corn A Australian Institute for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies $47,000
1997 Dreamtime Wisdom, Modern-time Vision: Tradition and Innovation in the Popular Band Movement of Arnhem Land, Australia Corn A Queen’s Trust for Young Australians, Achiever Award $5,000
1995 - 1997 Dreamtime Wisdom, Modern-time Vision: Tradition and Innovation in the Popular Band Movement of Arnhem Land, Australia Corn A Australian Government, Australian Postgraduate Award with Stipend $32,000
1993 - 1995 Musical Instruments in Cultural Heritage Collections: A Case Study of the Queensland Museum Corn A Australian Government, Australian Postgraduate Award with Stipend $32,000

 

Program Direction
  • Convenor, Foundation Year, Centre for Aboriginal Studies in Music (CASM)
Course Summary
Date Course Title Course Level/ Code
2017 Research Project V, Postgraduate Coursework MUSPERF 7026
2017 Indigenous Music III, Undergraduate Level III, MUSIC 3001
2017 Indigenous Music II, Undergraduate Level II, MUSIC 2030
2016 The Enquiring Mind, Undergraduate Level I, ARTS 1007
2016 Community and Culture, CASM Foundation Year MUSIC 1100
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  • Current Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2019 Principal Supervisor Luce Irigaray's linguistic theories applied to the songs of Joni Mitchell Master of Philosophy Master Full Time Miss April Rose Mitchell
    2019 Principal Supervisor Physiology of Condotery Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Tully Brookes
    2019 Principal Supervisor Huiju Dramatic Opera Master of Philosophy Master Full Time Miss Yiyin Tian
    2019 Principal Supervisor Studio vs. Live - Identifying and Understanding Technical Differences between Live and Studio Drumming in Contemporary Popular Music Master of Philosophy Master Full Time Mr Enrico Morena
    2018 Co-Supervisor Toward A Method of Characterizing sound Quality in The Japanese Koto Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Iran Sanadzadeh
    2018 Principal Supervisor A Methodology for Investigating Improvised Jazz with Computer-aided Statistical Methods and Machine Learning: A Case Study Through Grant Green's Improvisations (1960-1965) Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr David James Blackwell
    2018 Co-Supervisor Beauty of the Beast: Orchestral and choral arrangement in symphonic metal Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Matthew Ryan Lang
    2017 Co-Supervisor 'Ecotonality', or Soundscape Ecology as Creative Process: Ecological Sound Art Responses to South Australian Ecosystems Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Jesse Henk Nicolaas Budel
    2016 Principal Supervisor Yolngu Ceremonial Songs Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Mr Steven Knopoff
  • Position: Director, Centre for Aboriginal Studies
  • Phone: 83133652
  • Email: aaron.corn@adelaide.edu.au
  • Campus: North Terrace
  • Building:
  • Room: 6 05
  • Org Unit: Elder Conservatorium of Music

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