Bronia Kornhauser has had a long association with the School of Music at Monash, completing her degrees there and joining its teaching staff in the 1970s. At the time, her main research interest as an ethnomusicologist was the music of Indonesia, particularly the Kroncong genre performed in the urban areas of Java. Her thesis on Kroncong music has been lauded as ‘the definitive work on that subject’.
After a long hiatus from the tertiary sector, during which time she devoted her energies to raising a family and teaching music at secondary-school level, Bronia returned to Monash’s School of Music in 1995 where she was able to pursue her penchant for the practical aspects of ethnomusicology.
In her role as archivist, Bronia documents and manages the music collections gathered in the field by staff and students, as well as the collections donated by members of the public. She has had the opportunity to oversee the digitisation of some of these audio and visual materials housed in the Archive, the selections being based on their fragility, rarity and uniqueness. The project was funded by two consecutive Australian Research Council grants and has established an efficient a nd effective means of both accessing and preserving valuable resources for future studies in the music traditions of diverse cultures.
In her role as research officer, Bronia uses her expertise with notation and music production software programs to assist Margaret Kartomi with her work and to create professional quality transcriptions and audio compilations to accompany research publications. Bronia has also had the opportunity to undertake her own research activity which presently focuses on Jewish music in Australia and the Asia-Pacific region. She has presented papers at conferences and produced a number of publications on the subject.
2007: ‘The Yiddish are coming! The Yiddish are coming!: the reshaping of Melbourne’s Jewish Community from 1980 to 1939’, Victorian Historical Journal 78/2 [special issue, Music, Migration and Multiculturalism] eds. Kay Dreyfus and Joel Crotty, 206-27
2007: Out of Babylon: The Music of Baghdadi-Jewish Migrations into Asia and Beyond, Celestial Harmonies CD 13274-2, with 64-page booklet of musical commentary and analysis (with Margaret Kartomi)
2007: ‘A case of discontiguity: musical and cultural Irony in the situation of the Jewish community of Shepparton, Victoria, pre-World War I to post- World War II’ (with Kay Dreyfus), in The Soundscapes of Australia: Music, Place and Spirituality ed. Fiona Richards. Aldershot: Ashagte, 117-46
2005: ‘Conserving a past for the consolidation of the present: aspects of Jewish music Culture in Melbourne in the 1960s’, in Go! Melbourne in the Sixties, eds. Seamus O’Hanlon and Tanya Luckins. Melbourne Publishing Group, 87-100
2003: ‘Jewish music: beyond nation and identity’ in Australasian Music Research 7, University of Melbourne, Centre for Studies in Australian Music, 113-20
2000: ‘Australian Archive of Jewish Music’ in Australasian Music Research 4, University of Melbourne, Centre for Studies in Australian Music, 131-8
‘Layers of identity in the surf rock icon Misirlu’, for a special issue of Musicology Australia on the 1960s.