Nazir Ali Jairazbhoy Expert on the Music of India Dies
Nazir Ali Jairazbhoy, 81, the founding chairman and professor emeritus of UCLA's department of ethnomusicology, died June 20 of lung cancer at his home in Van Nuys, according to the university.
With his comprehensive knowledge of India's folk, classical and popular music, Jairazbhoy had an international reputation as a researcher, teacher and administrator. He joined the UCLA department of music as a full professor in 1975 and became the founding chairman of the new department of ethnomusicology and systematic musicology in 1988. He retired from the university as professor emeritus in 1994.
He was the first nonwhite president of the Society for Ethnomusicology in 1975 and was named honorary life member in 2005.
In the mid-1980s, he established India's Archives and Research Center for Ethnomusicology in New Delhi.
Jairazbhoy was born in England of Indian parents. He earned a bachelor's degree in geography from the University of Washington and a doctorate in Indian music from the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London.
He began his studies in the 1950s playing, presenting and writing on Indian classical music.
He also developed a passionate interest in the little-documented folk music traditions of India and Pakistan and spent much of his career bringing that music to broader public attention.