Alexander Cannon

Photo of Alexander Cannon
Alexander Cannon
Assistant Professor, Music History, Ethnomusicology (currently on leave)
(269) 387-4725
(269) 387-1113
2302 Dalton Center, Mail Stop 5434
Mailing address: 
School of Music
Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5434 USA
  • Ph.D., University of Michigan
  • M.A., University of Michigan
  • B.A., Pomona College

Alexander M. Cannon is an ethnomusicologist specializing in the music of contemporary southern Vietnam and the music of Asia. He holds a B.A. in music and mathematical economics from Pomona College and an M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. At the University of Michigan, he directed the Central Javanese gamelan ensemble and taught courses in world music and American music. He most recently taught world music and music history at Montclair State University.

Cannon’s research investigates the changing practices of a genre of traditional music called "nhac tai tu Nam bo" or the music of talented amateurs of southern Vietnam. As a recipient of the Fulbright Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad fellowship, he conducted 15 months of extensive fieldwork research in Ho Chi Minh City and the Mekong Delta in 2008 and 2009; he returns every year to continue this research. In 2011, he completed his doctoral dissertation on charismatic musicianship in Vietnam titled "Making Tradition Charismatic: Music, Memory and Alliance in Contemporary Southern Vietnam" under the guidance of Professors Joseph Lam and Judith Becker.

Cannon has presented his research at national and international conferences in the United States, Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom and China. He recently guest-edited a special issue volume of the "Journal of Vietnamese Studies" on new research concerning the Vietnamese diaspora and also contributed a research article titled “Virtually Audible in Diaspora: The Transnational Negotiation of Vietnamese Traditional Music.” He also has an article on charisma and Vietnamese traditional music forthcoming in the journal "Ethnomusicology."