Meet a Musician: David Lasocki, Musicologist



Bloomington, Indiana, is a special city for musicians—visitor or resident, foreign or domestic, famous or little-known. It also happens to be a city with a large university and an equally large school of music, a meeting place for all kinds of performers, educators, and researchers. This post is part of a photo series that looks at the many people in Bloomington who call themselves a musician.

David Lasocki

David Lasocki has spent a great portion of his life researching many areas of music history. His accomplishments are modestly summed up in an official biography:

“As a researcher, he has specialized in woodwind instruments, their repertoire, performance practice, social history, and bibliography. He has written or edited 11 books; written 90 scholarly articles, 40 bibliographies and bibliographic essays, and 30 other articles; and published 100 editions of eighteenth-century woodwind music with such publishers as Faber Music, Musica Rara, Nova Music, and Zen-On. His life path includes collaborating with other authors and editors, including Walter Bergmann†, Robert Paul Block†, Eva Legêne, and Betty Bang Mather.”

What the bio doesn’t tell you, and one of the things David is primarily recognized for, is that he’s one of the world’s foremost authorities on the history of the recorder, a simple unassuming instrument with a complex history reaching all the way back to the Middle Ages.

I first met David just under a decade ago when I took a class of his at Indiana University, yet I didn’t really get to know him until I became his private research assistant in the summer of 2005. At that point he had just begun writing two books (a history of the recorder and a biography of the jazz group Astral Project).

There have many, many other topics since then—each and every one allowing me to closely observe, learn, and explore alongside a person who is truly the best at what he does. To me, he has been more of a mentor than a boss.

It is somewhat difficult to articulate how profoundly this has affected my life and my own research interests. Suffice it to say, that I’m a very different person as a result.

And thankfully so.

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