About Dennis Waring

About Dennis

Dr. Dennis Waring is founder and owner of Waring Music. Dr. Waring is an ethnomusicologist, educator, author, instrument maker, collector, performer, and arts consultant. He teaches World Music, American Music, and Music Education courses on the university level, and is involved in public education in primary, middle, and high schools.

Upon receiving a Bachelor’s of Music Education from the University of Kansas (’67), he taught in public schools in Missouri, New Jersey, Vermont, and Manitoba, Canada. After earning his doctorate from Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut (’87), Waring taught at Wesleyan, Brown University, Trinity College, University of Connecticut, and other regional state universities. As a Master Teaching Artist, he was honored as Connecticut State Troubadour for 2003 and 2004.

His World Music Teacher Institutes often take him from coast to coast. Dr. Waring has taken two four month journeys around the world as shipboard ethnomusicologist with the University of Virginia’s Semester At Sea program and was even on MTV’s “Road Rules”!

Instruments & Musical Styles

img_waringmusicAs a master instrument maker, Waring has written six books on musical instruments. He invents and manufactures instruments of all kinds. His instrument making workshops for people of all ages is a signature activity and his DVD “From Trash To Tunes” has garnered international recognition.

Dr. Waring is comfortable with all styles of music. He is classically trained on the clarinet and studied with the great Italian maestro, Fredric Lubrani. As a traditional folk musician, he learned to play the Appalachian Dulcimer, Hammered Dulcimer, fiddle, Irish Drum and various wind instruments. During his tenure at Wesleyan University, Waring began to apply his multi-instrumental talents to a variety of world music stylistic interpretations and performed throughout the northeast with various music groups.


Dr. Waring's Passion

One facet of Waring Music is ethnomusicology – the scholarly study of all the world’s musics, each within their social, historical, geographical, and cultural contexts. Scholars normally have specialties within the ethnomusicology continuum. In this regard, Dr. Waring possesses a broad based knowledge of world music, and is an authority on music of the USA, a specialist in areas of African and Latin American music, an organologist (the scholarly study of musical instruments), and an instrument maker.

Dr. Waring is in a lineage that traces back to the pioneering anthropologists, Erich Von Hornbostel and Franz Boas (1858-1942). Boas’ interest in music as culture brought others such as George Herzog on board. George Herzog, in turn taught the late David McAllester (Wesleyan University Professor Emeritus of Anthropology and Ethnomusicology and a founder of the Society of Ethnomusicology). Dr. Waring was privileged to be one of the last doctoral students of Professor McAllester.

Dr. Waring organized Waring Music as an educational organization involved with “applied ethnomusicology” through publishing, performing, teaching, composing, and providing access to resources for information, services, and products. Do you need a special music for a particular occasion? Would you like to speak to an authority to confer about an unusual instrument or to check out a bit of folklore? Do you need information about where to find ethnic instruments, quality recordings, or other educational media? Would you like to know where to attend a concert or festival of another country’s music? Waring Music can either answer your questions or help you find a source that will have the answer.