Royal Hartigan was awarded an A.B. in Philosophy from St. Michael's College in 1968, specializing in medieval metaphysics and the existentialism of Albert Camus and Jean-Paul Sartre. He received a B.A. in African-American music at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, in 1981, studying with Roland Wiggins, Frederick Tillis, Reggie Workman, Archie Shepp, Max Roach, and Clifford Jarvis. royal earned his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in world music at Wesleyan University in 1983 and 1986, studying intensively with Edward Blackwell, Freeman Donkor, Abraham Adzenyah, and other master artists from Java, India, China, and West Africa.
He has taught ethnomusicology, African drumming, and world music ensemble at The New School for Social Research in New York and the Graduate Liberal Studies program at Wesleyan University. royal helped develop and taught graduate and undergraduate courses in world music, large and small jazz ensembles, African-American music history, and West African drumming and dance at San Jose State University before assuming his current position in world music at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.
His publications include Cross-Cultural Performance and Analysis of West African, African-American, Native American, Central Javanese, and South Indian Drumming, a 1700-page analysis of world drumming traditions (the Edwin Mellen Press); articles in Percussive Notes, World of Music, Annual Review of Jazz Studies, and the African-American Review; and a book, West African Rhythms for Drumset (Manhattan Music/Warner Brothers). Royal has published three double CDs through Innova Recordings (st. Paul, MN), Blood Drum Spirit (2004), Ancestors (2008), and Live in China (2008).
He has given lectures and clinics on world music and jazz in Africa, China, Europe, and North America. He travels to West Africa each summer to teach, perform, and do research, collaborating with J.H. Nketia at the Institute for African Studies, University of Ghana, and the musicians at the Dagbe Cultural Center, Kopeyia village, Volta Region, Ghana.
Tapspace teams up with consummate musician and drumset artist royal hartigan to produce our first ever, highly comprehensive coordination development book for drumset players based on applying rudiments and patterns around the kit. The difficulty level of Dancin' on the Time goes from simple to very challenging as royal explains how to exercise...
With Freeman Kwazdo Donkor and Abraham Adzenyah. Based on four Ghanaian rhythmic groups (Sikyi, Adowa, Gahu and Akom), this book and CD will provide drumset players with a "new" vocabulary based on some of the oldest and most influential rhythms in the world. A groundbreaking presentation!