Ethnomusicology Research Paper

Ethnomusicology Research Paper-87
These papers have been written with a particular audience in mind—that is, the learners who participate in the MOOC, who may not have had previous readings in any of the fields being canvassed.

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In turn, the study of music in and as culture produces better understandings of the world, humanity, and its societies.

Such a definition also applies to varying extents, to other humanistic music-focused fields such as musicology, music cognition, and music therapy.

Alan Merriam, at Indiana University, argued for the necessity of anthropological approaches to music in ethnomusicology (Merriam, 1964) and cultural anthropology emerged as a primary influence on the study of musics of the world.

John Blacking turned to the biological conditions of music to find that music was not simply a product of a culture, but rather that “[c]ulture ... a product of musical practices that combined with other fundamental human activities to yield society” (Bohlman, 2001/2016, para. A disciplinary focus of music as culture (not simply music in culture) emerged.

Here, the task of ethnomusicology is not just studying music culture, but to study music reflexively and interculturally; that is, recognising the act of research as a “a symbolic, interpretive, transactional, contextual process” (Lustig & Koester, 1993, p. This article provides an account of the response to the modern postcolonial prerogative from a particular perspective and field: that of a non-Indigenous Australian ethnomusicologist (myself, the author) who conducts research on Indigenous Australian musical traditions with Indigenous cultural performers and stakeholders.

In this account I contend that postcolonial discourse that emphasises intercultural knowledge production contributes to an understanding of past and present approaches to the study of music in and as culture.By Sally Treloyn Culture has long been a unifying consideration of ethnomusicologists.Summarising the theoretical range of approaches encompassed by the discipline in the late twentieth century, Bruno Nettl characterised ethnomusicology as the study of music in and as culture (Nettl, 1980, p. The study of music in and as culture renders rich understanding of musical systems and of musical cultures as systems of signs and symbols that are created by, take the form of, and operationalise, social, historical, and political actions.The article is particularly concerned with Australian ethnomusicology that is concerned with Indigenous Australian performance traditions.Keywords: music research, ethnomusicology, music as culture, intercultural research : In 2016, Voices hosted a special edition to accompany the launch of a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on the topic of "How Music Can Change Your Life".This was in part due to the legacy of Wild (who himself trained under Alan Merriam in the 1960s at Indiana) and Catherine Ellis, and in part due to the broader influence of anthropological and ethnographic approaches in ethnomusicology beyond North America.However, the blended musicological/ethnographic approach of Australian ethnomusicology was also due to the particular complexity of Australian Aboriginal musical traditions.9) and “turtles all the way down” (Mc Clary, 2000, p. As a more holistic understanding of music as culture emerged in ethnomusicology, so too has recognition of the participation of ethnomusicology in reinforcing “ideological faultlines” that persisted from early academic iterations of the culture concept (Bohlman, 2001/2016, para. Ethnomusicology involves new discourses that are attentive to race, gender, power and privilege that cast not just the musical , but also the gazing ethnomusicologist, at the center of the study.For Bohlman “the cultural study of music is inseparable from the history of the present and the ethnographic encounter with our own world” (Bohlman, 2012, p. Comparison in ethnomusicology has returned, but we are more attentive to context (Savage & Brown, 2013) and to the need for discourse and greater awareness of what we compare and why (Clayton, 2012).it provides our best methodological tool for isolating significant (and signifying) moments of performance (2005, p. This approach has rendered powerful insights into music as culture.In his Stanner Award-winning monograph on the Wangga genre from the Daly Region of northern Australia, for example, Marett investigated social and political contexts in hand with cosmology and aesthetics, and musical form, to show how Wangga songs have the power “make and unmake the world” (2010, p. Drawing on Nicholas Evans’ description of the way in which small societies distinguish themselves from neighbouring and distant groups by a “constructive fostering of variegation” in their languages (2010, p.14), Linda Barwick (2011) used musical analysis to show how the diverse clans that were moved from their traditional lands into the Port Keats Mission in the mid twentieth century negotiated new social and ceremonial relationships through musical innovation.


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