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 ethnomusicology

Ethnomusicology

Ethnomusicology

 

Ethnomusicology is the study of traditional, folk and popular music traditions practiced within diverse cultures and societies. Ethnomusicologists conduct fieldwork to learn how societies function. By conducting interviews, attending and observing performances, learning about local history, language and customs, and doing musical analysis ethnomusicologists are able to study the ways in which individuals learn, create and understand music in different cultural communities, the means by which music is transmitted via both social and media networks, the significance of music revivals, or the impact of new contexts on the style and meaning of music. Ethnomusicologists consider questions of identity and how performance becomes a place where identity is negotiated. They examine the role of music in human life, analyze relationships between music and culture, and study music across disciplines drawing from Anthropology, Sociology, Folklore, History, Area Studies (i.e. Mexican American, Latino/a, American, Ethnic, Indigenous) and Studies in Urban and Popular Culture.

There is a range of topics of concern to the field of Ethnomusicology today. Some of these include migration/immigration, nationalism/transnationalism, place/space (including the notion of liminal space), border crossings, minority politics, regional and ethnic identity, social inequalities and class, history and memory, performativity, media and technology, cultural policy, and many other issues and questions that are relevant to the individual’s research interests and area of investigation. While the Masters Program in Ethnomusicology is housed in the Department of Music and Dance, students from other disciplines are welcome and encouraged to participate in Ethnomusicology Seminars and Music and Culture courses as a cross-disciplinary approach is central to this field of study.