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Music History 491: Introduction to World Music and Culture  

Last Updated: Jan 21, 2015 URL: Print Guide

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Children, participants in the German Youth Activities program, singing and dancing for civilians and American soldiers at a military club, circa 1946-1952
(courtesy of ARTstor)


Your Assignment

Musical Ethnography Paper        DUE Friday, March 13

Your final project is to write a 2200-2700 word (not counting the bibliography) interview-based musical ethnography.  You are not limited to any particular music genre or geographical region; however, your project must be feasible within the time constraints of the term.  Please do include an emphasis on people making music.  You must also incorporate one or more theories or models from class in the analysis and discussion of your ethnographic material.


Library Research

The first component is library research. The aim of your library research is to put your topic into context and become familiar the history and context of the specific community and musical tradition you are focusing on, as well as how other scholars have written about it. You must use at least 4 library sources (books or articles). After some initial searches, if this does not seem feasible for your particular topic, please come talk to me. Depending on your topic, your research may include internet research, but not exclusively.


Field Work

The second and most important component is ethnographic, ethnomusicological fieldwork research. This involves interactive communication between you and an individual or group of people. Ideally you would be interviewing people in person, attending rehearsals, and a performance if possible, depending on your topic. You may also consider phone interviews (such as with out-of-town family members), or e-mail communication as a last resort.

Subject Guide

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