• “ music is a category of humanly organized sound” and “ it is the creative process
of organizing a sound in some way different then speech
• Can be overt ( very easy to understand)
• Can be subtle ( May take long years of familiarity and long years of analysis.
All music has a use
• Ask yourself what the music is used for and why it was created
• It can provide a narrative ( movies)
• Bonding (
• convince people to shop there
• Music used in advertising
• Form/maintain identity
• Worship/contact the divine
• communicate ideology
• Accompany ritual
• shape emotion
• deal with social change
• -redefine tradition
• -coordinate work
• -aesthetic appreciation
• -register protest
• -Promote consumption
• -Chase away udesirables
• -symbolic representation
• -inspire physical response
• -enforce conformity to societal norms
• -maintain stability of tradition
• -help integrate society
• organized group of humans living within a certain geographical space.
• often share customs, interests, system of institutions( government, school, religion, etc).
• Its all knowledge that includes things like values, beliefs, rules, It helps you think
and effects what you do, it defines what is proper or improper
• The study of music IN an AS culture: Music can change culture and culture can
change music, it goes both ways. Rock an roll caused a reaction inAmerican
culture.As culture: Music has values, there are rules, ideas, activities, material
objects, there is a certain ways that we do musical thing
• “ The fact of being who or what a person or thing is. I am a man. She is British
• Constructed in complex ways, often in opposition to something else.
• Comprised of habits and performances, both self-conscious( ones you are really
aware of) and unconscious ( ones that you are not aware of)
• What are some identities you perform? family role- chores; gender-what you
wear; Western student-purple; student- going to class, study, taking notes
• pre-composed or on the spot?
• Creates “ music” on the spot using existing frameworks, NOT completely free.
• Melody start relatively simple, becomes more complex
• Increase of range and embellishments as it progresses
Emic vs. Etic approaches
1. Etic approach
• asks you to be an outsider. You do a lot of observation and a bunch of listening. It
took off with recording engineering, you still observe the music but recordings
were taken to and could be listened to after
• Alot of sitting in the corner and watching things
• acting like a cultural outsider.
• relies much informants/consultants: people in the culture they are observing who
seems knowledgeable and the observer can ask questions.
• They are experts in a particular music culture. People might point them out.
• trying to act like a cultural insider
• bi-musicality: acting like a normal student within the culture.Act similar to other
students. Emic tends to work better then the Etic approach because the people tend to trust and respect these people more.
• The goal of the lessons is to become competent in the music, not to become an all
• bi-musicality is a goal of most ethnomusicologies
Emic Principles ( INSPIRED, by the approach):
1. importance of fieldwork and transcription.
• Fieldwork: going to the culture itself wherever it is and spending a long time
there. spend months sometimes years there and living as much as possible as an
ordinary person in the music culture. Fieldwork is deep hanging out with
someone. Spend a lot of time with someone, chatting about music, talking about
difficulties of own instrument. not really just interviews.
• Transcription: a transcription is a partial preservation of the music. You have to
listen to the music a lot more then once and then they can come up with a
2. Music must be considered in its cultural context:
• no human being is an island, composers didn’t write music in a capsule and not
• Every person is aware of their own culture
• . They may reject or accept culture.
• The sounds of the music won’t wholly describe the music, to truly understand the
music you have to understand its culture truly.
3. Music is always changing- your research is only a snapshot of a moment.
• Music may change slowly but it does change and you will never capture
everything in a music culture, no matter how narrow and how vigilant your
• ethnomusicologists may return to places to see the change in the music culture
because there will always be something new to study.
4. Music is similar to language
• you grow up learning a particular language and it becomes part of yourself, its
indigenous. English has principles of the languages that have been around but
because people interact with others and collect words or phrases from other
• people of different cultures encounter people from other cultures and may hear a
tune, a category of music, instruments, from them and bring it back to their own
musical culture. Participant Observation
• Ethnomusicologists mix eticAND emic approaches.
• You do both observing and you act as a participant
• dates back to nineteenth century.
• It was inspired by Darwin’s theory of evolution.
• They think that all human societies develop in the same way but just do it at
• the believe all cultures start simple and get more complex
• more complex cultures have more industrialized
• They believed that simple societies had simple music and complex societies had
• How complex they are should have nothing to do with industrialization.
• It got proved that theory did not show up in the actual life. Complexity of music
had nothing to do with how industrialized the society is.
• hearing, listening with your ears.
• One of the oldest forms of transmission
• Hearing music and learning from it
• most common form of transition
• Pros: creativity, when you rely on aural transmission each person is able to put
their own spin on the piece. There is creativity of versions.
• Cons: preservation can be more challenging,
• By mouth
• The teacher gives spoken or sung instructions,
• giving feedback
• very old way of teaching music
• pros: Allows direct insight
• cons: The information can vanish, preservation can be a problem.
• Watching people
• observing posture, etc
• -Con: May not be able to get the technique from just watching, it is difficult if you
are visually impaired, availability 4. Written
• Writing at least the words
• Usually Implies that there is some form of music notation.
• Tablature: telling where the pitches are
• Western notation: graphs notes and rhythms
• Pros: It is preserved,
• Cons: Not everyone knows how to read the music, not everyone has access to the
music, some of the technicality may be lost. No notation system can give you
every piece of notation. In certain cases is can be less creative, errors
• process of becoming a member of a given culture, generally more unconscious
( In- Culture