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c o u r s e s

f i e l d   a n d   l a b   m e t h o d s   f o r   e t h n o m u s i c o l o g i s t s

    

Course Description
 
The term 'fieldwork' in ethnomusicology refers to the gathering of primary source information related to one or more musical events for analysis and interpretation. While the goal may seem simple, the process itself is highly complex and involves personal relationships that are occasionally difficult and/or unpredictable. Decisions about what information to collect and how to document it most effectively require advance planning and even fairly explicit ideas about how the results may be used later. But, once the process is underway, even the best-conceived plans often need to be changed. All things considered, there are so many variables involved that some researchers question whether fieldwork can be taught or learned at all, except through experience. In hopes of improving the students' odds for success, this course provides:
a) an introduction to theories and methods relating to fieldwork in ethnomusicology,
b) training in the use of fieldwork equipment, and
c) guidance in completing an actual research project.

Topics
_ Sound Recording - Photography - Video.
Concept-oriented technical instruction, relating to specific problems faced while in the field.
_ The Fieldwork Experience
Arriving in 'the field' - History of trends in fieldwork - Bi-musicality as a research strategy - Teachers and 'informants' - Establishing and maintaining rapport.
_ Theoretical Perspectives; Ethical and Legal Issues.
Fieldwork, culture & ethnography - Genres/styles of ethnographic writing - The concept of reflexivity - Insiders and outsiders - Ethical and legal considerations; issues of gender - Community service as a research strategy - Hypothetical problems and solutions.
_ Preliminary Preparations / Practical Matters.
Pre-field preparation; research design - Grant proposals; contracts and release forms - Fieldwork technology.
_ Film Making as Musical Ethnography. Interviewing.
Critical discussion of ethnographic films - Camera angles, film editing, and the telling of a story - Asking descriptive questions; analyzing ethnographic interviews.
_ Ethnographic Writing & Interpreting Music.
Straight-forward description - Self-presentation and literary tone - Other genres of ethnographic narrative - Capturing a musical experience in prose.
_ The Role of Ethnomusicologists in the Transmission of the Music under Study.

  


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