Writing music history

in Ethnomusicology

Published in print December 2013 | ISBN: 9780199794379
Published online December 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199375257 | DOI:

Series: Very Short Introductions

Writing music history

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‘Writing music history’ looks at the part of ethnomusicological study which involves researching musical history in the form of written traditions. They do this to try to understand the present, why traditions have changed, and how people in the culture they are studying construct their own musical tradition through their present musical practices. The close connection between historiography and ethnography means that studying history has always come hand in hand with the fieldwork of ethnomusicologists. Ethnomusicologists tend to suppose that when social, economic, political, and cultural systems change some aspect of musical practice and style will change as a consequence.

Keywords: James Brown; Ray Charles; Aretha Franklin; Alan Lomax; Turkish Music

Chapter.  2614 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Ethnomusicology ; Anthropology

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