Article

Ethnomusicology

Bruno Nettl

in Music

ISBN: 9780199757824
Published online November 2017 | | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780199757824-0224
Ethnomusicology

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  • Music
  • Applied Music
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  • Music Theory and Analysis
  • Musicology and Music History
  • Music Education and Pedagogy

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Ethnomusicology is most frequently defined as the study of music in its relationship to the rest of human culture, and as the study of the musics of the world from a comparative perspective. But it has also been defined many other ways, including “the study of social and cultural aspects of music and dance in local and global contexts” (Pegg, et al. 2001, cited under Publications after 1965, p. 367). Nettl 2015 (cited under Publications after 1965, pp. 3–18) discusses a number of definitions. It is frequently described as an interdiscipline, partaking of the perspectives of musicology and sociocultural anthropology, and also of the disciplines of folklore and linguistics. In fact, scholars who define themselves as ethnomusicologists have been principally concerned with the musics of non-Western societies, to a considerable extent also with folk music traditions of Western societies, and more recently, also with popular music traditions and with musics resulting from fusion of Western and non-Western cultures. Only most recently have ethnomusicologists begun to show a sustained interest in applying their approaches to the culture of Western classical music of the past or present. Ethnomusicologists deal with the musics of the world from a relativistic and egalitarian viewpoint, striving, for each music, to present the approaches and judgments of its own culture. Ethnomusicology is thought to have its starting point in 1885, but it has a substantial prehistory of publications about Asian and European folk musics. From 1885 it was ordinarily known as “comparative musicology” (vergleichende Musikwissenschaft in German, the language of most of its early literature). In the early 1950s, the term “ethnomusicology” began to be widely used, and by 1955 it had replaced the earlier terms. The bibliography presented here emphasizes works that deal with ethnomusicology as a whole as a field of research, and with some of its subdivisions, and pays considerable attention to its history. It also contains a sampling of significant studies often regarded models, of surveys of world music, and of significant landmark publications.

Article.  11142 words. 

Subjects: Music ; Applied Music ; Ethnomusicology ; Music Theory and Analysis ; Musicology and Music History ; Music Education and Pedagogy

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