Sample ethnographic introductions

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Click here to retrieve "Ethnographies.pdf" (sample ethnographic introductions)

Read these introductions to African musical ethnography selectively...observing:

  • research aims
  • theory, presuppositions, prejudices, "where the author's coming from"
  • author's position and angle in the field, experience, relation to music and performance
  • field methods
  • writing style, apparent audience, self-presentation
  • organization (table of contents)
  • historical period (intellectual climate, development of ethnomusicology...)

Introductions are taken from the following works:

1. Friedson, Steven: Dancing Prophets, 1996 [1] (There's an accompanying film but our library seems to have lost it; I'll try to bring it)
2. Berliner, Paul: The Soul of Mbira, 1978 [2] (you may like to hear the accompanying album: [3]
3. Chernoff, John: African Rhythm and African Sensibility, 1979 [4] (he also co-produced this film)
4. Kisliuk, Michelle: Seize the Dance!, 1998 [5]
5. Besmer, Fremont: Horses, Musicians & Gods, 1983
6. Keil, Charles: Tiv Song, 1979



Click here to retrieve sample ethnographic introductions