Collaborative definitions of EM
2014 class discussion - Definition of Ethnomusicology:
- Looking at music through a social, political and cultural prism. ‘Sociological’ perhaps defines the prism better, absorbs the political aspect.
- EM rejects finite definitions – resists determinacy.
- Interdisciplinary, but also excludes specific aspects of other disciplines.
- Includes history and culture.
- Widens the scope from musicology – coming from a history of recording music in a linear and chronological way. EM gets at the larger context; adds a deeper, richer body of meaning to music. Midway point between musicology and anthropology.
- Prism of the social vs. anthropology or sociology; is there a difference between anthropology of music and anthropological musicology?
- Musical anthropology vs. anthropology of music? Does this depend on the level of detail one looks at?
- Music is more a contemplative object; in other cases music can be used as methodology. Methodologies strictly within musicology may look different. Methodology vs. objective study.
- Could a musical anthropology study things other than music?
- Mythology of ethnic music – ethnic music is something that is created by the collective; everyone expresses themselves, and the result is music. Blacking argues that it can be a reversal.
- Looking through social/political aspects of life, music is representative. Is there a possibility of developing the theory detached from other disciplines?
- To what extent can we dissociate our definition from our purpose? Considering what we are or what we ought to be. Contribute to pluralism and greater understanding. Contributing to universalism and social good through musical culture.