Read Ethnomusicology: A Very Short Introduction by Timothy Rice Online


Ethnomusicologists believe that all humans, not just those we call musicians, are musical, and that musicality is one of the essential touchstones of the human experience. This insight raises big questions about the nature of music and the nature of humankind, and ethnomusicologists argue that to properly address these questions, we must study music in all its geographicalEthnomusicologists believe that all humans, not just those we call musicians, are musical, and that musicality is one of the essential touchstones of the human experience. This insight raises big questions about the nature of music and the nature of humankind, and ethnomusicologists argue that to properly address these questions, we must study music in all its geographical and historical diversity.In this Very Short Introduction, one of the foremost ethnomusicologists, Timothy Rice, offers a compact and illuminating account of this growing discipline, showing how modern researchers go about studying music from around the world, looking for insights into both music and humanity. The reader discovers that ethnomusicologists today not only examine traditional forms of music-such as Japanese gagaku, Bulgarian folk music, Javanese gamelan, or Native American drumming and singing-but also explore more contemporary musical forms, from rap and reggae to Tex-Mex, Serbian turbofolk, and even the piped-in music at the Mall of America. To investigate these diverse musical forms, Rice shows, ethnomusicologists typically live in a community, participate in and observe and record musical events, interview the musicians, their patrons, and the audience, and learn to sing, play, and dance. It's important to establish rapport with musicians and community members, and obtain the permission of those they will work with closely over the course of many months and years. We see how the researcher analyzes the data to understand how a particular musical tradition works, what is distinctive about it, and how it bears the personal, social, and cultural meanings attributed to it. Rice also discusses how researchers may apply theories from anthropology and other social sciences, to shed further light on the nature of music as a human behavior and cultural practice.About the Series: Oxford's Very Short Introductions series offers concise and original introductions to a wide range of subjects--from Islam to Sociology, Politics to Classics, Literary Theory to History, and Archaeology to the Bible. Not simply a textbook of definitions, each volume in this series provides trenchant and provocative--yet always balanced and complete--discussions of the central issues in a given discipline or field. Every Very Short Introduction gives a readable evolution of the subject in question, demonstrating how the subject has developed and how it has influenced society. Eventually, the series will encompass every major academic discipline, offering all students an accessible and abundant reference library. Whatever the area of study that one deems important or appealing, whatever the topic that fascinates the general reader, the Very Short Introductions series has a handy and affordable guide that will likely prove indispensable....

Title : Ethnomusicology: A Very Short Introduction
Author :
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ISBN : 9780199794379
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 151 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Ethnomusicology: A Very Short Introduction Reviews

  • Daniel Wright
    2019-03-16 22:33

    My first question is, surely the whole value of music is that it offers an experience that transcends the conditions of our society, culture or sub-culture, nation, tribe - in short, our ethnos; so why would we want to break it down along those lines and create divisions where there should be none?The answer, as the author of this book ably shows, is that that is precisely the opposite of what ethnomusicologists are about. They study the way people use and relate to music, both communally and individually, precisely in order to see why this strange thing can be found all but universally. The author recalls his early days in his discipline, when it had barely been born out of the borderlands of music and anthropology, when they were determined to get back to 'pure' folk or traditional music and strip away from it any hints of 'modernity', whether pop music or art ('classical') music, or any form of syncretism. As the years have gone on, they have come to realise that this task is not just difficult - indeed, impossible - but entirely beside the point. The picture is far richer and deeper than that. People engage with, develop, replicate and use the music they have at hand, and what they do with it is interesting, precisely because they are people, regardless of any nonsense about 'purity'.This becomes all the more important today as we face up to issues with music in the developed world today. Music is no longer something for everyone to make and to join in with, but for a handful of exceptionally talented people to make and everyone else to listen to and applaud. (Note that this is true in the worlds both of 'art' and 'popular' music). The relative decline of organised religion in the developed world is partly responsible for this, in that people no longer sing together on a regular basis. But it seems to me that there is a slightly deeper problem. When people go to church and sing hymns, they are singing words which they basically assent to. How is it possible to make music in a world where the dissenting individual is seen as the highest good? How is it possible to sing any more in unison, let alone harmony?Perhaps these are questions which ethnomusicology can help us to answer. This book certainly contains no Big Answers. Ethnomusicologists mostly engage in the collection of data, of which not a few are described here as examples. The discipline simply hasn't been around long enough to discover anything of any magnitude. The absence of attempts at Big Answers, I think, displays a creditable humility.Having commended the book's subject, then, why, you might ask, the mediocre rating? Well, tragically, the author has fallen into the academic trap of using long, ugly words for short, beautiful concepts (case in point: 'ethnomusicology', though the author quite rightly notes that this is no longer the right word) for fear of being thought frivolous. I suspect that lying behind this habit there is an insecurity in his relatively young and lightly established discipline, and using scientific-sounding words can be used as a mask for that. Unfortunately, obfuscation is all too often a cover for a shortage of content.Chapter 1: Defining ethnomusicologyChapter 2: A bit of historyChapter 3: Conducting researchChapter 4: The nature of musicChapter 5: Music as cultureChapter 6: Individual musiciansChapter 7: Writing music historyChapter 8: Ethnomusicology in the modern worldChapter 9: Ethnomusicologists at work

  • Con Robinson
    2019-03-18 00:42

    A great, concise intro to the subject. It is just chock-full of info from page 1.

  • Patrick
    2019-02-26 22:44

    Got a bunch of these oxford intros for Christmas. They are put together pretty well and hit the highlights succinctly. Cultural studies seem to have the same theoretical trajectory/moves. The repetition is helping me get my head around them.Ps I keep coming back to cultural studies because I appreciate how they take culture out of 19th century western thought, with its myths of hierarchy and high art, and place it back where it belongs

  • Michael
    2019-02-25 01:38

    A good introduction to this field, and lot easier to digest than other books about Ethnomusicology. Short and succinct, it doesn't leave a lot of room for embellishment on the author's part, nor does leave a lot of room for interpretation. Unlike Ethnomusicology, this book is rather objective with a clear goal in describing this unfamiliar field in anthropology and musicology.

  • Emlen
    2019-03-04 20:58

    Very good at giving a sense of what ethnomusicologists do, and the range of subjects within the field. I would have liked just a little more detail about one or two of the examples of societies' uses of music, even at the expense of some breadth. But of course that kind of tradeoff is part of the form.

  • Noelle
    2019-03-13 17:37

    A good, brief overview of the past and current trends in ethnomusicology. Captured many of the intriguing questions brought up by the discipline as well as many of the theories regarding these questions.

  • Sebby
    2019-02-26 18:33

    This book was so unbelievably fabulous. It challenged my views and made me realise that as big and as daunting the world of western classical music may seem, the rest of the world's music could swallow it a hundred times over. Shoutout to Tim.

  • Mills College Library
    2019-03-05 17:49

    780.89 R4977 2014