[skip to content]

Department of Music

Ethnomusicology: Themes and Variations

Course Code:
155800065
Unit value:
0.5
Taught in:
Term 1

A broad introduction to the major aspects of ethnomusico­logical study. The course provides a more in-depth approach which flows on from the first-year course Music and Culture, but it is designed as a free-standing unit: students may take this course with no previous experience of ethnomusicology. Likely topics include: 

  • history of the discipline; 
  • organology; 
  • aspects of melody, 
  • rhythm and tonal systems; 
  • roles of musicians; 
  • notation systems; 
  • improvisation; 
  • musical change; 
  • gender;
  • cultural identity; 
  • technology and “World Music”; 
  • historical, analytical and anthropological approaches to music.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the course

To provide training of the highest possible standard in the theories and methods of the academic discipline of ethnomusicology. At the end of the course the student will have acquired a good knowledge of the scope of the discipline. They will have applied this knowledge in one written essay on a theoretical topic, and will have combined theory and practice in a fieldwork project.

Workload

Two hours per week in Term 1

Scope and syllabus

A broad introduction to the major aspects of ethnomusicological study. The course is designed as a free-standing unit, i.e. students may take it with no previous experience of ethnomusicology. At the same time, it provides a more in-depth approach to some of the issues raised in the first-year introductory course Music & Culture; however, students who have not had that course will not be disadvantaged. Topics include: history of the discipline; organology; aspects of melody, rhythm and tonal systems; selection, training and roles of musicians; notation systems; improvisation; musical change; gender & cultural identity; technology & “World Music”; historical, analytical and anthropological approaches to music.

Method of assessment

Exam 60%, two pieces of coursework (15% & 25%)