MUS 230
Musical Ethnography Spring 2016
Division I Exploring Diversity Initiative
This is not the current course catalog

Class Details

Often, we experience music’s impact on us without fully considering why it achieves such strong effects. The discipline of ethnomusicology confronts the question of musical meaning by combining musical study and analysis with an exploration into the contexts of musical production, circulation, and reception. Musical ethnography is both the means by which scholars pursue this line of questioning, and also the (usually) written work that results from such an investigation. This course features a hands-on approach to musical ethnography. Students will each conduct ethnographic fieldwork in a music-making community within Williamstown and the surrounding area. Coursework will survey approaches to methodology (modes and degrees of researcher involvement, practical skills related to documentation), issues of ethics, and social and musical analysis. This course fulfills the EDI requirement, with particular emphasis on empathetic understanding. Please note: This course requires students to devote regular time outside of class to the study of a musical community.
The Class: Format: lecture/discussion
Limit: 10
Expected: 6
Class#: 3624
Grading: no pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: class participation, small assignments (four 1-2 page assignments), interview transcript with commentary, reading response, final project and presentation
Extra Info: may not be taken on a pass/fail basis
Prerequisites: some musical training/experience necessary, see instructor for more information
Enrollment Preferences: students with some musical experience
Unit Notes: MUS World Music/Ethnomusicology--class of 2017 and beyond
Distributions: Division I Exploring Diversity Initiative
Attributes: EXPE Experiential Education Courses

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