Week 5 | Music 210


During Weeks 5-8, you will plan and carry out a Fieldwork Project in the tradition of ethnomusicology. The subject of the Fieldwork Project could be anything from a colleague who plays acoustic guitar in a military unit to a local high school band or church choir. As you carry out the Fieldwork Project, you will explore music making by an individual or group as a music culture. The project must include a live listening experience and the opportunity to speak with musicians.

The complete instructions for the Fieldwork Project are found under Course Resources. This assignment gives you the opportunity to explore a topic of interest, synthesizing your learning for the entire class:

  •     articulating the roles and functions of music in world cultures
  •     using the medium of music to explore intercultural relationships
  •     consciously defining musical perspectives
  •     identifying key features that define various genres of world music.

In preparation for beginning the culminating Fieldwork Project, read “Doing Musical Ethnography” available as an eReserve under Course Resources.

To review some examples of fieldwork and to learn about the work of an ethnomusicologist, visit the James Koetting Ghana Field Recording Collection. You will find field recordings, notebooks, images, interviews and musical demonstrations from his work during the 1970s.

The Fieldwork Project is to be completed during Weeks 5-8 by carrying out 4 steps. The first step is due during Week 5. 

During Week 5:

1) Choose a topic and find a live listening opportunity to hear and observe musicians participating in the music culture you have chosen.

2) Secure permission to participate in music making or participate as an active observer.

3) Confirm that you will be able to speak with at least one of the musicians.

Submit the topic, live listening opportunity and confirmation that you will have the opportunity to interview at least one of the musicians at the Fieldwork Project Topic link, worth 5 out of the total 25 points for the entire project. You will receive feedback so you will know that you are on the right track before completing the Research Questions portion of the project during Week 6.

Submit the Fieldwork Project Topic to the assignment folder by the end of Week 5 (Tuesday at 11:59 PM ET).

Please view the grading rubric to see how to earn the full 5 points for submitting the topic, live listening opportunity and confirmation that you will have the opportunity to interview at least one of the musicians.

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