Ethnomusicology, Fieldwork, Methods (Blockseminar bei Thomas R. Hilder)

Wintersemester 2022 / 2023

Ethnomusicology, Fieldwork, Methods (Blockseminar bei Thomas R. Hilder)

This course will offer an introduction into the wide-ranging methods in the field of ethno-musicology. How do ethnomusicologists conduct research? How do our methods shape the ways we read and write musical cultures? What theories have inspired such techniques? What are the challenges, dangers, and opportunities of fieldwork? We will first look at the basic techniques that ethnomusicologists are famed for – participant-observation, interviews, fieldnotes, transcription – inspired by other disciplines such as anthropology. This will lead to discussions about the fieldwork and the field. We will then look at different modes of conducting qualitative research in the contemporary world, noting differences between deductive and inductive approaches, focusing on issues of multi-sited and transnational research, and exploring the opportunities of cyber ethnography. Particular focus will be paid to examples from the lecturer’s own research on Sámi music and queer musical communities, and new methodological paradigms such as “Indigenous methods” and “participatory action research”. Throughout the course we will endeavour to understand the political contexts and theories that have inspired such methods, including discussions on the notion of culture, salvage ethnography, cultural relativism, globalisation, postcolonialism, and feminism. These techniques and models will be contextualised within wider discussions about qualitative research, such as research ethics, ethnographic authority, and reflexivity. The course will involve reading academic texts, written assignments, and practical tasks, including interviewing, musical transcription, and interview coding.

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