By:Lexi Jared

What is Ethnomusicology? What do you need to become an ethnomusicologist?

Ethnomusicology is the study of music in a cultural context. You approach music as a social process in order to understand what music is and why it is. This can mean what music means to the practitioners and the audiences, and how those meanings are conveyed. Ethnomusicology is not only a study of music, but individuals may also study cultural anthropology, folklore, performance studies, dance, cultural studies, gender studies, race or ethnic studies, area studies, and other fields of humanities and social sciences.

All ethnomusicologist have the same coherent foundation in the following approaches and methods:

  1. Take a global approach to music (regardless of area of origin, style, or genre).
  2. Understanding music as a social practice (this means seeing music as a human activity that is formed by its culture).
  3. Engaging in ethnographic fieldwork (participating in and observing the music being studied) and historical field work.
As researchers, they study music from any part of the world and investigate it connections to all the elements of social life. As educators, they teach courses in music of the world, popular music, the cultural study of music, and a range of more specialized classes. They also play a role in public culture. Whether it be promoting and documenting music traditions or participate in projects that involve cultural policy, ethnomusicologists play a huge role behind the scenes of culture everywhere.

How does Ethnomusicology impact the world?

Can Ethnomusicology be helpful?

Where and how can you find jobs in this field?