Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Ethnomusicology

LEVEL 02 - Years 2, 3 in Modular Undergraduate Course


DEPARTMENT Music Studies

DESCRIPTION This study-unit introduces students to the field of ethnomusicology, briefly described as the academic study of music from all over the world. It includes a detailed study of a number of issues of current concern and interest to the discipline, such as the interrelationship of sound and social structures, music and human behavior,music and language, organology, transcription and analysis. An important component of this unit is an onsite fieldwork intended to provide students with the opportunity to put into practice the theoretical and methodological knowledge attained during the unit.

Study-unit Aims:

This study-unit aims to:

(a) enable students attain a wider understanding of music ''in'' and ''as'' culture;
(b) assist students explore the various approaches to music-making employed in various world music traditions;
(c) offer students the opportunity identify the politics of music-making in a range of world music-cultures;
(d) assist students recognize the variety of musical textures employed in world music.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

(a) identify the main theoretical models that concern ethnomusicologists;
(b) identify how present day concerns, issues and methods came about;
(c) evaluate how music exists in different societies and cultures.

2. Skills:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

(a) transcribe and analyse orally transmitted music;
(b) collect and document fieldwork recordings;
(c) write ethnographic reports that will eventually inform transcription and analysis;
(d) think and write about music globally.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

Main Texts

- Nettl, Bruno. 2006. The Study of Ethnomusicology: Thirty-one Issues and Concepts (Urbana: University of Illinois Press).
- Rice, Timothy. 2014. Ethnomusicology: A Very Short Introduction (New York: Oxford University Press).

Supplementary Readings

- Stock, Jonathan. 1996. World Sound Matters (London: Schott Educational Publications).

STUDY-UNIT TYPE Fieldwork, Lectures and Tutorials

Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Fieldwork SEM2 No 30%
Assignment SEM2 Yes 70%


The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2020/1. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.