You need to write an ethnography about two closely related musical events that y
You need to write an ethnography about two closely related musical events that you attend this semester (that are either face-to-face or online). A musical “scene” may also be an appropriate subject. (For a more detailed perspective, ethnographic research is covered in a lecture.) In addition to attending two musical events, you will have to interview people connected to the events and conduct scholarly library/online research. Make sure to include the dates of the events in your paper.
In preparation for this assignment, you must submit a proposal in the Discussions section. In addition, you will have to present your paper to the class at the end of the semester in the Discussions section. As you search for your events, keep in mind that you may go to a formal concert, a bar, a café, a church service, a house party, a festival–you name it. Just make sure that live music is a significant part of the events.
Aaand since we’re still dealing with a global pandemic, you may watch streaming or pre-recorded events online. If you choose this option, you must watch videos that were recorded within the last two years. YouTube has countless options. The award-winning 11th and Grant show has a treasure trove of music made in Montana. Also check out the NPR Tiny Desk Concerts. Your favorite band or ensemble might even have complete concerts online. To have an audience (to interview), you could grab whoever is nearby to watch it with you. 🙂 If you are living alone, you could persuade a friend to watch your chosen options at the same (or similar) times. Then you would have someone to interview.
Formatting: Please make sure that you use Times New Roman 12-point font and double space the body of your paper. (Your name, the date, and course number should be single-spaced at the top.) If you are using MS Word, please go to Format > Paragraph, and check “Don’t add space between paragraphs of the same style.” The body of your paper needs to be at least 2500 words. This minimum word count does not include the bibliography. Please submit a doc or docx file to the Discussions section here on D2L on or before the due date.
20% – Write an all-inclusive account of the closely related events while emphasizing the music.
20% – Incorporate material from your interviews. (This material should take up at least 1/4 of your paper.)
20% – Use detailed, specific language.
20% – Fulfill the length requirement.
20% – Include at least 3 scholarly library/online sources. (AVOID Wikipedia.) Books from this course may only be used in addition to your 3 library sources.
You must cite your sources using the MLA style. If you need to review the MLA style, go to The Purdue OWL.
Fundamentally, this process is about inquiry. You are on a search for meaning. Remember, this project gives you an opportunity to explore and interpret how music can express and inform American values, beliefs, and ideas. At the event, you will have to become a participant-observer (insofar as you can), investigate what is going on, ask others what the event means to them, and interpret their answers. While writing, you will have to describe the scene, convey others’ thoughts, and, I would hope, discover something that you did not know before.
If you need some questions to consider, I have listed ten below. These questions are inspired by Theory for Ethnomusicology by Ruth M. Stone. If you use these questions during an interview, you should ask them in a way that fits the situation. So you may want to reword them. Just sayin’. As you can see, all the questions below start with “How”, but you should also think about What, When, Why, and so on.
• How does the music express and inform different values, beliefs, and ideas?
• How does the music express and inform sentiments and experience?
• How does the music express and inform identity?
• How are positions of power expressed?
• How significant is the difference between how a performer acts on stage as opposed to offstage?
• How is the performance “scripted” in terms of social expectations?
• How constrained or liberated is the performer’s role?
• How does the audience affect the performer? Which ways are important (auditory, visual, kinesthetic)?
• How does a particular context affect the performance of a given style?
• How does the experience of the event affect the meaning of the music for musicians and audience members?