THEORY AND ANALYSIS IN ETHNOMUSICOLOGY

Professor: Daniel K. Avorgbedor

Course Description
This course examines specific theoretical and analytical ideas and approaches in past and current ethnomusicological thought and practice.  The course begins with a quick survey of the  theoretical foundations of ethnomusicology as “science,” origins and diffusion of analytical types and ways in which they have been shaped by sociocultural, political, and intellectual contexts. The course focuses on select analytical types and their related theoretical purviews such as organicism, structural-functionalism, cantometrics,  notions of description-explanation, orality and improvisation, phenomenology, medical ethnomusicology, influences of semiology, linguistics (generative grammar, for example), performance and communication theories, and current directions in the analysis of “world music.” The course concludes with reviews of critical and postcolonial theories (such as feminist epistemologies and postcolonial theories of identity and difference), and contemporary analytical perspectives on migration, urbanization, globalization, diaspora,  and popular culture studies.

 

Course Themes
--“scientific” foundations of ethnomusicology
--Interface of theory and method/practice
-- basic and early analytical procedures: Organicism, functionalism/structural-functionalism
--linguistics, language and semiology
--orality and improvised music
 --phenomenology and performance theories
-- critical discourse and postcolonial theories
-- globalization and diaspora studies
--contemporary issues: gender; embodiment; peace and conflict mediation; medical ethnomusicology; tourism; entrainment


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