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Ethnomusicology

In: Film and Music

Submitted By SimplyBreBre
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What do Ethnomusicologist mean when they say, "Music is universal, but it is not a universal language”?
~ Ethnomusicologist mean that music is found and made all over the world, but everyone doesn’t interpret music the same way. Chapter 1, page 4 states, “Each individual listener's interpretation is entirely the result of cultural conditioning and life experience." Meaning, depending on your cultural upbringing and your experiences in life, you will process and analyze music differently. We can all listen to the same exact song and all feel that it has a different meaning. Something can be music to one person and noise to another.
What are the potential problems in classifying music as "classical," "folk," or "popular”?
~ Labeling music can often mislead people. Due to different cultural backgrounds it can confuse people. According to the textbook, in shorter words, "it is often tempting to use labels as shorthand. Unfortunately, not everyone understands their meanings and limitations. All three terms came from different cultures. Folk came from the Germans with the meaning coming from the Romantic Movement in the 18th-19th century, Classical came from the French and Italian culture. The textbooks states that the terms, "suggest a hierarchical value system in which classical is typically considered highest, folk of the much lower value, and popular at the lowest level." So by categorizing music you’re also categorizing it with a certain type of people.

How might an ethnomusicologist approach the study of Western classical music differently from a musicologist?
~ According to the textbook, ethnomusicology is a study of music and anthropology and/or sociology, so an ethnomusicologist would study not only the cultural context and human behaviors, but also the music. The textbook states that they would, “focus on description and classification." While on the…...

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