Music Ethnography Assignment

An ethnography is the study of human activity in context. A musical ethnography is the study of human musical activity in context. Like all research, a musical ethnography must have a definite focus, one that you’ve planned before entering the context of the music in order to know the features to attend to most carefully (i.e., if you have nothing planned to look at, you may not see anything). Another reason to prepare a research plan beforehand is that it will put you into critical-observation-mode; it will prevent you from falling into the listening patterns you ordinarily use at a concert. This is especially important if you attend a performance of music that you are very used to, that you consider “your” music, and for which you have already established strong listening habits. It’s an ethnomusicological rule-of-thumb that the most difficult research to perform objectively takes place in your own backyard.


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Review three concerts online (one for each assignment). Live Jazz, Blues, or Gospel music are acceptable. The following music styles are NOT acceptable: SMOOTH JAZZ, R&B, OR POP MUSIC. The concert must be viewable on, or ONLY. These are the most dependable sites for watching video content.

IMPORTANT: List at least one reference to the readings in class and list proper citations in Chicago style format. Minimum 500 words.

The concert must meet the following criteria:

-Concert must be at least 1 hour (60 minutes) long.

-Include basic WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN, WHY, AND HOW as part of the information in your paper.

But DO NOT list this information like this:






-Include biographical info.

-Include the names of the musicians, instruments, song titles, city the concert was performed in, and the date of the concert.

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