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Musicology is the academic study of music. Musicologists may study quite a wide range of subjects. Some, for instance, may specialise in English Tudor church music, others in the history of musical notation and others in the development of the flute.

The term ethnomusicology is used most commonly to refer to academic study of music other than western classical music (for example the music of the Mbuti pygmies in Africa), though it technically means the study of music from a anthropological perspective. The dividing line between ethnomusicology and musicology is often unclear.

Table of contents
1 Ethnomusicology
2 The New Musicology
3 External links


Ethnomusicology is the study of music in its cultural context. It can be considered the anthropology of music. Jeff Todd Titon has called it the study of "people making music". It is often thought of as a study of non-Western musics, but may include the study of Western music from an anthropological perspective.

While musicology contends to be purely about music itself (almost always western classical music), ethnomusicologists are often interested in putting the music they study into a wider cultural context. Ethnomusicology as it emerged in the late 19th century and early 20th century, practiced by people such as Carl Stumpf, Erich von Hornbostel, Curt Sachs and Alexander J. Ellis, tended to focus on non-European music of an oral tradition, but in more recent years the field has expanded to embrace all musical styles from all parts of the world.

Ethnomusicologists often use techniques borrowed from anthropology, and people who have done well known ethnomusicological work have sometimes been anthropologists studying many other aspects of a society as well as their music. A well known example of such a study is Colin Turnbull's study of the Mbuti pygmies. Another example is Jaime de Angulo, a linguist who ended up learning much about the music of the Indians of Northern California (see [1]).

Two important centers for ethnomusicological study are the Universities of California at Los Angeles and at Santa Barbara.

The New Musicology

The New Musicology is a term applied to a wide body of work produced by many musicologists who consider themselves neither new or New. Often based on the work of Theodore Adorno and feminist or anti-colonial hypotheses, the New Musicology is the cultural analaysis and criticism of music. See: Susan McClary.

See also:

External links