Anthropology of Music – ETHM 513

CG • Section • 11/10/2019 to 04/18/2020 • Modified 07/28/2020

Course Description

Explore the anthropological side of ethnomusicology by examining a wide variety of theoretical and ethnographic approaches to music culture analysis.




This course is designed to help the student develop an understanding of how anthropology has traditionally been used in the theory and practice of ethnomusicology. It will equip the student with the basic understanding of how anthropological methods can be utilized in the practice of Christian ethnomusicology.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Understand various analytical processes used in determining the music culture and belief systems of selected music culture groups.
    • 1.1 Apply ethnographic processes in analyzing the music culture of a specific world music area.
    • 1.2 Break down the music culture into its most basic components.
    • 1.3 Demonstrate the relationship of ethnomusicology to other disciplines.
    • 1.4 Relate personal research to work done by other ethnomusicologists.
    • 1.5 Understand ways in which anthropology and music can fit together.
    • 1.6 Be exposed to some standard readings in The Anthropology of Music.
    • 1.7 Understand important perspectives regarding anthropology and religion.
    • 1.8 Find important trends in anthropology that affected ethnomusicology.
  2. Understand the different approaches to music culture analysis based upon specific ethnographies.
    • 2.1 Distinguish between individual ethnographic approaches.
    • 2.2 Discuss dilemmas involved with specific research.
    • 2.3 Articulate the degree to which the researcher achieved goals.
    • 2.4 Consider strengths and weaknesses of the researcher’s methodology.
    • 2.5 Evaluate usefulness of the researcher’s theory and method to other social groups.
  3. Examine the writing strategy used in specific musical ethnographies.
    • 3.1 Explain the logic of the ethnography’s organization.
    • 3.2 Assess the effectiveness of the ethnography’s structure.
    • 3.3 Compare/contrast the organization structure with other ethnographies.
    • 3.4 Identify the narrative stance chosen by the author.
    • 3.5 Consider the appropriateness of the author’s degree of reflexivity.
    • 3.6 Evaluate the effectiveness of the author’s attempt to communicate with the reading audience.

Course Assignment

Textbook and journal readings

The student will complete the readings early in the module/week so that all threads can be added by the proper time.

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in Module/Week 1.

Discussion Board Forums (8)

Discussion Board Forums will be graded by quality, frequency, and timeliness. Each Discussion Board Forum is split into threads and replies. The threads and replies must consist of well-planned postings. Threads must be 250 words in length and replies must be 100 words in length. The student will be required to post within the Discussion Board Forum 5 times during each module/week.

Reflection Papers (4)

Reflection Papers should be 5–6 pages (about 1,500 words in length) double-spaced, excluding the title page and bibliography. In addition, Reflection Papers should contain correct citations. The Reflection Papers should be written in formal style, following current Turabian format.

Final Paper

The student will select a topic that has been reviewed during the course, and which focuses on his/her area of interest. The student will then write a 15-page (3000-3500 words, excluding title page and bibliography) paper that includes: an introduction, body, personal application, and conclusion.