Applied Ethnomusicology – ETHM 613

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 07/27/2021

Course Description

A study of the practice of ethnomusicology, especially fieldwork, including: 1) The development of community engagement for professional and intercultural relationships; 2) Contextualization of music in worship, discipleship, and evangelism; 3) Promoting the creation of indigenous Christian music and other worship arts; 4) Ethnodoxology, 5) Syncretism, and, 6) Documentation and publication of fieldwork in applied ethnomusicology.

For information regarding prerequisites for this course, please refer to the Academic Course Catalog.


This course will equip the student with the necessary fieldwork theories, methods, and techniques to understand the sub-discipline of applied ethnomusicology, including music advocacy, music ministry, ethnodoxology, and active support of musicians and communities. By incorporating ideas from ethnomusicology, anthropology, and Christian ethnodoxology, the student will be prepared to engage with a community or congregation if missional interest to the student for a variety of projects, including church plants, discipleship, worship, and evangelism, through music and other worship arts.



Measurable Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Apply the various methods and practices of Applied Ethnomusicology.
  2. Interpret with discernment approaches to, and resolutions of, challenges to fieldwork, including cultural conflicts and syncretism.
  3. Create a plan for engaging with an ethnic community or congregation in which the student has a missional interest.
  4. Apply appropriate procedures for proper documentation of fieldwork.


Course Assignment

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the Course Requirements Checklist, found in Module 1.

Textbook readings and lecture presentations

Textbook Readings

There are 4 textbooks that are read in tandem and incrementally throughout the course. Two of these (Barz and Cooley, and McKinney) are general ethnomusicological books, while 2 others (Krabill, Schrag) are ethnodoxological. There are also 2 writing and research handbooks (Turabian, Strunk and White).

Lecture Presentations (10)

The lecture presentations (videos) are found in every module of ETHM 613, and are of the same status as the required textbooks. The lecture speaker is Dr. Katherine Morehouse. The information in the lectures is to be reflected in student assignments.

Written Assignments

There are 4 types of written assignments in ETHM 613: Discussion (3), Written Papers (2), Book Reports (2), and a Capstone Project, for a total of 8 assignments, as shown below.

Discussions (3)

There are 3 Discussions in ETHM 613, on the topics 1) Essentials of Community Engagement, 2) What Is Ethnodoxology? and 3) Syncretism. Discussions are collaborative learning experiences in which each student writes a thread on the Discussion topic, then writes a reply to two other students' threads (total of two replies). Each thread must have 600-800 words and demonstrate course-related knowledge of the stated topic, and ask questions that spur conversation in the replies. Each reply must be 200-250 words in length. The writing standards found in Turabian, and Strunk and White, must be used.

Written Papers (2)

The 2 Written Papers are preparatory to the Capstone Project that is the culmination of ETHM 613. These Written Papers, and the Capstone Project, are based on whatever interest in an ethnic community or congregation the student may have. The learning objective is to prepare the student to begin, or return to, a chosen place of missional fieldwork in ethnomusicology; in other words, to allow the student to make ETHM 613 the learning experience that best prepares the student for the student's own greatest ambition or calling. In the first Written Paper, "Statement of Goals," the student will present to the instructor the fieldwork concept as understood at the beginning of the course. The second Written Paper, "Statement of Fieldwork Goals" (module 6), will present a revised version of the first paper, showing the influence of course content. This second statement then leads to the Capstone Project, which is the fulfillment of the goals stated in the first statement.

Book Reports (2)

The 2 book reports are on 1) the "Stories" section of Krabill's Worship and Mission for the Global Church (pp. 184-357) and 2) Barz and Cooley, Shadows in the Field (entire book). Detailed requirements are found in the individual Instructions for these reports.

Capstone Project

The student will create an action plan for engagement with a community or congregation of interest through applied ethnomusicology. Well-organized project proposals will lay out a statement of need and purpose, a plan or strategy for community engagement and related fieldwork, a detailed plan of project implementation and assessment, forecasts of possible challenges related to cultural conflicts, syncretism, and resistance to ethnodoxological ethnic worship, and plans for continuing involvement and for publication and dissemination of documents about the project. A full description of requirements is in the Instructions for the Capstone Project.