Encyclopedia > Ethnomusicology

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Ethnomusicology is the study of music in an anthropological context. 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, and the term is often used to mean the scholarly study of any music other than European classical music.

While musicology tends 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, and that music is generally of an oral, rather than written, tradition. They will often live among the people whose music they are studying for some time. While some see ethnomusicology as a branch of musicology, ethnomusicologists themselves generally prefer to think of it as an equal of musicology, not a sub-section of it.

People who have done well known ethnomusicological work are frequently anthropologists studying many other aspects of a society as well as their music. An example of such a study is Colin Turnbull's study of the Mbuti[?] pygmies[?].

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

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