Folklore | Fieldwork in Ethnomusicology
F523 | 7204 | D. McDonald


This course is an in-depth introduction into the various theories
and methods of ethnographic field research. Throughout the semester
we will actively interrogate what it means to “do” ethnography, as
both a specific type of qualitative research and (perhaps more
appropriately) a final written product that results from such
research endeavors.  Assigned readings for this course will
introduce issues of ethnographic theory and methodology, research
ethics, project design, writing and representation, and provide many
examples of how field work has been historically conceptualized in
the fields of ethnomusicology, anthropology, and folklore. However,
the primary focus of this class will be the actual “doing” of
ethnographic fieldwork.  Through various practical exercises and
hands-on applied research activities, we will learn various methods
of field research relevant to the students’ individual research
interests (taking field notes, participant observation, interviewing
techniques, mapping social spaces, and others techniques and issues
as they emerge from collaborative inquiry). In addition to full
participation in course lectures and discussions, students will be
expected to complete several small-scale field exercises in
preparation for a more in-depth ethnographic research project.
While open to graduate students in all fields interested in
qualitative research methods, this course is a core course in the
graduate ethnomusicology curriculum.  This section also fulfills one
the core course requirements for Ph.D. minors in ethnomusicology and
for School of Music cognates.