The Ethnography of Music

Subject MUSI30053 (2011)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2011.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 3 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2011:

Semester 1, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

On campus

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 1 two-hour seminar per week
Total Time Commitment: 120 hours

A result of H2A or above in one of the following subjects:

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Not offered in 2011
Not offered in 2011


Permission from the subject coordinator.

Corequisites: N/A
Recommended Background Knowledge: N/A
Non Allowed Subjects: N/A
Core Participation Requirements: It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability will impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and the Disability Liaison Unit.


Prof Catherine Falk


Faculty of the VCA and Music Student Centre
Tel: +61 3 9685 9419
Fax: +61 3 9685 9358
Subject Overview:

This is a foundation subject for students intending to undertake honours or graduate research in ethnomusicology, or for students from other disciplines interested in the intellectual, historical and applied contexts of the study of the musics of the world. Discussion and seminars will centre on key issues –both historical and current - in ethnomusicology , including ethnographic representation, fieldwork methods, ethical issues in field research, and connecting musical analysis with cultural analysis. Students will be assisted to become “experts” in their own case study in an area of interest to them.


On completion of this subject students should be able to:

  • negotiate and assess the print and electronic literature in the discipline with confidence
  • articulate the main issues in ethnomusicology
  • demonstrate practical understanding of the ethics of scholarship in ethnomusicology
  • demonstrate understanding of different cultural values.
Assessment: A case study (2000 words excluding bibliography/discography/filmography) due at the end of semester and a class presentation (50%); a 500 word ethnographic description of a performance of music in Melbourne due in week 9 (10%); a critical assessment of 1500 words of two ethnographies of music from the student’s area of personal and research interest due in week 6 (40%).
Prescribed Texts: A reading pack will be available for purchase from the Melbourne University Bookshop before the commencement of the semester.
Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

On completion of this subject students should be able to demonstrate:

  • an understanding of different cultural values
  • a capacity for independent thought and critical analysis
  • the capacity to write in a scholarly manner appropriate to the discipline
  • an openness to new ideas.

Related Course(s): Bachelor of Music
Bachelor of Music
Graduate Diploma in Music (Musicology/Ethnomusicology)
Postgraduate Diploma in Music (Musicology/Ethnomusicology)

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