Current Directions in Ecomusicology: Music, Culture, Nature, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Current Directions in Ecomusicology

Music, Culture, Nature, 1st Edition

Edited by Aaron S. Allen, Kevin Dawe


314 pages | 25 B/W Illus.

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This volume is the first sustained examination of the complex perspectives that comprise ecomusicology—the study of the intersections of music/sound, culture/society, and nature/environment. Twenty-two authors provide a range of theoretical, methodological, and empirical chapters representing disciplines such as anthropology, biology, ecology, environmental studies, ethnomusicology, history, literature, musicology, performance studies, and psychology. They bring their specialized training to bear on interdisciplinary topics, both individually and in collaboration. Emerging from the whole is a view of ecomusicology as a field, a place where many disciplines come together. The topics addressed in this volume—contemporary composers and traditional musics, acoustic ecology and politicized soundscapes, material sustainability and environmental crisis, familiar and unfamiliar sounds, local places and global warming, birds and mice, hearing and listening, biomusic and soundscape ecology, and more—engage with conversations in the various realms of music study as well as in environmental studies and cultural studies. As with any healthy ecosystem, the field of ecomusicology is dynamic, but this edited collection provides a snapshot of it in a formative period. Each chapter is short, designed to be accessible to the nonspecialist, and includes extensive bibliographies; some chapters also provide further materials on a companion website: An introduction and interspersed editorial summaries help guide readers through four current directions—ecological, fieldwork, critical, and textual—in the field of ecomusicology.


Winner of the 2018 Ellen Koskoff Edited Volume Prize from the Society for Ethnomusicology

"…the book is an excellent resource for instructors wanting either to incorporate an ecomusicological aspect into a course, or to create an entire course centered on ecomusicology, music and place, or music and the environment."

- Jacob A. Cohen, The Graduate Center, City University of New York, USA

Table of Contents

1. Ecomusicologies Aaron S. Allen and Kevin Dawe Part 1: Ecological Directions 2. The Ecology of Musical Performance: Towards a Robust Methodology Alice Boyle and Ellen Waterman 3. Ecomusicology, Ethnomusicology, and Soundscape Ecology: Scientific and Musical Responses to Sound Study Margaret Q. Guyette and Jennifer C. Post 4. "No Tree—No Leaf": Applying Resilience Theory to Eucalypt-Derived Musical Traditions Robin Ryan 5. Why Thoreau? Jeff Todd Titon Part 2: Fieldwork Directions 6. Natural Species, Sounds, and Humans in Lowland South America: The Kïsêdjê/Suyá, Their World, and the Nature of Their Musical Experience Anthony Seeger 7. Of Human and Non-human Birds: Indigenous Music Making and Sentient Ecology in Northwestern Mexico Helena Simonett 8. Materials Matter: Towards a Political Ecology of Musical Instrument Making Kevin Dawe 9. "Keepin’ It Real": Musicking and Solidarity, the Hornby Island Vibe Andrew Mark 10. Late Soviet Discourses of Nature and the Natural: Musical Avtentyka, Native Faith, and "Cultural Ecology" after Chornobyl Maria Sonevytsky and Adrian Ivakhiv Part 3: Critical Directions 11. Critical Theory in Ecomusicology James Rhys Edwards 12. Nature and Culture, Noise and Music: Perception and Action W. Luke Windsor 13. Aural Rights and Early Environmental Ethics: Negotiating the Post-War Soundscape Alexandra Hui 14. Music, Television Advertising, and the Green Positioning of the Global Energy Industry Travis Stimeling 15. Pop Ecology: Lessons from Mexico Mark Pedelty Part 4: Textual Directions 16. Ecocriticism and Traditional English Folk Music David Ingram 17. The Peasant’s Voice and the Tourist’s Gaze: Listening to Landscape in Luc Ferrari’s Petite symphonie intuitive pour un paysage de printemps Eric Drott 18. Negotiating Nature and Music through Technology: Ecological Reflections in the Works of Maggi Payne and Laurie Spiegel Sabine Feisst 19. Musical Actions, Political Sounds: Libby Larsen and Composerly Consciousness Denise Von Glahn 20. New Directions: Ecological Imaginations, Soundscapes, and Italian Opera Aaron S. Allen

About the Editors

Aaron S. Allen is Associate Professor of Musicology at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro, USA.

Kevin Dawe is Professor of Ethnomusicology and Head of the School of Music and Fine Art at the University of Kent, UK.

About the Series

Routledge Research in Music

This series is our home for cutting-edge, upper-level scholarly studies and edited collections. Considering music performance, theory, and culture alongside topics such as gender, race, ecology, film, religion, politics, and science, titles are characterized by dynamic interventions into established subjects and innovative studies on emerging topics.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
MUSIC / General
NATURE / Ecology