1st Edition

The Ethnomusicology of Western Art Music

Edited By Laudan Nooshin Copyright 2014

    Since the late 1980s, the boundaries between the ‘musicologies’ have become increasingly blurred. Most notably, a growing number of musicologists have become interested in the ideas and methodologies of ethnomusicology, and in particular, in applying one of the central methodological tools of ethnomusicology – ethnography – to the study of Western ‘art’ music, a tradition which had previously been studied primarily through scores, recordings and other historical sources. Alongside this, since the 1970s a small number of ethnomusicologists have also written about Western art music, thus complicating the idea of ethnomusicology as the study of ‘other’ music. Indeed, there has been a growth in this area of scholarship in recent years.

    Approaching western art music through the perspectives of ethnomusicology can offer new and enriching insights to the study of this musical tradition, as shown in the writings presented in this book. The current volume is the first collection of essays on this topic and includes work by authors from a range of musicological and ethnomusicological backgrounds, exploring a variety of issues including music in orchestral outreach programmes, new audiences for classical music concerts, music and conflict transformation, ethnographic study of the rehearsal process, and the politics of a high-profile music festival.

    This book was originally published as a special issue of Ethnomusicology Forum.

    1. Introduction: The Ethnomusicology of Western Art Music Laudan Nooshin, City University London, UK

    2. Music Teachers as Missionaries: Understanding Europe’s Recent Dispatches to Ramallah Rachel Beckles Willson, Royal Holloway University of London, UK

    3. The Orchestration of Civil Society: Community and Conscience in Symphony Orchestras Tina K. Ramnarine, Royal Holloway, University of London, UK

    4. Classical Cult or Learning Community? Exploring New Audience Members’ Social and Musical Responses to First-time Concert Attendance Melissa C. Dobson, The Guildhall School of Music and Drama, UK, and Stephanie E. Pitts, University of Sheffield, UK

    5. Ethnographic Research into Contemporary String Quartet Rehearsal Amanda Bayley, University of Wolverhampton, UK

    6. "The Condition of Mozart": Mozart Year 2006 and the New Vienna Eric Martin Usner, no current affiliation

    7. Reflections on an Ethnomusicological Study of a Contemporary Western Art Music Composer Pirkko Moisala, University of Helsinki, Finland

    8. Afterword Philip V. Bohlman, University of Chicago, USA


    Laudan Nooshin is Senior Lecturer in Ethnomusicology at City University, London, UK. From 2008-2011, Laudan was co-Editor of the journal Ethnomusicology Forum. She has published widely on various aspects of Iranian music culture, including creative processes in Iranian classical music and music and youth culture in Iran. Recent publications include the edited volume Music and the Play of Power in the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia (2009).