It was released for the Oxford University Press the volume “Ethnomusicology: A Very Short Introduction”, edited by Timothy Rice. The book is part of a series that Oxford titled “Oxford ‘s Very Short Introductions series”, which collects contributions concise and introductions (of course) to a broad spectrum of topics: Islam, sociology, politics, classical studies, literary theory, history, archeology. As you can read in the presentation notes of the series, it is not a simple collection of definitions, but rather an attempt to deal, with balance and completeness, the central topics of a discipline or field of study. In this sense, the intent is to highlight the evolution of the phenomena in question in relation to their relationship with the social sphere. With this perspective, Timothy Rice – ethnomusicologist specializing in the study of traditional music of the Balkans, with a particular interest to the Slavic-speaking areas of Bulgaria and Macedonia – has assembled his brief introduction, trying to maintain an analytical perspective aimed at both components musical and social. In addition, simultaneous cutting of the compendium shows how ethnomusicology does not deal only with the traditional forms of the music of non-Western countries, but also (and with growing interest) of contemporary forms of music such as rap, reggae, Tex -Mex and many others. Not missing, finally, a certain tone in preparation that will definitely be useful to those who want to approach the topics covered by ethnomusicology: “to investigate these diverse musical forms, Rice shows, ethnomusicologists typically live in a community, participate in and observe and record musical events, interview the musicians, their patrons, and the audience, and learn to sing, play, and dance. It’s important to establish rapport with musicians and community members, and obtain the permission of those they will work with closely over the course of many months and years. We see how the researcher analyzes the data to understand how a particular musical tradition works, what is distinctive about it, and how it bears the personal, social, and cultural meanings attributed to it. Rice also discusses how researchers may apply theories from anthropology and other social sciences, to shed further light on the nature of music as a human behavior and cultural practice”.
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