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The Anthropology of Music

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  79 ratings  ·  3 reviews
In this highly praised and seminal work, Alan Merriam demonstrates that music is a social behavior—one worthy and available to study through the methods of anthropology. In it, he convincingly argues that ethnomusicology, by definition, cannot separate the sound-analysis of music from its cultural context of people thinking, acting, and creating.

The study begins with a r
Paperback, 376 pages
Published December 1st 1964 by Northwestern University Press (first published January 28th 1964)
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Oct 29, 2008 added it
This is Alan P. Merriam's attempt to standardize the language of musical anthropology, and from what I understand, he did a rather good job. Some of the theory is a little dated, since he was writing over 50 years ago, but every other musical anthropologist I've read cites him repeatedly to ground their claims. Each chapter is its own entity that tackles a specific concept in the study of music. I luvs it. ...more
Mar 30, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: music
One of the nice things about the arts is that information does not become out of date as fast as it does in the sciences. This book was written in 1964, and I still found it largely useful. There were a few areas in which it showed its age, especially the use of "men" when the author clearly meant all the members of a society, tribe, group, etc. But I still got a lot out of it.
I went to Wesleyan University, which has a very good ethnomusicology program. My focus was more on piano, composing, and
Feb 22, 2012 is currently reading it
Great book with a general, yet thorough, approach to ethnomusicology.
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