Music Performance Ethnography Assignment | Buy assignments online

MUS 343: Music Performance Ethnography
In this assignment, you will create a performance ethnography (4–5 pgs.) on an event of your
Your observation of a live event should follow the contextual approaches and themes discussed
throughout the course.
Write a report based on a performance event of your choosing. The report should examine the
context and cultural meanings of the event. A well­written report will describe the event and
connect ethnographic observations to themes and topics discussed in class (i.e. presentational/
participatory, identity, conflict, ritual, etc.)
Choosing an event
This event should be out of your comfort zone (something you wouldn’t normally do).
Finding an event is part of the assignment. See your local listings, newspapers, and arts
Possible events could include a religious service, festival, rally or protest, kindergarten class,
jam session, etc.
Reading: Please read the following in preparation for your project.
Wade, Bonnie. 2013. “Thinking About Fieldwork” Chapter 7 in Thinking Musically: Experiencing
Music, Expressing Culture. New York: Oxford University Press.

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Your goal is to contextualize a performance. In addition to describing sound, describe the
setting and its significance to those engaged with it.
Interview one participant at the event to broaden your understanding of the significance. This
could be a performer, an audience member, the bouncer, the priest, etc.
Things to think about:
● Where? When? Who? (Provide the reader some basic facts.)
● What is your relationship to the event (evidence that this is out of your zone)?
● What sort of sounds were made (use terminology developed in class).
● Describe the space in which the event occurs.
● How did the performers behave? What were they doing?
● What sort of audience was present? How did they behave?
● How does the audience behave vis­à­vis the performer(s)?
MUS 343: Music Performance Ethnography
● How would you describe the demographics of the audience?
● What sort of cultural values are apparent (i.e., what does it tell you about the place of
music in this subculture)?
● How did the event come to be? (Who sponsored it? Why? To what end?)
● How does this event relate to others in this tradition?
● What sociological concepts (nationalism, youth culture, globalization, religion, identity,
etc.) contribute to understanding this event? How?
● Personal reflection: Did you enjoy it? Why? Did you find it strange, beautiful, offensive,
exciting? Why? Explain and justify your praise or criticism.
This assignment must reflect college­level writing standards: good grammar, spelling, sentence
structure, logical flow, etc. A stop by the UNCG Writing Center would be a good idea.
Your paper should be double­spaced, 4–5 pages. As this is a field project, sources other than
the interview are not required. However, if you supplement your material with references, they
MUST be cited.
Any source that is not your own MUST BE CITED.
Citation style for interviews (Your interviewee must be cited.)
Bieber, Justin. Interview by author, Greensboro, NC. July 6, 2016.
Checklist: Please attend to the following before submission:
● Basic description of event.
● Out of your comfort zone
● Interview
● Detailed description of significant elements
● Cultural meaning
● Citation
● Spell­ and grammar­checked

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