What is ethnomusicology ?
It’s in human nature to be curious and to ask questions about the world around us, that is how the sciences emerge. Ethnomusicology is a study that asks questions about the music of the world and because music is one of the things that make us human being, it could be said that ethnomusicology is a study about the people who makes music all over the world. There is another subject of this study and this is the culture of the people which is in very strong relationship with their music. The tasks of ethnomusicology are to observe, to analyze, to track, to define, to classify the people’s music and culture and to make conclusions about their relationships, reasons, influences and migrations.
Just like the stars in the sky, music is always around us. Some people just observe the stars, other can’t stop asking them selves what are they, how far they are, can we reach them? Astrology is a science that gives us answers to the above questions, regarding to the music, ethnomusicology is the one that can gave us answers about the people’s music and culture. Astrology and ethnomusicology are sharing the same powerful tool for answering questions and this tool is observation. For example, the ethnomusicologists in Africa spend most of their studies to observe the local tribes in their natural environment, examine their attitudes, habits, traditions, musical instruments and musical characteristics such as rhythms, scales, arrangements and compositions. Taking pictures, making recordings, interviews, notes and drawings are important part of the so called “fieldwork”. Based on all of the collected information, ethnomusicologists could continue their studies by analyzing them in search of a patterns, that could characterize the observed tribe compared to others. Such a comparison leads to another aspect of ethnomusicology - tracking.
Tracking is related with the migrations of the people. While migrating, people bring with them their music...