The written paper for this course will be a musical ethnography. A musical ethnography is a written representation, description, and interpretation of some aspect of a musical culture. The assignment for this course is to write a 5+ page (approximately 1250+ words, the bibliography does not count as a page in this count!) ethnography and concert review based on your attendance of a musical event in the St. Louis metropolitan area.
The format of the paper should (loosely) follow the following outline:
- Introduction (1 paragraph)
- Background information of the music being performed. This is the portion of the paper that should reflect research and should be supported with references. (2-3 pages)
- The physical setting of the concert venue and a description of the performance itself and the affective experience (how the music “moved” you, good or bad!) (1-2 pages)
- Any other reactions you would like to share, or even thoughts from the performers about the music and/or performance, if possible.
- Conclusion (1 paragraph)
Here are a few helpful suggestions for completing your project:
- Spend a few days thinking about what type of music you would like to see, the best choice for this project would be something outside of your “comfort zone.” For suggestions, check the weekend section of the newspaper, local college and university music departments, St. Louis Magazine, etc.
- Once you have chosen a concert, prepare for your concert experience by doing some background research on the type of music you would like to see, especially its historical and cultural origins. Be sure to take the bibliographical information from all of your sources! (Wikipedia is NOT a source!) This background research will become part 2 of the suggested format.
- On the day/night of the concert, bring a small notepad and write down anything that strikes you as interesting. The more notes you take, the easier it will be to write your paper!
- Gather your materials and write the concert review/ethnography. The best way to do this is to “tell a story” of your musical experience. Always remember that you are writing an academic paper (so avoid contractions, colloquialisms and slang), but do try to maintain a conversational tone. Perhaps ask yourself the following questions:
- What about this experience was new or different for you?
- What impressed you about the concert experience and why?
- Which selection appealed to you the most? Explain what it was about the music/performance that made it stand out. Be specific.
- If there was a selection that you did not enjoy, why didn’t you enjoy it?
Papers should be submitted into Canvas for grading no later than the Wednesday of the penultimate (next to last) week of classes.
The paper should be typed with 12-point Times New Roman font (or equivalent), double-spaced, and have one-inch margins on all four sides of each page. All citations and bibliography should use the Turabian/Chicago Manual of Style (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. formatting. It should be without a cover sheet and with the student name and date single-spaced in the upper right-hand corner of the first page. The bibliography should be on a separate page after the main body of the paper.