Ethnographic Listening Report GRADING AREA 2123

Reflect on what you’ve learned here in Music 100 about several traditional music cultures around the world this term, informed by both Western musical practices and ethnomusicology. Choose a listening experience to write about that synthesizes your learning about key features of music, its roles and functions in multiple cultures and intercultural relationships through music. Bring yourself into the picture as you did during Module 5 when you wrote a report on the significance of music making in your family or community, analyzing your own musical perspectives.

Prior to the global health crisis surrounding COVID-19, a live listening experience was required for this report, though the current situation requires modification. Rather than attending a live musical event in person, please view a recorded performance or arrange for a live streaming session. During Spring 2020, the ULV Chamber Singers offered a virtual concert via YouTube. Listening to a virtual concert would be a terrific way to support the students in the ULV Music Department. Check the Music Department website for current information on virtual performances.

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Many musicians are working from home these days, so they may be willing to offer you a live streamed performance from home. This might be a colleague from work who moonlights as a musician or a church musician from your faith community. Perhaps they have YouTube videos of their performances available if they play or sing in groups. If you have school aged children, some of their friends may play in the band or sing in the choir and be home schooling right now. Arrangements might be made to listen to them play via Skype or Facetime or perhaps their band or choir has YouTube videos available.

Keep the following pointers in mind as you prepare to listen via live streaming or to a recording:

While witnessing/taking part in this event, observe the goings-on as broadly as possible. Elements of the “setting” include details such as the physical layout of the building/room/outdoor space; how the participants are configured and move within that space; age, ethnicity, dress, body language, and mannerisms of the participants; and the progression of the event. How, when, and for what purpose does music play a role in the event? What else strikes you?
Talk with participants after the event (to the extent that it is possible online). Ask questions related to why they are there, and what the event and the music employed means to them (i.e., the significance). Try to speak with as many different people and kinds of participants as possible. Are there other, nonverbal ways of communicating with and receiving knowledge from participants? If you quote a performer directly in your report, be sure to cite the quotation. Otherwise, no bibliography is required for this report.
Take notes to help you remember significant moments. If there is a program or transcript file of a recorded event, use it as valuable tool for you to understand the ordering of performances and to check the proper spellings of song titles or names of performers. Descriptions found in the program often communicate aspects of the event’s significance for those organizing it. If you quote from the program directly, be sure to cite it as a source. Otherwise, no bibliography is required for this report.
Most importantly, write down everything you can recollect after the event before going to sleep that night. Expand on any notes you may have taken during the event. Don’t filter your experience at this time; simply write down everything you can remember. Later, when you return to your notes, you can choose what is relevant as you write more pointedly about the role of music in the event.

Write a 2-3 page (double spaced, 12 font) report of your live listening experience. Include thoughtful, detailed reflections on all of the following elements:

Begin your report with a complete description of the event, including the name and type of performing group or soloists, the place, the date and time, and the kind of music you heard.
Analyze the significance of music in this setting and effectiveness of the performers.What kinds of connections did performers make with listeners?
What was most memorable about one of the compositions or songs you heard (striking melodies, rhythms or unusual electronic effects)?
If you had a chance to speak with the participants, what insights did you gain? If this was not possible, what do you wish you could have asked the participants?

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