Ethnomusicology at Bard emphasizes ethnographic fieldwork. Fieldwork remains the longest lasting feature of knowing in ethnomusicology despite shifting generational consensuses of concepts and paradigms that dwell on modern insistences for “theory” that predictably and necessarily shift for newer and more ethical considerations of human life with music. Specifically, the Ethnomusicology Area’s core and special topics coursework highlight the consistent centrality of technological reproductions of fieldwork, from phonography to reciprocity through social media, as foundational to ethnomusicology in the 21st century. Accommodating the Bard student’s free exploration of liberal arts education and musical culture—in traditional, popular, and art music—the Ethnomusicology Area offers such coursework within the richness of The Bard Music Program and its many musical practitioners and ensemble classes such as the Georgian Choir, Afro Latin Percussion Ensemble, and Balinese Gamelan.
Requirements in Ethnomusicology
All of these ensembles can be taken for credit at Bard College. Additionally, many of them welcome community members. Please contact ensemble leaders for information about participating.
Associate Professor of Music, Whitney Slaten trained as an ethnomusicologist, earning the Ph.D. at Columbia University.