Theory and Methods of Ethnomusicology


a) Introduction to the main concepts of scientific thought in the field of social sciences.
b) Knowledge of the main current methodological approaches.
c) Introduction to basic principles of ethnographic methods.
d) Development of a critical thinking on the research ethical impacts.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Maria São José Corte-Real Gonçalves Ferraz de Oliveira Soeiro Carvalho


Weekly - 4

Total - 168

Teaching language



Approval in Ethnomusicology – Introduction Course


Burgess, R. (1997). A Pesquisa de Terreno, Uma Introdução. Oeiras: Celta Editora.
Dirksen, R. (2012). Reconsidering Theory and Practice in Ethnomusicology: Applying, Advocating, and Engaging Beyond Academia. Etnomusicology Review 17,
Eriksen, T. H. (1993). Ethnicity & Nationalism, Anthropological Perspectives. London: Pluto Press.
Lundberg, D. (2010). Music as identity marker: individual vs. collective. Côrte-Real, M. S. J. (Ed.). Music and Migration, Migrações 7. Lisboa: Observatório da Imigração, 29-44.
Merriam, A. (1964). The Anthropology of Music. Evanston: Northwestern University Press. 
Nettl, B. (2005). The Study of Ethnnomusicology: Thirty-One Issues and Concepts. Urbana: University of Illinois Press.
Rice, T. (2010). Ethnomusicological Theory. Yearbook for Traditional Music 42, 100-134.
Rice, T. (2003). Time, Place and Metaphor in Musical Experience and Ethnography, Ethomusicology 47 (2), 151-179.

Teaching method

Class dynamics articulate theory (50%) and methods´ (50%) discussions in the first part of the term to present relevant issues from selected texts by teacher and students testing relations between theoretical notions and methodological approaches. Basic research procedures are trained, such as the construction of questions, hypothesis and interviews. Scientific writing train in research proposals, in essay methodology, submitted to detailed revision and discussion between teacher and pairs of students develops during the second part of the term. Due to the open character of this unit to the interests of the students, new readings may be added.

Evaluation method

research proposal design, two versions (25% + 25%)(50%), Assessment is multiple and the score weights are negotiated in the first week according to the following: oral presentations of a theoretical and a related methodological aspect (TA & MA(20%), required individual written document (10%); class participation, research presentation (20%)(30%)

Subject matter

Throughout the module, the main theoretical  perspectives that shaped the twentieth and twenty-first century social sciences will be introduced, with special attention to their implication on the formation of knowledge. We will briefly present the main methodological strategies from a practical point of view with special attention to ethnographic methods. The main techniques will be putted into practice in order to lead each student to  understand their usefulness and validity in relation to research goals. As a conclusion, students will be asked to consider the ethical implications of their work.


Programs where the course is taught: