By Eric Clarke, Nicholas Cook
The examine of song is often, to some degree, ''empirical,'' in that it consists of checking out principles and interpretations opposed to a few form of exterior truth. yet in musicology, the type of empirical ways normal within the social sciences have performed a comparatively marginal function, being in most cases limited to inter-disciplinary parts akin to psychology and sociology of song. instead of advocating a brand new type of musicology, Empirical Musicology presents a advisor to empirical ways which are prepared for incorporation into the modern musicologist's toolkit. Its 9 chapters hide views from tune thought, computational musicology, ethnomusicology, and the psychology and sociology of song, in addition to an creation to musical information research and facts. This publication indicates that such ways may well play an immense function within the extra improvement of the self-discipline as an entire, not just in the course of the software of statistical and modeling easy methods to musical ratings yet also--and maybe extra importantly--in phrases of figuring out tune as a posh social perform.
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Additional info for Empirical Musicology: Aims, Methods, Prospects
Whatever pattern of participant-observation is ﬁnally selected, a primary technique of planning each day’s research is by means of a research log. Helen Myers suggested that the ﬁeldworker maintain a log in which a plan for each day’s research is sketched on the left-hand page of each pair; the right-hand page is then used to summarize what actually happened (Myers 1992: 40). This is certainly a means of encouraging good planning and a systematic approach. Commonly, the researcher keeps two further notebooks.
6. What is the relation of music to other art forms? Answers to these questions as recorded in ﬁeld notes (and subsequently abstracted in analysis) embody empirical information in four respects. First, the information preserved in carefully assembled notes forms a broad palette of personal experience and socially founded perspectives on which speciﬁc musical and social interpretations can be based; through participant-observation the researcher not only begins to understand how it feels and what it means to engage in a particular form of music making, but also is well placed to survey the views of other, probably more expert insiders.
While social contexts and contents are the ultimate quarry of this type of “New” musicology (as the work of such writers as Kramer and McClary was termed in the 1990s), they are typically pursued through the analysis of texts, rather than through more ecological, empirically oriented investigations of the production, distribution, and consumption of music. Such a move also sidesteps the contested meanings that arise within particular contexts, for example, through resistance to particular musicological interpretations.