The Anthropological Model Created by Alan Merriam

The anthropological model created by Alan Merriam examines three closely
interrelated subjects: sound, behavior, and conception of music. In the analysis of a musical culture [a music ethnography], one observes the sounds (describe the music), behaviors (provide examples how the making and consumption of music relates to the examined culture), and lastly, ideas about music (how music relates to culture).
Choose a musical culture that you are familiar with (e.g. marching band, Church, bar, shopping mall & country music concert, etc.)
Observe firsthand.
Describe the music (How does the music sound?)
Portray the behaviors (What behaviors take place in a musical performance? e.g.
applauding only after a performance, never during)
How does the music relate to the culture (Why is there music in the culture? Why is
music important?)
Make connections between music description, behavior, and conception of music.
As part of this assignment, you will begin by writing field notes (does not count towards page count), written observations of the musical cultural group. Lastly, you will analyze and interpret your field notes in order to write your music ethnography.
Identify topic (musical cultural group)
Read literature (if possible)
Collect data (field notes)
Analyze and interpret data
Evaluate data and write music ethnography
Your final draft will need to be 6 pages (12 pt font & double spaced).

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