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The Anthropology of Music

In this highly praised and seminal work, Alan Merriam demonstrates that musicis asocial behavior one worthy and available to study through the methods of anthropology. In it, he convincingly arguesthat ethnomusicology, by definition, cannot separatethe sound-analysis of music from its cultural context of people thinking, acting, and creating. The study begins with a review of the various approaches in ethnomusicology. He then suggests a useful and simple research model: ideas about music lead to behavior related to music and this behavior results in musical sound. He explains many aspects and outcomes of this model, and the methods and techniques he suggestsare useful to anyone doing field work. Further chaptersprovidea cross-cultural round-up of concepts about music, physical and verbal behavior related to music, the role of the musician, and the learning and composing of music. The Anthropology of Music illuminates much of interest to musicologists but to social scientists in general as well."
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About the Author

Alan P. Merriam held the position of Professor of Anthropology at Indiana University. He died in 1980.


"With great thoroughness, Merriam has pointed out to anthropologists how much they can contribute to our general knowledge of music as human experience."--David P. McAllester, Wesleyan University"American Anthropologist" (04/15/1965) ..".Merriam's book, seen from the viewpoint of anthropology, is deserving of the highest respect." --Ethnomusicology "For the broad perspective it provides of man as music-maker, as also for the lucid resume of past and present appraoches to this subject which it presents, Merriam's new book should, I think, be treated as essential reading both within the social sciences and the humanities." --Man

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