Nettl's Elephant by Bruno Nettl PDF

By Bruno Nettl

 

From some of the most lauded students in ethnomusicology comes this enlightening and hugely own narrative at the evolution and present nation of the sphere of ethnomusicology. Surveying the sphere he helped determine, Bruno Nettl investigates how techniques equivalent to evolution, geography, and historical past function catalysts for advancing ethnomusicological tools and perspectives.
 
This unique assortment covers Nettl's scholarly pursuits starting from local American to Mediterranean to heart jap contexts whereas laying out the pivotal moments of the sphere and conversations with the giants of its previous. Nettl strikes from reflections at the background of ethnomusicology to reviews of the primary organisations within the box, interspersing these broader discussions with shorter essays targeting ignored literature and private experiences.

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His article about the Bella Coola (Stumpf 1886) would hardly be helpful to anyone today but still merits a moment of celebration as a historical milestone. Four areas of method in this article are worth mentioning: (1) It is centered on a set of transcriptions that are presented in the text; (2) it includes an element-by-element discussion of the musical style; (3) unlike most others writing even a few decades later, Stumpf describes in detail how he gathered his data, interviewed, and transcribed; and (4) in a harbinger of the interest in reflexivity that came a century later, he discusses his relationship to Nutsiluska, his principal consultant and singer.

Mario de Andrade (1893–1945; see Andrade 1936), considered the founder of Brazilian ethnomusicology, collected and wrote about a great variety of traditions and tried to be an activist in urging the use of folk and indigenous traditions in the development of Brazilian art music. Fernando Ortiz (1881–1969), a Cuban scholar who was also known as a lawyer, government official, diplomat, and ethnographer, concentrated on many aspects of Cuban musical culture, but his greatest achievement was his five-volume ethnography of Afro-Cuban musical instruments (Ortiz 1952–55).

What he says here and there about non-Western music shows that he saw it in a somewhat Darwinian style, as music representing an earlier stage of development far outstripped by European accomplishments. But in 1885, barely thirty years old, Adler was a kind of firebrand, bringing to the world of scholarship a vision of a new field—musicology—and approaching his task with a wide scope that was not soon if ever shared by scholarship in the other arts. The importance of the 1885 article rests in the way it lays out the field of musicology.

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