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Toward an Ethnomusicology of Sound Experience

Clayton, Martin



Henry Stobart


In this chapter, I argue that ethnomusicology could benefit from taking more account of the ways in which human beings experience and interpret sound. Ethnomusicologists have tended to work at a metadiscursive level (writing words about others’ words), leaving the gap between musical experience and paramusical discourse under-explored. This chapter asks whether that situation can be changed and what may be gained by doing so, and is illustrated with an example of north Indian raga performance.


Clayton, M. (2008). Toward an Ethnomusicology of Sound Experience. In H. Stobart (Ed.), The new (ethno)musicologies (135-169). Scarecrow Press

Publication Date May 1, 2008
Deposit Date Sep 29, 2010
Pages 135-169
Series Title Europea: ethnomusicologies and modernities
Book Title The new (ethno)musicologies.
Publisher URL
Additional Information Series: Europea: Ethnomusicologies and Modernities ; 8