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Applied Ethnomusicology Section
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The Applied Ethnomusicology Section is devoted to work in ethnomusicology that puts music to use in a variety of contexts, academic and otherwise, including education, cultural policy, conflict resolution, medicine, arts programming, and community music. Members in the Applied Ethnomusicology Section work to organize panel sessions and displays at SEM conferences that showcase this kind of work and to discuss the issues that surround it, as well as to foster connections between individuals involved in applied work and between individuals and institutions.

Applied Ethnomusicology Group Page
Bibliography: The Field of Applied Ethnomusicology





John Fenn (Indiana University) shares his experiences as an organizer for the Lotus World Music and Arts Festival in Bloomington, Indiana at the 2002 SEM in Estes Park Park, Colorado.









Jeff Todd Titon
Brown University
Phone: 401-863-3645
Email: jeff_titon@brown.edu

Michael Bakan
Florida State University
Phone: 850-216-0510
Email: michaelbakan@gmail.com

Klisala Harrison
University of Helsinki
Phone: 358-0-9-191-24466
Email: klisala.harrison@helsinki.fi

Our Mission Statement, as developed by the 38 founding members of the Committee on Applied Ethnomusicology, October 24, 1998 under the direction of then Co-Chairs Martha Ellen Davis and Doris J. Dyen:

The Applied Ethnomusicology Section joins scholarship with practical pursuits by providing a forum for discussion and exchange of theory, issues, methods and projects among practitioners and serving as the "public face" of ethnomusicology in the larger community.

Section activities in these categories may include:

  1. Sponsoring sessions and workshops at national and regional meetings
    Sponsoring a display table in the book exhibit room at national and regional meetings, for publications and other products resulting from practitioners work


  1. Mentoring Section members and other colleagues and students of SEM with regard to career options, course development focusing on skills for applied work and avenues for community outreach.


  1. Working with academic colleagues to explore practical applications for scholarly research.


  1. Fostering collaboration among Section members for defining and developing projects and initiatives.


  1. Encouraging the study of applied projects and their sponsoring organizations and archives as subjects for scholarly research.


  1. Forming links with like-minded sections of other professional organizations, such as the Society for Applied Anthropology and the Public Programs Section of the American Folklore Society.


  1. Promoting the hiring of ethnomusicologists in various domains of the public and private sector.


  1. Developing institutional partnerships between colleges/universities and public and private sector organizations in the wider community.

Defining Applied Ethnomusicology
Applied Ethnomusicology is elusive to define. Here is how some of the section members attempt this definition:

  • "We are interested in both knowledge for its own sake and also applying this knowledge in a constructive manner."


  • "We are a group of ethnomusicologists with a strong desire to make the world a better place through our work."


  • "If music is culture and culture is a product of society, we must realize how the study of music and those involved with it can benefit the world."


  • "We strive to empower individuals and communities."


  • "For me, what distinguishes applied work is the advocacy & social justice aspect of it."


  • "We see music and musicians and ourselves as profoundly involved in social transformations."


  • "We listen… advocate… empower…educate and connect people."

To join the applied ethnomusicology section listserv, send an email message to:

$10-$15 suggested (Dues are optional)

Section reports can be found in the members-only section of this website.

Section Prize
Applied Ethnomusicology Section Paper/Project Prize
Bess Lomax Hawes Award in Applied Ethnomusicology

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