Musical Encounters of the Ensemble Kind
This chapter focuses on the epistemology of performance ensembles and their pedagogical value. It also answers the questions of how they serve as a means to a particular kind of knowledge about music, and what they teach those who encounter them as participants or audience members. It states that it is important to consider the differences among music apprenticeships during fieldwork as a part of participant-observation ethnology, and that the role of world music ensembles is a training ground or preparation for ethnomusicological research. It also emphasizes the role of world music ensembles in general liberal arts education, and ensemble performance as public education. The ensemble programs, by virtue of their intercultural mission, became touchstones for political conflicts over issues of power, representation, voice, migration, diversity, and transnational labor in university life of the post-colonial era. Furthermore, this chapter gives a striking note of the author's teaching at Wesleyan University, which highlights the mainstay of ethnomusicology programs, including “musical transvestism” and the related “ethno-drag.”
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