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Ethnomusicology, World Music, and Folk Music: Home


What's "Ethnomusicology"?

It's "the study of music in its cultural context" (H. Myers). Ethnomusicologists use methodologies from anthropology and sociology to study the musics of different cultures around the world.

What's "World Music"? 

This term is generally used to refer to a genre of pop music that combines "traditional rhythms from around the world with elements of jazz and rock" (Library of Congress Subject Headings).

What's "Folk Music"?

This term has been used to connote many different things over time, from national and rural traditions in the nineteenth century to the urban and pop scenes of the twentieth. In recent years, scholars have adopted the term "traditional music" to distinguish the scholarly study of this music.

See the entries "Ethnomusicology," "World Music," and "Folk Music" in Oxford Music Online (available on our “Databases” page).


See the tabs above for research tips and resources.

For further reading

After you've consulted this research guide, the following books will give you further details on research strategies, and additional resources to consult. Look them up in the Library's catalog:

  • Gottlieb, Jane. Music Library and Research Skills.
  • Bayne, Pauline Shaw. A Guide to Library Research in Music.
  • Wingell, Richard J. Writing about Music: an Introductory Guide.
  • Crabtree, Phillip D. Sourcebook for Research in Music
  • Irvine, Demar. Writing about Music. Call number:

Subject Guide

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