The Open University

XXV European Seminar in Ethnomusicology


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Programme & Abstracts



The XXV European Seminar in Ethnomusicology (ESEM) took place from 18 to 22 September 2009 in Milton Keynes, hosted by the Open University.

The main theme of the seminar was that of performance. This is a topic which has long been of interest to ethnomusicologists, who have focused on perspectives such as the nature and boundaries of performance events, the relationship of musical and dance performance to other rituals, and the relationships between musical performance and the formation of social identities. In the context of recent moves within musicology to embrace the study of performance, and rapid growth in the use of empirical methodologies in this regard, this seminar aimed to investigate the current state of ethnomusicological thinking on performance. How have ethnomusicologists – particularly, but not exclusively, working within European intellectual traditions – framed this topic, both theoretically and methodologically? How have ideas flowed to and from cognate disciplines such as anthropology, psychology and performance studies? What lessons does current ethnomusicology have for those disciplines, and for musicology itself?

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