Skip to main content
Unit of study_

MCGY2621: Exploring Ethnomusicology

2024 unit information

Ethnomusicology refers to the study of all musical genres worldwide within their respective social and cultural contexts, and is sometimes also known as the anthropology of music or cultural musicology. This unit introduces and explores some of the most important ideas that have informed the thinking of researchers working in this field - such as the connections between music and gender, social structures, forms of capital, politics, identity, health and the environment. The course also interrogates notions of the nature and experience of music, why musical genres differ and why music has such important but diverse significance worldwide. The course includes several lectures given by expert practitioners from particular musical traditions (such as Indigenous Australian music and Korean drumming), and it directly complements courses on ethnomusicological fieldwork methods. It does not require prior formal musical training.

Unit details and rules

Managing faculty or University school:


Code MCGY2621
Academic unit Musicology
Credit points 6

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. define ethnomusicology and identify major issues in the discipline
  • LO2. describe some of the different ways that music is structured and used in different cultures
  • LO3. identify the many different ways that music-making is significant to human kind
  • LO4. understand and appreciate previously unfamiliar musical forms and cultures
  • LO5. demonstrate familiarity with a range of ways in which music may be recorded and analysed (whether through writing, symbols, or audio-visual means).

Unit availability

This section lists the session, attendance modes and locations the unit is available in. There is a unit outline for each of the unit availabilities, which gives you information about the unit including assessment details and a schedule of weekly activities.

The outline is published 2 weeks before the first day of teaching. You can look at previous outlines for a guide to the details of a unit.

Session MoA ?  Location Outline ? 
Semester 2 2023
Normal day Sydney
Session MoA ?  Location Outline ? 
Semester 2 2024
Normal day Sydney
Outline unavailable
Session MoA ?  Location Outline ? 
Semester 2 2020
Normal day Sydney
Semester 2 2021
Normal day Sydney
Semester 2 2022
Normal day Remote
Semester 2 2022
Normal day Sydney

Modes of attendance (MoA)

This refers to the Mode of attendance (MoA) for the unit as it appears when you’re selecting your units in Sydney Student. Find more information about modes of attendance on our website.

Important enrolment information

Additional advice

This is a compulsory unit for the minor in ethnomusicology. If prerequisite not met, you may apply for special permission.