This response to Amico’s paper draws lessons from the author’s own career to endorse Amico’s call to rename the discipline of “ethnomusicology,” while cautioning against the risks of nominalism as a sufficient response to the underlying tensions animating dissatisfaction with the current name of the discipline. The response emphasizes points of convergence and divergence between diverse disciplinary practices of music scholarship and locates a problem for efforts to synthesize such practices in competing views of science and applied research, and indeed in competing concepts of “music” as such.
Divesting from Ethnomusicology
Aaron A. Fox is associate professor of music and the director of the Center for Ethnomusicology at Columbia University. He is the author of Real Country: Music and Language in Working-Class Culture (Duke University Press, 2004) and currently conducts NSF-sponsored research on issues of Indigenous cultural property and rights. He is also a professional guitarist and performs with several New York City-area rock bands.
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Aaron A. Fox; Divesting from Ethnomusicology. Journal of Musicology 1 January 2020; 37 (1): 33–38. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/jm.2020.37.1.33
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