Dialogue I

Jo: You look familiar. Have we met before?
Ki: Perhaps. On the Berkeley campus?

Jo: I don’t think so. You come here often?
Ki: When I can. Maybe it was Yale … or Indiana.

Jo: Never been there. Say – were you in Vancouver last year? The Tricentenial Celebrations… AMS, CMS, SEM, SMT?
Ki: Yes, I was there.

Jo: Did you give a paper? or chair something?
Ki: The latter, as a substitute. At the last minute, somebody couldn’t make it.

Jo: What was the name of the session? Maybe that’s where I saw you.
Ki: It had a long title. I don’t remember precisely.

Jo: I’m a musicologist. What are you?
Ki: A musician.

Jo: But… at a congress, you must be some kind of ‘ologist.’
Ki: Sometimes I write music.

Jo: Oh, a composer. Society for Music Theory?
Ki: I’m interested in theory.

Jo: What kind of theory do you write?
Ki: Theories about music.

Jo: I mean, avant garde? Bach? Bartok?
Ki: Yes… sometimes.

Jo: Maybe it was at the no-host cocktail party. Hundreds of people, milling around.
Ki: I was there. Maybe it was the cocktail party.

Jo: Say, I’ve forgotten your name.
Ki: Ki.Jo: That’s a funny name… mine’s Jo. I’m a musicologist.
Ki: I like your name. You already told me, you’re a musicologist.Jo: You never told what you are. You belong to AMS?
Ki: And SMT.Jo: Yeah… some people belong to both. Are you a musicologist?
Ki: Sometimes.

Jo: You look like a musicologist.
Ki: I’m a teacher.

Jo: Sure… we all are. You don’t belong to the College Music Society too…?
Ki: Sometimes.

Jo: Look…I don’t think we’re getting very far. Next you’ll be telling me you’re one of those ethnomusicologists.
Ki: Does an ethnomusicologist study music?

Jo: Sure… weird things.. .tribal music, folk songs,Asian theater.. .you know, subjects are way out – ethnomusicology.
Ki: Tribal… like heavy metal? Folk materials in Bartok? “Madame Butterfly?”

Jo: No, no. That’s not ethno. Nobody gives a damn about… what is it? ‘heavy metal?’ And anybody who studies Bartok is a musicologist. What’s an opera got to do with ethnomusicology?
Ki: You haven’t told me yet. What is ethnomusicology?

Jo: I’m not sure… musicology of ethnics, I guess.
Ki: What are “ethnics?”

Jo: You know, other people.
Ki: Like music theorists and college teachers?

Jo: Now wait a minute. You’re twisting what I said. I mean other people.
Ki: Who live in other parts of the world?

Jo: Yeah, you’re getting it… other parts of the world.
Ki: France? Italy? Ireland? Russia?

Jo: No! Well… they could, I guess. I mean other people… like tribes in Africa… those musicians in the palace at Tokyo, that music Elliott Carter got excited about, 25 years ago.
Ki: The composer?

Jo: The composer.
Ki: Is he an ethnomusicologist?

Jo: No! You keep changing what I mean.
Ki: I still haven’t learned what ethnomusicologyis. Somebody once remarked that Percy Granger was an ethnomusicologist. Do you know what they meant?

Jo: The composer?
Ki: Yes.

Jo: No. I don’t.
Ki: He was interested in Maori music.

Jo: In what?
Ki: Music indigenous to New Zealand.

Jo: His music seems tame enough.
Ki: The Maori nose flute is tame, too.

Jo: You know about the Maori?
Ki: Very little. But I am especially interested inthe fact that Percy Grainger found them interesting.

Jo: I knew it! Your are a musicologist!
Ki: Sometimes. But you haven’t made me understand what you mean by ethnomusicology. Is it the same as musicology?

Jo: No! Entirely different.
Ki: How?

Jo: Subjects are different Very different.
Ki: Oh. I thought the subject would be music.

Jo: It is music… but, as you said… Maori nose flute.
Ki: And Hungarian folk music?

Jo: Now you’re getting it. That kind of music. Not Brahms or Beethoven… that’s real music.
Ki: Except for the taste of Elliott Carter, Bartok, and Percy Grainger I’m beginning to understand. The subject of ethnomusicology is music… but not what you mean by real music. And it must belong to a tribe or be a folk song?

Jo: Look, you make it sound wrong. Maybe those composers were just ready for something exotic. That’s it! The subject of ethnomusicology is exotic!
Ki: You mean foreign? Strange to our ears? Unfamiliar?

Jo: You’re really getting it now. That’s it. Strange, foreign, unfamiliar.
Ki: Like the music of the Middle Ages?

Jo: There you go again! That’s different.That’s part of our music. It sounds a little strange, because it was a long time ago. That’s musicology.
Ki: You know Frank Harrison?

Jo: Sure… well, not personally. But everybody in musicology knows who Frank Harrison is. One of the best for the Middle Ages.
Ki: In 1963, he said all musicology, in fact, is ethnomusicology. What do you think he meant?

Jo: He did? I don’t know… strange idea.
Ki: You know his work?

Jo: Sure. Everybody knows Harrison’s publications.
Ki: Have you read some?

Jo: Well… I think so… at least I know about them.
Ki: What about them?

Jo: They’re considered some of the finest scholarship on music of the Middle Ages.
Ki: Do you think Professor Harrison is an ethnomusicologist?

Jo: Definitely not! He’s a musicologist.
Ki: But you haven’t read his publications?

Jo: I have to go now. See you around.

Dialogue II

Ki: Hey, Jo! may I join you for a walk along the quad?

Jo: Hi! Sure! What are you doing on the UCLA campus?
Ki: Poking around the music library.

Jo: You didn’t fool me the last time we met. I knew you were a musicologist.
Ki: I’ve been listening to some recordings, field recordings.

Jo: Field recordings?
Ki: Made in the field.

Jo: Oh, in the jungles of Africa or some place like that?
Ki: No, no, In a very modern recording studio.

Jo: Oh, good.
Ki: In Tokyo.

Jo: Oh.
Ki: Tokyo symphony orchestra.

Jo: Oh, I see, Musicology, huh?
Ki: New piece – based on gagaku.

Jo: I think it was at the cocktail party in Vancouver. You were wearing a red tie and a dark blue suit.
Ki: Don’t own either one.

Jo: Grey suit? Anyhow, I’ve been doing some reading since we last talked, I found out about ethnomusicology, It’s anthropology.
Ki: Ethnomusicology is anthropology?

Jo: Right! It’s the study of man, That’s anthropology. Anthropology – ethnomusicology.
Ki: Ki: Before, you said the subject of ethnomusicology is music,..

Jo: The music of man.
Ki: That’s quite inclusive, I’ve been told that every society in the world has some kind of music.

Jo: Right. That’s ethnomusicology.
Ki: Then musicology, also, is anthropology.

Jo: What?
Ki: Medieval music was the music of man, “Madame Butterfly” is the music of man. Anthropology.

Jo: Are you trying to confuse me?
Ki: No, I’m trying to understand you. If anthropology covers both terms, ‘musicology, ethnomusicology,’ why was it ever necessary to coin them?

Jo: Well, they don’t mean the same thing. You’re the one who is confused, Musicology isn’t anthropology!
Ki: I must have misunderstood you, I thought you said that anthropology is the study of man and that ethnomusicology was the study of man’s music. One aspect of anthropology.

Jo: I guess so.
Ki: And if that’s ethnomusicology – the study of the music of man – then it must also be musicology.

Jo: Will you be going to another one of those congresses?
Ki: I might. But perhaps this time, it should be one devoted to anthropology. Some session should pertain to man’s music. Would you recommend that?

Jo: It’s an odd place for a musicologist to be.
Ki: Then you think there may be a difference between anthropology and musicology…

Jo: Oh, yes! Big difference. The subject of musicology is music!
Ki: I think I’m beginning to understand. It’s like ethnomusicology – the subject is music.

Jo: That’s right! The subject is music; so musicology and ethnomusicology can’t be anthropology. You have to be a trained musician. You have to be able to ‘speak’ music, I mean perform it and read it and maybe write it. That takes a musician.
Ki: Let me see if I understand. You have to know music to be able to practice musicology and ethnomusicology.

Jo: Right!
Ki: But not anthropology.

Jo: That’s correct.
Ki: So, musicology and ethnomusicology are not anthropology.

Jo: That’s true.
Ki: And the music subjects of both musicology and ethnomusicology may be exotic, conceding that the term is a bit relative.

Jo: Yes.
Ki: And since the term is relative, might the ‘ologies’ also include the non-exotic?

Jo: I guess so.
Ki: Then what is the difference between musicology and ethnomusicology?

Jo: Well… there’s a difference… history! That’s it! Historical musicology!
Ki: Do you mean that historical method is not used by ethnomusicology?

Jo: That’s what I mean. Well, most of the time, it’s not. Sometimes it’s not…
Ki: The German term ‘Vergleichende Musikwissenschaft’ was rather freely translated ‘comparative musicology.’ Jaap Kunst changed it to ‘ethnomusicology.’ Does musicology employ comparative method?

Jo: Certainly!
Ki: Then, as Professor Harrison put it, all musicology, in fact, is ethnomusicology.