Composing, Creative Play and the Ethical Incomplete: Practice-Based Approaches in Ethnomusicology

  • Cara Stacey


This article is a preliminary survey of creative, practice-based methodologies and outputs within and beyond contemporary music research and ethnomusicology. It draws together recent creative ethnographic and aesthetic practice and ideas, termed ‘arts-based research’, ‘arts-informed research’, ‘a/r/t/ography’, ‘music as process’, and ethnomusicological educational interventions. Following calls for the decolonisation of educational institutions and universities, knowledge-making itself has been called into question. We argue that the diverse potential of and for creative play in research and education, trans-disciplinary experimentation and practice-based methodologies in ethnomusicology provide an interesting opportunity for redress. This moment of redress is not primarily preoccupied with the disciplinary and stylistic boundaries between musicology, ethnomusicology, education, composition and performance, but rather values the inspiration, diligence and varied modes of experience and dissemination around which current creative, practice-based approaches centre.


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eISSN: 0258-509X