Music archaeology is an interdisciplinary study field that combines musicology and archaeology. As it includes music from numerous cultures, it is often seen as being a part of ethnomusicology, and indeed a study group looking into music archaeology first emerged from ethnomusicological group the ICTM, not from within archaeology.
Interdisciplinarity or interdisciplinary studies involves the combining of two or more academic disciplines into one activity. It draws knowledge from several other fields like sociology, anthropology, psychology, economics etc. It is about creating something by thinking across boundaries. It is related to an interdiscipline or an interdisciplinary field, which is an organizational unit that crosses traditional boundaries between academic disciplines or schools of thought, as new needs and professions emerge. Large engineering teams are usually interdisciplinary, as a power station or mobile phone or other project requires the melding of several specialties. However, the term "interdisciplinary" is sometimes confined to academic settings.
Musicology is the scholarly analysis and research-based study of music. Musicology departments traditionally belong to the humanities, although music research is often more scientific in focus. A scholar who participates in musical research is a musicologist.
Archaeology, or archeology, is the study of human activity through the recovery and analysis of material culture. The archaeological record consists of artifacts, architecture, biofacts or ecofacts and cultural landscapes. Archaeology can be considered both a social science and a branch of the humanities. In North America archaeology is a sub-field of anthropology, while in Europe it is often viewed as either a discipline in its own right or a sub-field of other disciplines.
"In its broadest sense, music archaeology is the study of the phenomenon of past musical behaviours and sounds", as music archaeologist Adje Both connects several definitions.Music archaeologists use methods of both musicology and archaeology. A theoretical and methodological basic work is still missing and one of the desiderata of the international community of researchers.
There are different goals in music archaeology: One of the most important is the exploration of excavated artefacts that are relevant for the reconstruction of ancient music, such as sound-producing devices, representations of musical scenes and textual evidence. The archaeological analysis and documentation of such artefacts, their dating and description as well as the explanation of find contexts and cultural contexts can shed light on its use and function in everyday life of the past, and can help us to rebuild them - i.e., to construct playable replicas. To produce music in a broader sense may also mean the investigation of early musical notations and literary sources that are "excavated" in libraries or other hidden places. These results may illuminate how instruments were played or how music was sung. But ultimately what was played in ancient times must remain in the dark of the past, and much fantasy is needed by modern musicians to imagine how melodies and rhythms may have been composed. Strictly speaking, only the sound of the instruments can be revived - these are the possibilities and limits of Music Archaeology. In the last few years the field has expanded considerably, with the inclusion of neurophysiological, biological, and psychological research. These approaches explore the possible beginnings of sound production by seeking the earliest prerequisites in the evolution of mankind for music making and musical 'understanding'. At the other end of the continuum, newly published evidence for musical notations and theoretical writings, or new literary and iconographic sources relevant to ancient music, can add to our understanding of mostly vanished music cultures. The observation and integration of ethnographic analogies in recent or contemporary societies may also help us discover long lasting traditions in making music which are comparable to the silent past.
A first attempt to join the two distinct disciplines of Musicology and Archaeology took place at the conference of the International Musicological Society at Berkeley in 1977. One of the round tables was designated "Music and Archaeology", to which were invited specialists to discuss the musical remains of ancient cultures - Bathia Bayer (Israel), Charles Boilès (Mexico), Ellen Hickmann (Egypt), David Liang (China), Casja Lund (Scandinavia). The main stimulus for this was the sensational discovery of an ancient Mesopotamian musical system by Anne D. Kilmer, assyriologist in Berkeley. On the basis of this she was able to advance a decipherment and transcription into Western notation of a late Bronze Age hymn in the Hurrian language, excavated from Ugarit, which contained notation based on the Mesopotamian system. With the help of musicologist Richard L. Crocker (Berkeley) and instrument maker Robert Brown, a replica of a Sumerian lyre was made, and Kilmer's version of the Hurrian hymn was recorded, accompanied by a carefully prepared commentary, as Kilmer/Crocker/Brown, Sounds from Silence, Recent Discoveries in Ancient Eastern Music (LP with information booklet, Bit Enki Publications, Berkeley, 1976). At the round table in Berkeley, Kilmer explained their method of reconstruction and demonstrated the resulting sound. This was the starting point of the ICTM Study Group on Music Archaeology, officially founded within the International Council for Traditional Music (ICTM) in Seoul/Korea in 1981, and recognized by the ICTM in New York in 1983 following its first meeting on current music-archaeological research in Cambridge/UK in 1982.
The ICTM Study Group on Music Archaeology went on to hold international conferences in Stockholm (1984), Hannover/Wolfenbüttel (1986), Saint Germain-en-Laye (1990), Liège (1992), Istanbul (1993), Jerusalem (1994/1995, together with the ICTM-Study Group for Iconography), and Limassol, Cyprus (1996). These meetings resulted in comprehensive conference reports.
The International Study Group on Music Archaeology (ISGMA) has been founded by Ellen Hickmann and Ricardo Eichmann in 1998. The Study Group emerged from the ICTM Study Group on Music Archaeology with the objective to obtain closer cooperation with archaeologists. Since then, the ISGMA has worked continuously with the German Archaeological Institute, Berlin (DAI, Deutsches Archäologisches Institut, Berlin). A new series called "Studien zur Musikarchäologie" was created as a sub-series of "Orient-Archäologie" to present the conference reports of the ISGMA, and to integrate music-archaeological monographs independent of the Study Group's meetings; it is published by the Orient Department of the DAI through the Verlag Marie Leidorf. Between 1998 and 2004, conferences of ISGMA were held every two years at Michaelstein Monastery, Music Academy of Sachsen-Anhalt (Kloster Michaelstein, Landesmusikakademie Sachsen-Anhalt), sponsored by the German Research Foundation (DFG, Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft).
The International Study Group on Music Archaeology (ISGMA) is a study group of researchers who carry out research in the field of music archaeology.
In close cooperation with the Department for Ethnomusicology at the Ethnological Museum Berlin (Ethnologisches Museum Berlin, SMB SPK, Abteilung Musikethnologie, Medien-Technik und Berliner Phonogramm-Archiv), the 5th and 6th Symposium of the ISGMA were held in 2006 respectively in 2008 at the Ethnological Museum Berlin. In friendly cooperation with the Tianjin Conservatory of Music, the 7th Symposium of the ISGMA was held in Tianjin, China, in 2010. The 8th Symposium of the ISGMA (2012) was also held in China, in Suzhou and Beijing, and the 9th Symposium is being planned for September 2014, again held at the Ethnological Museum Berlin.
Meanwhile, the ICTM Study Group on Music Archaeology continued separately, and holds its own events, although a number of researchers are involved in both groups. After a couple of years of no activities, Julia L. J. Sanchez re-established the Study Group in 2003 on the initiative of Anthony Seeger, beginning with meetings in Los Angeles, California (2003), and Wilmington, North Carolina (2006). These were followed by a joint-conference in New York (2009), the 11th of the Study Group since its foundation in 1981 (also the 12th Conference of the Research Center for Music Iconography). The 12th conference was then held in Valladolid, Spain (2011), which was the largest meeting of the ICTM Study Group so far, followed by the 13th symposium of the Study Group held in Guatemala 2013. In 2015, the 14th symposium will be held in Poland. In 2013 it was decided to establish a new series, Publications of the ICTM Study Group on Music Archaeology, published through Ekho Verlag.
On 27 May 2011 a public concert under the banner of Palaeophonics, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Beyond Text programme and the University of Edinburgh Campaign, took place at the George Square Theatre in Edinburgh. The event showcased the outcomes of collaborative research and creative practice by archaeologists, composers, filmmakers and performers from across Europe and the Americas. Whilst inspired and driven by research in music archaeology, Palaeophonics represents the emergence of a new, possibly significant, development within the field and within musicology which approaches the subject through the production and performance of new sound and music based multi-media creative works instead of through direct representation and reproduction. Said by some observers as 'experimental' and 'avant-garde', the event provoked mixed feedback from a wide public audience of around 250 people. A related publication is planned and further Palaeophonics events are thought to be taking place in the future, although none are currently programmed, whilst funding for developing the project is sourced.
In 2013, the European Music Archaeology Project (EMAP) has been funded by the EU funding programme EACEA, for the period of 5 years. The project will develop a touring exhibition on ancient music in Europe and an elaborate concert and event program.
From within this history, the subject has proliferated, including work on: Prehistoric Music. This has focused on the earliest period of music archaeology. Ancient Music. The most work in the field has been carried out on this period, which lies between prehistory and Early Music, which is often the study of western classical music from the medieval period onwards. In particular there has been substantial research carried out on Music of ancient Greece and Music of Ancient Rome. The Ancient Music wiki page carries more information and links.
Archaeoacoustics is the use of methodologies from the field of acoustics, and other scientific approaches to musicology, to undertake archaeological study.
The ICTM Study Group on Music Archaeology has been founded in the early 1980s.In 2013, the book series Publications of the ICTM Study Group on Music Archaeology has been launched.
The International Study Group on Music Archaeology (ISGMA)has been founded in 1998. The study group is hosted at the Orient Department of the German Archaeological Institute Berlin (DAI, Deutsches Archäologisches Institut, Orient-Abteilung) and the Department for Ethnomusicology at the Ethnological Museum Berlin (Ethnologisches Museum Berlin, SMB SPK, Abteilung Musikethnologie, Medien-Technik und Berliner Phonogramm-Archiv).
MOISA: The International Society for the Study of Greek and Roman Music and its Cultural Heritage is a non-profit association incorporated in Italy in 2007 for the preservation, interpretation, and valorization of ancient Greek and Roman music and musical theory, as well as its cultural heritage to the present day.
The Acoustics and Music of British Prehistory Research Network was funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, led by Rupert Till and Chris Scarre, as well as Professor Jian Kang of Sheffield University's Department of Architecture. It has a list of researchers working in the field, and links to many other relevant sites.
Acoustics is the branch of physics that deals with the study of all mechanical waves in gases, liquids, and solids including topics such as vibration, sound, ultrasound and infrasound. A scientist who works in the field of acoustics is an acoustician while someone working in the field of acoustics technology may be called an acoustical engineer. The application of acoustics is present in almost all aspects of modern society with the most obvious being the audio and noise control industries.
Music history, sometimes called historical musicology, is the highly diverse subfield of the broader discipline of musicology that studies music from a historical viewpoint. In theory, "music history" could refer to the study of the history of any type or genre of music. In practice, these research topics are often categorized as part of ethnomusicology or cultural studies, whether or not they are ethnographically based. The terms "music history" and "historical musicology" usually refer to the history of the notated music of Western elites, sometimes called "art music".
Ethnomusicology is the study of music from the cultural and social aspects of the people who make it. It encompasses distinct theoretical and methodical approaches that emphasize cultural, social, material, cognitive, biological, and other dimensions or contexts of musical behavior, instead of only its isolated sound component.
Ancient music is music that developed in literate cultures, replacing prehistoric music. Ancient music refers to the various musical systems that were developed across various geographical regions such as Mesopotamia, India, Persia, Egypt, China, Greece and Rome. Ancient music is designated by the characterization of the basic notes and scales. It may have been transmitted through oral or written systems.
Prehistoric music is a term in the history of music for all music produced in preliterate cultures (prehistory), beginning somewhere in very late geological history. Prehistoric music is followed by ancient music in different parts of the world, but still exists in isolated areas. However, it is more common to refer to the "prehistoric" music which still survives as folk, indigenous or traditional music. Prehistoric music is studied alongside other periods within music archaeology.
This article treats the music of Ancient Mesopotamia.
Mantle Hood was an American ethnomusicologist. Among other areas, he specialized in studying gamelan music from Indonesia. Hood pioneered, in the 1950s and 1960s, a new approach to the study of music, and the creation of the first American university program devoted to ethnomusicology, at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). He was known for a suggestion, somewhat novel at the time, that his students actually learn to play the music they were studying.
Archaeoacoustics is the use of acoustical study as a methodological approach within the field of archaeology. Archaeoacoustics examines the acoustics of archaeological sites and artifacts. It is an interdisciplinary field that includes archaeology, ethnomusicology, acoustics and digital modelling, and is part of the wider field of music archaeology, with a particular interest in prehistoric music. Since many cultures explored through archaeology were focused on the oral and therefore the aural, researchers believe that studying the sonic nature of archaeological sites and artefacts may reveal new information on the civilizations scrutinized.
The Society for Ethnomusicology is, with the International Council for Traditional Music and the British Forum for Ethnomusicology, one of three major international associations for ethnomusicology. Its mission is "to promote the research, study, and performance of music in all historical periods and cultural contexts."
Systematic musicology is an umbrella term, used mainly in Central Europe, for several subdisciplines and paradigms of musicology. "Systematic musicology has traditionally been conceived of as an interdisciplinary science, whose aim it is to explore the foundations of music from different points of view, such as acoustics, physiology, psychology, anthro- pology, music theory, sociology, and aesthetics." The most important subdisciplines today are music psychology, sociomusicology, philosophy of music, music acoustics, cognitive neuroscience of music, and the computer sciences of music. These subdisciplines and paradigms tend to address questions about music in general, rather than specific manifestations of music.
The Berliner Phonogramm-Archiv is a collection of ethnomusicological recordings or world music, mostly on phonographic cylinders, assembled since 1900 in Berlin, Germany by the institution of the same name.
Mark Howell is an American musician, composer, ethnomusicologist, and music archaeologist.
Computational musicology is an interdisciplinary research area between musicology and computer science. The term computational musicology is an umbrella term that refers to any disciplines that use computers in order to study music. It includes sub-disciplines such as mathematical music theory, computer music, systematic musicology, music information retrieval, computational musicology, digital musicology, sound and music computing, and music informatics. As this area of research is defined by the tools that it uses and its subject matter, research in computational musicology intersects with both the humanities and the sciences. The use of computers in order to study and analyze music generally began in the 1960s, although musicians have been using computers to assist them in the composition of music beginning in the 1950s. Today, computational musicology encompasses a wide range of research topics dealing with the multiple ways music can be represented.
Joseph Jordania is an Australian–Georgian ethnomusicologist and evolutionary musicologist and professor. He is an Honorary Fellow of the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music at the University of Melbourne and the Head of the Foreign Department of the International Research Centre for Traditional Polyphony at Tbilisi State Conservatory. Jordania is known for his model of the origins of human choral singing in the wide context of human evolution and was one of founders of the International Research Centre for Traditional Polyphony in Georgia.
The Hurrian songs are a collection of music inscribed in cuneiform on clay tablets excavated from the ancient Amorite-Canaanite city of Ugarit, a headland in northern Syria, which date to approximately 1400 BC. One of these tablets, which is nearly complete, contains the Hurrian hymn to Nikkal, making it the oldest surviving substantially complete work of notated music in the world. While the composers' names of some of the fragmentary pieces are known, h.6 is an anonymous work.
Philip Vilas Bohlman is an American ethnomusicologist. He is the Mary Werkman Distinguished Service Professor of Music and the Humanities at the University of Chicago and a visiting professor at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater (Hannover). At Chicago, Bohlman is on the resource faculty of the Germanic Studies Department, the Mary Marty Center for the Advanced Study of Religion, the Center for Jewish Studies, the Center for European and Russian/Eurasian Studies, the Divinity School, and the Scherer Center for the Study of American Culture. Bohlman has held guest professorships at numerous universities, including the University of California, Berkeley, the University of Freiburg, the University of Vienna, and Yale University, among others. Bohlman received his doctorate from the University of Illinois in 1984 and has been teaching at Chicago since 1987.
The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music, located on the campus of the University of California, Los Angeles, is “the first school of music to be established in the University of California system.” First established in 2007 under the purview of the UCLA School of Arts and Architecture and the UCLA Division of Humanities, the UC Board of Regents formally voted in January 2016 to establish the school. Supported in part by a generous endowment of $30 million from the Herb Alpert Foundation, the school carries several missions: to educate students through collaborations between performance and scholarship, cultural understandings of the art of music throughout the world, curricula centered on what students need to succeed in music and in life, cross disciplinary integration in the context of a great research university, and connections to the musical life of Los Angeles and Southern California.
Richard J. Dumbrill is an archaeomusicologist who was born in France. He has devoted his academic career to the study of the archaeomusicology of the Ancient Near East, especially the interpretation of cuneiform texts of Music Theory written in Sumerian, Babylonian and Hurrian. His interpretation of theory is based on his profound knowledge of Middle-Oriental Musicology. He has rejected previous interpretations which were based on Western Theory and therefore inadequate. One of his greatest achievements was the translation of the oldest song ever written found in northwest syria at the site of Ugarit. He made reconstructions of ancient instruments, notably the Silver lyre of Ur hosted at the British Museum, with Myriam Marcetteau and the Elamite harp of the battle of Ulai, with Margaux Bousquet. He is the founder, with Irving Finkel of the International Council of Near Eastern Archaeomusicology (ICONEA) at the Institute of Musical Research, School of Advanced Studies, University of London,. Richard Dumbrill has lectured at major world university, including Harvard and Yale, but also Babylon, Beirut, Damascus, Leiden, Rotterdam, Paris, etc.