Theory for Ethnomusicology: Histories, Conversations, Insights, Second Edition, is a foundational work for courses in ethnomusicological theory. The book examines key intellectual movements and topic areas in social and cultural theory, and explores the way they have been taken up in ethnomusicological research. New co-author Harris M. Berger and Ruth M. Stone investigate the discipline’s past, present, and future, reflecting on contemporary concerns while cataloging significant developments since the publication of the first edition in 2008.

A dozen contributors approach a broad range of theoretical topics alive in ethnomusicology. Each chapter examines ethnographic and historical works from within ethnomusicology, showcasing the unique contributions scholars in the field have made to wider, transdisciplinary dialogs, while illuminating the field’s relevance and pointing the way toward new horizons of research.

New to this edition:

  • Every chapter in the book is completely new, with richer and more comprehensive discussions.
  • New chapters have been added on gender and sexuality, sound and voice studies, performance and critical improvisation studies, and theories of participation.
  • New text boxes and notes make connections among the chapters, emphasizing points of contact and conflict among intellectual movements.

chapter |25 pages


ByHarris M. Berger, Ruth M. Stone

chapter 1|25 pages

Linguistic and Semiotic Approaches to Ethnomusicology

From Abstract Structure to Situated Practice
ByJayson Beaster-Jones

chapter 2|20 pages

Marxist Approaches to Music, Political Economy, and the Culture Industries

Ethnomusicological Perspectives
ByPeter Manuel

chapter 3|28 pages

Theories of Gender and Sexuality

From the Village to the Anthropocene
ByJane C. Sugarman

chapter 4|15 pages

Constructing Race and Engaging Power through Music

Ethnomusicology and Critical Approaches to Race
ByMaureen Mahon

chapter 5|27 pages

Theories of the Post-colonial and Globalization

Ethnomusicologists Grapple with Power, History, Media, and Mobility
ByJeremy Wallach, Esther Clinton

chapter 6|35 pages

Performance Studies and Critical Improvisation Studies in Ethnomusicology

Understanding Music and Culture through Situated Practice
ByEllen Waterman

chapter 7|28 pages

Decentering Music

Sound Studies and Voice Studies in Ethnomusicology
ByKatherine Meizel, J. Martin Daughtry

chapter 8|15 pages

Phenomenology and Phenomenological Ethnomusicology

Approaches to the Lived Experience of Music
ByHarris M. Berger

chapter 9|14 pages

Theories of Participation

ByMatthew Rahaim