Cihodariu [Abstract]

A rough guide to musical anthropology   [Full text]

Miriam Cihodariu [1]

Abstract: This paper has set out to be an introductory approach to socio-anthropological studies of music and all human behavior and narratives (as lore) associated to it. The path chosen for this was the somewhat convenient and broad road of a historical outline and the main paradigms that dealt with music. In spite of the so-called “easy” historical approach, philosophy, literature or other earlier sources were not taken into account, focusing only on truly systematic approaches to music, starting with the 19th century, altogether with general social anthropology.As the world becomes increasingly more connected to media, the consumption of music as cultural goods rises as well. It is speculative to assume that this proven increase in quantity will make music a more central part of peoples’ lives, but it will certainly attract more scientific attention to the behavior and perception transformations associated with it. The study of music as everyday “magic” will most likely intensify. Meant to be a guideline through the key-themes and authors relevant when it comes to the social studies’ perspective on music, this paper serves as a good starting point, not offering any all-too-neat answers, but explaining some of the right questions.

Keywords: Musical language, mental perception of music, role of musician in society, musical industry, music and religion, music and the political, music as a commodity, the so-called “world music” in exploitation and copyright issues.

[1] Department of Sociology, University of Bucharest,