Date of Degree

5-2015

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A.

Program

Liberal Studies

Advisor(s)

Sophia Perdikaris

Subject Categories

Music

Keywords

Climate change; Ecomusicology; environmental awareness; indigenous people; Music and the arts; sustainability

Abstract

We are currently living in the midst of a global warming crisis, and running against the clock to counter the rapid depletion of natural resources in an increasingly technology-run world. The first step toward sustainability is to care for our world that is full of vibrant ecosystems and that we must work together to preserve. While the visual arts have served as a cogent platform for the environmental movement, this paper will argue that sound and music have been vastly overlooked in sustainability topics. Place-making music can capture a place's unique spirit and connect listeners with their local ecologies. Therein lies the potential of Ecomusicology, an emerging field, which considers the interconnections between music, culture, and nature. It presents exciting potential in raising awareness about critical environmental issues through music's lens, bridging the many gaps between arts and sciences, nature and culture, human and nonhuman sound worlds, and considering music and sound in supporting sustainability through the concept of aesthetics. This thesis will ask what musical genres are conducive to spreading ecological awareness and what are the artist's and audience's roles in that respect? Sustainability of the technology used toward music-making, awakening people to their natural acoustic surroundings, community-based music to keep endangered indigenous cultures alive, and presenting artists' works that convey climate change through music are innovative ways forward that contribute to our holistic understanding of the interplay of environment and people in times of acute climate change. A music video for the song "Without You" is presented in conjunction with this thesis, to highlight my fieldwork on sustainability topics in Barbuda, W.I.

Included in

Music Commons

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