Course Details

Course offered Spring 2012

Honors 394 B: Puget Sounds - Ethnomusicology Archiving Close to Home (A&H / SSc)

Honors 394 B: Puget Sounds – Ethnomusicology Archiving Close to Home (A&H / SSc)

SLN 14439 (View UW registration info »)

John Vallier (Ethnomusicology; Libraries)
Office: Suzzallo Library 370A, Box 352900
Phone: 206 616-1210

Credits: 5
Limit: 30 students

Honors Credit Type

What’s distinctive about music in the Puget Sound region? What’s the history of music in this region and what is its current character? What can we do-as fans, scholars, students, and archivists-to preserve and provide access to this music?

This class is about community, music, and archives. In it we will both learn about music in the region and work with community members to archive regional music that deserves long-term preservation and access. To this end we will contribute to an already existing collection of regional music held by the UW Libraries: see During the first part of the quarter we will dialog with music community members about their archiving needs. What music would they like archived? What kind of access should be given to these materials? Are there copyright or ethical issues that impede access? What preservation issues are there? How do we tag and describe the recordings? Class time will be spent answering these questions and reflecting on readings about archiving and NW music history. After determining community needs and a sound course of action, we will spend the remainder of the quarter collaboratively creating and curating our archives. These activities will be guided by readings in ethnomusicology, archival studies, and music criticism. No prior musical expertise is required, but an interest in music and a desire to learn more about archives and music of the Puget Sound is recommended. Student learning goals include: broader understanding and appreciation of the plurality of musics in the Puget Sound; nuanced and critical understanding of what meanings music can convey; increased comfort with contributing to discussions and projects in a collaborative setting; grounding in basic ethnomusicological field techniques, copyright complexities, and archival practices.

A writing journal, in class presentations, and an end of quarter paper or project will be required. Grading will be based on student participation, writings, presentations, and the final archival paper or project.

Readings may include:
Armbruster, Kurt E. 2011. Before Seattle rocked: a city and its music. Seattle: University of Washington Press.
Casey, Mike, and Bruce Gordon. 2007. Sound directions best practices for audio preservation. [Bloomington]: Indiana University.
Daniel, Sharon. 2010. “Hybrid Practices”. Cinema Journal. 48 (2): 154-60.
Derrida, Jacques. 1996. Archive fever: a Freudian impression. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Vallier, John. 2010. “Sound Archiving Close to Home: Why Community Partnerships Matter.” Notes. 67 (1).