Capstone Project

A. Students must enroll in ETHNOMU 199—Directed Research or Senior Project in Ethnomusicology--for two quarters.

B. Students must complete a research paper of 25-30 pages in length, based upon fieldwork, archival work, and primary texts. It should use the reference format current in the journal Ethnomusicology.

C. Final approval of the paper is given by two faculty members.

D. Submission of final paper. Students must make three (3) copies of their paper and give the copies to Brenda Galvez, the undergraduate advisor, and the two members of their thesis committee (i.e. the two faculty members who approved their thesis project). The final paper should be turned in by Monday of the 9th week of Spring Quarter.

Thesis Guidelines

Your senior thesis is intended to give you the opportunity to demonstrate your capacity for independent research and thinking, your ability to conduct technical musical analysis and tie it to contextual data and conceptual conclusions, your knowledge of ethnomusicological and other relevant literature, your strengths in thinking conceptually about your data, and your skill in professional writing.

1. Conceptualizing Your Topic
Your thesis should begin with a statement of the problem, and present a unifying idea that relates it to the disciplines of ethnomusicology or systematic musicology, and end with a suitable conclusion derived from your discussion of your topic. In other words, we are not looking for a mere factual survey, but for evidence of issue-based and conceptual thinking in your treatment of your subject. You should contextualize the topic, placing it within a theoretical framework, or you may pose one or more hypotheses and outline the research method you are using. We expect either fieldwork sources and/or work with primary source materials (for example, archival materials, data sets, or texts by significant scholars in their respective disciplines). Research based entirely or substantially on Internet sources is generally not acceptable, unless the topic of the paper itself is Internet based.

2. Tying Your Topic to the Literature
You must situate your question in terms of existing literature (not a literature review, but rather citations of appropriate literature that place your paper within the discourse on your topic). This includes citations from the following sources:

a) Books, articles, and other material related to the topic in broad ways from a variety of disciplines. This is likely to include items dealing with the history, society, politics, religion, etc. of the geocultural region on which you focus.

b) Literature with conceptual relevance, i.e., items bearing upon the theoretical issues raised, methodology, research paradigms, modes of musical analysis, etc. Most of this literature is likely to come from the field of ethnomusicology, but could include sources from anthropology, culture studies, aesthetics and philosophy, or acoustics and music cognition.

c) Literature that deals directly with the subject matter, or with important aspects of the research. For instance, if your topic is songs in Indian film, this category of literature would include works on film music in India and neighboring countries, film music generally, Indian music in general, analogous musical contexts elsewhere, etc.

3. Analysis of Sound
The musical dimension of your topic must be dealt with properly in terms of analysis, using technical terminology and modes of analysis that are appropriate for your data and problem. We encourage the use of transcription, thick description, or computer/mechanical analysis, fully involved with your theoretical context. The musical analysis should not be merely an exercise for its own sake, but must tie in to the conceptual orientation and conclusions of the paper as a whole.

4. Originality of Ideas
This paper is expected to produce original ideas, interpretations, and conclusions, and not be a mere report on secondary sources or simple presentation of other people's ideas; personal interpretations of the data are expected.

5. Writing Style and Layout
The paper must be written in good scholarly style, with accurate syntax, punctuation, and spelling. The following note form styles are acceptable: author/date (for example, the journal Ethnomusicology), Chicago Manual of Style (for example, The Journal of the American Musicological Society) or APA format. The same applies to diagrams, photographs, and other illustrations, which should be appropriate to their respective formats. Locate sub-headings flush to the left margin of the text, and do not center them. Supplementary audio-visual materials (e.g., cassettes, CDs, video) are welcome for presentation during the oral examination, but should not be included with the paper when it is turned in unless they are central to rather than illustrative of your analysis. Last but not least, the paper must have an appropriate title, and your name should appear on the front page.

The text must be double-spaced, with the exception of block quotations (which should be single spaced), footnotes or endnotes (single-spaced) and references cited (which may be either double spaced, or single spaced, with a space in-between each entry). You are required to use 12 point Times New Roman as a font. The length of the paper may range between 40 and 50 pages, not including endnotes and references cited. Pagination is required, and numbers should centered at the top of each page.

You are encouraged to work closely with your advisor. Also feel free to consult faculty members associated with the emphasis with any aspects of the paper that are raised above.