Ethnography Music

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An Ethnography of Megan Hamilton concert in Bozeman Montana
I lived my life in a musical family probably because my parents used to listen to various
types of music. This actually inspired me and as time went by I also became in love with music
and started listening to different types of music (Shibazaki et al., 2017). At first, my favorite
genre of music was Rock music but with the invention of new technology which gave birth to
electronic and house music my choice of music changed a lot and I started listening to a lot of
electronic and house music and especially when I became an adult to be able to attend concerts, I
started attending majority of the electronic and house concerts which has actually become part of
my life now.
For my ethnography, my main observation would be centered upon the concert for
Megan Hamilton which was held at Bozeman Montana at the downtown zebra bar. This was a
concert that the main event was to be held at night but due to anxiety and the happy feeling that
most of the people had including the majority of my friends, by the time, it reaches twelve
o’clock in the afternoon a crowd of people had already started gathering into the Zebra Bar.
It was a surprising moment and the reason for this is because I thought I was the only
person anxious to go to this concert only to find out there were many of us. The reason as to why
I decided to go to this concert as early as possible is to be able to acquire the front seats at the bar
so that I could get a better view of the entire concert and also I think it is the same reason as to
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why majority of the other people came to this concert early. Other than this, it was actually
advantageous for me because I knew would be able to interview people in regards as to how they
felt about this concert and I knew I will acquire a positive and accurate response from them at
this particular time than the night time when the concert was scheduled to start.
Even though the period between 12:00 pm and 19:00 pm seemed to be very long and I
was losing my patience, everyone that was already seemed to be having a great moment already
and the reason for this is because everyone was already dancing to their favorite music that was
being played at the bar and even some of them were already drunk and this is a clear indication
that music is part of the culture of the people living at Bozeman Montana.
At this particular time, the bar was already busy as I watched the waiters of this bar
attending to the different clients that were coming in. Each and every moment I could spot a new
face coming into the bar and I felt excited about this because I knew I would be a happy and
memorable day for me in my life (Shibazaki et al., 2017). A this particular time I had to figure it
out how I would approach these people in order to get feedback from them about the concert,
music and their culture and felt that the best moment is when everyone had finished taking their
drinks and also when everyone was a bit tired from dancing and was settled awaiting for the
main event.
With this ethnography it will help me understand the different culture of different people
in Bozeman Montana and especially in the United States as a whole since we all know that the
United States is a land that shelters people from different ethnicity and backgrounds and also the
concert itself was not meant only for the people living in Bozeman Montana but also for the
other people in other states. It will also enable me know and understand how music plays an
important role in the various people’s lives and the reason as to why people love music and they
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cannot do without it. For as an individual, I love music since it acts as a source of inspiration for
me and at the times when I am down, with music normally everything is ok for me. In regards to
my own way of thinking, I think different people have different reason as to why they love
listening to music and the reason for this is because some people might listen to music and attend
to various concerts only because music is a source of entertainment for them but others have a
deeper meaning for this and the reason for this is because music might have changed their lives
in a certain way and thus they cannot live without it.
Bozeman Montana is a town and also a county seat of Gallatin County in the United
States. The town is located in the southwest region of Montana and in the year 2016 it was stated
that the region had a population of about 45,250 people which made it be the fourth largest city
or town in Montana. The cool climate and the overview of the nearby mountains that surrounds
the town is what makes it interesting and also it is what attracts many people to come and live in
this town.
Zebra Cocktail Lounge and Bar is located near the Emerson Center for the Arts and
Culture and according to the management and the staff members at this lounge, their main
intention is to provide quality products and services to the people that visit their bar. Also,
according to the staff members at this lounge and bar, they recognize music as being a key player
in majority of people’s lives and also being part of the culture of many people and for this reason
the management of the bar tries to be diverse in terms of the music that they play at the bar. Each
and every day, the bar usually holds different events in the sense that different music bands and
artist are usually hosted to entertain people at the lounge and because every individual has
his/her own favorite music and believes, each and every day the bar is usually crowded by
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different people from different places which have actually made music to be part of the culture of
the people living in Bozeman.
Since Bozeman is a small town, at first it was a quiet town that only had people that were
minding their own business as if they did not think and value music at all in their lives. But when
the Zebra lounge and bar was implemented at the town, things started to change and what was
once considered a small and quiet town became the most entertaining town to live at.
First Observation: 04/20/2018, 12:00 pm – 20:00 pm
As mention above, I was anxious to attend this concert and that’s the reason as to why I
made an early preparation for this concert. I made sure that by 12:00 pm, I was already in the
lounge so that I could get the front sites in order to get a clear overview of the entire concert. It
was a surprise to find out that other people were already in the lounge waiting for the big
moment (Shibazaki et al., 2017). That means I was not the only person anxiously waiting for this
event. At this particular time and moment, there were various memorable moments that I
observed. The main event was to start at 8:00 pm but by 12:00 pm in the afternoon people were
already at the dance flow dancing to their favorite music with their love once and even other
could sing each verse of the electronic and house music that was being played. This was a clear
indication that music was a valuable asset to everyone lives.
At this particular time, I also had an opportunity to interview some of the waiters that
were attending to the people at the lounge and also some of the people that were enjoying
themselves. The response that I got from both of these people was amazing and the reason for
this is because the waiters responded by saying that, they acknowledge that life without any
music is like living in a desert and that’s why they value it so much. They went and said without
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music, Zebra Lounge, and Bar and Bozeman as a whole won’t be the same and the reason for
this is because they feel that Zebra Lounge and Bar has played a significant role in changing the
lives of many people in this place because each and every day a new band is invited at the lounge
and also each and every day new clients attend these concerts which is an indication that music is
an inspiration to many people and also it means a lot to many people.
Second Observation: 04/20/2018, 20:00pm-06:00am
At this particular time, is when the main event was held. The lounge was crowded with
people that love music and the most amazing parts are that the crowd could sing along with the
band as they entertained the crowd. The set up for the stage was amazing in the sense that, they
used lighting that was of various colors which actually created an atmosphere that was appealing
for a music concert and also for entertainment purposes. At this particular moment, everyone
seems social to each other in the sense that you could dance with anybody which was a clear
indication that music unites people and it does not matter if you are of a certain race, background
or ethnicity. All is one with music. I was able to interview some of my friends at this particular
time about how they felt in regards to the concert and one of my friends said that before he knew
about this concert his mind was filled with stress but after he knew about the concert and decided
to attend it, all the stress that he had disappeared from his mind (Shibazaki et al., 2017). Since
the ancient time’s music was a way to unite people in the community and also it was part of the
celebrations that took place and up to today it is the same thing, the only aspect about music that
has changed is technology that is being used in music but is all the same.
With this concert, I realized that I am a social person in the sense that I made a lot of
friends in this concert and also it was not difficult for me to interact with the people at the
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concert and for this reason I came to know and understand the different ideas that people have in
their minds and how they feel and value music in their lives. I also understand that sometimes
life can be complicated but with music, everything can turn to be ok.
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Works Cited
Shibazaki, Kagari, and Nigel A. Marshall. “Exploring the impact of music concerts in promoting
well-being in dementia care.” Aging & mental health 21.5 (2017): 468-476.
You need to write an ethnography about a musical event. This process is covered in class,
but in a nutshell, you will need to attend a musical event this semester, take notes and
interview people, and then write your paper. Make sure to include the date of the event in
your paper. There are many examples of ethnographies in your textbook, so you will have an
opportunity to learn different approaches to this kind of writing. As you search for an event,
keep in mind that you may go to a formal concert, a bar, a café, a church service, a house
party, a festival–you name it. Just make sure that music is a significant part of the event.
Formatting: Please make sure that you use Times New Roman 12-point font and double
space the body of your paper. (Your name, the date, and course number should be singlespaced at the top.) If you are using MS Word, please go to Format > Paragraph, and check
“Don’t add space between paragraphs of the same style.” You need to write at least 1000
words, which equals about three double-spaced pages. Please submit a doc or docx file
to the Assignments dropbox section here on D2L on or before the due date.
Rubric/Scoring Guide:
20% – Write an all-inclusive account of the event.
25% – Incorporate material from your interviews. (This material should take up at least 1/4 of
your paper.)
20% – Use detailed, specific language.
15% – Fulfill the length requirement.
10% – Use correct spelling and grammar.
10% – Format your paper according to the instructions.
You do not need to do any outside research for this paper, but if you do, you must cite your
source(s) using the MLA style. If you need to review the MLA style, go to The Purdue OWL.
Also, any general background information must be in addition to the 1000-word minimum.
Fundamentally, this process is about inquiry. You are on a search for meaning.
Remember, this assignment gives you an opportunity to explore and interpretthe
connections between music and culture. At the event, you will have to become a participantobserver (insofar as you can), investigate what is going on, ask others what the event means
to them, and interpret their answers. While writing, you will have to describe the scene,
convey others’ thoughts, and, I would hope, discover something that you did not know
If you need some questions to consider, I have listed ten below. These questions are
inspired by Theory for Ethnomusicology by Ruth M. Stone. If you use these questions during
an interview, you should ask them in a way that fits the situation. So you may want to
reword them. Just sayin’.
• How does the music express and inform different values, beliefs, and ideas?
• How does the music express and inform sentiments and experience?
• How does the music express and inform identity?
• How are positions of power expressed?
• How significant is the difference between how a performer acts on stage as opposed to
• How is the performance “scripted” in terms of social expectations?
• How constrained or liberated is the performer’s role?
• How does the audience affect the performer? Which ways are important (auditory, visual,
• How does a particular context affect the performance of a given style?
• How does the experience of the event affect the meaning of the music for musicians and
audience members?

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