Our aim is to study music and sonic phenomena in general from a wide range of anthropological perspectives. However, for our understanding, anthropologists (like many others concerned with the study of music) tend to neglect the aesthetic dimension of music and sound. Therefore, one of our main theoretical goals is to study ways in which actual sounds, musical or nun-musical, interconnect with their social and cultural surroundings through sonic experience. Methodologically, we rely on long-term ethnographic fieldwork.

September 23, 2020

The kora and emancipation in secular and liturgical music

The kora, a bridge harp of the Manding peoples of West Africa is an instrument of both, backward-looking and affirmative utopias. The musicians playing the kora, called jali or griots, sing about past empires, historical rulers and contemporary leaders.
June 10, 2020

Sound of Freedom

The dissertation project aims to examine American conservatism from a culture-oriented perspective.Following Arlie Hochschild (2016), American conservatism is thereby understood as a general way of life in which a nature-oriented lifestyle and, related to this, individual freedom are central elements.
September 14, 2020

Existential aesthetics of Malagasy heavy metal

Thinking of music in Africa, the persisting images are those of either (neo-)traditional African styles or “Africanized” versions of Western sounds. It is the central aim of this project to challenge this view and rethink the nature of popular music in Africa by exploring the striking role of rock and heavy metal music in Madagascar’s capital Antananarivo.

More information about the initiators and contributors of the AoM.