Both anthropology and music embrace the method of participant observation: performance and observation of self and others. As a classical musician, I bring a musical heritage in both classical and experimental music performance, and as a cultural anthropologist my training in ethnology allows me to couple musical sensibilities with participant observation. This paper explores three venues of human expression: experimental musical improvisation, musical performance with and for street and working youth in Brazil, and anthropological fieldwork. I argue that the combination of musical expression and participant observation provide unique opportunities to share the universality of lived experiences, while augmenting complex cognition that can lead individual actors and researchers to initiate social change.
First published in Musikethnologie.
Marcia Mikulak. "Music, Anthropology, and the Senses: Cognition for Social Change" (2011). Anthropology Faculty Publications. 8.