Ecomusicology (from Greek οἶκος, meaning "house"; μουσική, "music"; and -λογία, "study of-") is an academic discipline concerned with the study of music, culture, and nature, and considers musical and sonic issues, both textual and performative, related to ecology and the natural environment. It is in essence a mixture of ecocriticism and musicology (rather than "ecology" and "musicology"), in Charles Seeger's holistic definition.[1][2]


With the increasing intertwined interest in the environment and the sciences in North America from the 1970s, there has been an increase in interest in the term ecomusicology, which was established as a term in the early 21st century in North American and Scandinavian circles.[1] As a field, ecomusicology was created out of a common area of interest between the fields of ecocriticism and musicology, expressed by a range of scholars and artists such as composers, acoustic ecologists, ethnomusicologists, biomusicologists, and others.[3]

Ecomusicology embraces what is today considered the field of historical musicology, ethnomusicology, and related interdisciplinary fields, which while at the same time may enable specialists within each of these fields to interact with academics in the other fields in their approach, it also provides individuals with flexibility to approach an ecocritical study of music through a variety of disciplines and fields.[1]

See also


  • Allen, Aaron S.: "'Fatto di Fiemme': Stradivari and the Musical Trees of the Paneveggio," Invaluable Trees: Cultures of Nature,1660–1830, ed. L. Auricchio, E. H. Cook, and G. Pacini (2012), 301–315
  • Allen, A. S. & Dawe, K., eds. Current Directions in Ecomusicology: Music, Culture, Nature (London & New York, 2016)
  • Feld, S.: "Sound and Sentiment: Birds, Weeping, Poetics, and Song in Kaluli Expression" (Philadelphia, 2/1990)
  • Garrard, G. "Ecocriticism" (London and New York, 2004)
  • Gray, P.M., and others: “The Music of Nature and the Nature of Music,” Science (5 January 2001), 52–4
  • Guy, N.: “Flowing Down Taiwan’s Tasumi River: Towards an Ecomusicology of the Environmental Imagination.” EthM, liii (2009), 218–48
  • Mark, Andrew: "The Sole Mbira: An Ecomusicological Critique of Singularity and North American Zimbabwean Music." TOPIA: Canadian Journal of Cultural Studies, 37. (2017), 157-188.
  • Mark, Andrew: "Keepin' It Real: Musicking and Solidarity, The Hornby Island Vibe." Current Directions in Ecomusicology, edited by Kevin Dawe and Aaron Allen. (2016).
  • Mark, Andrew: "Don't Organize, Mourn: Environmental Loss and Musicking." Ethics & the Environment, 21: no. 2. (2016), 51-77.
  • Mark, Andrew: "What is Music For?: Utopian Ecomusicologies and Musicking Hornby Island." PhD Dissertation. York University Faculty of Environmental Studies. (2015), 421 pgs.
  • Mark, Andrew: "Refining Uranium: Bob Wiseman's Ecomusicological Puppetry." Environmental Humanities, 4. (2014), 69-94.
  • Pedelty, M.: Ecomusicology: Rock, Folk, and the Environment (Philadelphia, 2012).
  • Pedelty, M.: A Song to Save the Salish Sea: Musical Performance as Environmental Activism (Bloomington, 2016).
  • Rehding, A.: “Eco-musicology,” JRMA, cxxvii/2 (2002), 305–20
  • Shevock, D.J. Eco-Literate Music Pedagogy (London & New York, 2018)
  • Sorce Keller, M. “The Windmills of my Mind – Musings about Haydn, Kant, Sonic Ecology, and Hygiene”, in Gisa Jähnichen and Chinthaka Meddegoda (eds.), Music – Dance and Environment. Serdang: Universiti Putra Malaysia Press, 2013, 1–31.
  • Toliver, B. "Eco-ing in the Canyon: Ferde Grofé’s Grand Canyon Suite and the Transformation of Wilderness,” JAMS, lvii (2004), 325–67
  • Troup, M, ed., Guildhall School of Music and Drama Review (1972)
  • Von Glahn, D. "The Sounds of Place: Music and the American Cultural Landscape," (Boston, 2003)
  • Von Glahn, D. Music and the Skillful Listener: American Women Compose the Natural World (Bloomington, 2013)


  1. ^ a b c Allen, Aaron S. (forthcoming 2013), "Ecomusicology", Grove Dictionary of American Music, New York: Oxford University Press Check date values in: |year= (help)
  2. ^ " – Main Page". Retrieved 1 April 2013.
  3. ^ Allen, Aaron S. (Summer 2011). "Ecomusicology: Ecocriticism and Musicology" (PDF). Journal of the American Musicological Society. 64 (2): 392–393. doi:10.1525/jams.2011.64.2.391. Retrieved 2013-04-01.

External links

Arts-based environmental education

Arts-based environmental education (AEE) brings art education and environmental education together in one undertaking. The approach has two essential characteristics. The first is that it refers to a specific kind of environmental education that starts off from an artistic approach. Different from other types of outdoor or environmental education which offer room for aesthetic experiences, AEE turns the tables in a fundamental way. Art is not an added quality, the icing on the cake; it is rather the point of departure in the effort to find ways in which people can connect to their environment. A second fundamental characteristic is that AEE is one of the first contemporary approaches of bringing together artistic practice and environmental education in which practitioners also made an attempt to formulate an epistemology.

Ecological humanities

The ecological humanities (also environmental humanities) is an interdisciplinary area of research, drawing on the many environmental sub-disciplines that have emerged in the humanities over the past several decades (in particular environmental literature, environmental philosophy, environmental history and environmental anthropology). The ecological humanities aim to help bridge traditional divides between the sciences and the humanities, and between Western, Eastern and Indigenous ways of knowing the natural world and the place of humans in it (Rose 2004).

The ecological humanities are characterised by a connectivity ontology and a commitment to two fundamental axioms relating to the need to submit to ecological laws and to see humanity as part of a larger living system.

Educational trail

An educational trail (or sometimes educational path), nature trail or nature walk is a specially developed hiking trail or footpath that runs through the countryside, along which there are marked stations or stops next to points of natural, technological or cultural interest. These may convey information about, for example, flora and fauna, soil science, geology, mining, ecology or cultural history. Longer trails, that link more widely spaced natural phenomena or structures together, may be referred to as themed trails or paths.

In order to give a clearer explanation of the objects located at each station, display boards or other exhibits are usually erected, in keeping with the purpose of the trail. These may include: information boards, photographs and pictures, maps or plans, display cases and models, slides, sound or multimedia devices, facilities to enable experimentation and so on. The routes are regularly maintained.

Educational trails with a strong thematic content may also be called "theme paths", "theme trails" or "theme routes", or may be specially named after their subject matter, for example the Welsh Mountain Zoo Trail, Anglezarke Woodland Trail, Cheshire Lines Railway Path, Great Harwood Nature Trail, Irwell Sculpture Trail, Salthill Quarry Geology Trail and Wildlife Conservation Trail.

The purpose of such trails is to increase knowledge, sometimes this is linked to tourism and recreation or the raising of environmental awareness. Often, the stations provide imaginative and interactive ways to experience nature. Occasionally, guided tours with expert guides are available.

Environmental hermeneutics

Environmental hermeneutics is a term for a wide range of scholarship that applies the techniques and resources of the philosophical field of hermeneutics to environmental issues. That is to say it addresses issues of interpretation as they relate to nature and environmental issues broadly conceived to include wilderness, ecosystems, landscapes, ecology, the built environment (architecture), life, embodiment, and more. Work in environmental philosophy, ecocriticism, environmental theology, ecotheology, and similar disciplines may overlap the field of environmental hermeneutics.

In the public sphere, much of the focus on “the environment” is concerned with discovering scientific facts and then reporting how policy can act on these facts. On its face, philosophical hermeneutics might appear to be an unrelated enterprise. But... even the facts of the sciences are given meaning by how humans interpret them. Of course this does not mean that there are no facts, or that all facts must come from scientific discourse. Rather... [it calls] for mediation—the mediation that grounds the interpretive task of connecting fact and meaning through a number of different structures and forms. (Clingerman, et al. 2013, emphasis added)

Environmental journalism

Environmental journalism is the collection, verification, production, distribution and exhibition of information regarding current events, trends, issues and people that are associated with the non-human world with which humans necessarily interact. To be an environmental journalist, one must have an understanding of scientific language and practice, knowledge of historical environmental events, the ability to keep abreast of environmental policy decisions and the work of environmental organizations, a general understanding of current environmental concerns, and the ability to communicate all of that information to the public in such a way that it can be easily understood, despite its complexity.

Environmental journalism falls within the scope of environmental communication, and its roots can be traced to nature writing. One key controversy in environmental journalism is a continuing disagreement over how to distinguish it from its allied genres and disciplines.

Environmentalism in music

Environmentalism has occasionally been a topic in music, primarily since the 1940s. However, the earliest songs including environmentalist topics can be traced back to the 19th century, earliest of which is "Woodman! Spare that Tree!" by George Pope Morris and Henry Russell. Ecomusicologists (musicologists and ethnomusicologists focusing on music and environmental issues) and music educators are increasingly emphasizing the intersections of music and nature, and musicking for ecological activism.This topic was significantly more relevant in music in the '40s after World War II and has continually progressed over time. There are many artists across the world that advocate environmentalism such as the Barenaked Ladies, Bonnie Raitt, Cloud Cult, Dave Matthews Band, Don Henley, Drake, Green Day, Guster, Jack Johnson, KT Tunstall, Metallica, Moby, Pearl Jam, Perry Farrell, Phish. The Roots, Sarah Harmer, Sheryl Crow, Thom Yorke, Willie Nelson, and many others.In addition to being a topic of music, Environmentalism has been increasingly prevalent among artists and the music industry itself. An example is the push for CDs to be packaged in cardboard rather than plastic. Also, many music festivals such as Bonnaroo make significant efforts to be sustainable.

Holly Arntzen

Holly Arntzen is a singer, dulcimer player, and pianist from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Holly Arntzen has been an active participant on the Salish Sea eco-music scene, forming The Wilds Band along with partner Kevin Wright.

Arntzen and Wright are the core of the Artist Response Team (ART), an independent production house that specializes in entertainment that educates about ecology.

They have generated significant awareness of the Salish Sea through their Voices Of Nature school music programs and a growing movement of Ecomusicology. In 2016 ART produced the first annual Rock The Salish Sea! Tour to seven communities including Victoria, Duncan, Nanaimo, Campbell River, Powell River, North Vancouver and Vancouver. The Wilds performed with large choirs of school children in professional theatre concerts, singing their original eco-rock songs, including Up Your Watershed, Salish Sea, 40 Million Salmon Can't Be Wrong, Waiting For Orca and I Am The Future'.'

In 2000 ART produced a CD called Salish Sea, featuring songs about ocean protection, followed two years later by the Salish Sea: Handbook for Educators (K-7). It was given the certification of "Provincially Recommended" by the British Columba Ministry of Education and has been used by teachers throughout the province.

Their program to take the ecological message to children and schools around the Salish Sea is supported by The SHAW Centre of the Salish Sea, Cattle Point Foundation; and Western Washington's Salish Sea Studies Institute, Western Washington University.Arntzen's family is a particularly musical one. In 2006, Gwendoline Records issued a live CD titled 3 Generations in Jazz, featuring Holly's father Lloyd Arntzen along with his two sons and two grandsons, recorded at Vancouver’s Cellar Jazz Café. Holly performed with her father in the late '70s and early '80s singing traditional jazz and blues at Vancouver venues such as the Hot Jazz Club. She recorded Lloyd's original folk song, Where The Coho Flash Silver in 1979, and sang it at major folk festivals across Canada including the Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary and Winnipeg Folk Festivals. In 2012 the Wilds performed the Coho Song at the Coho Festival in West Vancouver, along with Holly's nephews, Evan Arntzen (clarinet/sax) and Arnt Arntzen (banjo/guitar).

Arntzen plays a unique style of dulcimer. She got her first dulcimer in 1975; it was built on Cortes Island, by Klaus Maibauer—a highly skilled architect, carpenter, furniture builder and craftsman who built his own tools, including a band saw. He only ever made about 16 dulcimers. The early ones in the series were teardrop shaped and had diatonic frets (which is what dulcimers traditionally have.) After playing it for a couple of years, Arntzen requested that Maibauer build one for her that had a slimmer neck (so she could hold it like a guitar) and diatonic frets to allow her to play more complex chords. This resulted in Arntzen's innovative dulcimer style. She plays it with a slide, and many different tunings.

List of musicology topics

This is a list of musicology topics. Musicology is the scholarly study of music. A person who studies music is a musicologist. The word is used in narrow, intermediate and broad senses. In the narrow sense, musicology is confined to the music history of Western culture. In the intermediate sense, it includes all relevant cultures and a range of musical forms, styles, genres and traditions, but tends to be confined to the humanities - a combination of historical musicology, ethnomusicology, and the humanities of systematic musicology (philosophy, theoretical sociology, aesthetics). In the broad sense, it includes all musically relevant disciplines (both humanities and sciences) and all manifestations of music in all cultures, so it also includes all of systematic musicology (including psychology, biology, and computing).

List of non-fiction environmental writers

This is a list of non-American, non-fiction environmental writers.

See also: List of American non-fiction environmental writers.

Maja Trochimczyk

Maja Trochimczyk (born Maria Anna Trochimczyk; 30 December 1957 in Warsaw, Poland, other name: Maria Anna Harley) is a Californian music historian, writer and poet of Polish descent. She published six poetry books: Rose Always – A Love Story, 2017; Miriam’s Iris, or Angels in the Garden, 2008; Slicing the Bread: Children's Survival Manual in 25 Poems (Finishing Line Press, 2014); Into Light: Poems and Incantations; The Rainy Bread - Poems from Exile,, 2016; an anthology Chopin with Cherries, 2010), and a multi-faith anthology Meditations on Divine Names.Her poems and photographs appear in numerous journals and anthologies, including: Clockwise Cat,", "Ekphrasis, Epiphany Magazine,", the Lily Review, Loch Raven Review, Magnapoets, Quill and Parchment, Phantom Seed, poeticdiversity, Sage Trail, San Gabriel Valley Poetry Quarterly, The Original Van Gogh's Ear Anthology, Poetry Super Highway, The Scream Online, The Houston Literary Review, and other venues. She may be heard discussing her poetry on KPFK's Poets' Cafe, interviewed by Lois P. Jones in 2011. Video recordings of Trochimczyk's poetry are found on YouTube channel of Moonrise Press and Poetry LA.

As a music historian, she published six books of music studies and essays: After Chopin: Essays in Polish Music (USC, 2000); The Music of Louis Andriessen (Routledge, 2002) including interviews with the composer and analyses of his music; Polish Dance in California (Columbia UP, East European Monographs, 2007); A Romantic Century in Polish Music,; Frédéric Chopin: A Research and Information Guide. Co-edited with William Smialek in the series Routledge Music Bibliographies (New York: Routledge, 2015). and Lutoslawski: Music and Legacy a collection of essays about Witold Lutoslawski, co-edited with Stanislaw Latek and published jointly by Polish Institute of Arts and Sciences in Canada (Montreal) and the Polska Akademia Umiejetnosci (Krakow, Poland) in 2014., ISBN 978-0-986-88514-3

In 2001, she created a site on Polish folk dance at the USC Polish Music Center, with entries about various Polish dance types and folk dance groups active in California. An article in the Cosmopolitan Review shows the unwitting dependence of folk dance movement in America on Stalinist aesthetics and ideology.Trochimczyk wrote 18 book chapters and 27 peer-reviewed articles on music and culture, listed on her website with publication details, publications before 2000 appeared under the name of Maria Anna Harley. Her study of Gorecki's ideas of motherhood and his Third Symphony was published in The Musical Quarterly in 1998 and reprinted in a special issue of the Polish Music Journal dedicated to Gorecki in 2003. Her work on spatial music and its composers, such as Henry Brant or Iannis Xenakis, appeared in: American Music, Computer Music Journal, The PDF of her doctoral dissertation, "Space and Spatialization in Contemporary Music: History and Analysis, Ideas and Implementations" (McGill University, 1994), is available from Moonrise Press. An article on Grazyna Bacewicz and Picasso was issued by the Journal of Musicological Research.. Trochimczyk's work on Bartok's concept of nature and his birdsong portrayals appeared in Studia Musicologica and Tempo. Zbigniew Skowron's book Lutoslawski Studies included her chapter on Witold Lutoslawski's musical symbols of death, while Halina Goldberg's The Age of Chopin featured a study of extreme nationalism in the reception of Chopin, associated with the concept of the "Polish race.". A presenter at the Second and Third International Chopin Congresses in Warsaw, Poland (in 1999 and 2010 respectively), she published articles in their proceedings.,. She maintains a popular Chopin blog, Chopin with Cherries. Trochimczyk also wrote about Chopin reception by women composers in the Polish Review (2000), and by poets in the Polish-American Studies. The latter journal issued her study of the image of Paderewski, explored earlier in the Polish Music Journal. A recent research interest is the immigration of Polish composers to America, discussed in a chapter in Anna Mazurkiewicz's East Central Europe in Exile, vol. 1, and in Polin, vol. 19, Polish-Jewish Relations in North America. She also edited the proceedings of the first conference on Polish Jewish Music held in 1998 at USC for the Polish Music Journal.

. Eva Mantzouriani's Polish Music after 1945 included Trochimczyk's chapter on the events of 1968.

A recipient of fellowships/awards from McGill University, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, University of Southern California, Polish American Historical Association, and American Council of Learned Societies, Dr. Trochimczyk served as poet laureate of Sunland-Tujunga, Los Angeles in 2010–2012, and as the President of the Helena Modjeska Arts and Culture Club in Los Angeles in 2010–2012. For the Club, she organized over 30 events (lectures, concerts, film screenings, and receptions) during her tenure, documented on the blog, Among other activities, she presented the Modjeska Prizes to eminent Polish actors, Jan Nowicki, Barbara Krafftowna, and Anna Dymna. As the Poet Laureate of Sunland-Tujunga, she wrote a monthly column for a community paper, The Voice of the Village. She continued poetic activities in the local community as member of the Planning Committee of the Village Poets of Sunland-Tujunga, as well as the owner of the Moonrise Press. Simultaneously, she has held the position of an officer and newsletter editor of the Polish American Historical Association since 2009,. In 2011 she became a member of the editorial board of the Ecomusicology Newsletter of the Ecomusicology Study Group of the American Musicological Society.

In 2012, Trochimczyk received a medal from the Ministry of Culture and the Arts of Poland for the promotion of Polish culture. Her volunteering has also been recognized by the City and County of Los Angeles. In 2013, she was nominated to serve as Chair of Culture Committee in the Polonia Advisory Board for the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in Los Angeles. In 2015, she received the Distinguished Service Award from the Polish American Historical Association and in 2016 the Creative Arts Prize from the same organization for her poetry volumes about Polish civilian experience in WWII and its aftermath, Slicing the Bread and The Rainy Bread.

Music psychology

Music psychology, or the psychology of music, may be regarded as a branch of both psychology and musicology. It aims to explain and understand musical behaviour and experience, including the processes through which music is perceived, created, responded to, and incorporated into everyday life. Modern music psychology is primarily empirical; its knowledge tends to advance on the basis of interpretations of data collected by systematic observation of and interaction with human participants. Music psychology is a field of research with practical relevance for many areas, including music performance, composition, education, criticism, and therapy, as well as investigations of human attitude, skill, performance, intelligence, creativity, and social behavior.

Music psychology can shed light on non-psychological aspects of musicology and musical practice. For example, it contributes to music theory through investigations of the perception and computational modelling of musical structures such as melody, harmony, tonality, rhythm, meter, and form. Research in music history can benefit from systematic study of the history of musical syntax, or from psychological analyses of composers and compositions in relation to perceptual, affective, and social responses to their music. Ethnomusicology can benefit from psychological approaches to the study of music cognition in different cultures.

Nature writing

Nature writing is nonfiction or fiction prose or poetry about the natural environment. Nature writing encompasses a wide variety of works, ranging from those that place primary emphasis on natural history facts (such as field guides) to those in which philosophical interpretation predominate. It includes natural history essays, poetry, essays of solitude or escape, as well as travel and adventure writing.Nature writing often draws heavily on scientific information and facts about the natural world; at the same time, it is frequently written in the first person and incorporates personal observations of and philosophical reflections upon nature.

Modern nature writing traces its roots to the works of natural history that were popular in the second half of the 18th century and throughout the 19th. An important early figures was the "parson-naturalist" Gilbert White (1720 – 1793), a pioneering English naturalist and ornithologist. He is best known for his Natural History and Antiquities of Selborne (1789).

William Bartram (1739 – 1823) is a significant early American pioneer naturalist who first work was published in 1791.

Outline of music

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to music:

Music – human expression in the medium of time using the structures of sounds or tones and silence. It is expressed in terms of pitch, rhythm, harmony, and timbre.


Psychogeography is an exploration of urban environments that emphasizes playfulness and "drifting". It has links to the Situationist International. Psychogeography was defined in 1955 by Guy Debord as "the study of the precise laws and specific effects of the geographical environment, consciously organized or not, on the emotions and behavior of individuals." It has also been defined as "a total dissolution of boundaries between art and life". Another definition is "a whole toy box full of playful, inventive strategies for exploring cities... just about anything that takes pedestrians off their predictable paths and jolts them into a new awareness of the urban landscape."

Sculpture trail

A sculpture trail - also known as "a culture walk" or "art trail" - is a walkway through open-air galleries of outdoor sculptures along a defined route with sequenced viewings encountered from planned preview and principal sight lines.

Themed walk

A themed walk is a walk along which there are information boards covering a specific topic or theme, such as regional history, industrial history, mining or forestry. Features of nature (e.g. raised bogs or biotopes) or of geology are often laid out as special educational paths. Municipal authorities or local societies are usually responsible for their establishment and maintenance.

The paths are usually several kilometres long and are used both for educational purposes and recreation. They may connect places, buildings or natural features that have a particular theme in common by a signed route, but may also have specifically positioned exhibits.

Whilst themed walks are often designed to encourage walking, educational paths and nature trail tend to be aimed more at educating or training.

In Austria there are more than 300 themed walks. These paths are intended to give summer tourism in the Alps a new impulse, but are also helping to improve the network of footpaths.

Whole Terrain

Whole Terrain: Journal of Reflective Environmental Practice is an environmentally-themed literary journal that is published approximately once a year by Antioch University New England (ANE). Each volume explores emerging ecological and social issues from the perspectives of practitioners working in the environmental field. The editor position is open to current ANE students as a practicum experience.

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