What is ecomusicology?

  • Ecomusicology is the study of music, culture and nature in all their complexities. It considers musical and sonic issues, both textual and performative, as they relate to ecology and the environment. 
  • Interest in ecomusicology began in the 1960s and 1970s with the environmental movement in North America, but the term did not become widely-used until around the year 2000. The term itself is a combination of the words ecocriticism and musicology. Musicology is the study of music, which encompasses various aspects of music from all cultures and historical periods. Ecocriticism is the study of the connections between literature and the environment. Musicology has a history of drawing on literary scholarship and ecomusicology is no different. 
  • Works of ecomusicology usually tend to be more political and critical than descriptive and interpretive. Like other types of climate and environmental art, ecomusicology can offer fresh perspectives on confronting large problems such as the climate crisis that draw on human emotions. 

References and additional resources