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. 2018. 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)


  1. ^ a b c Allen, Aaron S. (forthcoming 2013), "Ecomusicology", Grove Dictionary of American Music, New York: Oxford University Press  Check date values in: date= (help)
  2. ^ "Ecomusicology.info – 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