Music Of Cari
1. An ethnographic interview is an attempt to get information about how people see the world through their own cultural and/or personal lens. An oral history interview is a way to collect and document personal stories and memories. It is usually either audio or videotaped so that the stories are recorded as general knowledge about a person's experiences and world view in the context of their culture, generation, and location.
Why would we do this kind of project in a music class?
This particular class is a class that explores music through its context and importance within society as well as its particular history as it relates to world history and events. Interviewing people is a way to get a better idea about "what it was like" in a time before we were around. It is a way to learn about historical events through the eyes of different people. Often history is told through a na
ow perspective whereas actually there are many "stories" about "what happened" or "what things were like" that actually don't get told. This is your chance to hear stories from people in your own family or community. You may relate it to music but it depends on who you interview as to how relevant actual "music history" is. My goal is to show that individual stories and perspectives are just as important as the perspectives that you hear on the news media, films and books.
If it were not for ethnographic research we would not have as much information about history and about music in the context of history. So please enjoy this project. You may use some of the information from this class to formulate different questions that you may find interesting. For example if you KNOW that the subject is from the Dominican Republic, you might ask them what their experiences were dancing to bachata or if they ever went to a palo festival and then ask them to describe the experience. The more personal you make the interview the more interesting it will be.
Here are some GENERAL instructions. The ethnographic/oral history interview is meant to start with general questions and then you can think of different questions as you go along.
1) Choose and elder in your family or community 55+ years of age to interview. This maybe a person that you admire, it could be your parents, grandparents, uncle, aunt etc. You will have to record the interview in audio or video as well as take at least one photo which could also be a screen shot. You can conduct the interview on phone but a way to record is prefe
ed. If you do it on Skype or Facetime, please record it and include a screen shot of the interviewee. You can conduct the interview in another language, but you must translate it to English for the final version.
2) Use the following questions as guidelines to conduct the interview. If your interviewee starts talking about something interesting that does not follow your question guideline, still record what they said and you can continue with follow up questions according to what they are talking about. It is good to let them talk about what they want to talk about.
3) This does not necessarily have to be about music. If they are interested in other things let them talk about other things. These questions are my questions but if you have other questions you can certainly use your own questions.
4) The interview should be typed and at least 5 pages long. You must record it on voice memo, computer or video and transcribe it from there. You must include at least one picture or screen shot in your interview. You may also include pictures that the interviewee shows you from the past that you find interesting. You must write an introductory first paragraph where you introduce yourself and state why you chose this particular person to interview. You may then proceed to print it in "question and answer" format OR you can proceed writing the person's story in the form of a biography in the third person. You may also choose to add some quotes from your interviewee in the first person.
PLEASE EXPAND ON QUESTIONS IF THE ANSWERS ARE INTERESTING! ANSWERS OFTEN PROMPT MORE QUESTIONS!
1) What is your name, where were you born, when were you born?
2) What is your earliest memory? What sound was your earliest memory of sound?
3) What kind of music did your parents listen to? Did they listen to music in the house? Did they dance? Did the neighbors dance/listen to music? Did anyone you know play a musical instrument?
4) What was your first job? Where was it? Did you like it? Did you like the people you worked with? Can you talk about them?
5) What do you and did you like to do in your spare time?
6) What is your job or trade now or what was the last job that you had?
7) What kind of spiritual or religious practice have you had? Did you attend church/mosque/synagogue or any other community gatherings having to do with religious or spiritual practices? Was there music at these services? What kind of music was played?
8) Did you get ma
ied? How did you meet your first wife/husband? Describe your wedding. Who was there? What kind of music was there at your wedding if any?
9) Did you know any musicians personally? How did you know them? What did they play? What do you remember about them and the times you saw them play if you did?
10) Who was the oldest member of your family that you remember before they passed away? Tell me about them.
11) What is the biggest change that you see in our society as it is today compared to when you were growing up? Are the challenges the same or different?
12) Do you have any regrets about the decisions that you made in the past? What are they if you had any?
13) What is your fondest memory?
14) Did any political movement affect your life in a positive or negative way?
15) How do you perceive the affects of racism on your life if there were any?
16) Have their been any significant changes in your way of life that have been the result of historical events? Have these changes been good or bad?
17) What do you wish young people would know about today?