The students in Colby College Department of Music Professor Natalie Zelensky's course Music in Life, Music as Culture: Introduction to Ethnomusicology conduct soundscape ethnographies as part of their course work.
This assignment, Sounds of Colby, asks students to observe and analyze a space on campus in which music plays an integral part (whether implicitly or explicitly). Fieldwork entails identifying a specific site of research, observing the site, and conducting interviews with site participants. Students compile their findings into an essay and then convert it into a short radio broadcast/podcast that integrates sound clips from their observations and interviews.
The ultimate aim of the Sounds of Colby project is for the student-as-ethnomusicologist to better understand the role of music in shaping Colby's campus climate and the ways that Colby students use music to mediate their day-to-day lives while at the college.
Apartment 133: 'Social Epicenter' at Colby
Chase Coleman (Colby College’20) explores the inner workings of music at the Ski Team apartments.
Bollywood? Or Not: Indian Music As Inclusionary Force
Mansi Hitesh (Colby College ’20) examines the diverse tastes in music of Indian students on campus, while noting the simultaneous camaraderie that Bollywood music in particular elicits within the context of being “not there.”
‘I’ve Been Incubated’: The Colby Music Incubator
Noah Barreto (Colby College ’20) examines the establishment, development, and significance of an alternative music space on Colby’s campus.
Music’s Duality: Piper Dorm and the Inner and Outer Workings of Music
Katie Morena (Colby College ’20) explores the intellectually inspiring, physically exhilarating, and socially connecting space fostered by music played in Piper Dorm.
The Megs: A Unique Take On Colby’s A Cappella Culture
Colleen Wright (Colby College ’19) analyzes the makings of the Megs a cappella group.
Aqua City Poets: A CMI Alternative to Colby’s Music Scene
Shamus Connelly (Colby College ’20) takes a close look at the Colby Music Incubator as an artistic, creative, and collaborative outlet for students on campus.
Kendrick Lamar and Frank Ocean at Piper: Shaping Life at Colby
Sam Carter (Colby College ’18) examines the social and musical scene around a dorm room at Piper and the social and musical outlets it provides.
A ‘Family Vibe’: Fluidity, Egalitarianism, and the Megs’ Approach To A Cappella
Kyndhal Stewart (Colby College ’19) examines what makes the Megs unique and the changes this group has undergone in recent years.
In the Mood: Music at the Ski Team Apartments
Ava Baker (Colby College ’18) analyzes correlations between music and social validation, euphoria, and the hook up culture at Colby parties.
Similar, Yet Different: Self-Perception within Colby’s A Cappella Scene
Ileana Glyptis (Colby College '20) compares Colby 8 to the Colbyettes to look at what differentiates each group from other a cappella groups on campus, focusing on the self-defined professionalism of the Colby 8.
C’mon C’mon: Music as Physical, Mental, and Emotional Motivator for Working Out
Elizabeth Kane (Colby College '19) explores the different music people use as motivation for exercising, while engaging the broader question of music’s universals within this case study.
From Musical to Metaphysical Unity: The Colby Symphony Orchestra
Jon Kim (Colby College ’21) examines the group makeup and dynamic of Colby’s Symphony Orchestra to analyze the unique and rewarding experience presented by participating in this group.
From Students to Athletes: Music as Unifying Force for the Colby Lacrosse Team
Mason Brady (Colby College '20) examines the different ways music operates to unify, pump up, and prepare for play for the Colby Men’s lacrosse team.
The Buzz of the Erg: Music in the Colby Erg Room
Abe Hill (Colby College '20) studies the wide-ranging function of music among members of the Men’s and Women’s crew teams, and the social and physical implications of this music.
A Group of Brothers: Colby Eight and Its Membership
Topher Wang (Colby College '20) explores the divergent personalities and pathways of the Colby 8 members.
A Tale of Two Cities: Colby Eight and Colbyettes
Lizzie Burnett (Colby College '21) provides an analysis of the challenges and merits specific to all-male and all-female a cappella groups, using Colby 8 and Colbyettes as case studies.
Music at Colby’s Gym: A Biological and Ethnomusicological Analysis of Music and Exercise
Sarra Bridges (Colby College '19) explores the different music that people listen to while exercising and the physiological effects it has on its listeners.
A Public View: Music and Belonging for the Colby Lacrosse Team
Justin Huber (Colby College '20) examines music’s role in fostering a culture of acceptance on Colby’s campus and of inculcating a sense collectivity and belonging among members of the Colby Men’s Lacrosse Team.
Mentors and Mentees: The Unique Social Structure of Colby’s Symphony Orchestra
Alexandra Koeck-Schultz (Colby College '20) examines the ways that participation in the Colby Symphony Orchestra offers a calming, focused, and engaging experience for its student members.
The Divide: A Gendered Musical Experience in the Colby Erg Room
Ellie Krossa (Colby College '19) explores the difference in musical taste between the Men’s and Women’s crew teams in the Erg Room, and the politics of musical control in this shared space.
A Musical Work Family: Colby Eight and Social Identity at Colby
Grace Oh-Willeke (Colby College '21) explores how a cappella group participation—and in Colby 8 in particular—helps its members carve out a space on Colby’s campus.