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.
Chase Coleman (Colby College’20) explores the inner workings of music at the Ski Team apartments.
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.”
Noah Barreto (Colby College ’20) examines the establishment, development, and significance of an alternative music space on Colby’s campus.
Katie Morena (Colby College ’20) explores the intellectually inspiring, physically exhilarating, and socially connecting space fostered by music played in Piper Dorm.
Colleen Wright (Colby College ’19) analyzes the makings of the Megs a cappella group.
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.
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.
Kyndhal Stewart (Colby College ’19) examines what makes the Megs unique and the changes this group has undergone in recent years.
Ava Baker (Colby College ’18) analyzes correlations between music and social validation, euphoria, and the hook up culture at Colby parties.