Ecomusicology between Poetic and Practical

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Aaron S. Allen, Associate Professor of Musicology and Director, Environment & Sustainability Program (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:

Abstract: Ecomusicology, or ‘ecocritical musicology,’ is a field that considers the complex relationships between culture, nature, and music/sound. This chapter provides an overview of ecomusicology in four parts. First, I elaborate on that definition and provide a brief intellectual history of the field, particularly in relation to ecocriticism. Second, I develop an approach to the field that considers a range of approaches from poetic to practical – that is, from reflective, aesthetic concerns to political, activist concerns. Third, in order to illustrate those poles and an in-between, I present three examples from my own research: a poetic approach to pastoral symphonies, a practical approach to sustainability and materials for musical instruments, and a middle ground regarding a singer-songwriter. Finally, I provide a brief overview of some implicitly and explicitly ecomusicological works on this continuum from poetic to practical.

Additional Information

Handbook of Ecocriticism and Cultural Ecology, edited by Hubert Zapf (De Gruyter, 2016), 644-663.
Language: English
Date: 2016
Music, sound, environmental arts, environmental humanities

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