This chapter lays out the parameters of ethnomusicological theory. It argues that ethnomusicologists do not simply borrow theories from the social sciences and philosophy. They create their own theories when they write. These vary from low-level, particular discoveries about particular musical cultures, to midlevel theories about the nature of music, to high-level claims about the role of music in particular areas of the world. They include particular themes of general concern in the humanities and the social and biological sciences (e.g. gender, politics, globalization), as well as general claims about the very nature of human being.
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