tIMR feature: Cantometrics - Measuring Song Style Ethnocentrically

A paradox in Lomax’s development of Cantometrics was that while his aim was to shed a light on the “hyperactive entertainment industry... drowning genuine music in a flood of fads and fakes”[1] he was in fact also identifying the existence of multiple musical styles in his country of origin. That Lomax then sought to study other cultures’ music under the assumption that there was only one genre to be studied in each region is incongruous with this statement. So too is his intention to shed light on the music industry of his home country through looking at the indigenous musics of other nations. Were his methogologies true to his original intention Cantometrics would exist as an ethnocentric study. It is this potential which is explored theoretically here.

In 1945 Alan Lomax wrote to the Guggenheim Foundation to propose a study of how folklore might become a "useful and purposeful social instrument".[2] He later developed the Cantometric system, a statistical study of the anthropology of music linking traditional vocal music to features of social organization.

In the Cantometric study a total of 4,000 songs – that is, 10 songs considered to be the most representative from 400 cultures - were cross-correlated using a set of statistically-driven software tools designed by Lomax in collaboration with acting statistician and programmer Norman Berkowitz who headed the team in coding, generating and analyzing the data. Lomax also consulted with specialists in linguistics, voice therapy, and otolaryngology, which led to him replacing the traditional musicological criteria for analysis (harmony, pitch, and rhythm) with thirty-seven vocal-style factors, such as breathiness, rasp, nasality, and melisma. These were designed to be easily rated by Berkowitz’s team of coders, who ranked the vocal-style factors on a five-point scale according to their perceived presence or absence.

The features of social organization upon which the anthropological aspect of the Cantometric system is built were based on George Peter Murdock’s Cross Cultural Survey. This was commissioned by the Institute of Human Relations in the late 1940’s with the aim of developing an integrated science of human behavior and culture, while also attempting to find explanations for human behavior that were universally valid and not culturally bound, an ideology at the forefront of post-war academia.

As an example of the findings, the diagram below highlights the differences between the Far East/Europe and African Pygmies/Bushmen cultures:[3]


MODEL A (Far East to Europe)     MODEL B (African Pygmies & Bushmen)

Individualized Solo                          Integrated Groupy

Texturally Complex                         Choral, Multileveled

Metrically Complex                         Metrically Simple

Melodically Complex                      Cohesive, Melodically Simple

Ornamented                                    No Ornamentation, Repetitious Text

Usually Noisy Voice                        Usually Clear Voice

Precise Enunciation                        Slurred Enunciation 


Correlations such as these seemed to provide evidence that song styles were consistent with “productive range, political level, level of stratification of class, severity of sexual mores, balance of dominance between male and female, and the level of social cohesiveness”[4] across all cultures. With these findings it seemed as though Lomax had not only laid the foundations for a quantative study of musical styles, but had also began to uncover findings that were as significant to music as similar studies had been in linguistics or genetics. However, this was not the case, and the Cantometric study found itself under immense criticism for both its methodology and its ethnocentricity.

Criticisms of Cantometrics

Although the Cantometric dataset has now been rendered obsolete by almost half a century of developments in both statistics and computing, it is relevant to discuss a few of Cantometrics’ methodological criticisms here in order to begin exploring the benefits of conducting an ethnocentric study.

Driver and Downey[5] initially provided the most comprehensive insight into how the Cantometric model could be adjusted to produce scientifically reliable outcomes. In addition to making suggestions regarding the study’s statistical model overall, they suggested that a selection of merely ten songs per culture was too few for the sample to be representative. There was also no way of discerning whether the ten songs selected for profiling were considered representative by the culture themselves. Additionally, as some of the coded samples used were amateur recordings made by travellers, this raised questions regarding the poor quality of the recordings negatively affecting the coders’ ability to accurately identify the thirty-seven parameters of song style.

Another methodological error included the development of a coding sheet that produced biased data due to the coders working in a non-blind environment. Despite Lomax’s assertion that it is possible for coders to “put aside ingrained biases and learn to make judgments about even the most exotic song styles”[6] a non-blind study does not achieve the level of impartiality necessary to be statistically credible.

Qualitative elements of singing such as the ‘nasality’ of the singer could be rated as “Extreme”, “Prominent” or “Intermittent”. This was biased for two reasons: firstly, definitions of subjective terms such as nasality can differ profoundly from person to person, and even after the influence of the training the coders undertook on rating the subjective elements of song style, the margin of error was significant enough as to entirely invalidate the study scientifically. Secondly, the results were based on the coders’ (Western) interpretation and perception of what nasality is since they were intrinsically comparing perceived levels of nasality to that found in the Western styles of music with which they are natively familiar. This is wholly ethnocentric.

Quantative elements of song style such as metre, phrase length and tempo also proved to be as problematic to code as the qualitative elements of song style. Metre and phrase length can be transcribed in different ways depending on the listener’s interpretation of the piece, and there is also no uniform way of coding tempo either. Furthermore, as these coding parameters use descriptions rooted in Western music terminology, the coders needed to have a basic understanding of the Western notation system. However, non-musically versed coders were in fact used.

Additionally, despite the part that song structure can play in distinguishing one style from another, Cantometrics did not touch on the subject of form or structure in its analysis, but instead emphasized performance style over song structure, implying that only one type of music exists in each culture.

One of Cantometrics’ biggest criticisms is its inherent ethnocentricity. Marina Roseman states:

The elements to be compared are not merely sound structures per se, but the cultural logics informing those structures, the metaphors and theoretical concepts which render sounds meaningful to performers and listeners, and the strategies of sound in use.[7]

This suggests that any study of another culture’s music requires a deep, comprehensive understanding of other cultures’ perspectives in the music-making process. In Navaho music, for example, “a single error in the course of a song is enough to render the entire song incorrect... and a single error in a single song is enough to invalidate an entire Navaho ceremony.”[8] Without this kind of insight into every culture studied by Cantometrics we can never be sure that we have truly captured the heart of a culture’s approach, even if we have been able to tentatively quantify it.

Cantometrics and Digital Technologies

Many of the methodological and anthropological problems of Cantometrics can now be solved through the use of digital technologies and data available to us via the internet and its in-built analytical tools. Most websites already collect demographic and ethnographic data when audiences stream or buy music from an online platform. Were this permitted to be applied at a global level in place of Murdock’s Cross Cultural Survey, it could standardize the Cantometric model across countries, at least for music that is available online.

As a cause of developments in digital technology, communication and understanding between cultures in contemporary society is far greater than it was half a century ago when the Cantometric study was first conducted. This would facilitate the appointment of specialists in each style across countries in any new Cantometric study, and would make the Cantometric model more universally valid and less culturally bound.

Developments in software programming also make it possible to measure the qualitative elements of singing in the original Cantometric study, such as nasality, by measuring the amount air expelled in the production of vocal sound as well as the degree of the velar port’s openness - both of which are the biological determinants of nasality. This would eliminate the vague descriptions of singing style being left to subjective interpretation, again increasing the accuracy of the test. The last fifty years have also brought us the Estill Method[9] of vocal production that was developed through scientific research into vocal production techniques. Experienced practitioners of the Estill Method are able to distinguish the components of all the differing vocal qualities produced in Western vocal music and as such collaboration between these two research areas could prove to be fruitful. The Estill Method is also an ethnocentric approach to singing the multiple musical styles in Western music.

In the Anthropology of Music Alan Merriam quotes Densmore’s outlining of the Teton Sioux’s perspective on singing and song (one that is similar to our Western perspective too): “Certain men are generally acknowledged to be ‘good singers’ and certain songs are said to be ‘good songs’. This implies the songs and the singers satisfy some standard of evaluation.”[10]Applying a method such as Estill to a Cantometric analysis would also mean that ‘good’ and ‘bad’ singers could be rated solely on vocal quality and not on their level of success in popular music, which could be a potential pitfall if music industry experts were consulted as part of an ethnocentric study. 

Recent Developments in Cantometrics


Following on from both Lomax’s Cantometric study and Blacking’s[11] consideration that music may have a biological basis, Patrick E. Savage, in his attempt to refine the Cantometric system believed that collaboration with experts in other cultures and fields of research increased the breadth of a study without greatly sacrificing depth. In his 2011 study, Savage used the AMOVA framework (Analysis of Molecular Variance) rather than Murdock’s Ethnographic map,[12] to correlate models of genetic diversity and cultural forms to 421 traditional songs from sixteen Austronesian-speaking populations. He called this model ‘Canto-Core’. His general findings indicate parallels between musical and genetic diversity that correlate as high as 93%- 95%, and a validation of ethnomusicologists’ critiques that Cantometrics’ cross-cultural approach underestimated the diversity of musical repertoires within each culture. The Canto-Core study also claims to show that analysis using the AMOVA framework is more reliable than Cantometrics.[13]

The Music Genome Project

The Music Genome Project [14] is the name of the program behind a web service called Pandora (www.pandora.com). Like Cantometrics, it is based on a list of 400 musical attributes assessed by trained analysts to produce a ‘genetic code’ for each song for the purpose of recommending its customers other artists with similar musical ‘genes’. The program has classified over half a million songs. However, unlike Cantometrics, the data is unpublished and therefore unavailable for criticism. Since it is also a commercial venture, the majority of the songs classified fall within the Popular music sphere and as such this particular development is not wholly comparable to the Cantometric system.


By far the most exciting development in recent years has come from Armand Leroi, a researcher in evolutionary biology at Imperial College London, who first heard of the Cantometric study through musician Brian Eno’s fascination with the project in 2005.[15] He states that “To evolutionary biologists the importance of Cantometrics was obvious… [it was an] amazing and under-appreciated source by which to unravel the history of song”.[16] After visiting the Lomax Archive, who kindly shared with him the original Cantometric data for re-analysis, Leroi and his team of researchers swiftly found solutions to the statistical problems faced in the original Cantometric study and produced new findings that are briefly discussed here.

Though Leroi’s study remains ongoing, and as yet no formal data has been published, there are nevertheless some potentially important initial findings. Their statistical cross-correlation algorithm, which they call GROUPER (which is incidentally not an acronym), has indicated that song style is in fact strongly dependent on two factors: history “…since song styles, or more precisely, singers who share a common history will tend to live near each other”,[17] and genetics, since “song-style is highly variable at even very small geographical scales. As such, it seems to resemble the geography of human genetic variation rather than that of language.”[18]

He also makes the point that as it is possible for both archeologists and geneticists to date their findings historically through the use of either chemical methods or DNA, it ought to similarly be possible to date song style chronologically through its consistency with data found in other chronologically-based fields of research.

One surprising result so far has been found in music’s relationship to linguistics. Since the “general consensus in ethnomusicology, neuroscience and evolutionary biology (is) that music and language are deeply interconnected”[19] it was initially thought that the data set of both music and linguistics would cross-correlate well with one another. There were two main reasons for this: firstly because the relationship between the quantative aspects of music such as “tones, motifs, chords, phrases, sequences... [being] comparable to phenomes and morphemes in language”[20] and secondly because of similarities between words across cultures, for example the word for brother in Persian, Latin and Czech being barodar, frater, and bratr.[21] Interestingly, it was found that in fact song style data correlates least effectively with linguistics’ ethnography and most effectively historical and genetic data.

Another significant finding has been uncovered regarding the results of Cantometrics’ original ethnographic correlations. The Cantometric study produced unexpected statistical relations between the music of different hemispheres, making them appear more closely related than they were and thereby also implying ethnographic/ethnomusicological relationships between the two.[22] This had originally been a heavy criticism of the Cantometric model, however Leroi’s findings support Lomax’s correlations of song style and cultural norms and attribute it to population movements and cultural diffusion. Leroi has also been able to attribute anomalies - such as people in different geographic areas singing in very similar ways - to either “independent invention… or long-range migration”. This suggests that Lomax’s initial findings, although statistically questionable, were in fact correct.

Cantometrics and Ethnocentricity

The Advantages of Ethnocentricity

It would be fair to say that many of Cantometrics’ critiques focus on the problems rather than solutions or applications of the study. While the critiques regarding the model’s ethnocentricity are certainly valid, they simultaneously point towards the possibility for using, or at least testing, the Cantometric model on the music of our own culture.

David Locke’s critique of Cantometrics’ anthropology states that:

The concepts of analysis and description then most widely used in ethnomusicology would have appeared laughable if applied to Western art music, not because they were intrinsically inapplicable, but because the purposes and the traditions of scholarship differed.[23]

 However, it certainly seems that looking at Cantometrics through the lens of understanding and analysing musical styles in the UK, several of Cantometrics’ methodological criticisms seem to disappear altogether.

As mentioned before in this discussion, Lomax’s assertion that it is possible for coders to “put aside ingrained biases and learn to make judgments about even the most exotic song styles”[24] led to a low level of impartiality necessary for a statistically credible study. Running the Cantometric model ethnocentrically all but eliminates the need for musical impartiality, even if the coder’s personal preference cannot be controlled itself.

Furthermore, studying one’s own culture almost entirely eliminates the problem of finding clear, significant songs to study due to the large catalogue of well-recorded popular styles available to us and also because of the compilation of sales charts for almost every genre. Even if most of the Pop songs in the sales charts aren’t necessarily seen as the most significant, finding those that are is an easier task.

Additionally, as most cultures have their musical specialists who “know music better and are able to produce it more adequately and in larger quantities than others”,[25] finding a significant sample of participants who can be deferred to as specialists within our own culture would be relatively straightforward compared to finding experts in countries with which we are less acquainted. Since we are inherently and inextricably more aware of our own cultural norms, we are also in a stronger position to qualify any findings.

Cantometrics as a Modern, Localised Study

George Herzog’s statement “one should study the music of each society in its own terms and learn it individually”[26] suggests that we already have a sound grasp of the music in our own society. However, until recently musicologists were in fact encouraged to stay away from studying commercial music altogether and in recent years “the otherness that was conferred on Popular music… has diminished.”[27] As such the benefits of studying our own society have become more visible and researchers such as Cheryl Keyes have begun to look at the music with which they were most closely associated, such as Keyes’study of Rap music in 1996.[28]

Taking into account the advantages of Cantometrics’ ethnocentricity, advances in technology, and Leroi’s GROUPER study, we can take a specific geographic and musical area - such as the coexistence of multiple black musics in London - and briefly explore whether an ethnocentric Cantometric model could be applied to understanding its nature and function in society.

The musical lineage of the multiple black musical styles in the UK is well summarized by Anthony Marks’ comment on Afro-Ameriacn and Afro-Carribbean music:

The history of their music is linked to their social groups that adopted the genres as they were imported from their countries of origin. After their initial acceptance, most of these musics were taken up by indigenous practitioners (who often adapted the original styles to meet their own needs); ultimately they became absorbed – in some cases much altered – into the mainstream and popular culture.[29]

There are many examples of this: Soul music, which is a mixture of Rhythm-and-Blues and Gospel remained true to the form in which it was originally brought to Britain, since it was perceived to not be profitable; British performers could not easily imitate either the sound of the backing track or the lead vocals. Artists such as Elvis Costello and the Police unashamedly adopted music styles that had just reached Britain’s shores, such as Reggae, as a style of their own. British Rock ‘n’ Roll singers such as Tommy Steele, Adam Faith and Cliff Richard[30] placed themselves in the Rock ‘n’ Roll idiom, which was a mixture of urban Blues and Country music, and artists such as Dexy’s Midnight Runners, Spandau Ballet, and Soft Cell, claimed to have never liked the Rock music they resembled, but to have been more interested in Soul. On the other hand, Michael Jackson’s 1983 song ‘Beat It’ redefined the sound expected of a black musician. Using the GROUPER algorithm, we would expect to see a similar genetic code running through these styles of music to their suggested roots of origin.

As we can see from the list above, it “cannot be assumed that all black singers or musicians perform black music simply because of their ethnic origins.”[31] This is certainly true of most black styles. For example Jazz, originally a music of black origin taught in the oral/aural tradition, is largely performed by a demographic of white males academically trained in Jazz performance at a music conservatoire. Equally, there exist white producers and audience members within black sub-genres such as Dubstep and Rap. Taking these considerations into account a discussion or scientific study of what is essentially black music cannot be separated from the social context in which the genres exist. In this instance it may be possible for the GROUPER algorithm to be adjusted from a cross-referencing of global song styles and cultures to a cross-referencing of localised ones.

Studying multiple musics that co-exist in one geographic area also raises the issue of polymusicality. Many cultures are innately bimusical, or polymusical, such as the folk singers of northern Iran who are specialists in two or three song styles and yet seem to keep the systems from affecting each other.[32] West Africa shares a similar situation where a new musical language with lots of genres has emerged due to the merging of Western music with traditional African music. The multi-musicality of the UK since World War Two and its expansion from what may arguably have been a single musical system to the diverse musical languages found within it today reflect the social and political developments of the post-war era, which supports Leroi’s findings that song style can be historically and genetically attributed. In our own culture Jazz musicians are often hired for Popular music tours where the music shares little in common with that which they practice. Having been trained in Western Classical music traditions many of them can also express an interest in performing and composing in other musical styles such as Hip Hop or Dance music; since they are considered equally competent in one or more styles of music they are indeed polymusical. Any advanced Cantometric study would need to not only address this issue, but also establish the extent to which polymusicality exists when song styles are closely related to one another.

To return briefly to the earlier-quoted model where Lomax highlights the differences between the Far East/Europe and African Pygmies/Bushmen cultures:[33]

MODEL A (Far East to Europe)     MODEL B (African Pygmies & Bushmen)

Individualized Solo                          Integrated Groupy

Texturally Complex                         Choral, Multileveled

Metrically Complex                         Metrically Simple

Melodically Complex                      Cohesive, Melodically Simple

Ornamented                                    No Ornamentation, Repetitious Text

Usually Noisy Voice                        Usually Clear Voice

Precise Enunciation                        Slurred Enunciation 

It can be said that with only minimal adjustment, almost every point in Model A could be used to describe current contemporary Jazz styles in London, or what is considered to be a ‘high art’, while Model B can account for other black music styles such as Dubsep, whose artists largely belong to an underground niche in commercial culture. Though Lomax’s model was intended to demonstrate differences between geographically separate cultures, it can also be used to highlight music of great complexity coexisting with music of great simplicity within one culture. 

We could go so far as to say that this model implies that contemporary Jazz and Dubstep are related derivatives of the music of the Far East/Europe and African Pygmies/Bushmen respectively, and that our society simultaneously exhibits elements of both economic traits. With a refined and methodologically sound Cantometric model, it would be possible to ascertain the extent to which this may be true and also the extent to which the roots of current musical styles correlate with the history of immigration in the UK. That said, there is no straightforward way of determining that the composer’s inspiration for a work is Cantometrically related to the genre they are classified as belonging to – for example, Spandau Ballet’s claims to not be influenced by the Rock music they resembled, but rather by Soul. This would require further enquiry into the genetic coding of music.  

In his critique of the Cantometric system, Henry states that:

Song styles from complex cultures are dense with information while songs from simple economies carry less information load... The prominence of narrow intervals turns up in cultures whose members are confined spatially or restricted by a system of rigid status differentiation.[34]

From this statement it can be argued that members producing styles of commercial music such as Dubstep and Jungle (both derivatives of Reggae) that are both defined by a prominence of narrow intervals, are composed by working class, spatially confined people, restricted by a system of rigid status differentiation. We can see that in terms of its musical genome these types of commercial musics again support GROUPER’s findings in being traceably derived from another style of black music. They also noticeably reference the geographic movement of black people into crowded urban environments, which can be heard in Dubstep and Jungle through the use of sonic references to these urban environments themselves.  

It is also curious to note that regardless of the style of music in question, women tend to make music as solo artists while men tend to make music in groups. That this is as true for both the ‘high art’ that is Jazz as well as the mainstream culture that is Rap is certainly a phenomenon, one that a refined Cantometric model would certainly need to also address.

Another phenomenon found in coexisting black styles in London is that while it is not permissible to rearrange the structure of an AABA song, which “has pervaded even “rebellious” youth genres like … contemporary R‘n’B”[35] it is perfectly permissible to add a ten-minute long coda in a Jazz improvisation – a feature far beyond the comprehension and expectations of most Popular music artists and their audiences. Any further refinement of a Cantometric model would need to include an analysis of both the musicians and audiences in these types of music and the factors that influence these artistic choices.

Cross-referencing the findings of an ethnocentric study of multiple black musics in London with those of other Western capital cities such as Paris could also be of note in proving Lomax’s statement and indeed Leroi’s current findings:

When a distinctive and consistent musical style lives in a culture or runs through several cultures, one can posit the existence of a distinctive set of emotional needs or drives that are somehow satisfied or evoked by this music.[36]

Further Suggestions

The loftiest aim for research is that it contributes to creating ‘absolute’ value in society; ‘absolute value’ equates to producing a ‘win-win’ situation for all parties. In terms of Cantometrics, this means that the practical applications of the study must benefit our society, the researchers, and the music studied itself.

Psychologist Martin Seligman developed research into optimistic and pessimistic Explanatory Styles - the extent to which the type of language used by someone was inherently optimistic or pessimistic - in scenarios as diverse as interview candidates at corporate firms, and US election candidates.[37] Seligman found that he could accurately predict the outcomes of these scenarios based on an analysis of the candidate’s linguistic style via a linguistic coding system he developed called the Attributional Style Questionnaire, or ASQ. Though seemingly unrelated to Cantometrics, this research, refined over the course of two decades, proves that it is possible to achieve statistical significance and high levels of accurate prediction through the use of qualitative data. Seligman’s research proved itself to be pivotal to society, as it became the foundation for the development of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. One of the causes of the success of this research is that the study is inherently ethnocentric and is not attempting to analyse a culture with which it is not acquainted.

Although a practical application of Cantometrics may well not be the development of a branch of Music Therapy – to draw a parallel with Seligman’s approach above - the creation of something equally as beneficial to society was no doubt on Lomax’s mind when he made the statement:

As our aggressive and economically motivated communication system smashes the tribal, local, and neighbourhood commination worlds, whole generations are left with a sense of belonging nowhere and we, ourselves, losing our local roots, become daily more alienated.[38]

While one of the aims of Cantometrics is “the speedy characterization and classification of... life- giving, culture-defining patterns”[39] one cannot help but feel that it was in part Lomax’s own isolation from commercial culture, coupled with a sense of foreboding at its advent, that drove him to develop the Cantometric study, however misguided an idea it may have been in resolving the original quandary it posed him.

Were Lomax’s original intent to be honoured, a refined Cantometric model would be used to shed a light on the highly commercialized entertainment industry, potentially illustrating not only the numerous ways in which it is damaging to our culture but also the ways and extents to which it could contribute to solving current problems. In essence, Lomax wanted to make a positive and significant contribution to society through learning about the role of the cultural evolution in the expressive arts. [40]

In Sound Structure and Social Structure, Feld commented “culture's favoured song style reflects and reinforces the kind of behaviour essential to its main subsistence efforts, and to its central and controlling social institutions."[41] Exploring this statement alone generates many possibilities for applied Cantometric models.

One possibility would be an analysis of the extent to which changes in commerce have affected the quantative elements of Popular and Classical music, exploring the correlation between commercialization, social structure, and complexity in song style. A further and more controversial application of this approach would be that since a “culture’s favoured song style reflects… its… controlling institutions”[42] too, Cantometric research could be used to affect policy to ensure that Governmental and Arts Council budgeting strategies provide a more relevant distribution of funds that potentially also addressed the racial, gender, and class inequalities in music.

A potential negative application of this type of study is that it could lead to a further development of strategized and targeted marketing tools such as Pandora. It is almost certain that Lomax would have disapproved of Cantometrics being used as a foundation for the development of the Music Genome Project, as Lomax’s original study seemed to have an intention for the music he perceived as having greater worth to be marketed to us, and/or created in place of commercial music; Lomax seemed committed to contributing to culture’s underpinning philosophy, rather than to its marketing strategies. However, by the same token this development may also be the foundation that solves a couple of the recording industry’s current challenges, such as monetizing digital music through marketing to an increasingly globalized network of complex demographics via the internet. It may also lead to a re-balancing of marketing strategies towards other age demographics other than youth culture, which has generally been the music industry’s main target market.

The funding and provision of music education may also benefit from an ethnocentric Cantometric study since the idea of the music genome may assist in changing aspects of both the teaching and examination of music in the UK so that it becomes more relevant to the diverse cultures our students are now from.  

One overarching benefit of Cantometrics as a globalized study was that it demonstrated how intrinsic music is to every culture, highlighting our attribution of ‘talent’ to the mystically gifted ‘artist’ as a false division of labour. As “Western culture entertains the notion of musicality and talent not shared by all” (Kingsbury 1988)[43] the original Cantometric study in itself can still have strong implications for the way in which music is appreciated in the West.  



Books and Journals

Driver, Harold E. and Downey, James C. A Staff Report on Cantometrics by Alan Lomax, Ethnomusicology, Volume 13, No. 1, University of Illinois Press, 1970

Estill, Jo, A Programmed Introduction to the Anatomy of the Vocal Instrument to be Used with Compulsory Figures for Voice Level One, Estill Voice Training Systems, Pittsburgh, 1997

Feld, Steven, Aesthetics as Iconicity of Style or 'Lift-Up-Over-Sounding': Getting into the Kaluli Groove, In Charles Keil and Steven Feld, Music Grooves, Music Grooves, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1988

Feld, Steven, Sound Structure as Social Structure, Ethnomusicology, Vol. 28, No. 3, University of Illinois Press on behalf of Society for Ethnomusicology, 1984

Feld, Steven, Yearbook for Traditional Music, Volume 31, International Council for Traditional Music, 1999

Grauer, Victor A, Some Song-Style Clusters: A Preliminary Study. 'Ethnomusicology', Volume 9, 1965

Henry, Edward O., The Variety of Music in a North Indian Village: Reassessing Cantometrics, Ethnomusicology, Volume 20, University of Illinois Press, 1976 Krims, Adam, Music and Urban Geography, Routledge Press

Jennings, David, Net, Blogs and Rock 'n' Roll: How Digital Discovery Works and what it Means, Nicholas Brealey Publishing, Boston & London, 2007

Keyes, Cheryl Lynnette, Rap Music and Street Consciousness, University of Illionis Press, Urbana & Chicago, 2004

Locke, David, Cantometrics: An Approach to the Anthropology of Music by Alan Lomax, Ethnomusicology, Volume 25, No. 3, Pacific Issue, University of Illinois Press, 1981

Lomax, Alan, An Approach to the Anthropology of Music, The University of California, California Extension Media Center, 1976

Lomax, Alan, Folk Song Style and Culture, New Brunswick: Transaction Books, Washington, D.C., 1968

Lomax, Alan, Folk Song Style: Notes on a Systematic Approach to the Study of Folk Song, Journal of the International Folk Music Council, Volume 8, International Council for Traditional Music, 1956

Lomax, Alan, Selected Writings 1934-1997, Routledge Press, New York, 2003

Lomax, Alan, Song Structure and Social Structure, Ethnology, Volume 1, No. 4, 1962

Middleton, Richard, Studying Popular Music, Open University Press, Philadelphia, 1990

Qureshi, Regula B. (Ed), Music & Marx: Ideas, Practice, Politics, edited by Qureshi, R. B, Routledge Press, New York and London, 2002

Merriam, Alan P, The Anthropology of Music, Northwestern University Press, Illinois, 1964 Nettl, Bruno, The Study of Ethnomusicology: Thirty-One Issues and Concepts, University of Illionis Press, Urbana & Chicago, 2005

Oliver, Paul (Ed), Black Music in Britain - Essays on the Afro-Asian Contribution to Popular Music, Open University Press, Milton Keynes & Philadelphia, 1990

Perlman, Marc, Unplayed Melodies: Javanese Gamelan and the Genesis of Music Theory, University of California Press, Los Angeles, 2004

Rice, Timothy, May it Fill Your Soul: Experiencing Bulgarian Music, University of Chicago Press, Chicago and London, 1994

Roseman, Marina, The Social Structuring of Sound: The Teimar of Peninsular Malaysia, Ethnomusicology, Volume 28, No. 3, University of Illinois Press, 1984

Savage, Patrick E., Musical Evolution and Human Migration: Classification, Quantification, and Application, McMaster University, Open Access Dissertations and Theses, Paper 5993, 2011

Seligman, Martin, Learned Optimism, Random House, Australia, 2011 Taylor, Timothy D., Global Pop, World Music, World Markets, Routledge, London and New York, 2000


Feld, Steven, The Soundscape Newsletter, Number 08, June 1994 - Transcription of a short abstract of his talk-slide-audio presentation at The Tuning of the World Conference on Acoustic Ecology, held at the Banff Centre for the Arts, Banff, Canada, in August 1993.


Armand Marie Leroi: http://www.armandmarieleroi.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/Leroi-and-Swire.pdf     

BBC Website: http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/soundof/2009/

Cultural Equality Website: http://research.culturalequity.org/psr-history.jsp

Genspot: http://www.genspot.com/video-185246/armand-leroi-evolution-of-music-cantometrics.aspx

O’Reilly Community: http://broadcast.oreilly.com/2008/10/leroi-on-evolution-and-music.html

Scholar’s Lab: http://www.scholarslab.org/digital-humanities/more-on-pandora-genres/


[1] Lomax, An Approach to the Anthropology of Music (The University of California, California Extension Media Center, 1976) 9

[2] Cultural Equality Website: http://research.culturalequity.org/psr-history.jsp

[3] Alan Lomax, Folk Song Style: Notes on a Systematic Approach to the Study of Folk Song (Journal of the International Folk Music Council, Volume 8, 1956)

[4] Herzog, 1939, cited in Bruno Nettl, The Study of Ethnomusicology: Thirty-One Issues and Concepts (University of Illionis Press, Urbana & Chicago, 2005) 49

[5] Harold E. Driver and James C. Downey, A Staff Report on Cantometrics by Alan Lomax, (Ethnomusicology, Volume 13, No. 1, University of Illinois Press, 1970) 60

[6] Driver and Downey, 66

[7] Marina Roseman, The Social Structuring of Sound: The Teimar of Peninsular Malaysia, (Ethnomusicology, Volume 28, No. 3, University of Illinois Press, Illinois, 1984) 434

[8] Alan Merriam, The Anthropology of Music (Northwestern University Press, Illinois, 1964) 115

[9] Jo Estill, A Programmed Introduction to the Anatomy of the Vocal Instrument to be Used with Compulsory Figures for Voice Level One, (Estill Voice Training Systems, Pittsburgh, 1997)

[10] David Locke, Cantometrics: An Approach to the Anthropology of Alan Lomax (Ethnomusicology, Volume 25, No. 3, 1981) 115

[11] John Blacking, cited in Nettl, The Study of Ethnomusicology, 45

[12] George Murdock, cited in Lomax, Cantometrics, An Approach to the Anthropology of Music

[13] Patrick E. Savage, Musical evolution and Human Migration: Classification, and Application (McMaster University, Paper 5993, 2011) 27-28

[14] David Jennings, Net, Blogs and Rock 'n' Roll: How Digital Discovery Works and what it Means, (Nicholas Brealey Publishing, Boston & London, 2007) 102 - 111

[15] Armand Marie Leroi’s website: http://www.armandmarieleroi.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/Leroi-and-Swire.pdf

[16] Leroi, 3

[17] Leroi, 5

[18] Leroi, 5

[19] Darwin 1871, Feld & Fox 1994, Wallin, Merker and Brown 2000; Patel 2008, cited in Savage, Musical Evolution and Human Migration: Classification and Application, 6

[20] Nettl, The Study of Ethnomusicology, 45

[21] Nettl, The Study of Ethnomusicology, 52

[22] Driver and Downey, A Staff Report on Cantometrics by Alan Lomax, 58

[23] Locke, Cantometrics: An Approach to the Anthropology of Alan Lomax, 94

[24] Driver & Downey, A Staff Report on Cantometrics by Alan Lomax, 66

[25] Nettl, The Study of Ethnomusicology, 48

[26] Herzog, 1939, cited in Bruno Nettl, The Study of Ethnomusicology: Thirty-One Issues and Concepts (University of Illionis Press, Urbana & Chicago, 2005) 49

[27] Nettl, The Study of Ethnomusicology, 188

[28] Cheryl Lynnette Keyes, Rap Music and Street Consciousness, University of Illionis Press, Urbana & Chicago, 2004)

[29] Paul Oliver (Ed.), Essays on the Afro-Asian Contribution to Popular Music, (Open University Press, Milton Keynes & Philadelphia 1990) 102

[30] Oliver, Essays on the Afro-Asian Contribution to Popular Music, 102

[31] Oliver, Essays on the Afro-Asian Contribution to Popular Music, 5

[32] Nettl, The Study of Ethnomusicology, 58

[33] Alan Lomax, Folk Song Style: Notes on a Systematic Approach to the Study of Folk Song, 5

[34] Henry, The Variety of Music in a North Indian Village: Reassessing Cantometrics, 53

[35] Qureshi (Ed.), Music & Marx: Ideas, Practice, Politics, (Routledge, New York and London, 2002) 56

[36] Alan Lomax, Selected Writings 1934 – 1997 (Routledge, New York, 2003) 248

[37] Martin Sligman, Learned Optimism, (Random House, Australia, 2011)

[38] Alan Lomax, Folk Song Style, 5

[39] Henry, The Variety of Music in a North Indian Village: Reassessing Cantometrics, 64

[40] Cultural Equality Website: http://research.culturalequity.org/psr-history.jsp

[41] Feld, Sound Structure as Social Structure, 133

[42] Feld, Sound Structure as Social Structure, 133

[43] Henry Kingsbury, 1988, cited in Bruno Nettl, The Study of Ethnomusicology, 56

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