Dimapur, March 1: The Naga Scholars’ Association (NSA) special talk on ‘Ethnomusicology as a means of understanding people in the past’ was organized on February 28 at the School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU). The invited speaker was Dr. Peter D’Sena, from University of Hertfordshire, UK, who is also a senior research fellow at University of London. The session started with a welcome address by President of NSA Dr. Zuchamo Yanthan, who also introduced the resource persons. The session was chaired by Dr. Susmita Dasgupta, Chief Economist at Joint Planned Commission, Ministry of Steel.
The speaker, Dr.Peter discussed on issues such as migration and music, environment and music, and music as pedagogy and brought out that ethnomusicology is the study of music in relation to the society and culture in which it was created, and is one of the keys for unlocking the values, perceptions and histories of people in the past.
In this context, he emphasized that ethnomusicology is also important to reconstructing the histories of the people who have left us with very few written records.
Dr. Peter D’Sena then used examples from the 18th century Britain and 20th century America to point out how ethnomusicology enhances our understanding of people in the past with respect to issues such as gender, crime, racism, and sexuality.
Using multiple examples from his research findings, Dr. Peter also mentioned that ethnomusicology can be applied as a progressive educational strategy or tool for making student interested in teaching-learning and engaging them to be a part of studying History in order to understand the present. He also suggests that ethnomusicology can be used as a methodology for relearning history.
The main focus of the talk was finding and adopting new methods of teaching-learning, assessment and research by facilitators across disciplines. Dr. Peter also explained the new strategy for teaching-learning through the medium of discipline of History. He pointed out the significance of approaching history through the medium of decoding music, for instance in folk songs, as an interesting way of engaging students so as to understand notions of gender and political legitimacy, among others in a particular period of time.
Further, he stated, in an era when commercialization of education is a growing phenomenon, this approach shall prove to be very useful for teachers to impart values in the student community. This shall further prove to be useful for children engaged in the working sector and involve them in the curriculum paradigm.
The talk was attended by faculty members and research scholars from different disciplines and universities in Delhi. The talk was followed by a lively question answer session and discussions where the audience shared with the speaker their experiences of music, folklore, communal harmony, and migration in the Naga context with respect to music.
(Page News Service)