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Case of "Big M" Musicology at Florida State University

Title: The Case of "Big M" Musicology at Florida State University: A Historical and Ethnographic Study.
Name(s): Clapper, Laura M., author
Eyerly, Sarah, Professor Directing Thesis
Seaton, Douglass, Committee Member
Gunderson, Frank D., Committee Member
Florida State University, degree granting institution
College of Music, degree granting college
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Text
Master Thesis
Issuance: monographic
Date Issued: 2019
Publisher: Florida State University
Place of Publication: Tallahassee, Florida
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource (117 pages)
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: The Florida State University musicology program comprises a community of like-minded individuals in both the faculty member and student cohorts. The umbrella concept of “Big M” Musicology is valued and central to creating identity and cohesion among FSU’s musicology community members. This thesis serves to understand the FSU musicology program’s history and how community members understand, define, and embody “Big M” Musicology based on their lived experiences in the program. This thesis examines FSU’s musicology program through historical and ethnographic study. I first provide an institutional history of Florida State University’s musicology program by examining the institutional structures, administrative involvement, and the influence of faculty member research areas and relationships on the program’s development. I recount how the ideal of “Big M” Musicology was born out of the FSU School of Music’s desire for comprehensive programming through the establishment of an ethnomusicology program, the implementation of a terminal degree in musicology, and an emphasis on applied musicology and performance. I also argue that the collegiality among faculty members contributed to the program’s growth and to the musicology department’s shared “Big M” vision. In the subsequent chapters of this thesis, I analyze survey data that I collected from current students, alumni, and current and former faculty members affiliated with the program from the years 1988–2018 to understand individual community members’ experiences of “Big M” Musicology. First, I synthesize the definitions of “Big M” provided by FSU musicology affiliates, and I explore their perspectives on how this philosophy manifests in FSU’s program. I then analyze individual community members’ experiences in the program in order to reconcile the policy of “Big M” with its implementation and practice. I conclude by placing “Big M” Musicology in the context of contemporary trends in the field to demonstrate how the inclusivity inherent in this ideal might foreshadow a future path for musicology and its subdisciplines.
Identifier: 2019_Spring_Clapper_fsu_0071N_15048 (IID)
Submitted Note: A Thesis submitted to the College of Music in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Music.
Degree Awarded: Spring Semester 2019.
Date of Defense: April 1, 2019.
Keywords: Institutional Ethnography, Institutional History, Musicology
Bibliography Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Advisory Committee: Sarah Eyerly, Professor Directing Thesis; Douglass Seaton, Committee Member; Frank Gunderson, Committee Member.
Subject(s): Music
Persistent Link to This Record:
Host Institution: FSU

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Clapper, L. M. (2019). The Case of "Big M" Musicology at Florida State University: A Historical and Ethnographic Study. Retrieved from