Ethnography

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Brooke A. Dunn
History of Popular Music in America
Ethnography #1

Mountain Heart and The Westbound Rangers
at Cumberland Caverns

​Upon arriving at Cumberland Caverns, I really had no idea what an experience I was about to embark on. It was the simplicity of two Roots music bands performing in nature’s beautiful Volcano Room of the Cumberland Caverns that provided a sense of authenticity and realness that I had never experienced at any other show. The Westbound Rangers added a very young, humorous, and spirited sound to my interpretation of bluegrass. Mountain Heart breaks the mold of (end) At first, the thought of an underground concert seemed ridiculous, but the beautiful venue provided a sense of simplicity that led me to envision the many generations of musicians that played this kind of music in this very part of the country in middle Tennessee over the past few hundred years. The music brought the mud and rock walls to life with sound and ambience. When you walk into the very grand Volcano Room where the concerts are held frequently, it seems as if the cave was once created just for this very purpose. It is difficult to reflect on this experience because there were so many great aspects to it.

Ethnographies should be 1500 word, double-spaced, 12 point standard type, narrative essay documenting your field research in live marketable popular music performance (in America) which occurred during the current semester. Full participation in event as an audience participant (not as a performer) is part of this exercise. Paper should include descriptive characteristics of the venue, audience members, performers, social setting and observer's perspective objectively offered. The paper should be structured as follows: First Paragraph with Thesis Statement:

Thesis statement should offer either an assessment of the social value (or lack thereof) or historical perspective of the music performance. Body:
The body of the paper should include...
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