Laboratory of comparative musicology and anthropology of music

Research at MCAM

Research at MCAM

The MCAM regroups a number of researchers working in projects concerning different disciplines such as ethnomusicology, musicology, anthropology, and other related disciplines like neuropsychology of music, linguistics or sociology. The name of the lab refers to the pioneer works in ethnomusicology [1], but also witnesses the evolution of this discipline and the place it holds today among all the other social sciences. Ethnomusicology is considered here as a key discipline for the understanding of the human being and his abilities as a musician. The research perspective of all the lab members is decidedly anthropological because of its methods as well as its objects of study.

Music is the center of the group’s research and is considered a porthole to the understanding of the human being, his abilities, technical and symbolic knowledge, beliefs, relationship to the environment and other people, memory, identity and socio-cultural development. Our team of researchers aims to consider and update all the skills and strategies required to create, perform and transmit music, as well as their meaning and the way they are related to one another.

Objectives and research axis

The MCAM’s methodological objectives -comparison, experimentation and interdisciplinarity- are founded upon the following five transversal research axis:

  • Categorisation
  • Development of methodological and analytical tools (videography, multimedia, etc.)
  • History, circulation and contacts
  • Savoir-faire and transmission
  • Biological and cultural diversity: evolution and adaptability of societies

Research Projects

Several projects follow these axes:


The FQRSH, the SSHRC, and the Canada Research Chair in Ethnomusicology support research at MCAM.

  1. As had been done by Nettl, B. and Bohlman, P. (1991C) []
  • Fieldwork

  • New Publication

  • Members