Ethnomusicology is the study of the sonic, aesthetic, and social aspects of music, including dance and theatre. The research subject comprises traditional and popular musics in their creative aspects of performance, music as socially significant exressions of human interaction and as globally circulating symbols of identity.

Ethnomusicology emerged in the late 19th century and early 20th century as “comparative musicology”. The first scholars such as Erich von Hornbostel, Curt Sachs, Béla Bartók, Constantin Br
ǎiloiu or Alexander J. Ellis draw on current acoustical, psychological, folklorist and evolutionists theories. During the 20th century the study of music was influenced by cultural anthropology and fieldwork methods, ethnomusicology being defined by Allan P. Merriam 1977 as the “study of music as culture”. Today, ethnomusicology is a multidisciplinary field of research aiming at an understanding of societies in the past and present through their musical practices and concepts.