Sound Communities


  • Marcia Ostashewski Cape Breton University


What makes communities ‘sound’? One key feature noted in this article is resilience, though a more extensive list of features of sound communities is also addressed. The term ‘sound communities’ is intentionally polysemous and perhaps especially for this reason demands an intensely interdisciplinary approach to its definition for use within ethnomusicology. The keyword ‘sound communities’ builds on the work of ethnomusicologist Jeff Todd Titon (2015) and puts the discussion in a much wider context of studies of community, communities of practice and performance, ‘sound praxis’ (Araujo, 2009), applied ethnomusicologies and peacebuilding. Case studies presented in this article are largely based on applied ethnomusicology approaches.

Author Biography

Marcia Ostashewski, Cape Breton University

Marcia Ostashewski is Associate Professor of Ethnomusicology and Director of the Centre for Sound Communities (CSC) at Cape Breton University, which she established as part of her prior appointment as Canada Research Chair in Communities at Cultures. This state-of-the-art digital arts and humanities facility supports multi-faceted research programs for Ostashewski and affiliated researchers: emergent and technology-enhanced creative, critical community-engaged research collaborations between artists, scholars, students, and wider communities. These programs result in innovative outcomes, including intensive outreach, the production of diverse digital media, as well as both popular press and academic publications. Ostashewski also teaches a variety of courses on music, dance, performance, tourism and research methods.