|In the broadest and most literal sense, musicology is
the scholarly study of music of any type, using
any approach. In the practical, real-world sense, there is a distinction between musicology and ethnomusicology.
Musicologists are typically music historians, critics, and analysts,
traditionally dealing with European and American art music
(i.e., classical music). Ethnomusicologists, on the other hand,
typically study the music of non-Western cultures,
generally approaching it from an anthropological or sociological,
rather than historical, perspective. The study of American folk and popular music has never fit neatly
into this scheme, so scholars working in this field often find
themselves drawing on methods of both musicology and ethnomusicology
(and folklore, as well).
As a musicologist, Greg has two areas of specialization. He is
one of the world's leading authorities on the music of the Italian
avant-garde composer Giacinto Scelsi (1905–1988), and continues
to be active in the study and dissemination of Scelsi's music. His
second specialty is American old time music of the 1920s through the
1940s, including the related idioms of hillbilly (early country),
bluegrass, country blues, and ragtime. It is here, of course, that Greg's
musical scholarship and performance intersect. His current large-scale
project is a history of old time guitar styles that traces how the
guitar was transformed from a refined and genteel instrument of urban
American parlors in the 19th century into the mass-produced,
rough-and-ready tool of rural folk musicians, both black and white, in
the early 20th century.
A short sample of Greg's scholarship on old time and bluegrass guitar styles is available in PDF format via this link.
To learn more about the many facets of contemporary musicology and ethnomusicology, the following websites may be helpful: