The purpose of the historic context - Deepstash

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Understanding Historic Context Is Key to Analysis and Interpretation

The purpose of the historic context

The purpose of the historic context

Historical context deals with the details of the time and place surrounding memories, stories, and characters.

The details enable us to interpret and analyze works of the past or the future, rather than judging them only by contemporary standards.

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Ethnomusicology: The Why And How Of Music
Ethnomusicology: The Why And How Of Music

Music and its creation come with a larger context of culture, ethnicity, heritage, lifestyles and habits of humans in the particular era. This study is known as Ethnomusico...

Comparative Musicology

The first musical ethnography was published by the early comparative musicologist Carl Stumpf, which documented the origins and the evolution of the art.

They looked at the changing landscapes and the nomadic nature of influences. Comparative musicology also looked at the classification of musical instruments and systems.

Modern Ethnomusicology

The 80s and 90s saw the study of ethnomusicology shift from its traditional field towards more contemporary forms of music like rap, rock, salsa, afro-pop, and Hindustani classical music.

Music started to intersect with technology, globalization, media and even social unrest, making the study vast enough to have it’s graduate programs in major universities.

The sentence

If we think of a book as an individual house, each sentence becomes a tiny part of the house. Some are mostly functional, while others are the details we remember and take away.

The great sentence

A great sentence makes you want to think it over slowly while considering it. The sentence must have a certain distinction of style and order that is unique to the author.

Great sentences in moderation

Some writers bestow greatness in every sentence without tiring their readers while others can become wearisome with the unrelenting sequence of such sentences. Great minimalist sentences may be enjoyed for longer.

Understanding a text
Understanding a text

We often forget that our interpretation of a text is influenced by our preexisting beliefs, knowledge and expectations.

Hermeneutics theory describes the method and interpretation o...

The hermeneutic circle

Interpreting a text doesn't happen out of context. The concept of the hermeneutic circle is to understand the whole by seeing how the parts interact with each other, and how they interact with the whole.

When we first read a text, we gain an initial understanding. As we move through the text, we keep on updating our understanding based on the new knowledge. In turn, the new context will inform the way we interpret the text.

Consider the context

When practising critical reading, it is crucial to be aware of the context of the text.

Before reading a text, ask :

  • What do you want to gain from reading this topic?
  • What are your existing beliefs?
  • What do you think you know about the topic already?
  • What philosophical movement does the author belong to?
  • How does this text fit within their main work?
  • Take into account the historical and cultural context of the text, the author, and yourself.

It is not practical to go through this process every time you read, but keeping these questions in mind will help you to understand the text.