when did i become a musicologist?

first of all, hello from an extremely extended hiatus. my summer ended as most summers do — calamitous — and i went about the business of becoming a PhD student. it has been most exciting and challenging in the most pleasant of ways. i have now settled into a cycle of read for class, go to class, read for class, go to class, rinse, lather, repeat and now can find the time to squeak in a few thoughts about the process.

[to be honest, i have been afforded this luxury today because i’m off from work. i found myself a resident of St. Luke’s/Roosevelt Hospital yesterday and when that happens, usually everything else stops.]

so, very recently, i found myself asking (of myself) a question: just when did i become a “musicologist”? there are any number of events to which one could turn: the day i became a member of the American Musicological Society (2006), when i started applying for Masters of Musicology programs (2007), when i started taking graduate musicology courses (2006), the day i was admitted into a graduate program (2008), the day i graduated from that program (2010), the day i gave my first paper at a conference (2010), and when i entered a PhD program (2010)…any one of those moments could be heralded as “the moment” but do any of them actually hold any weight? is there an institutionalized body that conferred upon me such a title? or did i have to acquire a certain level of knowledge?

or was it just as simple as completing the utterance “i am a musicologist.”?

the answer, i suppose, is really of no consequence but it is fun to think about. maybe i’m all wrong and i’m not really a musicologist at all. maybe i’m just a kid with a strong interest in something. in any case, if anyone has a thought about it, i’d love to hear it. maybe we are all just what we say we are.


One thought on “when did i become a musicologist?

  1. D.A. says:

    I think it would be a great thing to sit down and reflect on now – yet even more so ten years from now after you’ve published a book or two and are sitting comfortably tenured somewhere. 🙂 I’m kind of in that transition also. I catch myself calling myself an ethnomusicologist, and yet I’m still pretty far behind you. I have to smack myself sometimes and say “nope – haven’t earned that yet”… but at what point do I? Who knows. Hope you are feeling better!

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