Unit II Classroom Applications of Fieldwork Basics
Lesson 4 Teams in the Field

Questions for Traditional Musicians

Identify someone in your community who plays traditional music. Interview them using the questions below and ask them to sign a release form or give an oral release so that you can use the information you gather for future projects.

Name of Student Interviewer: _____________________ Date: ____________

Name of Interviewee:____________________________________________

Male or Female (circle) Age:__ Written Release Acquired? __ Oral Release? __


  1. What is your name? When and where were you born?

  2. Describe the type of music that you play.

  3. How does this musical tradition relate to your culture?

  4. Are there particular ocasions in your community when people play and listen to this type of music? If so, do you ever perform on these occasions?

  5. How did you learn to play (sing) this kind of music?

  6. When did you start to learn? (How old were you?)

  7. Where did you live at the time?

  8. How long have you been actively playing this kind of music?

  9. What is it about this kind of music that makes it different from other types?

  10. Are there different styles of playing your type of music?

  11. When and where do you usually play music?

  12. Do you ever earn money by playing music?

  13. Do you play alone or with others?

  14. Are there others in this locale who play the same kind of music? What are their names and types of musical instruments they play?

  15. Have you passed your tradition on to others, who and when? Why is this important to you?

  16. What is your favorite song or tune to play?

  17. What makes a performance/song good? How do you judge a performance/song?

  18. Do you have anything else you would like to add?

Adapted with permission from the Portraits of Oregon Project of the Oregon Historical Society Folklife Program, www.ohs.org.

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