While enjoying the many compositions of my fellow colleagues at the concert last Friday, it was difficult not to think about an ethnomusicological perspective on the event and the process. From the event, one could not fully understand what was really going on around them. I could not begin to guess what an ethnomusicologist would make of a piece with elements from ragas, a piece that was a dance mix to a reading of a Dylan Thomas poem, a piece that sounded like an acoustic, singer-songwriter single until numerous effects were introduced, and many more. None of these seemed similar in the overall scope of the concert. It seemed as though the ethnomusicologist would almost have to observe every one of our pasts to understand why we chose to do what we did, and the context it took in the concert and class, as well as in our personal lives. I still don’t fully understand why those people chose to do what they did after observing them every step of the process of composing and deciding what to compose. These pieces from nine people in the two sections of the class certainly would have seemed random to any outsider, but for the four other people in my section it made some sense. The composer who made the raga-like piece was in the professor’s world music class at the time, the composer who made a dance mix to a poem was always interested in mixing and mixing software, and the composer who made the singer-songwriter type piece had taken the songwriting class the previous semester and was part of a band on-campus. This was very interesting and fulfilling, as an insider, to observe this culmination of ideas expressed early on in the semester into a final presentation. Throughout it all though, I couldn’t help but wonder what this would mean to an ethnomusicologist or someone just coming to the concert to support their friend. Without the background knowledge, they would not have understood, and even with the knowledge that I had I still felt like I needed to know more to understand what they produced. All in all, this was very distracting during the concert, but it made me realize just how much someone needs to observe a musical context or musical setting to understand it, even if it is only at a basic level.