Ethnomusicologists have turned to biography as a result of three trends within the discipline. First, in our fieldwork we encounter and observe musical individuals, sometimes (but not always) in environments where musical individuality is a marked characteristic of the musical culture as a whole. Second, reappraisal of the politics of representation in ethnographic writing has encouraged us to document more closely the interactions of specific individuals. Finally, new notions of culture themselves place greater emphasis on individual role and agency, thus stimulating us to look at more length at the individual choices made by musicians and others. The writing of biography, nonetheless, has emphases that mark it as partially distinct from ethnographic research, most clearly in its reliance on historical data not observed first-hand by the ethnomusicologist. There may be less space in someone else’s life for the participatory and experiential models proposed in recent discussions of fieldwork.