民族音乐学家在研究过程中考虑了许多伦理问题，其中大部分与音乐实践的表现不属于“他们自己”有关。民族音乐学家的任务是在其出版物和公开演讲中代表和传播音乐。 可能没有资源或无权代表自己的一群人。 产生准确的陈述是有责任的，但是民族音乐学家也必须意识到，他们永远不能“代表”他们不是成员的团体。 大多数西方民族音乐学家与他们的非西方“信息提供者”或该领域的研究参与者之间通常也存在权力差异。 这种不平等通常是经济上的，有时民族音乐学家会向研究参与者赠送金钱或礼物，以非正式方式交换信息提供者提供给研究者的知识。
Ethnomusicologists have considered many ethical issues in the course of their research, most of which are related to the performance of musical practice not being “they themselves.” The mission of ethnomusicologists is to represent and spread music in their publications and public speeches. There may be no resources or a group of people who have no right to represent themselves. It is responsible to produce accurate statements, but ethnomusicologists must also be aware that they can never “represent” groups in which they are not members. There are often power differences between most Western ethnomusicologists and their non-Western “information providers” or research participants in the field. This inequality is usually economic, and sometimes ethnomusicologists give money or gifts to study participants and informally exchange information provided by the information provider to the researcher.