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Transforming Ethnomusicology Volume IMethodologies, Institutional Structures, and Policies$

Beverley Diamond and Salwa El-Shawan Castelo-Branco

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9780197517604

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2021

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780197517604.001.0001

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Ethnomusicological Praxis

Ethnomusicological Praxis

An Introduction

(p.1) Ethnomusicological Praxis
Transforming Ethnomusicology Volume I

Beverley Diamond

Salwa El-Shawan Castelo-Branco

Oxford University Press

Abstract and Keywords

The introductory chapter to each of the two volumes in Transforming Ethnomusicology offers a critical discussion of a range of socially engaged approaches as well as their deep historical roots that we consider foundational and fundamental to the ethnomusicological endeavor. These approaches affiliate variably with such intellectual traditions as Marxism, feminism and anti-racism, Post-colonialism and Indigenous Studies, Participatory Action Research, analyses of heritage practices and sustainability challenges, studies of intellectual property regimes and ecologies, and other work in ethnomusicology and cognate disciplines in the social sciences. Our aim is to deepen the conversation about how intellectual history has informed our discipline and to probe the premises, activities, and assumptions of scholars past and present who strive to respond to the concerns of the communities with whom they work.

Keywords:   praxis, activism, heritage, ecology, antiracism, gender, sustainability, Indigenous Studies, Marxism, Participatory Action Research (PAR), Post-colonialism

A Historical Moment

Ethnomusicologists are no strangers to real-world issues. Engagement with communities and individuals is a requisite for the sort of detailed ethnographic work that is central in the majority of work in the discipline. Indeed the International Council for Traditional Music’s “Declaration of Ethical Principles and Professional Integrity” states this very eloquently and clearly:

Our work with others and the potential impact of our work upon others requires us to work for the benefit of those around us through the creation of new knowledge as well as by means of direct action, engagement, and the application of knowledge. We strive not only to do no harm, but additionally to design our research, teaching, and other activities to bring benefit to those who collaborate with us directly in the study, research, and dissemination of music and dance and associated scholarship. We recognize that our duty of care for those with whom we work most directly is privileged over and above demands or expectations emerging from individuals or organizations outside that immediate context. (ictmusic.org/governance/ethics)

We are called upon to face the challenges of the individuals and communities with whom we work but we also contribute to shaping cultural policies and politics through our work with national and international institutions, to studying colonial histories, and to engaging as activists in a variety of political, social, and environmental causes. For decades, then, ethnomusicologists worldwide, like scholars in other humanities and social science disciplines, have been addressing how best to engage with a wide array of systemic and socially challenging issues. These issues are more often thought to be the purview of other disciplines and yet our research has revealed significant, though sometimes marginalized, insights and strategies for positive change. In light of this, “transforming” in our title obviously has two connotations, one in which “ethnomusicology” is being (p.2) transformed as a discipline and another in which ethnomusicologists are contributing to social change.

While the major academic societies in the field have individually encouraged such research and reflection, prior to 2015, they had rarely collaborated to consider such matters. This anthology emerged from collaboration that began in September 2015, when the Society for Ethnomusicology (SEM) and the International Council for Traditional Music (ICTM) organized a joint forum1 to push ethnomusicological praxis further and to consider new directions. The European Seminar in Ethnomusicology was able to arrange their annual meeting to overlap with the forum for one day. Hence, not just two, but for one day, the three organizations met together. The format combined the deep-delving, single-topic explorations of SEM’s pre-conference symposia characterized by exciting cross-sector exchanges, with the intensive international colloquia on cutting-edge themes that ICTM regularly supports. Both academics and public sector activists were featured. Ample time was scheduled for discussion, time that far exceeded discussion space in most tightly scheduled academic conferences. The forum was described as a space to be safely vulnerable. As such, like all “unsettled” spaces, it was a first step to new conversations. Keynote presenters and selected other speakers were invited to develop papers for this anthology, and they found many ways to deepen and extend the issues.

Ethnomusicologists have long done research that engaged with many social and cultural institutions and issues that affect musicians and all citizens unevenly. These range enormously in scale and scope. Some of us work with or within institutions that gaze to the past, many of them, such as museums and archives, formed originally as part of imperial and colonial enterprises. Others envisage various cultural futures, often in the face of challenges to cultural sustainability. These may range from work with international agencies such as UNESCO, to national and regional heritage organizations, or local projects. Some, such as creative cities initiatives, are utopian while others, such as cultural projects of recovery after war, natural disasters, or forced displacement, seek the means to hang on to survival itself. Some ethnomusicologists work on cultural institutions that offer vastly uneven benefits to cultural “workers” including artists; these include intellectual property regimes or legal structures of legitimation or censorship, among others. Many ethnomusicologists study and take action where possible on social structures of marginalization: persistent racialized and hetero-normative social imaginaries and policies, constructs of legitimacy and privilege that underpin racism, sexism, and class inequities. Those of us who work in universities struggle to ensure that pedagogies are rethinking and not replicating these problematic social structures. We recognize that we must be vigilant about the ways our institutions are complicit in sustaining industrial, governmental, or military regimes that exacerbate inequity. We recognize that music itself is often (p.3) framed naively, that sound may indeed serve destructive as well as constructive social processes. We struggle to understand a complex array of emerging global challenges, among them: increasing conflict and violence, spiraling economic inequity, natural disasters and environmental devastation, the unprecedented mobility of individuals and communities, and the impact of such mobility on human health and well-being.

Praxis, Music Studies and Approaches to Social Inequity and Marginalization

We specifically did not identify this volume as “Applied Ethnomusicology”—though some of the authors claim that affiliation. Rather, we offer a critical discussion of a range of socially engaged approaches as well as their deep historical roots which we consider fundamental to the ethnomusicological endeavor. To elide such things as Marxism, feminism, Indigenous studies, and work on the sustainability of music and dance heritage—to name only four—denies their specificities and historical contingencies. The connection between the theories that help to explain and connect local experiences, knowledges, situations, or phenomena with various needs for action in the real world is what defines praxis. Praxis has a long and multifaceted intellectual history.

Most trace the philosophical origins of the concept of praxis to Aristotle, who argued that “being” was an interweaving of contemplation, doing, and acting in society. Catriona Hanley (http://www.bu.edu/wcp/Papers/Acti/ActiHanl.htm) summarizes key distinctions: “Theoría in Aristotle is the activity of contemplation of necessary objects, while praxis and poíésis require knowledge of contingent objects. Whereas poíésis is an activity of making, aiming at a goal that is distinct from the action involved in the achievement of the goal, the goal of praxis is achieved in accomplishing the very action itself.” She notes that Heidegger shifted the emphasis from the actuality of life to “possibility” while also prioritizing praxis (making) over theoria. While praxis has come to be linked to Marxist theory, the Frankfurt School, and Gramsci by many scholars, its philosophical basis is broader, encompassing work by Arendt, Sartre, and Kierkegaard, among others.

Research on structures of inequity and marginalization may be rooted in Marxist theory, feminism, anti-racist scholarship, and studies of intersectionality, as well as participatory action research. This brief introduction cannot, of course, offer a comprehensive overview of music scholarship in each of these. Rather, we present examples and music-specific issues that we regard as significant and point to instances where ethnomusicologists have added new dimensions and nuances to praxis that originated in other disciplines or where the subject of (p.4) “music” casts the issues in specific ways. The papers in this volume rethink and extend the boundaries of praxis in ethnomusicology.

As is well known, Karl Marx’s intellectual life was shaped by his concerns about class struggle and the capitalist economic bases that create and exacerbate inequities. In music scholarship, Marxist-influenced analyses of music as a commodity have most often focused on popular music. Unlike the critiques of Max Horkheimer and Theodor Adorno, who disliked popular music and regarded its mass production as a means of dulling individual and social consciousness, however, ethnomusicologists and other music scholars have demonstrated how music production raises distinctive issues that cannot be so easily dismissed. The relations of production are exceedingly diverse and complex.2 As Timothy Taylor writes in his study of commodification processes: “Capitalism isn’t as monolithic as it comes across in many of his [Adorno’s] writings, people aren’t always duped by the cultural industries, music isn’t always a commodity, and, if it is, isn’t always a commodity in the same way. If we have learned one important thing from the Marxian study of culture after Adorno—from Raymond Williams—it is that the world is always in flux, that processes, even the most draconian effects of American capitalism, cannot be captured with snapshots of particular cultural moments, or examinations of a single work or two” (2012, 5).

In ethnomusicology a pioneering project was the anthology Music and Marx edited by Regula Qureshi. In her introduction she observes the growing number of “critiques of gender, race and class” and notes that “their collective engagement raises issues of power and hegemony that are increasingly concerned with global capitalism and its impact on people as much as on music” (2002, xv). Her own work examines capital in relation to feudal systems—a label she applies to (pre- and post-colonial) India. Qureshi draws on Marx’s distinction between use value and exchange value, examining how use value is similar to cultural capital, beyond materiality. Among other contributions in her anthology is Adam Krims’s (2002) exploration of commodity fetishism, which shows how musical styles (such as hip-hop) obscure and often exploit the actual economic contexts in which they originated. More recently, Peter Manuel (2019) has written a valuable updated overview that traces ethnomusicological contributions to our knowledge of music’s modes of production (from feudalism to neoliberalism), as well as sonic articulations of socioeconomic class, and resistance to hegemonic structures.

Since Qureshi’s publication, attention to globalization, particularly with regard to popular music and the rapid spread of the world music industry, has proliferated (Perrone and Dunn 2002, White 2012, Taylor 2012, Matsue 2013, to name only a few) and has also turned to globalization and the neoliberal phase of capitalism. Such studies as Peter Manuel’s wide-ranging presentation of “cassette culture” in India (1993) and his daring analysis (2002) of the parallels between (p.5) capitalist social values and the development of closed forms (song form, sonata form), Tim Taylor’s multivalent theorization of music consumption practices (2012), or David Hesmondhalgh’s ethics-based approach to capitalism and media (2017) demonstrate how varied Marxist-influenced music scholarship has become. Scholars of globalization (such as Steven Feld 2000) observe that music studies of the 1990s were polarized about the extent to which industrial capitalism controls not just the circulation and spread but also the valuation of world music. Martin Stokes’s overarching account of music and globalization (2004) demonstrates, however, that local values, structures, and cultural initiatives, as well as the nature of musical sociality itself, challenge generalizations.

The relationship of economically driven inequities on migration has been studied by numerous scholars, among them Toynbee and Dueck (2011), and Anna Morcom (2013). Morcom demonstrates the unevenness of micro industry practices in Nepal, practices that are both capitalized and outside capitalism. Some studies (e.g., Meintjes 2003, Hilder 2017) examine power-laden interactions of production itself—in the recording studio, for instance—as microcosms of race/gender/class relations, rather than on the exchange value of the products of music. Also focusing on local production, Stobart (2010) reveals that, in Bolivia, piracy (characterized either positively or negatively in different sectors) has challenged the power of the large-scale, multi-national music industry. Many ethnomusicological studies demonstrate the wide range of attitudes that coexist among musicians, some valuing social intimacy and rejecting commodization while others learning very well how to work within commercial markets.

Some ethnomusicological initiatives move away from issues of commodification to focus on the impact of economic disparity more generally. The relationship of economic marginalization and human rights (e.g., Stillman, Ramos & Ochoa, and Helbig, all in Weintraub & Yung 2009), on one hand, and cultural sustainability (Grant 2014, Schippers & Grant 2016) on another, are among topics of concern. Other studies by Aaron Fox (2004) or Montero-Diaz (2017) examine constructs of class, the first in live contexts, and the second via digital media. An important initiative was a set of papers on music and poverty published in an issue of the Yearbook for Traditional Music guest edited by Klisala Harrison (2013).

On issues of social justice, the boundaries between the sub-disciplines of music scholarship (e.g., ethnomusicology, musicology, music theory, music education) are especially blurred.3 Feminism is a case in point. As many have noted, feminism and queer theory came late to both musicology and ethnomusicology. Perhaps because of the disciplinary attunement to cultural difference, however, ethnomusicologists have diversified and deepened feminist theory by examining how gendered ideas and practices are shaped by different social values and beliefs (p.6) and subject to reshaping, even though asymmetrical power relations are widespread. Our work goes well beyond analyses of how feminism itself was shaped by national academic traditions (Moi 1985), as the pioneering personal history by Ellen Koskoff reveals in A Feminist Ethnomusicology (2014). While early feminist work focused on gender binaries as instantiated in different cultural concepts and musical practices, many studies noted how concepts are renegotiated in relation to sociopolitical change or intercultural encounter (e.g., Moisala & Diamond 2000, Koskoff 2000, Magrini 2003). The gendering of listening remains an understudied area, although as early as 1994, Cusick proposed an approach to queering listening practices and acknowledging how the “love” of music actually could inform analysis. More recent work in music, as in other disciplines, has focused on more complex, nonbinary embodiments of music/dance as both text and social practice and on the historical specificity of gendered performance (Sugarman 1997, Buchanan 2006, among many others). Studies that historicize specific mobilizations of gender (e.g., Soviet uses of Bulgarian women’s choirs abroad, about which Buchanan has written) or changing constructs of gender that negotiate shifts in governmental or religious policy (Kisliuk 1998, Morcom 2013, Sunardi 2015) nuance normative readings of gender and music in both everyday life and staged presentation. Cross-gender music/dance performance (Sunardi 2015) as well as research on queer performativity in cognate disciplines (Halberstam 1998) has opened new approaches to embodiment. The gendering of affect has been a central component of work by Hahn (2007). Wong (2015) has examined the sexist and racist constructs of eroticism. Though it is not usually a research focus, ethnomusicologists have sometimes written about the gendered nature of their own fieldwork experiences (Shelemay 1991, Hagedorn 2001, Moisala & Diamond 2000). Often influenced by Judith Butler’s analysis of “performativity,” ethnomusicologists in recent decades have examined sound as a dimension that performs, negotiates, or resists binary structures on and off stage. Sugarman’s overview (2019) of music-related gender research and queer theory is a valuable update.

Music and race has an enormous literature and is often linked with other systems of marginalization such as gender and class. Increasingly, sound-oriented scholarly studies have considered the intersectionality of such systems. A President’s Roundtable at the Society for Ethnomusicology in 2014 devoted to the topic of music and power, for instance (see Berger et al., Ethnomusicology 58, no. 2 [2014]), engaged with intersectionality. Maureen Mahon (in Berger 2019) recently extended the analysis of critical approaches to race that she offered in that panel. Academic societies strive to move beyond talk to action. “Minority cultures” have become a strong focus in the culturally diverse ICTM, while the SEM has instituted many “diversity” initiatives over several decades.

(p.7) Two influential ground-laying works are Radano and Bohlman’s Music and the Racial Imagination (2000) and Josh Kun’s Audiotopia: Music, Race and America (2005). The majority of studies of music and race focuses on blackness, especially but not exclusively in the United States and Caribbean. The inflection of racial constructs through the globalization of Black popular music as described in Paul Gilroy’s Black Atlantic (1993) influenced subsequent studies of the world music industry (see, e.g., Pacini Hernandez 2004, Hayes 2010, White 2012). Monson (2003) introduced the concept of diaspora in relation to complex sociopolitical differences in racialized musical contexts. She has also focused on state diplomacy in times where racism at home is strongly challenged, in her study of Black musicians abroad during the US civil rights movement (2007). The colonial roots of race-based, classed, and gendered constructs of the human voice with reference to nineteenth-century racial constructs of Indigenous and Afro Colombians have been analyzed compellingly in Ochoa Gautier’s Aurality (2014). In national contexts, many music scholars have explored the racial shaping of specific genres: zouk (Guilbault 2013), hip-hop (e.g., Rose 1994, Mitchell 2001, Helbig 2014, and others), salsa (Waxer 2013), or bachata (Pacini Hernandez 1995). In the Americas, whiteness has sometimes been a focus in both musicology and ethnomusicology; see Oja (2009) and Montero-Diaz (2017), for instance. Rao’s study of Chinese opera in America (2011) addresses white constructs of Asian stereotypes.

In Europe, different political circumstances have shaped music studies of racism. Music’s role in articulating the linking of racial or ethnic purity with constructs of anti-Semitic national identities has been studied by Bohlman (2004, 2011), Móricz (2008), and others. The racism that underpins attitudes toward marginalized groups such as the Roma who have been particularly skilled as music performers has been addressed by Pettan (2003, 2010) and others. Racialized listening has been addressed recently by Kheshti (2015) and Stoever (2016). Postcolonial racism has been addressed by many; Griff Rolleson’s intersectional study Flip the Script (2017) is one important contribution focusing on the often racialized genre of hip-hop in Europe.

For many, action-oriented strategies can best be determined through Participatory Action Research (PAR), an approach that questions elitist control of knowledge production. It began as a movement pioneered by Colombian sociologist Orlando Fals Borda (1991, 2006). Noting that “forms and relationships of knowledge production should have as much, or even more, value than forms and relationships of material production” (1987: 337), he describes the focus on method as follows:

This experiential methodology for life and labour implies the acquisition of serious and reliable knowledge upon which to construct power for the poor and (p.8) exploited social groups and their authentic organisations. In this connection, people’s power may be defined as the capacity of the grass-roots groups, which are exploited socially and economically, to articulate and systematise knowledge (both their own and that which comes from outside) in such a way that they can become protagonists in the advancement of their society and in defence of their own class and group interests. (1987: 330)

The modes of PAR “research” include but expand on conventional qualitative and quantitative methodologies by ensuring that research aims and methods are formulated by communities themselves. Communities, then, determine appropriate means to address problems they face; in collaboration, researchers might conduct surveys, document and gather data from assemblies and both informal and formal performance events, or recover history by tapping oral traditions and interviews. Of particular importance for ethnomusicology is the emphasis on cultural dimensions ignored in other social sciences, dimensions such as art, music, drama, sports, beliefs, myths, story-telling, and expressive, creative, or recreational modes. This method was spread further by the influential philosopher and educator Paulo Freire (2005). The necessarily long-term nature of the interaction involved in collective PAR research is reflected in the important work of Brazilian ethnomusicologist Samuel Araújo and the youth with whom he works in the favela of Maré in Rio de Janeiro. Araújo and the Grupo Musicultura often coauthor publications, a practice that is influencing other ethnomusicologists to share authority. Many scholars use elements of PAR, working with communities to determine the social needs, research goals, and methodologies of research, but Araújo is notable for his commitment to the longue durée of PAR in a way that few other music scholars have been. While there is, we argue, some naiveté in many studies that regard “participatory music making” as a de facto equivalent of participatory action research, we applaud projects that direct music making and/or media making to address such things as poverty and sub-standard living conditions (see, e.g., Frishkopf 2017, Araújo 2013).

Heritage Praxis and Sustainability

We now turn to heritage praxis, which has a long and multi-faceted legacy of institutional work and community engagement in ethnomusicology. A ubiquitous global phenomenon in late modern societies, heritage4 matters because, as a form of intervention and a transformative process (Hafstein 2014), the ways in which it is used has “consequences for the individual, community, national, and global understanding of self and other” (Smith 2012: 393). Ethnomusicologists have contributed to shaping and implementing state and international heritage (p.9) regimes (Bendix et al. eds. 2012: 12–13),5 and have done significant work toward the documentation, revival, safeguarding, and dissemination of music heritage and the recognition of its custodians.6 This work has only recently begun to be acknowledged as an important part of ethnomusicological praxis and of the field’s history. On the national scale, it entails the design and implementation of public policy and legislation on music heritage, though much of it is little known outside its national boundaries. It also involves the creation and management of museums, research centers, sound and audiovisual archives, and other institutions that document, research, safeguard, and disseminate music heritage, provide training in field research and safeguarding measures, and promote collaborative research with communities on their music and dance practices (Berlin & Simon 2002, Murphy 2015, Seeger 2006, Seeger & Chaudhuri 2004, Pettan & Titon 2015). Ethnomusicologists have also disseminated heritage practices as concert and festival organizers, exhibition curators, authors of radio programs and educational materials targeted to the general public, and compilers and editors of influential collections of ethnographic recordings.7

Increasingly, ethnomusicologists promote projects that aim at repatriating recorded collections to their communities of origin and creating the conditions for communities to access, recollect, revitalize, and sustain their music heritage, privileging dialogue with the descendants of the documented tradition bearers, promoting networks of “forward-looking reciprocity” (Fox 2013: 552), fulfilling moral and ethical obligations toward communities of origin, and contributing to decolonizing the discipline (e.g., Corn 2012, Fox 2013, Gray 1997, Nannyonga-Tamusuza & Weintraub 2012, Treloyn & Emberley 2013; see also the chapters by Emberly & Davhula, and Treloyn & Charles, both in Volume II). Australians have been leaders in repatriating Indigenous recordings, particularly since the establishment of the Australian Institute for Indigenous and Torres Strait Island Studies (AIATSIS) in 1989 as an archive devoted exclusively to Aboriginal materials.8

Ethnomusicologists also acknowledge heritage custodians through nominations to programs designed to honor their legacy9 and the creation of opportunities for them to perform, record, and transmit their knowledge to new generations (see José Jorge Carvalho’s chapter in Volume II). Some also act as advocates and facilitators of community-based projects that aim at revitalizing and sustaining cultural heritage, and valuing cultural diversity (see Tan’s chapter in this volume). As heritage experts, in some countries ethnomusicologists are called upon to spearhead complex initiatives with positive and negative dimensions such as the preparation of applications for the inscription of music and dance practices on national heritage registers and on UNESCO’s programs, like the Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity, the lists of Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) regulated by the 2003 Convention for the (p.10) Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage (UNESCO 2003), and the Creative Cities Network, established in 2004. The preparation of applications, their results, and the complex negotiation of different agendas of government and the heritage and tourist industries are sometimes wrought with conflict, with consequences that can contradict the initial objectives. A few ethnomusicologists have recently begun to critically assess their involvement with such programs on the national level and within UNESCO, and the impact of heritagization on musicians, communities, music performance, and associated artifacts, their ownership, and meaning (Ceribašić 2019, León 2009, Samson 2015, Samson & Sandroni 2013, Sandroni 2010, Stojkova Serafimovska et al. 2016, Yung 2009).

On the international scale, several ethnomusicologists, some as official representatives of the International Council for Traditional Music (ICTM), an NGO in formal consultative relations with UNESCO, have been involved in the development, critical discussion, formulation, and implementation of UNESCO’s ICH programs.10 ICTM’s secretaries-general (Dieter Christensen in 2001 and Anthony Seeger in 2003 and 2005) collaborated in the evaluation of the applications to the Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity program (Seeger 2009, UNESCO 2001). Several ICTM members also contributed to the configuration of the principles that undergird the highly influential 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (UNESCO 2003), to the critical discussion on the concepts and terminology used therein (Adrienne Kaeppler, Krister Malm 2001, and Wim van Zanten 2002, 2004, 2007 & 2009), and on ICH lists (Egil Bakka, László Felföldi,and Tvrtko Zebec in 2007).11 ICTM officers were also involved in drafting the 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions (Krister Malm) and served on several of UNESCO’s bodies and committees, most significantly the Consultative Body of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of ICH (Wim van Zanten, 2012, and Naila Ceribašić, 2013–2014), and the Evaluation Body (Ceribašić, 2015).

UNESCO’s ICH paradigm established by the 2003 Convention has had a wide-ranging and diverse influence in many parts of the world.12 It “provided a common language for talking about living cultural traditions” (Kurin 2017: 40). In fact, the concepts, as well as the spirit and letter of UNESCO’s ICH Convention, were adapted to the legislation of many states, anchoring the design and implementation of public policies, influencing heritage discourse more broadly, and transforming the relationship between scholars, practitioners, communities, and the state. In many cases, this has entailed the reconceptualization, transformation, and recasting of local practices as national and/or “global heritage,” and as commodities for tourist consumption (DeCesari 2012: 409, Hafstein 2014, Kearney 2009: 13).

(p.11) The imbrication of ethnomusicologists and other scholars in structures of power that impact on heritage—especially in the “dynamic triangulation” among the three constitutive elements in the “governmentalization of the global sphere” (Hafstein 2014: 55), namely, international authority, state, and community—poses many challenges and has epistemological, methodological, and ethical implications on fieldwork, research outputs, policies, institutions, and communities of practice. The role of ethnomusicologists and other scholars in heritagization needs to be critically assessed, an endeavor in which a few ethnomusicologists are engaged (e.g., Ceribašić 2019, Murphy 2015, Seeger 2009). On the other hand, as Regina Bendix adverts, “critical analysis ought not to disable the positive potential inherent to heritage-making but rather support the infusion of reflexivity in heritage decision-making processes” (Bendix et al. eds. 2012: 19) and in the role of scholars therein. Indeed, as several ethnomusicologists have argued, heritagization can contribute to the revival, valorization, and sustainability of heritage practices that were marginal, subaltern, or neglected (e.g., Howard 2012, Rees 2012).

Looking toward the future, a growing number of ethnomusicologists have been concerned about the long-term sustainability of heritage and other music and dance practices. Adopting an ecological perspective, recent studies explore the necessary conditions for the sustainability of music as a basis for culture policy, and for designing revitalization strategies in partnership with communities (see Titon’s chapter in this volume, Schippers & Grant 2016, Schippers & Bendrups 2015, Titon 2009).

Cultural Rights and Intellectual Property

Cultural and intellectual property and cultural rights, especially as they pertain to minorities and indigenous peoples, have become the focus of ethnomusicological research and advocacy (Guy 2003, Kapchan 2014, Mills 1996, Seeger 1996, Weintraub & Yung 2009, Zemp 1996). The notions of cultural heritage and cultural property are sometimes used synonymously, though they constitute “parallel rather than identical modalities within the patrimonial regime . . . [and] are supplemented by intellectual property” (Bendix and Hafstein 2009: 5). Cultural property was first contemplated in UNESCO’s 1954 Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict, also known as The Hague Convention. However, the issue of cultural property is not explicitly addressed in UNESCO’s 2003 Convention. The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), a UN agency dedicated to protecting intellectual property throughout the world, recognizes the rights that individual authors have over their literary and artistic work (copyright), but does not yet contemplate (p.12) community rights. As has been argued by several ethnomusicologists, copyright legislation does not apply to collectively (re)created musical expressions, a common practice in communities throughout the world. The discrepancies between Indigenous customary law that views music as a form of relationality that requires “responsible access” and the Western world’s focus on “ownership” are particularly divergent, as ethnomusicologist and law professor Trevor Reed (Hopi) has eloquently described (2019).

Within ethnomusicology, the ICTM spearheaded the debate on issues of ownership and copyright. A “Statement on Copyright in Folk Music” was published in the September 1957 issue of the Bulletin of the International Folk Music Council. The Executive Board of the Council appointed a Commission on Copyright and Ownership of Traditional Music and Dance in 1989, which was chaired by the then board member Krister Malm.13 The commission was formed taking into account the interest of WIPO and UNESCO in addressing copyright for different forms of “folklore” and the work leading up to UNESCO’s 1989 Recommendation for the Safeguarding of Traditional Culture and Folklore (Bulletin 75, 1989: 5). The commission was also charged with completing a survey of copyright legislation and concepts regarding the ownership of traditional music and dance. In addition, this was one of the themes of the 33rd World Conference held in Canberra (Australia) and the focus of several articles published in the Yearbook for Traditional Music, volume 28, 1996 (Mills 1996, Seeger 1996, Zemp 1996).

Ethnomusicologists and dance scholars also advocate for cultural rights and the freedom of music expression, denouncing censorship through research (Hall 2018) and the media, and fighting for freedom of expression and cultural equity through national and international organizations (Jackson 2004). Krister Malm is co-founder and member of the Executive Committee of Freemuse (https://freemuse.org), an independent international organization founded in 1997 advocating for and defending freedom of artistic expression that has denounced the censorship of musicians in many parts of the world. Where culture is concerned, however, there are always competing agendas surrounding performance. The public display of music and dance is both constrained and mobilized in the interests of politically diverse authorities and projects. The work that ethnomusicologists, ethnochoreologists, and popular music scholars do in demonstrating these contended uses is socially important as complements to work that addresses cultural rights directly.

(p.13) Human and Ecological Well-being

Rights are closely connected with health and well-being in human contexts. Music scholars are contributing to broadening the discourse about health and wellness, especially by insisting on the multiple dimensions that are biological, psychological, social, emotional, and spiritual (Barz & Cohen 2011, Koen, 2008, 2018, Bakan 2015, de Nora 2015). The AIDS epidemic hastened important initiatives in Africa in particular. There and elsewhere, many have noted the impact of music on pain reduction and social support.

The huge range of music-related subjects associated with health and well-being cannot be adequately addressed here. Among this plethora of topics, aging has been one focus, with studies of older taste communities (Bennett 2018, Whiteley 2005, Ragot et al. 2002), as well as music and memory decline. Other work has related to music and mobility, music and psychological distress, or sonic vibration and healing.

The “music and wellness” scholarship has shifted over time from articulating the need to recognize “that the concept of disability saturates the cultural fabric” (Lerner and Straus 2006). Recent studies argue compellingly to dismantle normativity and hence respect differential physical and mental capacities (Wrazen 2016). Fields in which normativity has been challenged include studies of music and deafness that reveal how “listening” can be differently embodied and explained (Corringham 2012, Grenier 2018). Autism research has also been particularly important in this regard (Bakan 2018).

The broadening of music praxis to “sound studies” within both anthropology and ethnomusicology has enabled multivalent approaches to the well-being of the earth itself and that of humans and other life forms. Pauline Oliveros’s “deep listening” training has been one widely lauded initiative, generating deeper knowledge of the sonic communication systems of other-than-human beings (Rothenberg 2012, Minevich and Waterman 2013). McCartney (2016) has conducted longitudinal studies of changing sound as a result of environmental change and has also questioned the ethics of soundscapes studies. Feld’s concept of acoustemology is an important advocacy for a broader inter-species approach to sound. He asks us “to consider the nature of human sonic interactions with all other species, with environments, with technologies. It [acoustemology] asks about the ethical and political consequences of an anthropocentric belief in an essential human nature, and engages how this idea aided imperialism and the domination of people, species, and places. It takes seriously the implications of these consequences for studies of music and sound” (2017, 94). This perspective aligns well with Indigenous approaches.

Two other ways in which recent ethnomusicology is contributing to sound ecology are through studies that address ecological precarity and to (p.14) environmental activism. With regard to the former, Jeff Titon has provided leadership through a widely read blog on “sustainable music” (sustainablemusic.blogspot.com) and through academic publications (2009). See also Titon in this volume. Attention to ecology with regard to the materials used in the production of musical instruments is one aspect of the broader topic of ecology and is a topic of growing concern (Simonett 2017, Tucker 2016). In other contexts, as scholars have described, music is used to articulate public attention about environmental issues (e.g., Rees 2016, Manabe 2015, Frishkopf 2017).

Indigenous Studies scholars have long articulated how song and dance enact the broader ontologies of life on earth in the communities in which they work and/or live. Australian scholars pioneered this area of study (see, e.g., Wild 1981, 1984), and Andean scholars have also published actively on this issue. See, for example, contributions by Anthony Seeger and Bernd Brabec de Mori in a special topics issue of the Ethnomusicology Forum (2013). They have also worked with Indigenous singers and elders to articulate how music expresses relationships with the spirit world (e.g., Marett 2005). Indigenous-authored studies are understandably circumspect about sharing such knowledge. The ethical and theoretical implications of newer Indigenous-centered approaches are having an impact on music scholarship and pedagogy.

Indigenous Studies

Although it is often treated as an “area studies” initiative, the unique positioning of Indigenous Studies in relation to colonialism and the global reach,14 in recent decades, has ethical, theoretical, and methodological implications that must be considered in relation to praxis in ethnomusicology as in all scholarly fields. Indigenous Studies is the form of praxis described here that addresses “settler colonialism”15 centrally and the very concept of “property” addressed above. But while colonial oppression and deterritorialization defines the shared history/context of most Indigenous groups worldwide, Indigenous Studies also validate the authority, indeed the sovereignty, of the very local. The sovereignty of local beliefs, laws, and lifeways is central, even though global alliances and interactions among Indigenous people are widely recognized as tactics for addressing a wide range of issues, including many relevant to music scholarship. These include concepts of ownership and intellectual property, relationships in fieldwork, ontologies that recognize interrelations of human and other species, the very methods of music scholarship which have so often replicated those of “extractive” industries in the name of “collecting,” to name a few important ones. Concepts such as “collaboration” or even “decolonization” are being questioned as “moves to innocence” (Tuck and Yang 2012) that appease settler guilt without (p.15) actually addressing the basis of settler colonialism as a system bent on taking Indigenous lands and ending Indigenous societies.

Because Indigenous-centered approaches have grappled with the divergent scale of praxis and because local knowledge is valued, the frequent collapsing of such differences in generalizations about “Indigenous” people and cultures is felt to be particularly egregious. As described earlier, respect for local knowledge is also valued in Participant Action Research, an approach to praxis that is widely used in Indigenous studies (though often still initiated by settler scholars). Just as PAR questions the control of knowledge production, Audra Simpson and Andrea Smith remind us that “native studies since its inception has steadfastly engaged the historical and political context that defines truth” and further acknowledges that because of these contingencies, what anyone regards as “true” is flexible and changing (Simpson 2014, 3). Related to this, is what Indigenous scholars have labeled “ethnographic entrapment” (Simpson and Smith 2014; Povinelli 2002): namely, the problematic representation of racial “others” as static and anti-modern and the false expectation that Indigenous people must exhibit the “loss” of these traditional knowledges and lifeways.

Recent studies (Rifkin 2011, Mackey 2016) develop these and other aspects of the “structures of feeling”—particularly entitlement—that continue to animate settler colonialism. Rifkin asks, “How does that feeling of connection to this place as citizens of the state actively efface ongoing histories of imperial expropriation and contribute to the continuing justification of the settler state’s authority to superintend Native peoples?” (2011: 342). Entitlement to land is central, but the authors in Levine and Robinson (2019) have shown how entitlement also inflects practices of listening as well as research approaches. Robinson (2020) has discussed the concept of “hungry listening” that underpins much fieldwork. And the comparison of “collecting” songs and “extracting” natural resources has been reiterated by many. Indigenous studies aim to dismantle settler colonialism and to protect people and lands that are central to their existence and ways of being. Some see in such aims an implicit critique of Marxism as a Western development model. Concerns arise about the inaccurate “post” in postcolonialism, or about the homogenizing of local difference in contexts where “Indigenous” is expressed as a singularity. While scholars who work with Indigenous communities have always been asked how their research might benefit the communities, the theoretical implications of such questions are now emerging in ethnomusicology in ways that are dynamic and exciting. The impact of colonial violence, particularly in the contexts of boarding and residential schools, has received close attention (Troutman 2009, Robinson & Martin 2016). Constructs of “modernity” have been discussed in relation to the colonial definitions of Indigeneity as outside modernity (Ochoa 2014, Levine & Robinson 2019). Related research examines (p.16) the implications of technology for realigning histories and relationalities (Neuenfeldt 2007; Hilder et al. 2017) in the twenty-first century.

Reflections on Applied Ethnomusicology

Many of the praxis-oriented approaches discussed so far uncovered structures of thinking and feeling, structures of governance and education, roles and relations, that normalized lifeways for the privileged (usually white, European-descended, Northern Hemisphere dwellers) and critiqued concomitant structures of marginalization. Some of them have been directed toward action in the world. Increasingly, however, ethnomusicologists have wanted to move more explicitly to action that critiques privilege, to contribute to social justice initiatives and social change. Much of the latter work self-identifies as Applied Ethnomusicology.16

Applied Ethnomusicology has existed on the margins of scholarly discussions and even scholarly consciousness for a long time. Like anthropologists, folklorists, sociologists, and other social scientists, ethnomusicologists have always done community-oriented work and offered to help with projects that communities deemed important, but in earlier decades, such work was regarded simply as a way of giving back. Many projects were done out of friendship but were rarely written about. Perhaps as a result, many contend that applied work has been undervalued in the academy. As a “conscious practice” (Sheehy 1992, 323), Applied Ethnomusicology has experienced a surge of energy in the twenty-first century, however, and has, as a result, instigated debate about best practices and analyses of the different social contexts that shape community-oriented work (see Dirksen 2012). The adjective “applied” has itself proved contentious (see Averill 2003); some prefer “activist,” “engaged,” or “socially relevant,” while others argue that all ethnomusicology, and not just a sub-area labeled “applied,” engages with or responds to social needs and community aspirations. A number of anthologies of Applied Ethnomusicology have now been published (Harrison, Mackinlay & Pettan 2010; Pettan & Titon 2015). They outline how applied ethnomusicology extends and complements other academic domains. With specific reference to the US context, Titon identifies various kinds of activities or “interventions”: cultural policy interventions, advocacy, and education, as well as peace and conflict resolution; medicine, law, and the music industry; museum and archive work (repatriation); journalism; environmental sound activism; and ecojustice. With reference to other national contexts, Pettan echoes a number of Titon’s themes but also describes the importance of attention to immigration and recognition of minority cultures, to conflict studies and peacebuilding initiatives.

(p.17) Ethnomusicologists have already made significant contributions to many of these issues. They have contributed new dimensions to the study of conflict and violence (see O’Connell and Castelo-Branco 2010). They have illuminated music’s social roles in times of war (Pettan 1998, Ceribašić 2000), and in contexts of ongoing violence (Ramos & Ochoa 2009). Scholars have helped mobilize music after conflict as a vehicle for generating communication and possibly effecting agreement or for voicing dispute (e.g., Pettan 2010, Sweers 2015). But they have also uncovered how sound and music are playing roles in exacerbating dissonance (O’Connell & Castelo-Branco 2010, Pieslak 2015, Gilman 2016) or even causing injury and death, as is the case with no-touch torture (Cusick 2008, Daughtry 2015).

Awareness is growing about potential pitfalls and problematic assumptions that may tinge some “applied” work. The idea of “enabling” communities assumes a position of power for researchers that often reinscribes a Western-centric hegemony: it implies that researchers are “helpers,” while assuming that community collaborators who may have historically been “wards of the state” in colonial contexts in particular (Coulthard 2007, 2014) need help. Furthermore, writing about field experiences is sometimes silent about situations in which researchers are quite helpless.17

As has been noted at (at least one) recent Applied Ethnomusicology gathering, there has been a rosy cast to many Applied Ethnomusicology discussions and too little attention paid to the very difficult and often dangerous negotiations of power in fieldwork. While there have been accounts of vulnerability (e.g., Babiracki, Beaudry, Kisliuk in Barz & Cooley 2008), there are fewer instances of scholars who discuss political interference, although exceptions include Levin (1996). Some studies (e.g., Spinney 2006, Kisliuk 1998) have described power struggles between village leaders and missionaries, for example, but few have addressed the roles that ethnomusicologists may be called upon to assume and the real dangers that may be associated with those roles.

Introduction to the Papers

As the chapter summaries below describe, the papers in the companion volumes of this anthology strive to understand the aims and uses of sound-oriented research and the roles of ethnomusicologists, together with collaborators, as activists and socially engaged scholars. Some chapters could easily be categorized within some of the dominant approaches to praxis outlined above, but many cross boundaries between approaches and this, we argue, is significant for future research. Gender, class, and race constructs as well as colonial histories are not always named as analytics but nonetheless inform many of the chapters, (p.18) including those by Muller and Öhman, Treloyn, Emberly, Dirksen, and Hofman. Institutional structures—be they governmental, legal, educational, or otherwise socially constructed—frame discussions by Seeger, Pettan, Shao, Hofman, McGraw, McDonald, Liebmann, Emberly, and Wong. In addition to Indigenous-centered approaches by Hamill, Roberts, Treloyn and Charles, and Emberly and Davhula, there is a strong ecological turn in several other chapters, most notably those by Hamill, Dirksen, Dillane and Langlois, Titon, and Frishkopf. Health (spiritual, social, psychological, and physical) is at issue in chapters by Shao, Frishkopf, Dirksen, and Hamill. The extension of sound studies beyond the realm of the human (Hamill), the re-storying of spaces (Tan), and the uses of new media to document environmental degradation and to lobby for change (Dirksen, Hamill, Araújo) are all extensions of earlier praxis approaches both conceptually, representationally, and socio-politically. The revitalization, transmission, and sustainability of heritage practices; the transmission of knowledge by heritage custodians, honored and integrated in revitalization projects and established institutional structures; and the repatriation of sound recordings and their use as catalysts for revitalizing social practices are addressed in the chapter by Tan, Carvalho, Emberly and Davhula, and Treloyn and Charles. UNESCO’s ICH programs are also critically addressed in Titon’s chapter. Globalization and its economic implications are central frames in Hofman, Impey, Carvalho, Frishkopf, and Shao. Applied ethnomusicology approaches range from the activist (Liebman) to research-oriented work (Muller and Öhman). Araújo historicizes and uses Participant Action Research, as does Tan. Projects described by these authors as well as Emberly and Davhula, and Treloyn and Charles further sustainability by engaging intergenerational participants. The chapters that follow, then, adopt various approaches to praxis, often influenced by more than one of the above-mentioned epistemological traditions, but framed by specific geopolitical circumstances pertaining to their work.

Before describing the individual chapters, we draw attention to the “position statements” of the authors. Rather than submitting conventional biographical notes, we asked the authors of this anthology to write about what moved them to do the engaging work they do. They responded with passion and candor. The statements reveal amazing experiences that underpin motivations, methodologies, and modes of explanation. While their biographies and professional trajectories are diverse, we share a deep commitment to fight for human rights and a more equitable society, social and political justice, fair labor conditions inside and outside academia, as well as cultural and environmental sustainability. We urge you to meet us as individuals through these extraordinary position statements.

The two volumes are complementary, and while the subtitles of each indicate some differences in their orientation, there are many thematic intersections (p.19) across the two volumes as well. Volume I, which focuses on “Institutional Structures and Policies,” begins with chapters by Anthony Seeger, Svanibor Pettan, and Luke Lassiter that provide historical overviews of some of the broad contexts and issues that shape praxis. They include institutions, national situations, collaborative research practices, and approaches to ethics. Pettan describes the histories of the International Council for Traditional Music and the Society for Ethnomusicology. He notes the former’s emergence in the tense political context of post–World War II Europe as well as the continuing commitment to global inclusion and cultural recognition through agencies such as UNESCO. He also observes the Society for Ethnomusicology’s broad humanistic goals and efforts to facilitate cross-cultural dialogue through their translation series and digital initiatives to enable access to conference sessions, and opportunities to participate in blogs, podcasts, and stories from the field. While he does not explicitly discuss either praxis or the potential for disciplinary transformation, he reveals pertinent foundations. Anthony Seeger reflects on a century of applied work in anthropology, comparing Brazil and the United States with an emphasis on changes in praxis and ethics. He highlights ways in which “anthropology is different in different places” and how public/applied work is defined differently by different organizations. The vignettes of individuals offer tangible evidence of the ways scholars have engaged differently in a variety of social and national contexts. Luke Lassiter, whose Chicago Guide to Collaborative Ethnomusicology (2005) has been widely influential, reflects on the history of collaboration, noting the “complicated dimensions” that emanate from “epistemological transformations . . . the democratization of fieldwork praxis, the increased development of public scholarship . . . and the broadening of the possibilities for activist research.”

The next group of papers by McDonald, Shao, Liebman, and Dirksen speak to activist approaches in difficult circumstances of poverty, racial discrimination, or unjust systems. In most cases, the authors address the difficulty that ethnomusicologists face in striving to contribute substantively to change. As Rebecca Dirksen notes, such work requires humility and patience.

David A. McDonald makes a compelling argument for a critical, activist, and collaborative ethnomusicology that would contribute to the public good and respond to global challenges addressed in this collection. Grounded in the author’s well-known work on the poetics and performance of violence and Palestinian resistance (2009 and 2013), and drawing on his ethnographic work with the Holy Land Foundation Five affiliates and their families, McDonald outlines some of the theoretical, methodological, practical, and ethical challenges that an activist approach would entail and the deep insights it yields. He proposes the displacement of knowledge production from the individual researcher to the community, the political alignment of researchers with communities with whom they (p.20) engage, and the mobilization of research outcomes to their benefit. Attuned to the ethics of intervention, he models how an activist-oriented critical ethnomusicology may extend the impact of more conventional applied methods and further open new spaces for mobilizing ethnomusicological research for the public good.

Oliver Y. Shao undertook research in the Kakuma refugee complex in Kenya, well aware of the difficult ethics of writing about the suffering of others. He describes the systemic and long-term structures of such camps, which function as urban “warehouses” for those displaced by war. While he participated in music making that raised awareness of health issues such as malaria, nutrition, and sexually transmitted diseases, he focuses in his chapter on a daytime Christian parade. Shao describes how the participants were cast by the camp authorities as objects of fear and were made to disperse. He discusses, however, that those who sang and played in the parade were enacting a longtime seasonal tradition and asserting cultural citizenship in a space that denied them this basic human need.

Becky Liebman introduces readers to the joyous and sometimes playfully irreverent tradition of activist street bands in the United States. These “HONK!” ensembles aim to transform public spaces and to confront power by addressing local issues of concern. In the spirit of “punk,” the bands welcome anyone, regardless of musical skill. The chapter focuses on festivals that are organized in various North American cities to “energize local institutions” or “support local organizing.” A participant herself, the author conducted lively interviews that reveal much about individual attitudes and motivations.

Rebecca Dirksen and musician collaborators in Haiti have been striving to draw attention to the huge amount of garbage (fatra) in that island country. Social infrastructure for addressing such issues as sanitation has been minimal since the unstable political period that followed the collapse of the Duvalier regime in 1986, and the devastating earthquake of 2010 further exacerbated the problem of garbage, as did US dumping of toxic waste on the island`s beaches. Struggles to clean up are piecemeal and they may be thwarted by the ways garbage is politicized. Dirksen cites musicians whose songs urge attention to the matter and the health-related problems that result. At the same time, her collaborators demand dignity and resist initiatives that give their country a negative cast in the eyes of the world.

Tan, as well as Muller and Öhman, argue for transforming ethnomusicological praxis through activist PAR, a powerful method of democratic and transformative knowledge production and a path toward decolonizing ethnomusicological research. Tan Sooi Beng describes a project aimed at revitalizing an endangered puppet theater form in Penang called potehi, which was brought by Chinese immigrants from Fujian Province in South China to Malaya in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The project provides a model for (p.21) a people-centered, collaborative research approach where the emphasis is on dialogue, participation and action in the planning, documentation, transmission, and performance of potehi by the faculty, university students and young people, of the Chinese community, together with the traditional practitioners. Carol Ann Muller and Nina Öhman discuss a PAR project that engages students in collaborative field research and Academically Based Community Service (ABCS) at the University of Pennsylvania in partnership with the African American Muslim community of the Quba Institute, a Muslim center of learning and service. The aim is to create a publicly accessible archive of historical and ethnographic records of music in the lives of predominantly Muslim African Americans and recently arrived Africans in West Philadelphia.

The final section in Volume I of the anthology includes chapters that address responses to systemic violence. Angela Impey’s fieldwork has been in the violence-ridden state of South Sudan (where the fragile peace process that she spoke about in 2015 has since broken down). She makes a strong case for taking local song knowledge into international development work, challenging common assumptions that the arts are irrelevant to such work. In relation to the transitional justice process in South Sudan, she demonstrates how cultural performance could not only bring “hidden voices” (including women and children) into the discussion of humanitarian issues but could present multiple, performative, and culturally contingent perspectives that enhance both memory and problem solving. Song facilitates respectful disagreement, catharsis, and the rebuilding of trust between Dinka and Nuer pastoralists. It holds moral authority as ritual practice. Her chapter is an exemplar of “imaginative transdisciplinarity” as a means of addressing critical social problems and ethnic disagreement.

An innovative concluding chapter is by Deborah Wong, who is proposing a series of what she describes as “rogue methodologies” that face the limitations of conventional ethnography in relation to discrimination and violence. Involved in Black Lives Matter and committed to holding authorities to account, Wong’s invocation to “witnessing” raises methodological issues as a matter of ethics. Whereas ethnography assumes the authority to represent, witnessing means “to be in the moment,” to share, to stand in solidarity, holding those in power to account. In Ferguson, Missouri, and elsewhere in the United States, attending the mourning of many African American citizens who have died as a result of police violence, she stands in support of Black Lives Matter as one of the mourners. She also listens again and again to audio and/or video recordings of “officer-involved deaths” to ascertain the truth of the violent incidents in the face of less reliable evidence. She raises issues of what acts of listening might accomplish. How does one listen to chaos, when there is insufficient intelligibility or silence, and who is there to be heard? The more usual visual orientation of “witnessing” is challenged (p.22) as she ponders ways to decolonize the field of ethnomusicology and to contribute to the struggle for racial equality.

Future Possibilities

This anthology refuses the neat packages of some classic approaches to praxis theory. It offers some daring reflections on methodologies and considers ways that ethnography itself can be useful in real-life contexts. It examines concepts: among them, “collaboration,” “property,” and “well-being.” It also looks inwardly at the histories of academic institutions and outwardly with an eye to the potential of daring, radical change.

We suggest that some of the strategies that underpin this anthology should be carried forward in future initiatives. These include, for instance: comparing the ways central concepts and theories have developed in different cultural spheres and national contexts as the first three authors in this anthology began to do (the Global South remains underrepresented in this anthology as do Indigenous contributors); learning from discomfort and vulnerability, both by honestly presenting our motivations and limitations, but also by cultivating more openness to different positionalities; evaluating the effectiveness of projects, practices, and institutions and their intellectual and political assumptions. Most important, we anticipate that further collaborations among academic and public sector organizations and international institutions will be an effective strategy to identify how best ethnomusicologists can contribute to understanding and resolving rapidly changing global and local challenges as they emerge.



(1.) The forum was beautifully hosted by the Irish World Center for Music and Dance of the University of Limerick. The Irish World Centre is known internationally for its commitment to community engagement and to exploring how the arts can contribute to social inclusion and to health (http://www.irishworldacademy.ie/research/research-groups/). The University of Limerick engages in Peace and Development Studies through a specialized research Center (https://www.ul.ie/ppa/centre-for-peace-and-development-studies).

(2.) Adorno’s writing on music has been compiled and translated into English. See Theodor Adorno, Richard Leppert, and Susan Gillespie, eds., Essays on Music: Theodor W. Adorno (2002).

(3.) Hard evidence for this statement is virtually impossible to locate and so this is impressionistic but based on citational practices here and elsewhere.

(4.) Heritage and similar notions such as “tradition” or “patrimony” are in wide circulation in many contemporary global societies. Many national and international institutions such as UNESCO include a definition of heritage in their statutes. The notion of “heritage” and its modes of production has also been the subject of scholarly debate in the interdisciplinary literature on heritage, and many scholars have pointed out the difficulties involved in defining heritage. Drawing on current literature, we use the notion of “heritage” to refer to the discursive and performative production of selected “objects, places and practices” (Harrison 2013) associated with the past to which new value and meaning are ascribed in the present, with a vision toward the future (Harrison 2013; Kirshenblat-Gimblet 1995 and 2004).

(5.) Anthropologist Regina Bendix defines the state heritage regime as “a set of rules and norms regulating the relations between a state-government and society” and the international heritage regime as having come about “through negotiations among actors on an international level” (Bendix 2012: 12–13).

(6.) Sheehy (1992), Seeger (2006), and more recently Pettan and Titon (2015) call for the recognition of the significant work of ethnomusicologists in public sector and applied ethnomusicology, much of it on “music heritage,” and review the activities of some of its main figures and institutions in Europe the United States. This work is referred to in several chapters of the Handbook of Applied Ethnomusicology edited by Pettan and Titon (2015); for examples, see the chapters by Murphy (2015) detailing the work of ethnomusicologists and public folklorists in government agencies in the United States and Zhang (2015) on the contribution of ethnomusicologists and other scholars to the discussion and implementation of cultural policy in diverse sectors in China. Several chapters in Howard (2012) refer to the contribution of East Asian scholars in shaping cultural policy, and in safeguarding and promoting “traditional music.”

(7.) Since the institutionalization of Comparative Musicology in Berlin by Carl Stumpf and Erich Moritz von Hornbostel in the early twentieth century, ethnomusicologists have made, curated, and published ethnographic recordings, including extensive written documentation. Sponsored and published by major institutions such as UNESCO, the Smithsonian Institution, and the ethnological museums of Berlin, Paris, and Geneva, these recorded collections document music traditions from around the world, sustain scholarly findings, and introduce a wealth of musics to musicians and the general public.

(8.) The current Institute built on earlier initiatives since 1950. Other projects and institutions dedicated to repatriation and partially described in the above-mentioned references include: The Library of Congress Federal Cylinder Project; the Archives and Research Center for Ethnomusicology in New Delhi partly dedicated to the repatriation of collections of musics from India held in archives outside the country for access to Indian scholars and institutions; the National Recording Project for Indigenous Performance in Australia; and the Center for Ethnomusicology at Columbia University repatriation project of the recordings made by Laura Boulton in 1946 of the Iñupiat to their community of origin in Barrow, Alaska.

(9.) Japan pioneered the recognition of culture bearers through its Living Human Treasures program launched in 1950, an initiative that was emulated elsewhere in (p.24) East Asia and, in the United States through the National Endowment of the Arts National Heritage Fellowships launched in 1982 (Murphy 2015: 713). In 1993, UNESCO launched the Living Human Treasures program with the aim of “encouraging Member States to grant official recognition to talented tradition bearers and practitioners, thus contributing to the transmission of their knowledge and skills to the younger generations” (https://ich.unesco.org/en/living-human-treasures).

(10.) The synthesis that follows on the contribution of members and officers of the ICTM to UNESCO’s intangible cultural heritage programs is partially based on ICTM’s 2015 report to UNESCO regarding its contribution to the implementation of the 2003 ICH Convention. We are also indebted to Naila Ceribašić, Anthony Seeger, Krister Malm, and Wim van Zanten for sharing their experiences as ICTM officers, experts, and consultants.

(11.) Several ethnomusicologists participated in the conference entitled “A Global Assessment of the 1989 Recommendation on the Safeguarding of Traditional Culture and Folklore: Local Empowerment and International Cooperation” jointly organized by the Smithsonian Institution and UNESCO held in Washington, DC, in 1999. This meeting was significant for establishing the importance of local-level control over the processes of safeguarding ICH (see Seitel 2001, for the proceedings), one of the key principles of UNESCO’s 2003 Convention.

(12.) By 2017, UNESCO’s 2003 Convention was ratified by 175 states parties: https://ich.unesco.org/en/news/the-2003-convention-reaches-175-state-parties-00255.

(13.) We are indebted to Krister Malm, Don Niles, and Carlos Yoder for this information.

(14.) A United Nations document (2009) states that there are more than 370 million Indigenous people in at least ninety countries. Statistics are often lower than actual numbers for several reasons. Some Indigenous individuals or groups may choose not to identify or may not be counted according to specific governmental criteria. Definitions of Indigenous vary, although most agree that Indigenous references those with their own cultures and languages who were victims of colonialism and imperialism, often enduring genocidal policies, deterritorialization, and extreme racism.

(15.) Wolfe (2006) defined settler colonialism as a particular type of colonialism where the colonial powers came to stay and thus had to try to eliminate the Indigenous populations who occupied the land they wanted.

(16.) Closely related and yet also distinctive is Applied Anthropology, which is discussed by Lassiter and Seeger in this volume,

(17.) Several recent articles, however, have addressed this issue (see, e.g., Bendrups 2015, Treloyn & Emberly 2013).