If you would like to participate in discussions, please sign in or register.
Below are links to a current debate in the UK concerning ethnomusicology's growing territorial claims. Some may recognize echoes of what is happening in the US.
City Debate topic: Are we all Ethnomusicologists now?
(1June2016. City University London)
'Happy Families? Convergence, Antagonism and Disciplinary Identities or "We're all God knows what now" (Cook 2016)'
Text & Slideshow available here:
Responses from Rachel Cunniffe & Ben Smith can be found here:
Position statement and commentary
'My contribution to the debate "Are we all ethnomusicologists now?"':
Pace (throwing down the glove):
The very term ‘ethnomusicology’ has obvious implications through the use of the prefix ‘ethno’, which Nooshin and others have suggested is itself problematic. Despite the non-geographically-specific origins of the Greek term, nonetheless the long history of ‘ethnomusicology’ having dealt with musical cultures outside of the Western art tradition, whether folk and vernacular traditions in the West, or musical cultures (including ‘high cultures’) from the non-Western world in particular, together with the contemporary resonances of ‘ethno’ or ‘ethnic’, all suggest something post-colonial, anti-imperialist, on the side of the wider masses, and so on. Who of an even vaguely left-of-centre political persuasion would want to be seen opposing such a thing? But this is different when the object of study for this sub-discipline is Western art music, and it is on this body, or even canon, of work in English that I intend to concentrate today. In general, I believe it is always a cause for concern when any type of scholarship is judged more for its politics than its scholarly rigour, whatever those politics might be, and ethnomusicology of whatever type should not be immune from critique for purely political reasons.
Later (12June2016), Pace posted, 'Quilting Points and Ethnomusicology', mostly extensive quotes from J.P.E. Harper-Scott's The Quilting Points of Musical Modernism: Revolution, Reaction, and William Walton: