Anthropology Comparative Essay Ethnomusicology History Music Musicology

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John Shaefer writes in his book New Sounds: A Listener's Guide to New Music (New York: Harper & Row, 1987) about this type of world music: East is East and West is West . But like the Europeans in the time of the Crusades, many Westerners are now discovering, to their considerable surprise, that a number of other highly developed musical cultures do exist, and that some of them are more ancient, and, in the case of rhythm, even more complex than Western music . Yet another type of world music, one that should receive more attention in American colleges and universities, is pop music that originates in countries outside the United States and Europe.

For example, pop music groups from Japan, Nigeria, Tunisia, Bolivia, and other countries often make extensive use of their own traditional instruments, rhythms, scales, and timbres, creating complex music expressions that go far beyond the experimentations of American and European pop music groups.

While ethnomusicology tends to focus on music outside the European art traditions, it should not be defined as "the study of non-Western music" as Schaefer has written (I 19), even though most of its emphasis has been on music outside the European-derived world of art music.

Likewise, ethnomusicology should not be limited to the music of our present time but rather should be applied to musics of all times; it should not be limited to music of the folk but rather include musics of all people.

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Thankfully, to my knowledge no such emphases have been officially termed "non-Western"-to do so would be to divide the world into two unequally- proportioned parts meaning, essentially, .'us" and "them." Rather, the choices have been to use the terms "world music" and/or "ethnomusicology" when referring to musics outside the European and European-derived art music traditions.

Often, however, these terms have also been misunderstood and misused.

by Max Peter Baumann Wilhelmshaven: Florial Noetzel, 1991], 365-74).

To summarize it briefly, the concept of world music anticipates a world culture of the future, in which, through greatly accelerated communications technology, all music might be said to belong to all people.


Comments Anthropology Comparative Essay Ethnomusicology History Music Musicology

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