Rethinking Safeguarding: Objections and Responses to Protecting and Promoting Endangered Musical Heritage
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The wide-spread threat to certain kinds of music genres (particularly those of indigenous and minority peoples) resulting from major socioeconomic and political shifts in recent decades has stimulated a call for applied ethnomusicological engagement with safeguarding. Discourse from the field of language maintenance, though, underscores a number of significant ethical, ideological and pragmatic concerns generated by efforts to safeguard intangible cultural heritage. For ethnomusicologists, these concerns warrant careful consideration. In this paper, I position four primary charges against safeguarding from the language maintenance literature in relation to safeguarding music cultures, thereby hoping to invite new reflections on the challenges we face and the stances we might adopt when helping communities that are trying to protect and promote their endangered musical heritage.
© 2012 Routledge, Taylor & Francis. This is an electronic version of an article published in Ethnomusicology Forum, Volume 21, Issue 1, 2012, Pages 31-51. Ethnomusicology Forum is available online at: http://www.tandfonline.com with the open URL of your article.
Musicology and Ethnomusicology