We are surrounded by new musical encounters today as never before, and the experience of musics from elsewhere is progressively affecting all arenas of the human conscience. Yet why is it that Western listeners expect a certain cultural and ethnic 'authenticity' or 'otherness' from visiting artists in world music, while contemporary musicians in Western music are no longer bound by such restraints? Should we feel uncomfortable when sacred rites from Asia or Africa are remade for Westerners as musical entertainment? As these thorny questions suggest, the great flood of world musics and of their agents into our most immediate cultural environment is not a simple matter of expanding global musical exchange. Instead, complex processes are at work involving the growth of intercontinental tourism, the development of new technologies of communication and our perceptions both of ourselves and of the new musical others now around us. Elegantly tracing the dimensions of these new musical encounters, Laurent Aubert considers the impact of world musics on our values, our habits and our cultural practices. His discussions of key questions about our contemporary music culture widen conventional ethnomusicological perspectives to consider not only the nature of Western society as a 'global village' but also the impact of current Western demands on the future of world musics and their practitioners.
Dr Laurent Aubert is from the Ateliers d'Ethnomusicologie and the Museum of Ethnography, Geneva, Switzerland. Carla Ribeiro is from the Department of Music, University of Sheffield, UK.
Contents: Foreword by Anthony Seeger; Preface; The elsewhere of music: paradoxes of a multicultural society; Shared listening, an ethnomusicological perspective; Tradition in question: a problem of boundaries; The paradox of the concert, or the evocation of tradition; An artist's life, or the challenge of representation; The art of hearing well: a sketch typology of the listener; The invention of folklore, or the nostalgia of origins; World music, or the last temptation of the West; The great bazaar: from the meeting of cultures to the appropriation of the exotic; Learning the music of the other: a transcultural itinerary; The fascination of India: lessons from personal experience; References; Index.