Laurent Aubert. 2007. The Music of The Other: New Challenges for Ethnomusicology in a Global Age. Foreword by Anthony Seeger. Translated by Carla Ribeiro. Burlington, VT, and Aldershot, UK: Ashgate Publishing.

Keller, Marcello Sorce

I first read this book when it came out in French in 2001. Back then I used to think that a progressive expansion of the musical horizon of any individual or society could only be considered positive among ethnomusicologists. Not surprisingly, this was the fundamental tenet of the Kodaly method of music education: a child naturally learns the mother tongue before learning foreign ones. So he/she should learn his musical mother tongue first, that is, the folk music of his native country, and then move on (according to Kodaly) to Western classical music. Ethnomusicologists, of course, recommend go-ing much further-in other words, musical explorations, unlike travelling across unfamiliar places, would entail no dangers-only pleasant discoveries. But then, as I read the book for the first time, I realized I was reading an articulated narrative showing, from various angles, how musical contacts and exchanges among music cultures are not an idyllic and harmonious process but, on the contrary, rather problematic ones.


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August 18, 2022