Postmodernism and Globalization in Ethnomusicology: An Epistemological Problem

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9780810841222: Postmodernism and Globalization in Ethnomusicology: An Epistemological Problem

Is the music world clinging to an outdated school of thought in ethnomusicology? Nercessian shows how the theory of cultural relativism continues to detrimentally pervade ethnomusicological thought, and then offers a solution that may better serve musical study in today's more globalized world. At the heart of cultural relativism, which seeks to avoid imposing the standards of an outside culture on a work, is the emic-etic dichotomy, which delineates the perspective of the outsider and that of the culture of origin. Nercessian points out that in our increasingly globalized society, cultures are no longer separate and distinct. A new theory is necessary to account for the cultural overlap.
Borrowing from Derrida, the author offers a new solution that will allow for multiple perspectives, without favoring that of the insider or emic.
Of importance to students and scholars of ethnomusicology, this book also speaks to other fields of study where cultural relativism continues to dominate.

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About the Author:

Andy H. Nercessian is currently lecturer in ethnomusicology at the University of Durham, UK.

Review:

Nercessian (music, U. of Cambridge, UK) explores how certain assumptions of postmodernism evident in the work of ethnomusicologists are contradicted by the experience of world music. The idea that music is capable of producing many meanings and that the meanings are dependent on context is contradicted, says Nercessian, by the observation that music changes meanings for listeners within a culture perhaps as much as between cultures. (Reference and Research Book News)

This wonderful, lucidly written book invites us to think about music, above all in connection with recent attitudes toward "world music," in a less doctrinaire and ethnically constricted way. Nercessian, unlike so many others, celebrates what we have in common as listeners, not what separates us. His book deserves a wide reading; it could make a real difference in the way we think about the nature of music in our time. (Robert Morgan, professor of music, Yale University)

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Book Description Scarecrow Press, United States, 2002. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Is the music world clinging to an outdated school of thought in ethnomusicology? Nercessian shows how the theory of cultural relativism continues to detrimentally pervade ethnomusicological thought, and then offers a solution that may better serve musical study in today s more globalized world. At the heart of cultural relativism, which seeks to avoid imposing the standards of an outside culture on a work, is the emic-etic dichotomy, which delineates the perspective of the outsider and that of the culture of origin. Nercessian points out that in our increasingly globalized society, cultures are no longer separate and distinct. A new theory is necessary to account for the cultural overlap. Borrowing from Derrida, the author offers a new solution that will allow for multiple perspectives, without favoring that of the insider or emic. Of importance to students and scholars of ethnomusicology, this book also speaks to other fields of study where cultural relativism continues to dominate. Bookseller Inventory # AAC9780810841222

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