Wednesday, July 30, 2008

I am guilty of not always viewing some of the blogs I hold in highest esteem and link on the sidebar there. But i recently stumbled upon some excellent posts in On An Overgrown path (which is named after one of my favorite works for piano)

This post reflects several of my thoughts at the moment, so i figure I best divert attention that way.

My one beef is with the term itself.- "world music" seems like an insult if we somehow exclude western classical traditions from the group. If we're talking about "traditional world musics" It better as hell include it ALL, balinese gamelan to native american pow-wow musics, to shostakovich and back. (i dont think many people would approve, though) Otherwise, we're using an essentially categorizing music in a very ethnocentric way- ie. "classical music" and "everything else thats traditional on the planet", knowing full well that separate is inherently unequal in this kind of dialogue**, I would propose that we specify which traditions we're talking about. If its Northern Hindustani Classical or Tuvan Throat singing, or Taureg traditional music. "world music" just doesn't cut it.

**I'm not going to sit around and discuss music in terms of one kind being more or less important than some other kind, and thereby creating value judgments about the nature of different music traditions. Nor am I automatically calling all music equal. The "importance" in the western sense can not be applied to other cultures where music functions and is perceived differently, and the musical values do not necessarily translate. It is simply stupid to try weigh the importance of someone like Veena Sahasraddhe against Pavarotti, just as one does not judge a Kandinsky as they would a Botticelli.

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