Moving Beyond Words

"Words, words, words...
how much truth remains? 
If my mind could understand them, 
and if my life pronounced them, 
would not this world be changed?"

Moving beyond words, Volume 17 of Ethnomusicology Review continues to explore the potentialities of electronic publishing, offering a media-rich forum for multidirectional conversations between musicians, music lovers, and music scholars.

Volume 17 moves Ethnomusicology Review towards three central goals: the redefinition of the article, the multidirectional production of knowledge, and the facilitation of musical dialogue.

Towards the redefinition of the article - Volume 17’s foray into the post-print era begins with a broadened conception of “the article.” In addition to stand-alone, single-author manuscripts, the volume offers thematic groupings of written, visual, and aural texts whose collective interplay exceeds the sum of their parts.

The thematic grouping “Applied Ethnomusicology” exemplifies Volume 17’s expanded article concept. In this section, readers can access six video segments and a complete podcast of Dr. Anthony Seeger’s applied ethnomusicology lecture of February, 2012. Written texts of various lengths supplement these multimedia materials: a short essay by Dr. Elisabeth LeGuin explores the significance of Dr. Seeger’s lecture for musicologists, Dr. Rebecca Dirksen's overview of applied ethnomusicology provides historical and bibliographic context, and Dr. Wanda Bryant’s account of her work as a film composer for Avatar lends additional meaning to the term.

Towards the multidirectional production of knowledge - The thematic groupings in Volume 17 are designed to encourage a kind of multidirectional engagement inconceivable in a print journal. Such interactions begin with the scholars who have contributed “official” texts to the journal: in “Approaches to Musical Indigeneity,” Dr. Anthony Seeger, Dr. Tara Browner, and Ronald Conner explore radically different aspects and applications of indigenous perspectives on musical culture; in “Music in Theory” James Rhys Edwards responds directly to Zachary Wallmark’s analysis of Zen approaches to shakuhachi performance. But these interactions aren’t intended to stop at the borders of Ethnomusicology Review. In addition, readers themselves are invited to participate in the conversation, enriching “official” content and introducing it to new communities.

Ethnomusicology Review readers can contribute to the journal’s multidirectional production of knowledge in two ways: (1) by using the “comments” feature to share new information or weigh in on a conversation, and (2) by contributing a multimedia post to Sounding Board. A forum for short essays on subjects from books and recordings to fieldwork, archiving and jazz, Sounding Board posts also appear weekly on the Ethnomusicology Review Facebook page where they are read by an ever-expanding audience.

Towards musical dialogue - Advocating dialogue between a multiplicity of perspectives is the core mission of Ethnomusicology Review. In Volume 17, this mission takes several forms: exploring the historical parallels between art music and popular music communities during the 1960s, Dr. Elizabeth Upton joins Dr. Tara Browner, James Rhys Edwards, Dr. Elisabeth Le Guin, and Zachary Wallmark in placing musicological topics and perspectives in dialogue with ethnomusicological ones; Spanish-language reviews of recent English-language publications by Dr. Marina Cañardo and Dr. Alejandra Vera present a South American perspective on North American scholarship; an article by Qin Jin Dun and John Widman, as well as one by Ben Dumbauld invite comparison between music in Chinese American and Chinese communities; the facets of applied ethnomusicological work explored by Dr. Anthony Seeger, Dr. Elisabeth Le Guin, Dr. Rebecca Dirksen, and Dr. Wanda Bryant demonstrate that music scholars, musicians, and music lovers have a great deal to say to one another, and have important roles to play in the larger social world.

We hope that you enjoy Volume 17!

The Editors 

November 1, 2012