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Preface

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  10 March 2023

Bennett Zon
Affiliation:
Durham University
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Summary

This book first came to mind from a session with ethnomusicologists Gerry Farrell and Martin Clayton at the eleventh International Conference on Nineteenth-Century Music, held at Royal Holloway University of London in July 2000, titled “Ethnomusicology in the Nineteenth Century.” Papers included “Charles Samuel Myers: A Forgotten Pioneer of Ethnomusicology” (Clayton), “Colonialism and Music Education in Nineteenth-Century India: The Case of S. W. Fallon” (Farrell), and my own “Savage Time/Civilized Time: Progress in Early British Ethnomusicology.” Also in the audience was the ethnomusicologist Henry Stobart, who was an active participant in post-paper discussions.

Apart from the sheer delight of hearing reproductions of Myers’s 1898 recordings from the Torres Strait (the earliest British recordings of non-Western music), and Farrell’s humane interpretation of Fallon’s career as a schools inspector in India, what struck me most about that session was the fact that there was such disagreement about the use of the term “ethnomusicology.” Despite being titled “Ethnomusicology in the Nineteenth Century,” the session ended on a critical note of concern to preserve the integrity of the term in its modern usage. That usage was, of course, highly debated by the likes of Clayton, Farrell, myself, and Stobart, and in a sense gave rise to this current project. It was in my attempt to situate the figures discussed in that session within ethnomusicology that this book was born.

In doing so, I was drawn ineluctably toward the intellectual and musical literature that had so clearly influenced them, and from there backward in time to the even earlier periods of the later part of the eighteenth century, when the study of non-Western music was in its infancy both in the UK and elsewhere. From that chronological starting point, my research began to take shape, and evolved into the full-scale examination represented here. Since the conference, Martin Clayton and I have continued to discuss nineteenth-century British ethnomusicology, and have more recently collaborated on a set of commissioned essays entitled Music and Orientalism in the British Empire, 1780–1940 (2007). That volume, like this one, explores ethnomusicology within the history of intellectual and musical culture, and attempts, if only implicitly, to broaden our definition of ethnomusicology.

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Publisher: Boydell & Brewer
First published in: 2023

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  • Preface
  • Bennett Zon, Durham University
  • Book: Representing Non-Western Music in Nineteenth-Century Britain
  • Online publication: 10 March 2023
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781580466943.001
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  • Preface
  • Bennett Zon, Durham University
  • Book: Representing Non-Western Music in Nineteenth-Century Britain
  • Online publication: 10 March 2023
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781580466943.001
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Preface
  • Bennett Zon, Durham University
  • Book: Representing Non-Western Music in Nineteenth-Century Britain
  • Online publication: 10 March 2023
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781580466943.001
Available formats
×