Music Endangerment: How Language Maintenance Can Help

In response to increased focus on the protection of intangible cultural heritage across the world, Music Endangerment, by Dr Catherine Grant, offers a new practical approach to assessing, advocating, and assisting the sustainability of musical genres. 

Grant, C. (2014) Music Endangerment: How Language Maintenance Can Help, Oxford University Press, New YorkDrawing upon relevant ethnomusicological research on globalisation and musical diversity, musical change, music revivals, and ecological models for sustainability, Grant systematically critiques strategies that are currently employed to support endangered musics. She then constructs a comparative framework between language and music, adapting and applying the measures of language endangerment as developed by UNESCO, in order to identify ways in which language maintenance might (and might not) illuminate new pathways to keeping these musics strong. 

Grant's work presents the first in-depth, standardised, replicable tool for gauging the level of vitality of music genres, providing an invaluable resource for the creation and maintenance of international cultural policy. It will enable those working in the field to effectively demonstrate the degree to which outside intervention could be of tangible benefit to communities whose musical practices are under threat. 

Significant for both its insight and its utility, Music Endangerment is an important contribution to the growing field of applied ethnomusicology, and will help secure the continued diversity of our global musical traditions.

This timely book offers cultural policy makers the first practical means of assessing and comparing the degrees to which endangered musical genres throughout the world could benefit from outside sustainability interventions.

- Jeff Todd Titon, Emeritus Professor of Music, Brown University

This book is a brilliant comparison of crucial factors in the sustainability of languages and musics drawing on the most relevant research from around the world.

- Michael Walsh, Senior Research Fellow, AIASTIS Centre for Australian Languages

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