Sustainable Music



In the same way that as certain languages have become extinct, or are in danger of extinction, so too are many other oral/aural traditions, such as music and instruments. Ethnomusicologist, Prof. Jeff Todd Titon, has written extensively on sustainable music and has made some of his papers as part this module. Please take time now to read his 2009 article.

‘Music and Sustainability: An Ecological Viewpoint’ The World of Music 51(1), 119-137.  The abstract is as follows:

Attempts to preserve music as cultural heritage put applies ethnomusicologists and public folklorists in a defensive posture of safeguarding property assets. By supporting the conservation of those assets with tourists commerce, heritage management is doomed to the paradox of constructing staged authenticities with music treated as a market commodity. Instead, best practices arise from partnerships among ethnomusicologists, folklorists and music culture insiders (community leaders, scholars, and musician), with sustainability interventions aimed directly inside music cultures. These efforts should be guided by principles drawn from ecology, not economy; and specifically by four principles from the new conservation ecology – diversity, limits to growth, interconnectedness, and stewardship