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Review of Western Music and Its Others: Difference, Representation, and Appropriation in Music
When cultural-studies methods first appeared in musicology 15 years ago, they triggered a storm of polemics that sometimes overshadowed the important issues being raised. As the canon wars recede, however, scholars are finding it possible to focus on the concerns that led them to cultural criticism in the first place: the study of music and its political meanings. Western Music and Its Others brings together leading musicologists, ethnomusicologists, and specialists in film and popular music to explore the ways European and North American musicians have drawn on or identified themselves in tension with the musical practices of Others. In a series of essays ranging from examination of the Orientalist tropes of early 20th-century Modernists to the tangled claims for ownership in today's World Music, the authors in this collection greatly advance both our knowledge of specific case studies and our intellectual awareness of the complexity and urgency of these problems. A timely intervention that should help push music studies to the next level.