The book

Music Endangerment: How Language Maintenance Can Help

By Catherine Grant

Oxford University Press

JUNE 2014
Paperback | 224 pp.

The book that inspired this current project was released in June 2014. The book argues for the importance of a way to assess levels of vitality of music genres.

It also develops, presents, and tests out a possible way to do this: via the “Music Vitality and Endangerment Framework”. It is this framework that forms the basis for this project.

For more information or to order, please visit Oxford University, or your local bookstore.

Read the back cover

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

Drawing upon relevant ethnomusicological research on globalization 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.

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