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date: 25 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter concerns the relationship between music and humanism in an educational program in Central Asia, the Aga Khan Humanities Project. Addressing the central principles of tolerance and empathy in applied ethnomusicology, it presents an alternative conception of humanism, a religious humanism that is unique to an esoteric branch of Islam, Ismaʿilism. In this context, it interrogates the eclectic character of the current research in applied ethnomusicology, and it offers a theoretical and methodological solution to disciplinary fragmentation. By emphasizing the significance of expressive culture for uncovering a shared humanity, the chapter also examines the humanistic value and the humane potential of music with respect to an applied venture (a humanitarian project) and a research endeavor (a “humaneistic” undertaking) to highlight the symbiotic relationship between the “applied” and the “pure” in ethnomusicology. In short, the chapter seeks to recover the status of theoretical discourse and scholarly inquiry in applied ethnomusicology.

Keywords: empathy, education, hermeneutics, humanism, humane, Ismaʿilism, Aga Khan

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