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date: 17 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Within its broad range of possible identities, one of the most potent incarnations of applied ethnomusicology lies in its potential to understand and support the sustainability of the intangible cultural heritage it examines. It can do this in many ways, including the now common practice of returning recordings and research findings to communities. However, over the past few years, thinking has refined on gearing material and actions in a more targeted way to the specific needs and wishes of musicians, communities, and other stakeholders. Placing these into a wider understanding of what constitutes sustainability in music, this chapter explores some key issues and views relevant to this approach. It proposes a framework for understanding music cultures as ecosystems in a way that does justice to the complex realities of twenty-first century contexts. In doing so, it aims to provide communities with tools to address sustainability issues on their own terms.

Keywords: ethnomusicology, ecosystems of music, sustainability, community, contexts

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