#AuxSons est un webmedia collaboratif, militant et solidaire
© Cindy Lo pour #AuxSons

Questioning “World Music” : an introduction

To name an object incorrectly is to add to the misfortune of this world.”  Albert Camus, Sur une philosophie de l’expression, 1944.

Since 2019, AuxSons​.com has sought to highlight the immense diversity of aesthetics usually grouped together under the broad labels of “world music” or “global music”… But what do these words refer to? In reality, if we look behind these catch-all formulas, we find the immense wealth of heterogeneous musical expressions, rural or urban, sacred or secular, intimate or collective, traditional or contemporary, inherited or reshaped. An ineffable diversity of aesthetics, styles and genres that reflect the multitude of cultural identities that populate the planet, outside any hegemony that formalises, standardises and globalises.

Aware of global economic imbalances, the professionals who have signed the Zone Franche World Music Charter (the World Music Network that publishes the #AuxSons media) are committed to taking action to stabilise fair trade, particularly in North-South cooperation. Equitable exchanges that are therefore opposed to any form of cultural despoilment.

Challenged for their ethnocentrism and the legacy of colonialism and global capitalism, the term ‘world music’ raises questions and undoubtedly deserve an overhaul. We need to update the words we use to describe things, words that carry, summon and shape our imaginations and sensibilities. Words that have consequences for the material conditions of creation, dissemination and reception of the works produced.

Four articles offer food for thought:

This dossier is just a beginning, and we do not claim to have the answers to all the questions it raises, nor to have brought the debate to a close. It is intended to be fed and enriched by other perspectives. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you’d like to make your own contribution, or if you’d like to speak another side of the story!

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