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British Forum for Ethnomusicology

Editorial
Source: British Journal of Ethnomusicology, Vol. 9, No. 1, Brazilian Musics, Brazilian
Identities (2000)
Published by: British Forum for Ethnomusicology
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3060786
Accessed: 06/01/2009 20:06
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Editorial
In order to
expand
the
journal
and enhance its international
profile,
a few
years
ago
the editorial board took the decision to enter the new millennium
by
publishing
two issues of BJE each
year:
the first would centre on a
particular
theme, while the second would remain of
general
interest. "Brazilian musics,
Brazilian identities" is the first of our thematic
issues,
and each article focuses
upon
a
particular
musical universe, looking
at how it articulates with the
construction of identities within a
particular
sector of Brazilian
society.
Although
this issue has a
regional focus,
it is not
exclusively
in
regional
terms
that
subsequent
thematic issues will be
organized. Indeed, BJE 10.1 will focus
on issues
relating
to "music and
meaning", drawing
on the theme of a recent
British Forum for
Ethnomusicology
conference held at the
Open University.
It
is also worth
noting
that the
present
issue has not been conceived
purely
in
regional
terms: it illustrates how recent debates on the musical construction of
identity
within
ethnomusicology
are
informing
research within a
specific
national context.
One of the other
objectives
of this issue is to consolidate our commitment
to
publishing
high-quality
contributions from authors of all
nationalities,
especially
those
beyond
the
Anglo-American
axis. There are six Brazilians and
one
Japanese
author
represented
here.
Many
of us have conducted our
fieldwork
abroad,
where we have been
generously
assisted
by
local scholars.
One
way
in which we can
reciprocate
that
support
is to
help
make their work
more
widely
available to the international academic
community.
We therefore
invite our
membership
to
encourage
scholars from their research areas to
submit their work to the
journal,
and where
necessary,
we also ask them to
contribute to the translation of
worthy pieces.
We
appreciate
that this can be
very time-consuming
and
hardly
an
'RAE-worthy'
task. But we also need to
consider the extent to which the
process
of
protecting
our own time and careers
is
implicated
in
sustaining
the
Anglo-American
axis as the centre which defines
international standards.
In
Brazil, as in
many
other
parts
of the
world,
a
lively
and articulate
community
of researchers
engages
in the
study
of music. While some of these
scholars have
published
outside
Brazil,
the bulk of their research
output
is in
Portuguese
-
not
exactly
the international
language
of
ethnomusicology. Yet,
while most of us know
very
little about their
work, they
are
very
much aware of
the latest academic trends
emerging
at the centre. But instead of
simply
appropriating them, they
have
adapted
them to their own
preoccupations. Perhaps
now more than ever before the "Brazilian
way"
has
something significant
to offer.
As the centre moves
progressively
toward an academic
style
in which
ethnography
is drawn
upon primarily
as a means of
illustrating
a
particular
theoretical
perspective,
in
Brazil,
where academic
preoccupations
centre on
understanding
the national
reality,
it is the theoretical models that are fitted to
the
ethnography.
For some of
us,
this
approach
will be most welcome indeed.
The Editors