Sarah M. Ross [+]
Hochschule für Musik, Theater und Medien Hannover
One of the main challenges ethnomusicologists face when studying musical heritage of the world are the often politicized discourses centering on the concept of intangible cultural heritage, as well as the equally policy-driven aims, strategies and institutional infrastructures of UNESCO enabling states worldwide to document and archive musical heritage professionally. Against the background of diverse ethnomusicological studies, authors in the following chapters discuss how the earlier understanding of intangible cultural heritage, first of all supported scholars and institutions to document and preserve a record of disappearing traditions, rather than to identify the causes for their vanishing, which includes thoughts on how the concepts of intangible cultural heritage and cultural sustainability are interconnected. In this regard, the following chapters also discuss processes of creating and implementing appropriate policies for the protection of the Intangible Cultural Heritage in Poland, Austria and Switzerland, and demonstrate how the construction and identification of ICH often becomes a value-laden project of ideology, and thus a never-ending act of a politics of inclusion and exclusion as well as of power.