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Savage brief reply
Forum: Clarke, "On Not Losing Heart"
Last Post: pesavage
10-19-2015, 02:13 AM
» Replies: 0
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  Savage brief reply
Posted by: pesavage - 10-19-2015, 02:13 AM - Forum: Clarke, "On Not Losing Heart" - No Replies

Thanks David, you clearly gave a very thoughtful reading not only to our target article but to other related publications. I have to say that, while the implication that we are "a recapitulation of Lomax, without the heart" is a little jarring, it is not without truth. Of course, we did note with approval that Lomax's overarching goal of Cultural Equity was precisely the vision behind his Cantometrics Project, but I think it's fair to say that we tried to stay carefully neutral politically. I guess the crux of the question is whether such "political neutrality...is problematic", as you claim. In our case, we have tried to avoid some of Lomax's pitfalls by side-stepping issues of politics, vocal timbre, and correlations with social structure, precisely because his passionate preaching of these things was part of what led to his dismissal by the ethnomusicological academy. But as you say, we do risk losing key parts of what made Lomax's work special. My hope would be that, by starting with a more modest agenda and gradually expanding that as we gain acceptance and interested colleagues, we can regain these things and more. But it could be that there is just too big a divide between the mind and the heart. 

In any case, your thoughtful response has certainly helped me to think about these issues and ways we can work to be more inclusive of different approaches. Although our wording may have slipped at times, we certainly did not intend for ours to be "the (only) new comparative musicology". Perhaps something more analogous to the Stobart volume - The New (Comparative) Musicologies"? - might have been more appropriate. Whatever the wording, we are grateful for people such as you who engage with our proposal, and certainly support the types of comparativism you espouse, in addition to our own proposals. 

Hope to continue these dialogues in the future! 

Pat Savage

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