AbstractThe end of the 20th century invites us to reflect upon the current cultural context and to shed light on some possible artistic outcomes which may result from the increasing technological advancements in our society. The ‘global village’ hypothesis is a proposition implying crucial cultural implications which need to be fundamentally questioned and critically investigated without delay. How is the relationship between the artist and the community to be managed within such a possible environment? How can the musical community organise itself in such a way as to embrace dissimilarity and variety and integrate them within a universal artistic idiom? Or is such a circumstance a real threat to those idiosyncratic diversities that have so far shaped and instigated the progress of music?
As I read the topic of this Congress ‘Global Village – Global Brain – Global Music’ it was clear to me that, although a discussion on global music cannot be detached from the problem of globalisation, any theme preceded by the word ‘global’ might raise, by default, critical questions of considerable proportions: from the expansion of Western capitalistic economics through to a growing mass-consumption culture and entertainment industry worldwide. Although an analysis of these topics is far beyond our discussion, such connections are too evident to be ignored. It is thus essential to explain the context in which my argument develops by stating three assumptions of fundamental importance for the denotation of global music I wish to propose, warning the reader, however, that by so doing I am impelled to articulate the discussion with ultra-compressed and simplified views.
Firstly, the social perspective; what I mean by that is the attention to all the traditions of the world. Economists and historians will confirm that the logistics of globalisation reflect an increasing political and economic necessity of Western societies.1
But the acknowledgment that a gradual uniformity of the world is emerging from the Western civilisation2
does not exclude the fact that not enough