Vital Signs: Toward a Tool for Assessing Music Vitality and Viability

Catherine Grant

Abstract


The effects of globalisation have challenged the music practices of many peoples, particularly those of Indigenous and minority groups. In the context of renewed scholarly interest in the sustainability of music traditions (and other intangible forms of cultural expression), this article reports on a survey, based on the 12-part “Music Vitality and Endangerment Framework”, which gathered data on the vitality and viability of 101 music traditions around the world. The primary aim of the study was to evaluate the validity, reliability and usability of the survey instrument itself. This article provides an overview of the findings, assesses the advantages and limitations of carrying out assessments of music traditions in this way, and reflects on implications for ongoing efforts to support the sustainable future of music traditions across the world.

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