Music is a continually evolving subject area that connects researchers, and scholars in other disciplines, in a variety of interesting ways. André de Quadros is a leader in creating and expanding these connections and we are very excited to work with him. He recently shared his thoughts with me from Asia via Skype (when he should have been sleeping) about what we are creating together.
Q: Tell us about André?
André de Quadros is a music educator, scholar, conductor, and human rights activist who has performed, presented, and conducted research in more than forty countries. He is a professor of music with faculty affiliations in African, Asian, and Muslim studies, and the Prison Education Program.
Q: For the uninitiated, what is ethnomusicology?
Ethnomusicology is concerned with studying people making music – the ethnography and anthropology of music. In addition to the study of non-Western music, ethnomusicologists also study the social context of Western music.
Q: A network for scholarship on music seems like a natural fit within SSRN, as music always involves many, from composition to performance to the audience. How have music scholars and composers shared their research to date and what impact can the Music Research & Composition Network (MRCN) have on them?
Composers and music scholars have disseminated their music in a variety of ways, through scholarly journals, and a variety of online means. MRCN can have a major impact by offering a single online site that is open access. There is no other comparable site.
Q: What is your vision for the MRCN with SSRN? Your research and scholarship is transnational and also covers education and development. As an interdisciplinary space, what are your goals for broadening the connections with your scholarship?
My vision for MRCN is to create a single site for a community of musicians and scholars. Our musical community is divided into separate areas and there are insufficient opportunities for coming together and to have access to the latest in scholarship and creative work. Many scholars seek to publish in peer-reviewed journals, but are frustrated by the long waiting time to get their ideas out. MRCN can help scholars to influence the discipline through the open access aspect of MRCN. On the compositional front, composers generally create their own websites. MRCN can bring the composers and their potential audience together in a single marketplace of ideas.
Q: Where do you think the ecosystem of scholarly communications is heading in the next decade? Do you have any particular insights about changing roles and expectations of audiences and participation that might apply to scholarship?
We are going to see a revolution in scholarly communications in the future and it is almost impossible to imagine what those changes might be. We did not anticipate the changes from the CD to the download and to iTunes. So, we are headed for big and exciting times and MRCN intends to be at the front end of those changes.
Q: How important is it for scholarship in MRCN to have access and connection to rich media like sound files?
Music is about sound. At the moment, scholarly publications in music do not have accompanying sound files, and MRCN can provide this rare opportunity for scholars and composers alike.
Thanks Andre, we are excited to be on the forefront together!