- From the Editor
This special issue, Transregional Politics of Throat-Singing as Cultural Heritage in Inner and Central Asia, presents a timely focus on Inner Asia, an area not well represented in ethnomusicological studies in English—or in the pages of Asian Music for that matter. It problematizes issues of ownership, identity, and the supercultural interventions of UNESCO. Thus, 52(2) offers the opportunity for anglophone readers to become familiar with current scholarship about this region and with the distinctive vocal genres and techniques that have been collectively dubbed "throat-singing," a term of convenience that is critiqued in the six major articles as well as in the thoughtful responses by two senior scholars. For those familiar with the extensive body of studies on Inner Asia in Russian, these essays offer a welcome opportunity to compare approaches and to supplement Russian-language sources. Of interest to me are the growing number of studies being published in Mongolian, Tyvan, and other Inner Asian languages, further enriching the diversity of our field.
In many ways this special issue embodies the commitment to diversity practiced by Asian Music. The authors come from various scholarly traditions, including those of the Russian Federation, France, England, and the Americas. They represent a sweep of experience, from established senior scholar to emerging young researcher; a range of voices, from the Indigenous to varieties of the foreign; a balance of gender representation; and an array of languages and writing systems. Evident throughout is the care with which the authors present the Indigenous voices drawn from their research and from their personal encounters.
Due to the size of the articles for this issue, we have deferred print and media reviews to 53(1).
It has been a pleasure and a personal adventure working with guest editor Charlotte D'Evelyn of Skidmore College and with her three colleagues: Robert O. Beahrs of Istanbul Technical University, Andrew Colwell from the Center of Traditional Music and Dance, and Johanni Curtet of the University of Rennes 2. A pleasure because of their collegiality, engagement, and energy—I particularly appreciate their attention to the cultural and political sensitivities needed in realizing such a project—and an adventure because [End Page 1] their writings and our email exchanges introduced me to Inner Asian musicking and to the term "cluster." Such enriching experiences provide reasons for my enthusiastic and ongoing commitment to Asian Music—this year marks the beginning of my second decade as editor. Kudos to the special-issue team for their hard work, collegiality, commitment, and vision! [End Page 2]