• Jonathan P. J. Stock Department of Music, University College Cork


The article begins by making explicit its disciplinary standpoint. Research on music in indigenous settings occurs in both ethnomusicology and indigenous studies, but each of these disciplines brings somewhat contrasting expectations to the fore. I then focus on definitions and usages of indigeneity, which are complex, and sometimes apparently contradictory, when viewed from a global perspective. The complexities that emerge from this discussion underpin the main body of the article, which is a consideration of cross-sections of research on musical appropriation and musical enculturation in and around indigenous contexts worldwide. Each case provides an opportunity to touch on concrete practices that music researchers have developed in working to create an environment of justice, mutual respect and equality, which I see as a necessary foundation for peaceful co-existence. Finally, in the Conclusion, I raise two further spaces where the professional music researcher can make distinct contributions to the establishment or maintenance of an environment characterised by greater respect for the world’s indigenous peoples and by inclusive engagement with indigenous music.

Author Biography

Jonathan P. J. Stock, Department of Music, University College Cork

Jonathan P.J. Stock is Professor of Music at University College Cork, Ireland. An ethnomusicologist whose work focuses mainly on the transformation of musical traditions in the modern era in China and Taiwan, he has also written articles on music analysis, biography, bromance, English folk music, and on one of the founders of comparative musicology, Alexander Ellis. He is currently co-editing the Oxford Handbook of the Music of China and the Chinese Diaspora and has recently completed a book on everyday musical life among the indigenous Bunun of Taiwan. Email: