The thirteen essays in this volume underscore the unity and diversity of music research today. Ranging in topic from Gregorian chant to Russian lament, Chinese opera to American spirituals, the essays span the early ninth to the late twentieth centuries and move geographically from East Asia to Europe, North America, and the Pacific. The essays focus on some of the central issues in current musicological and ethnomusicological research: the change and continuity in musical traditions, tune identity and metamorphosis, and the nature and function of musical notation.
Owing to the musical material, the diverse cultural contexts, and the different approaches and methodologies employed, the same theoretical issues are formulated and addressed in various ways. It is through variations that themes grow in significance and beauty. The unity in and coherence of modern musicological discourse, though still elusive, are within reach in this volume.