Aging musically

Tangible sites of intangible cultural heritage

Authored by: Bradley Hanson

The Routledge Companion to Intangible Cultural Heritage

Print publication date:  December  2016
Online publication date:  December  2016

Print ISBN: 9781138860551
eBook ISBN: 9781315716404
Adobe ISBN: 9781317506898


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Heritage seems to be everywhere today. Government entities and international agencies, arts and cultural nonprofit organizations, economic development authorities and tourism bureaus, as well as commercial enterprises, hurry to stamp locations, landscapes, traditions and objects with the special mark of heritage. Among the most far-reaching recent extensions of formal heritage making has been through granting such recognition to nonphysical and nonmaterial cultural phenomena – the expressive intangibles. Manifested in UNESCO’s 2003 Convention, the new conception was formulated in part to counterbalance the prominence of tangible structures and monuments in conventional heritage practice. The ‘intangible cultural heritage’ construction has sought to make legitimate an equal valuation and protection of things we cannot touch, whether it be music, dance, storytelling, ritual or custom.

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