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Contribute to an open and accessible resource

Help build an open resource

You are invited to contribute to a new open world music textbook. While the World Music Textbook aims to assemble a collection of original writing and multimedia resources for use in musicology and ethnomusicology classrooms, we also intend for this project to serve the wider public.


Thanks to generous support from the California State University Affordable Learning Solutions initiative, we are currently able to offer honoraria for contributors. If you have questions about this or ideas for collaborative projects with multiple contributors, please reach out to us at editors@worldmusictextbook.org.

Scope and style

Materials developed for the World Music Textbook should be:

  • Free and open to all
  • Short, accessible, and aimed toward an audience of undergraduate students or general readership
  • Flexible to allow instructors to draw thematic connections between a variety of geographic and historical contexts

We welcome writing of roughly 500 to 2,000 words or films and multimedia projects of a similar scope, while longer pieces over 2,000 words may be presented in a series of "chapters" with the idea that each one might be assigned individually. We are interested in all types of content that are accessible to general audiences.

The included materials will draw on a broad range of approaches to music scholarship including musical and cultural experiences, personal fieldwork experiences, or work with primary sources. We encourage contributors to consider the classroom setting in their development of materials. See more about our goals at the About page.


The World Music Textbook is in an open format and lives exclusively online. It will serve as an adaptable educational resource capable of meeting a variety of needs ranging from those of introductory music or world music courses to those that focus on thematic historical or region-specific subject matter. To meet these various needs, the World Music Textbook will use a tag system to link and filter contributions geographically, historically, and thematically.

Examples of themes include (but are not limited to): Analysis; Archives and preservation; Dance; Diaspora; Environment; Ethics; Ethnicity; Fieldwork and analysis methods; History, heritage, and tradition; Identity; Ideology; Indigeneity; Industries; Gender; Globalization; Government; Medicine and health; Memory and nostalgia; Modernity; Power; Race; Religion; Representation; or Technology.

Submission information and the editorial process

Please contact the editors at editors@worldmusictextbook.org with any questions about the World Music Textbook, whether a potential contribution is suitable, or how your submission can make use of this project’s online delivery.

Submissions should be roughly in line with the word counts listed above, or of a similar scope (a documentary short, for example, instead of a feature length film). Submit writing via email in a standard rich text format (RTF, Microsoft Word, or similar) and send any attachments (images, videos, etc.) as separate files along with a document that includes captions. Email the editors with any questions or for information about submitting code or developing ideas for interactive contributions.

World Music Textbook has a multi-step editorial process. First, the editors will review a submission. The primary focus at this stage is the submission’s suitability for the project and tone. We are looking to see whether:

  • it is prepared for a broad audience that includes people who have no previous experience on the topic and is appropriate to assign in an undergraduate course;
  • it makes use of narrative, personal experience, primary documents, or otherwise engages its audience in compelling ways;
  • and it meets a level of writing or production that will exceed the expectations of blind peer reviewers. (This includes the use of appropriate and recent scholarship, writing style, or production quality where relevant.)

If concerns arise, editors or editorial mentors will collaborate closely with contributors to discuss and address them. This is an open process that is intentionally distinct from the norms of the academic publication system, in part because this site is not limited by page counts or publication cycles. It is our hope that every submission makes it through the peer review process successfully.

Contributions that are suitable for the project (either upon submission or following the process described above) are sent to one or more peer reviewers. The review process is double blind: authors and reviewers do not know each others’ identities. Reviewers will share any concerns, including issues related to accuracy, with the editors, who then will work with authors to address or contest them.

Our goal is to support the development and dissemination of written and multimedia materials that reflect the many fruitful approaches to the study of music by practitioners and academics alike. We strive to center marginalized voices into curricula while simultaneously responding to the significant gap in publicly available musical research.

Music Notes Series

The Music Notes Series offers broad overviews of important themes explored within the World Music Textbook. These pieces come from experts within their respective fields and include resources for classroom instruction and lesson planning. If you are interested in contributing to the Music Notes Series, please contact the editors. Pieces are reviewed by the editors and accepted on a rolling basis.

Ownership and licensing

Contributors to this project will retain ownership of their materials. If you choose to publish something in the future, we will not charge any licensing fees, for example. Because of the project’s license (described below), some publications may have already been shared by others (for non-commercial purposes, unchanged, and with attribution) in ways that we do not control. This may include, among other things, downloaded copies in circulation in parts of the world where internet access is an issue.

This project as a whole is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution, Non-Commercial, No Derivatives 4.0 International License. This is permissive in use (the work published here is free and open), but it has important restrictions. Anyone using the material published here must attribute the work to the original author and cannot adapt materials or use them for commercial purposes. See CC-BY-NC-ND for more information. Contributors should discuss other licensing options for their individual works with the editors at the time of submission.