Etnoumlje: Srpski world music magazine (ISSN 1452-9920) has been published quarterly by the World Music Asocijacija Srbije since the summer of 2007.
The magazine provides insight into the Serbian world music scene through interviews and profiles of members of Serbian bands and reviews of recordings, events, and publications, as well as regular features on Serbian traditional music.
Its editor, Oliver Đorđević, defines it as a periodical for “theory, history, aesthetics, and criticism of world music, with the aim of promoting and advancing Serbian world music.” Etnoumlje also collects information for a future Web-based register of Serbian world music bands and artists.
Sruti: India’s premier magazine for the performing arts (ISSN 0970-7816) is a Chennai-based magazine. While its primary focus is the South Indian Karnatak music world and its related dance traditions, most issues include at least one article devoted to the North Indian Hindustani tradition; it also carries occasional features on Indian folk traditions. Sruti tends to concentrate on events in recent musical life and profiles of current—and occasionally past—performers. RILM focuses on covering the latter, including the former only when sufficient historical interest is indicated.
Research-based contributions from the independent scholar Sriram Venkatakrishnan (writing under the name Sriram V) are often included, providing notes on important persons or places in the history of the Karnatak tradition. Another regular contributor, S. Sankaranarayanan, writes philatelic reports on Indian stamps depicting musical subjects—a type of music iconography.
World music magazines such as fROOTS, Etnoumlje, and Sing out! are largely devoted to profiles of current performers and groups whose repertoires fall within the fuzzy boundaries of world music, a nebulous marketing concept that covers almost any ethnic tradition, from sea shanties to sacred Buddhist ceremonies to Afropop. These articles go beyond the information in the artists’ press releases, often including interviews that provide biographical details and illuminate the historical roots of the music that they perform.
Occasionally these magazines publish research-based items, such as a survey of the current state of a particular genre, or articles of historical interest, such as the commercial recording of ethnic traditions in the early twentieth century.
Music magazines fly under the radar for many scholars, but they are often the most reliable sources for information about current performers and repertory. Providing interviews, biographical details, and information about works and performances, these periodicals fill the information gap that precedes the publication of scholarly studies on these topics, and they are less likely to perpetuate errors than unconfirmed Internet sources.
Sometimes these magazines also present research that may not be oriented toward making a scholarly point, but may still prove useful for scholarly projects; examples include surveys of the output of small record labels, the musical life of a city, or the history of an institution.
Music magazines covered by RILM include selected publications for Western music and popular music as well as those devoted to less mainstream genres such as blues, world music, and Indian performing arts.