Since the second half of the 20th century, there has been a ceaseless interplay between past and present, between transcendence of and break with tradition, together with a phenomenon of exchange and communication with diverse musics of the world, resulting in shocks of culture, of knowledges, as well as of thoughts, together with re-interpretation or transformation, without forgetting their reappropriation by each and everyone. The somebody's and another's musics world cultures then become everyone's heritage, lending themselves to the fantasies and interpretations of those who receive or perceive them according to their every sensitivity or affinities.
It is within this frame that elitist contemporary music presently covers a wide heterogeneity of methods and shapes, insofar as it associates various factors : written-oral expression, collective memory, cultural knowledge, juxtaposition or interweaving of musical expressions from different origins (popular, variety shows, traditional or academic). This requires its new reading on different levels, consequently its re-interpretation, as well as in-depth examination of its historical and sociocultural conditions of production.
In order to start this new reflexion on elitist contemporary musical art, which has presently become more than necessary, I have suggested the expression Academic World Music to be used here as a prop to an attempt at questioning the emergence and strengthening of a new cultural identity, or elitist contemporary musical tradition, focusing on a multipurpose and heterogeneous reality. As far as I am concerned, it is also a way of questioning the contemporaneity of present academic music.