‘In the beginning . . . ’ looks at the first encounters, first meanings, and first musicians of world music from the missionary Jean de Léry's meeting with the Tupinamba of Brazil in 1557 and the different epistemologies and ontologies of world music, to the musicians who populate many mythological and religio-philosophical writings about the origins of music. The different responses to globalization and world music are considered as well as aesthetics, using examples from the Qur'an and Theravada Buddhism in Thailand. The concept of ethnomusicology with reference to Charles Seeger, who significantly influenced the study of music in the 20th century, and Sufi music star Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan are also discussed.