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Chinese Music

RRP $16.99

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From the author's INTRODUCTION.

The Chinese have the reputation of being a strange people, with a peculiar language, peculiar institutions, customs, and manners, utterly different from those of our Western countries.

Since Chinese ports were thrown open to foreigners, the influx of visitors of all kinds has continually" increased. Missionaries, diplomats, travelers - some led there by duty, others attracted by the prospect of a new field for studies, and others guided by mere curiosity - have crossed the country in all directions. From these visits has resulted a large number of books - relations of travels, descriptions of country, customs, and manners - books on any subject, all tending to acquaint Western nations with the wonderful Celestial Empire, and, principally, to point out the immense difference existing between Chinese and European ideas.

Amongst the subjects which have been treated with the least success by foreign writers, Chinese Music ranks prominently. If mentioned at all in their books, it is simply to remark that "it is detestable, noisy, monotonous; that it hopelessly outrages our Western notions of music," etc. I do not wish to create any discussions by contradicting these and many other erroneous statements found in descriptions of Chinese Music: it would take too long a time.

In the description I give here I will endeavour to point out the contrasts or similarity between Western and Chinese Music, to present abstruse theories in the least tiresome way, to add details never before published, and to give a short yet concise account of Chinese Music.

I am not pretentious enough to think that my work will be utterly irreproachable. Mistakes are so easily made; and if I have just alluded to the many mistakes which are found in books, it is merely with the intention of showing how careful we must be when writing, and, much more, how indulgent we need be towards the writings of others.

I should deem it unfair not to mention that Mr. Hippisley, one of our Commissioners of Customs, is entitled to my most sincere gratitude for his kindness in reading the manuscript and correcting the many faults which ordinarily slip from one's pen when attempting to write in any but one's own language.


Medieval Music, Legend, And The Cult Of St. Martin

RRP $234.99

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St Martin of Tours was a protector saint of numerous French kings. His was one of the most successful saintly cults in medieval Europe, and the city of Tours functioned as a religious metropolis, drawing pilgrims from all over the continent. Until now, little has been known about how St Martin came to inspire such a lively folkloric tradition, numerous works of art, and the establishment of thousands of churches and numerous confraternities. In this book, Yossi Maurey addresses these questions by focusing on the church dedicated to the saint in Tours, which acted as the crucible for Martin's cult. Maurey explores the music and liturgy of the cult - the most effective means of its dissemination - to reveal its enormous diffusion and impact. Building a more concrete picture of how saints' cults operated and shaped medieval realities, this book also provides new insights into the interactions between contemporary religion, art and politics.


Brave Music Of A Distant Drum

RRP $18.14

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Ama is an enslaved African woman. In Brazil, old and ill, she is determined that the story of her life shall survive for future generations. Her story is one of violence and heartache, but also of courage, hope, determination, and ultimately, love. Since Ama is blind, she has to dictate to her long separated only son, Kwame Zumbi. Kwame - named Zacharias Williams by the white Christians who have raised him - considers her an ugly old pagan and has little interest in doing more than is necessary to fulfill his obligation to her. But the acts of hearing and writing down the details of his mother's story change him forever.

This novel is a sequel to Manu Herbstein's novel, Ama, a Story of the Atlantic Slave Trade, winner to the 2002 Commonwealth Writers Prize for the Best First Book.

An incredible story. Millions of Africans were kidnapped and sold into slavery across the Atlantic Ocean. For the descendants of those people, the repercussions are still reverberating today. The distant drum is still heard. This is a beautifully written, thought-provoking book about age-old questions involving man's inhumanity to man. Betty Kowall in The Waterloo Region Record.

A powerful tale. Readers will be moved as much by Ama's intelligence and unwavering sense of self respect as by her hideous experiences. KIRKUS Review



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