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Ethnomusicologists believe that all humans, not just those we call musicians, are musical, and that musicality is one of the essential touchstones of the human experience. This insight raises big questions about the nature of music and the nature of humankind, and ethnomusicologists argue that to properly address these questions, we must study music in all its geographical and historical diversity.
In this Very Short Introduction, one of the foremost ethnomusicologists, Timothy Rice, offers a compact and illuminating account of this growing discipline, showing how modern researchers go about studying music from around the world, looking for insights into both music and humanity. The reader discovers that ethnomusicologists today not only examine traditional forms of music-such as Japanese gagaku, Bulgarian folk music, Javanese gamelan, or Native American drumming and singing-but also explore more contemporary musical forms, from rap and reggae to Tex-Mex, Serbian turbofolk, and even the piped-in music at the Mall of America. To investigate these diverse musical forms, Rice shows, ethnomusicologists typically live in a community, participate in and observe and record musical events, interview the musicians, their patrons, and the audience, and learn to sing, play, and dance. It's important to establish rapport with musicians and community members, and obtain the permission of those they will work with closely over the course of many months and years. We see how the researcher analyzes the data to understand how a particular musical tradition works, what is distinctive about it, and how it bears the personal, social, and cultural meanings attributed to it. Rice also discusses how researchers may apply theories from anthropology and other social sciences, to shed further light on the nature of music as a human behavior and cultural practice.
About the Series:
Oxford's Very Short Introductions series offers concise and original introductions to a wide range of subjects--from Islam to Sociology, Politics to Classics, Literary Theory to History, and Archaeology to the Bible. Not simply a textbook of definitions, each volume in this series provides trenchant and provocative--yet always balanced and complete--discussions of the central issues in a given discipline or field. EveryVery Short Introduction gives a readable evolution of the subject in question, demonstrating how the subject has developed and how it has influenced society. Eventually, the series will encompass every major academic discipline, offering all students an accessible and abundant reference library. Whatever the area of study that one deems important or appealing, whatever the topic that fascinates the general reader, theVery Short Introductions series has a handy and affordable guide that will likely prove indispensable.
How American Reggae Redefined Jamaican And Caribbean Reggae
This book studies the relationship between mass communication and cultural domination and looks at the flow of influence from the originating society to the receiving one that is greater than that of the original.
Guide To Musical Composition
From the Preface:
"How does one begin, in order to compose a little piece of music? Pretty thoughts often float before me; but if I try to write them down and make a little musical whole of them, I commonly am stopped short after the first four measures, where my fancy leaves me in the lurch. If to the first thoughts I add new ones, they will not fit together rightly. Then I wonder at the composers of larger works. It is incomprehensible to me, how one can think out such innumerable thoughts, and fit them all together into one consistent whole. I remark, to be sure, that in such works many a thought, once there, comes up again, but as it were in a new dress. For the study of a School of Thorough Bass I have no time; moreover, such a work, without the special guidance of a teacher, would probably remain a book with seven seals for me. Besides, it is not at all my purpose to form myself into a composer proper; I only wish to have just so much light in this matter, as to enable me at times to write musical trifles for my own satisfaction, or at the most for good friends."
These words are taken from the letter of a friend, who turned to me in this predicament. I often have the same inquiry made of me by word of mouth, and information asked of me, which leads me to infer the quite erroneous notion of many dilettanti, namely, that a piece of music consists for the most part of a string of wholly new thoughts. To prove the contrary, in the most obvious and striking manner, I have made them give me a single measure, or only a couple of tones, out of which I have forthwith developed various little pieces, waltzes, polkas, &c, partly playing them over first on the piano, and partly writing them down without the aid of the instrument. This excited great astonishment; and quite as much so when I pointed out, in larger compositions, how whole periods are developed out of a few notes. Of course I could not make the matter wholly clear and comprehensible to such inquirers all at once; but I promised them to lead them to a spring, from which the greatest masters in the art had drawn, a real magic fountain, which so fructifies the inventive fancy of those who drink from it, that they find one musical thought continually crowding out another.
Where is this fountain? Quick, let us go to it! Gently, friends! Before we reach it, we must first go over a small mountain, and then we must not drink too hastily, for that is dangerous. The name of the magic fountain I can give beforehand; it is called Thematic Treatment.
Thus did this "Guide" originate. May it find friendly reception in wider circles, and lead many to the fountain. But a knowledge of the theory of Harmony is presupposed; Whoever wants this knowledge can easily obtain it through my "Introduction to the Theory of Harmony," of which this 'Guide" is a sort of second part, or further development.
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