This rich collection considers the accordion and its myriad forms, from the concertina, button accordion, and piano accordion familiar in European and North American music to the exotic-sounding South American bandoneon and the sanfoninha. Capturing the instrument's spread and adaptation to many different cultures in North and South America, contributors illuminate how the accordion factored into power struggles over aesthetic values between elites and working-class people who often were members of immigrant and/or marginalized ethnic communities. Specific histories and cultural contexts discussed include the accordion in Brazil, Argentine tango, accordion traditions in Colombia and the Dominican Republic, cross-border accordion culture between Mexico and Texas, Cajun and Creole identity, working-class culture near Lake Superior, the virtuoso Italian-American and Klezmer accordions, Native American dance music, and American avant-garde.
Contributors are María Susana Azzi, Egberto Bermúdez, Mark DeWitt, Joshua Horowitz, Sydney Hutchinson, Marion Jacobson, James P. Leary, Megwen Loveless, Richard March, Cathy Ragland, Helena Simonett, Jared Snyder, Janet L. Sturman, and Christine F. Zinni.
Growing up beside the Chisholm Trail, captivated by the songs of passing cowboys and his bosom friend, an African American farmhand, John A. Lomax developed a passion for American folk songs that ultimately made him one of the foremost authorities on this fundamental aspect of Americana. Across many decades and throughout the country, Lomax and his informants created over five thousand recordings of America’s musical heritage, including ballads, blues, children’s songs, fiddle tunes, field hollers, lullabies, play-party songs, religious dramas, spirituals, and work songs. He acted as honorary curator of the Archive of American Folk Song at the Library of Congress, directed the Slave Narrative Project of the WPA, and cofounded the Texas Folklore Society. Lomax’s books include Cowboy Songs and Other Frontier Ballads, American Ballads and Folk Songs, Negro Folk Songs as Sung by Leadbelly, and Our Singing Country, the last three coauthored with his son Alan Lomax.
Adventures of a Ballad Hunter is a memoir of Lomax’s eventful life. It recalls his early years and the fruitful decades he spent on the road collecting folk songs, on his own and later with son Alan and second wife Ruby Terrill Lomax. Vibrant, amusing, often haunting stories of the people he met and recorded are the gems of this book, which also gives lyrics for dozens of songs. Adventures of a Ballad Hunter illuminates vital traditions in American popular culture and the labor that has gone into their preservation.
User-friendly and practical, Arousing Sense is a guide to how teaching through sensory experience can lead to positive, transformative impact in the classroom and everyday life.
“In Naples, there are more singers than there are unemployed people.” These words echo through the neomelodica music scene, a vast undocumented economy animated by wedding singers, pirate TV, and tens of thousands of fans throughout southern Italy and beyond. In a city with chronic unemployment, this setting has attracted hundreds of aspiring singers trying to make a living—or even a fortune. In the process, they brush up against affiliates of the region’s violent organized crime networks, the camorra. In The Art of Making Do in Naples, Jason Pine explores the murky neomelodica music scene and finds himself on uncertain ground.
The “art of making do” refers to the informal and sometimes illicit entrepreneurial tactics of some Neapolitans who are pursuing a better life for themselves and their families. In the neomelodica music scene, the art of making do involves operating do-it-yourself recording studios and performing at the private parties of crime bosses. It can also require associating with crime boss-impresarios who guarantee their success by underwriting it with extortion, drug trafficking, and territorial influence. Pine, likewise “making do,” gradually realized that the completion of his ethnographic work also depended on the aid of forbidding figures.
The Art of Making Do in Naples offers a riveting ethnography of the lives of men who seek personal sovereignty in a shadow economy dominated, in incalculable ways, by the camorra. Pine navigates situations suffused with secrecy, moral ambiguity, and fears of ruin that undermine the anthropologist’s sense of autonomy. Making his way through Naples’s spectacular historic center and outer slums, on the trail of charmingly evasive neomelodici singers and unsettlingly elusive camorristi, Pine himself becomes a music video director and falls into the orbit of a shadowy music promoter who may or may not be a camorra affiliate.
Pine’s trenchant observations and his own improvised attempts at “making do” provide a fascinating look into the lives of people in the gray zones where organized crime blends into ordinary life.
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