Arsenio Rodríguez was one of the most important Cuban musicians of the twentieth century. In this first scholarly study, ethnomusicologist David F. García examines Rodríguez's life, including the conjunto musical combo he led and the highly influential son montuno style of music he created in the 1940s. García recounts Rodríguez's battle for recognition at the height of "mambo mania" in New York City and the significance of his music in the development of salsa. With firsthand accounts from relatives and fellow musicians, Arsenio Rodríguez and the Transnational Flows of Latin Popular Music follows Rodríguez's fortunes on several continents, speculating on why he never enjoyed wide commercial success despite the importance of his music. García focuses on the roles that race, identity, and politics played in shaping Rodríguez's music and the trajectory of his musical career. His transnational perspective has important implications for Latin American and popular music studies.
Amy Absher’s The Black Musician and the White City tells the story of African American musicians in Chicago during the mid-twentieth century. While depicting the segregated city before World War II, Absher traces the migration of black musicians, both men and women and both classical and vernacular performers, from the American South to Chicago during the 1930s to 1950s.
Absher’s work diverges from existing studies in three ways: First, she takes the history beyond the study of jazz and blues by examining the significant role that classically trained black musicians played in building the Chicago South Side community. By acknowledging the presence and importance of classical musicians, Absher argues that black migrants in Chicago had diverse education and economic backgrounds but found common cause in the city’s music community. Second, Absher brings numerous maps to the history, illustrating the relationship between Chicago’s physical lines of segregation and the geography of black music in the city over the years. Third, Absher’s use of archival sources is both extensive and original, drawing on manuscript and oral history collections at the Center for Black Music Research in Chicago, Columbia University, Rutgers’s Institute of Jazz Studies, and Tulane’s Hogan Jazz Archive. By approaching the Chicago black musical community from these previously untapped angles, Absher offers a history that goes beyond the retelling of the achievements of the famous musicians by discussing musicians as a group. In The Black Musician and the White City, black musicians are the leading actors, thinkers, organizers, and critics of their own story.
Based on exclusive interviews, Breakout tells the often riveting personal stories of fourteen popular musicians—some well known, others not—from Zaire, Ghana, Nigeria and Sierra Leone. The first book on African pop music to look closely at the lives of the musicians themselves, Breakout deals with four African musical genres: soukous, highlife, afro-beat, and palm wine.
Amid Africa's deepening economic and political crises of the last two decades, African musicians who developed these genres faced the need to cross cultural boundaries, or "break out," and achieve a hit in the international marketplace. Challenging conventional assumptions, Gary Stewart demonstrates for the first time the true dimensions of this struggle to create music that will qualify as both an authentic cultural expression and an export commodity. From accounts of the outrageous Fela, who snipes at African leaders and recounts his days with Isis in ancient Egypt, to S. E. Rogie, who lurches from the pinnacle of stardom in West Africa to delivering pizzas in California, to Olatunji, who finds new life with the Grateful Dead, these are the stories of Africans straddling traditional life and an encroaching modernity—and also the stories of third world musicians surmounting political and economic chaos at home and carrying their music to a world dominated by Western cultural and economic power.
In the mid-nineteenth century the United States was musically vibrant. Rising industrialization, a growing middle class, and increasing concern for the founding of American centers of art created a culture that was rich in musical capital. Beyond its importance to the people who created and played it is the fact that this music still influences our culture today.
Although numerous academic resources examine the music and musicians of the Civil War era, the research is spread across a variety of disciplines and is found in a wide array of scholarly journals, books, and papers. It is difficult to assimilate this diverse body of research, and few sources are dedicated solely to a rigorous and comprehensive investigation of the music and the musicians of this era. This anthology, which grew out of the first two National Conferences on Music of the Civil War Era, is an initial attempt to address that need.
Those conferences established the first academic setting solely devoted to exploring the effects of the Civil War on music and musicians. Bridging musicology and history, these essays represent the forefront of scholarship in music of the Civil War era. Each one makes a significant contribution to research in the music of this era and will ultimately encourage more interdisciplinary research on a subject that has relevance both for its own time and for ours. The result is a readable, understandable volume on one of the few understudied—yet fascinating—aspects of the Civil War era.
Ann M. Pescatello presents the first biography of Charles Seeger, who was a force in American music for most of the twentieth century. Part composer, teacher, performer, musicologist, bureaucrat, and inventor-Seeger's ninety-two year life touched many people and many areas of American music. As both a traditionalist and champion of the new, he established the University of California's music department and the nation's first curriculum in musicology, and taught at the Institute of Musical Arts (later Julliard), and at the New School in New York. He was also a music activist-defending the artistic value of American folk music, and seeking global cooperation for musical enterprise at the Resettlement administraion, the WPA, and the Pan American Union.
Siena, blessed with neither the aristocratic nor the ecclesiastical patronage enjoyed by music in other northern Italian centers like Florence, nevertheless attracted first-rate composers and performers from all over Europe. As Frank A. D'Accone shows in this scrupulously documented study, policies developed by the town to favor the common good formed the basis of Siena's ambitious musical programs.
Based on decades of research in the town's archives, D'Accone's The Civic Muse brilliantly illuminates both the sacred and the secular aspects of more than three centuries of music and music-making in Siena. After detailing the history of music and liturgy at Siena's famous cathedral and of civic music at the Palazzo Pubblico, D'Accone describes the crucial role that music played in the daily life of the town, from public festivities for foreign dignitaries to private musical instruction. Putting Siena squarely on the Renaissance musical map, D'Accone's monumental study will interest both musicologists and historians of the Italian Renaissance.
A bilingual edition of a renowned work of Puerto Rican literature, Cortijo’s Wake/El entierro de Cortijo is novelist Edgardo Rodríguez Juliá’s vivid description of the funeral of legendary Puerto Rican musician Rafael Cortijo. El entierro de Cortijo became an immediate bestseller following its original publication in Puerto Rico in 1983. An unparalleled Afro-Puerto Rican percussionist and bandleader, Cortijo (1928–1982) revolutionized the country’s musical culture. His band, Cortijo y Su Combo, captivated Caribbean and Latin American audiences as it emerged in the mid-1950s. Immensely popular across Puerto Rican social classes, the band both “modernized” the traditional vernacular forms of bomba and plena and forcefully reestablished their African and working-class roots. The group’s innovations have been integral to salsa since the 1960s.
Winding through the streets of working-class San Juan with Cortijo’s funeral procession, Rodríguez Juliá’s autobiographical chronicle provides a rare portrait of the impoverished society from which Cortijo’s music emerged. Along with detailed renderings of grief-stricken mourners—including Cortijo’s childhood friend and fellow musician, the celebrated singer Ismael ("Maelo") Rivera—Rodríguez Juliá records his feelings as he, a light-skinned, middle-class writer, confronts the world of poor black Puerto Ricans. The author’s masterful shifting of linguistic registers, his acute sensitivity to Puerto Rican social codes, his broad knowledge of popular music, and his sardonic ruminations on death and immortality make this one of the most widely read books of modern Puerto Rican literature. Well-known critic and cultural historian Juan Flores has provided a scrupulous translation of Rodríguez Juliá’s text and an introduction situating the book in relation to Puerto Rican music and culture and the careers of Cortijo and Rodríguez Juliá.
Raised among Mexican American farmworkers, singer-songwriter Cris Plata spoke Spanish, ate Mexican food, and heard Mexican music played by family and friends. He also spoke English, went to school with mostly white children for at least half the year, and grew more familiar with mainstream American culture. Until he was seven, he and his family lived and worked on a ranch near Poteet, Texas. The family became migrant farmworkers, moving from Indiana to Arkansas and Florida before finally settling in Wisconsin in 1966 to work at an Astico farm.
This dual language book shares the Plata’s family story of migrant farming, music, and family amid the constant change and uncertainty of migrant life. While hardships—from poor working conditions and low wages to racial prejudice—were constant in Cris Plata’s upbringing, so too was the music that bonded and uplifted his family. After long days in the fields, Cris’s family spent their small amount of free time playing and singing songs from Mexico and South Texas. Cris learned to play the guitar, accordion, and mandolin, beginning to strum when he was just five years old. Today, he writes his own music, performs songs in English and Spanish, and records albums with his band, Cris Plata with Extra Hot.
Following Cris Plata’s journey from farm fields to musical stages, the story explores how a migrant, and the son of an immigrant, decided to make Wisconsin his home.
Cuban Music from A to Z
Helio Orovio Duke University Press, 2004 Library of Congress ML106.C8O7613 2004 | Dewey Decimal 780.9729103
Available in English for the first time, Cuban Music from A to Z is an encyclopedic guide to one of the world’s richest and most influential musical cultures. It is the most extensive compendium of information about the singers, composers, bands, instruments, and dances of Cuba ever assembled. With more than 1,300 entries and 150 illustrations, this volume is an essential reference guide to the music of the island that brought the world the danzón, the son, the mambo, the conga, and the cha-cha-chá.
The life’s work of Cuban historian and musician Helio Orovio, Cuban Music from A to Z presents the people, genres, and history of Cuban music. Arranged alphabetically and cross-referenced, the entries span from Abakuá music and dance to Eddy Zervigón, a Cuban bandleader based in New York City. They reveal an extraordinary fusion of musical elements, evident in the unique blend of African and Spanish traditions of the son musical genre and in the integration of jazz and rumba in the timba style developed by bands like Afrocuba, Chucho Valdés’s Irakeke, José Luis Cortés’s ng La Banda, and the Buena Vista Social Club. Folk and classical music, little-known composers and international superstars, drums and string instruments, symphonies and theaters—it’s all here.
In 1987 photographer Sandra Dyas moved to Iowa City and began documenting the area’s vibrant live music scene, with its distinctive combination of folk, blues, roots/Americana, and rock sounds. The sixty photos in Down to the River capture her twenty years of photographing live music venues and shooting portraits of musicians in and around the city, resulting in a collection of images as compassionate and honest as the music itself.
Dyas’s photographs present both the sweaty intensity of live performances and the more contemplative moments of individual portraits. They are complemented by Chris Offutt’s empathetic essay, which also encapsulates the experience of connecting with a new home through its music. A companion CD with eighteen tracks by Iowa’s finest singer/songwriters, including Dave Moore, Greg Brown, Bo Ramsey, David Zollo, and Pieta Brown, add up to an unmatched perspective on Iowa music and musicians.
1. Iowa Crawl, Joe Price
2. Poor Back Slider, Greg Brown
3. Parnell, David Zollo
4. #807, Pieta Brown
5. Wheels of Steel, Radoslav Lorkovic
6. Down to the River, Dave Moore
7. Lucy and Andy Drive to Arkansas, Kevin Gordon
8. Chuck Brown, Mike and Amy Finders
9. Nobody But You, Joe Price
10. Earleton, BeJae Fleming
11. Ceremonial Child, High and Lonesome
12. Sidetrack Lounge, Bo Ramsey
13. On the Edge, Pieta Brown
14. One Wrong Turn, Greg Brown
15. Not in Iowa, Kelly Pardekooper
16. Living in a Cornfield, Bo Ramsey
17. ’57 Chevy, Tom Jessen’s Dimestore Outfit
18. Roll on John, the Pines
Musician, political critic, and hedonist, international superstar Fela Anikulapo-Kuti created a sensation throughout his career. In his own country of Nigeria he was simultaneously adulated and loathed, often by the same people at the same time. His outspoken political views and advocacy of marijuana smoking and sexual promiscuity offended many, even as his musical brilliance enthralled them. In his creation of afrobeat, he melded African traditions with African American and Afro-Caribbean influences to revolutionize world music.
Although harassed, beaten, and jailed by Nigerian authorities, he continued his outspoken and derisive criticism of political corruption at home and economic exploitation from abroad. A volatile mixture of personal characteristics -- charisma, musical talent, maverick lifestyle, populist ideology, and persistence in the face of persecution -- made him a legend throughout Africa and the world. Celebrated during the 1970s as a musical innovator and spokesman for the continent's oppressed masses, he enjoyed worldwide celebrity during the 1980s and was recognized in the 1990s as a major pioneer and elder statesman of African music. By the time of his death in 1997 from AIDS-related complications, Fela had become something of a Nigerian institution.
In Africa, the idea of transnational alliance, once thought to be outmoded, has gained new currency. In African America, during a period of increasing social conservatism and ethnic polarization, Africa has re-emerged as a symbol of cultural affirmation. At such an historical moment, Fela's music offers a perspective on race, class, and nation on both sides of the Atlantic. As Professor Veal demonstrates, over three decades Fela synthesized a unique musical language while also clearing -- if only temporarily -- a space for popular political dissent and a type of counter-cultural expression rarely seen in West Africa. In the midst of political turmoil in Africa, as well as renewal of pro-African cultural nationalism throughout the diaspora, Fela's political music functions as a post-colonial art form that uses cross-cultural exchange to voice a unique and powerful African essentialism.
Representing a historical cross-section of performance and training in Western music since the seventeenth century, Five Lives in Music brings to light the private and performance lives of five remarkable women musicians and composers. Elegantly guiding readers through the Thirty Years War in central Europe, elite courts in Germany, urban salons in Paris, Nazi control of Germany and Austria, and American musical life today, as well as personal experiences of marriage, motherhood, and widowhood, Cecelia Hopkins Porter provides valuable insights into the culture in which each woman was active.
Porter begins with the Duchess Sophie-Elisabeth of Braunschweig-Lueneberg, a harpsichordist who also presided over seventeenth-century North German court music as an impresario. At the forefront of French Baroque composition, composer Elisabeth-Claude Jacquet de La Guerre bridged a widening cultural gap between the Versailles nobility and the urban bourgeoisie of Paris. A century later, Josephine Lang, a prodigiously talented pianist and dedicated composer, participated at various times in the German Romantic world of lieder through her important arts salon. Lastly, the twentieth century brought forth two exceptional women: Baroness Maria Bach, a composer and pianist of twentieth-century Vienna's upper bourgeoisie and its brilliant musical milieu in the era of Gustav Mahler, Richard Strauss, Arnold Schoenberg, and Erich Korngold; and Ann Schein, a brilliant and dauntless American piano prodigy whose career, ongoing today though only partially recognized, led her to study with the legendary virtuosos Arthur Rubinstein and Myra Hess.
Mining musical autographs, unpublished letters and press reviews, interviews, and music archives in the United States and Europe, Porter probes each musician's social and economic status, her education and musical training, the cultural expectations within the traditions and restrictions of each woman's society, and other factors. Throughout the lively and focused portraits of these five women, Porter finds common threads, both personal and contextual, that extend to a larger discussion of the lives and careers of female composers and performers throughout centuries of music history.
Here on the Edge answers the growing interest in a long-neglected element of World War II history: the role of pacifism in what is often called “The Good War.” Steve McQuiddy shares the fascinating story of one conscientious objector camp located on the rain-soaked Oregon Coast, Civilian Public Service (CPS) Camp #56. As home to the Fine Arts Group at Waldport, the camp became a center of activity where artists and writers from across the country focused their work not so much on the current war, but on what kind of society might be possible when the shooting finally stopped.
They worked six days a week—planting trees, crushing rock, building roads, and fighting forest fires—in exchange for only room and board. At night, they published books under the imprint of the Untide Press. They produced plays, art, and music—all during their limited non-work hours, with little money and few resources. This influential group included poet William Everson, later known as Brother Antoninus, “the Beat Friar”; violinist Broadus Erle, founder of the New Music Quartet; fine arts printer Adrian Wilson; Kermit Sheets, co-founder of San Francisco’s Interplayers theater group; architect Kemper Nomland, Jr.; and internationally renowned sculptor Clayton James.
After the war, camp members went on to participate in the San Francisco Poetry Renaissance of the 1950s, which heavily influenced the Beat Generation of Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, and Gary Snyder—who in turn inspired Ken Kesey and his Merry Pranksters, leading the way to the 1960s upheavals epitomized by San Francisco’s Summer of Love.
As camp members engaged in creative acts, they were plowing ground for the next generation, when a new set of young people, facing a war of their own in Vietnam, would populate the massive peace movements of the 1960s.
Twenty years in the making and packed with original research, Here on the Edge is the definitive history of the Fine Arts Group at Waldport, documenting how their actions resonated far beyond the borders of the camp. It will appeal to readers interested in peace studies, World War II history, influences on the 1960s generation, and in the rich social and cultural history of the West Coast.
In the Blue Ridge Mountains along the Virginia–North Carolina border, an extraordinarily rich musical heritage survives and flourishes. Even before the legendary Bill Monroe coined the term “bluegrass” in the mid-1950s, the traditional music of this area was coming into its own as a distinctive style. Early performers from the 1920s through the 1950s, many of whom migrated northward during the Great Depression, popularized the music they had grown up hearing, thereby preserving and celebrating the cultural legacy of their home region.
In A Hot-Bed of Musicians, Paula Anderson-Green tells the stories of several of these legendary performers and instrument makers from the Upper New River Valley–Whitetop Mountain region, including Ola Belle Campbell Reed, Albert Hash, and Dave Sturgill. These men and women began to bring the music of Appalachia to a wider audience well before Nashville became the center of country music. Making extensive use of interviews, the book reveals the fascinating experiences and enduring values behind the practice of old-time music. This musical heritage remains an indispensable component of Appalachian culture, and Anderson-Green traces the traditions down to the present generation of musicians there.
Written for anyone with an interest in mountain music, this book focuses on performers from Alleghany and Ashe Counties in North Carolina and Carroll County and Grayson County in Virginia. It includes a comprehensive appendix of place names and music venues as well as annotated lists of musicians and the songs they have performed.
The Author: Paula Hathaway Anderson-Green is an adjunct professor of English at Kennesaw State University and does research in Appalachian studies.
In Griot Time
Banning Eyre Temple University Press, 2000 Library of Congress ML3760.E9 2000 | Dewey Decimal 780.96623
"Djelimady Tounkara has powerful hands. His muscled fingers and palms seem almost brutish to the eye, but when he grasps the neck of the guitar and brushes the nail of his right index finger across the strings, the sound lifts effortlessly, like dust in a wind. In Bamako, Mali, where musicians struggle, Djelimady is a big man, and all of his family's good fortunes flow from those hands."
Djelimady Tounkara is only one of the memorable people you will meet in this dramatic narrative of life among the griot musicians of Mali. Born into families where music and the tradition of griot story-telling is a heritage and a privilege, Djelimady and his fellow griots -- both men and women -- live their lives at the intersection of ancient traditions and the modern entertainment industry. During the seven months he spent living and studying with Djelimady, Banning Eyre immersed himself in a world that will fascinate you as it did him.
Eyre creates a range of unforgettable portraits. Some of the people who stride through his pages are internationally known, musicians like Salif Keita, Oumou Sangare, and Grammy winner Ali Farka Toure. But the lesser-known characters are equally fascinating: Adama Kouyate, Djelimady's dynamic wife; Moussa Kouyate, the Tounkara family's own griot; Yayi Kanoute, the flamboyant jelimuso (female griot) who failed to take America by storm; Foutanga Babani Sissoko, the mysterious millionaire who rebuilt an entire town and whose patronage is much sought after by the griots of Bamako.
But the picture Eyre draws is not just a series of portraits. Out of their interactions comes a perceptive panorama of life in Mali in the late twentieth century. The narrative gives us a street-level view of the transformation of musical taste and social customs, the impact of technology and the pressures of poverty, at a crucial time in Mali's history. In individual after individual, family after family, we see the subtle conflicts of heritage and change. Even the complications of democracy -- with democracy, mango vendors think they can charge anything they want, Djelimady points out -- are woven into an unforgettable saga of one man, his family, his profession, and the world of Malian music.
“Meticulously researched, detailed and documented, this long awaited overview justly establishes Konitz as one of the most consistently brilliant, adventurous and original improvisers in the jazz tradition—a genius as rare as Bird himself.”
“Hamilton’s work may well mark the inception of a format new to writing on Western music, one which avoids both the self-aggrandizing of autobiography and the stylized subjectification of biography.”
“An extraordinary approach to a biography, with the man himself speaking for extended sessions. The main vibration I felt from Lee’s words was total honesty, almost to a fault. Konitz shows himself to be an acute observer of the scene, full of wisdom and deep musical insights, relevant to any historical period regardless of style. The asides by noted musicians are beautifully woven throughout the pages. I couldn’t put the book down—it is the definition of a living history.”
The preeminent altoist associated with the “cool” school of jazz, Lee Konitz was one of the few saxophonists of his generation to forge a unique sound independent of the influence of Charlie Parker. In the late 1940s, Konitz began his career with the Claude Thornhill band, during which time he came into contact with Miles Davis, with whom he would later work on the legendary Birth of the Cool sessions. Konitz is perhaps best known through his association with Lennie Tristano, under whose influence much of his sound evolved, and for his work with Stan Kenton and Warne Marsh. His recordings have ranged from cool bop to experimental improvisation and have appeared on such labels as Prestige, Atlantic, Verve, and Polydor.
Crafted out of numerous interviews between the author and his subject, the book offers a unique look at the story of Lee Konitz’s life and music, detailing Konitz’s own insights into his musical education and his experiences with such figures as Miles Davis, Stan Kenton, Warne Marsh, Lennie Tristano, Charles Mingus, Bud Powell, and Bill Evans.
Andy Hamilton is a jazz pianist and contributor to major jazz and contemporary music magazines. He teaches philosophy, and the history and aesthetics of jazz, at Durham University in the United Kingdom. He is also the author of the book Aesthetics and Music (Continuum 2007).
Joe Lovano is a Grammy Award–winning tenor saxophonist. His most recent album is Streams of Expression.
Daniel M. Neuman offers an account of North Indian Hindustani music culture and the changing social context of which it is part, as expressed in the thoughts and actions of its professional musicians.
Drawing primarily from fieldwork performed in Delhi in 1969-71—from interviewing musicians, learning and performing on the Indian fiddle, and speaking with music connoisseurs—Neuman examines the cultural and social matrix in which Hindustani music is nurtured, listened and attended to, cultivated, and consumed in contemporary India. Through his interpretation of the impact that modern media, educational institutions, and public performances exert on the music and musicians, Neuman highlights the drama of a great musical tradition engaging a changing world, and presents the adaptive strategies its practitioners employ to practice their art. His work has gained the distinction of introducing a new approach to research on Indian music, and appears in this edition with a new preface by the author.
Lives in Chinese Music
Edited by Helen Rees University of Illinois Press, 2008 Library of Congress ML385.L54 2009 | Dewey Decimal 780.92251
Until recently, most scholarly work on Chinese music in both Chinese and Western languages has focused on genres, musical structure, and general history and concepts, rather than on the musicians themselves. This volume breaks new ground by focusing on individual musicians active in different amateur and professional music scenes in mainland China, Hong Kong, and Chinese communities in Europe. Using biography to deepen understanding of Chinese music, contributors present contextualized portraits of rural folk singers, urban opera singers, literati, and musicians on both geographic and cultural frontiers.
Contributors are Nimrod Baranovitch, Rachel Harris, Frank Kouwenhoven, Tong Soon Lee, Peter Micic, Helen Rees, Antoinet Schimmelpenninck, Shao Binsun, Jonathan P. J. Stock, and Bell Yung.
The Saint-Simonians, whose movement flourished in France between 1825 and 1835, are widely recognized for their contributions to history and social thought. Until now, however, no full account has been made of the central role of the arts in their program. In this skillful interdisciplinary study, Ralph P. Locke describes and documents the Saint-Simonians' view of music as an ideological tool and the influence of this view on musical figures of the day.
The disciples of Claude Henri de Rouvroy, comte de Saint-Simon, believed that increased industrial production would play a crucial role in improving the condition of the working masses and in shifting power from the aristocratic "drones" to the enterprising men of talent then rising in the French middle class. As a powerful means of winning support for their views, music became an integral part of the Saint-Simonians' writings and ceremonial activities.
Among the musicians Locke discusses are Berlioz, Liszt, and Mendelssohn, whose tangential association with the Saint-Simonians reveals new aspects of their social and aesthetic views. Other musicians became the Saint-Simonians' faithful followers, among them Jules Vinçard, Dominique Tajan-Rogé, and particularly Félicien David, the movement's principal composer. Many of these composers' works, reconstructed by Locke from authentic sources, are printed here, including the "Premier Chant des industriels," written at Saint-Simon's request by Rouget de Lisle, composer of the "Marseillaise."
Musicians of Asian descent enjoy unprecedented prominence in concert halls, conservatories, and classical music performance competitions. In the first book on the subject, Mari Yoshihara looks into the reasons for this phenomenon, starting with her own experience of learning to play piano in Japan at the age of three. Yoshihara shows how a confluence of culture, politics and commerce after the war made classical music a staple in middle-class households, established Yamaha as the world's largest producer of pianos and gave the Suzuki method of music training an international clientele. Soon, talented musicians from Japan, China and South Korea were flocking to the United States to study and establish careers, and Asian American families were enrolling toddlers in music classes.
Against this historical backdrop, Yoshihara interviews Asian and Asian American musicians, such as Cho-Liang Lin, Margaret Leng Tan, Kent Nagano, who have taken various routes into classical music careers. They offer their views about the connections of race and culture and discuss whether the music is really as universal as many claim it to be. Their personal histories and Yoshihara's observations present a snapshot of today's dynamic and revived classical music scene.
In Musicians in Transit Matthew B. Karush examines the transnational careers of seven of the most influential Argentine musicians of the twentieth century: Afro-Argentine swing guitarist Oscar Alemán, jazz saxophonist Gato Barbieri, composer Lalo Schifrin, tango innovator Astor Piazzolla, balada singer Sandro, folksinger Mercedes Sosa, and rock musician Gustavo Santaolalla. As active participants in the globalized music business, these artists interacted with musicians and audiences in the United States, Europe, and Latin America and contended with genre distinctions, marketing conventions, and ethnic stereotypes. By responding creatively to these constraints, they made innovative music that provided Argentines with new ways of understanding their nation’s place in the world. Eventually, these musicians produced expressions of Latin identity that reverberated beyond Argentina, including a novel form of pop ballad; an anti-imperialist, revolutionary folk genre; and a style of rock built on a pastiche of Latin American and global genres. A website with links to recordings by each musician accompanies the book.
The fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 signaled the onset of tumultuous political, economic, and social reforms throughout Eastern Europe. In Czechoslovakia, Poland, and the Soviet Union these changes were linked to the activities and philosophies of political figures such as Václav Havel, Lech Walesa, and Mikhail Gorbachev. In Bulgaria, however, these changes were first heralded and even facilitated by particular musicians and shifting musical styles.
Based on fieldwork conducted between 1988 and 1996 with professional Bulgarian folk musicians, Donna A. Buchanan's PerformingDemocracy argues that the performances of traditional music groups may be interpreted not only as harbingers but as agents of Bulgaria's political transition. Many of the musicians in socialist Bulgaria's state folk ensembles served as official cultural emissaries for several decades. Through their reminiscences and repertoires, Buchanan reveals the evolution of Bulgarian musical life as it responded to and informed the political process. By modifying their art to accommodate changing political ideologies, these musicians literally played out regime change on the world's stages, performing their country's democratization musically at home and abroad.
Performing Democracy and its accompanying CD-ROM, featuring traditional Bulgarian music, lyrics, notation, and photos, will fascinate any reader interested in the many ways art echoes and influences politics.
Songwriting in Contemporary West Virginia: Profiles and Reflections is the first book dedicated to telling the stories of West Virginia’s extensive community of songwriters. Based on oral histories conducted by Stimeling and told largely in the songwriters’ own words, these profiles offer a lively overview of the personalities, venues, and networks that nurture and sustain popular music in West Virginia.
Stimeling is attentive to breadth and diversity, presenting sketches of established personalities like Larry Groce, who oversees Mountain Stage, and emerging musicians like Maria Allison, who dreams of one day performing there. Each profile includes a brief selected discography to guide readers to recordings of these musicians’ work.
In Strong on Music Vera Brodsky Lawrence uses the diaries of lawyer and music lover George Templeton Strong as a jumping-off point from which to explore every aspect of New York City's musical life in the mid-nineteenth century.
Formerly a concert pianist, Vera Brodsky Lawrence spent the last third of her life as a historian of American music (she died in 1996). She was editor of The Piano Works of Louis Moreau Gottschalk and The Complete Works of Scott Joplin.
On Volume 1: "A marvelous book. There is nothing like it in the literature of American music."—Harold C. Schonberg, New York Times Book Review
On Volume 2: "A monumental achievement."—Victor Fell Yellin, Opera Quarterly
In this second volume of Strong on Music, Vera Brodsky Lawrence carries into the 1850s her landmark account of the nineteenth-century New York music scene. Using music entries from George Templeton Strong's famous journals—most published here for the first time—as a point of departure, Lawrence provides a vivid portrait of a vibrant musical culture.
Each chapter presents one year in the musical life of New York City, with Lawrence's extensive commentary enriched both by excerpts from Strong's diaries and a lavish selection of little-known music criticism and comment from the period. The reviews, written by an often truculent, sometimes venal tribe of music journalists, cover the entire world of music—from opera to barrel organ, salon to saloon.
In this New York, operas performed by renowned artists are parodied by blackface minstrels; performances of the Philharmonic Society are drowned by the raucous chatter of flirtatious adolescents, who turn concerts into a noisy singles' hangout; and irate critics trash the first performances of Verdi operas, calling the plots indecent and the scores noisy and unmelodic. In this volatile atmosphere, a native musical culture is born; its whose first faltering efforts are dubiously received, and the first American composers begin to emerge.
In Strong on Music Vera Brodsky Lawrence uses the diaries of lawyer and music lover George Templeton Strong as a jumping-off point from which to explore every aspect of New York City's musical life in the mid-nineteenth century. This third and final volume ranges across opera, orchestral and chamber music, blackface minstrels, military bands, church choirs, and even concert saloons.
Among the many striking scenes vividly portrayed in Repercussions are the rapturous reception of Verdi's Ballo in maschera in 1861; the impact of the Civil War on New York's music scene, from theaters closing as their musicians enlisted to the performance of "The Star-Spangled Banner" at every possible occasion; and open-air concerts in the developing Central Park. Throughout, Lawrence mines a treasure trove of primary source materials including daily newspapers, memoirs, city directories, and architectural drawings.
Indispensable for scholars, Repercussions will also fascinate music fans with its witty writing and detailed descriptions of the cultural life of America's first metropolis.
Formerly a concert pianist, Vera Brodsky Lawrence spent the last third of her life as a historian of American music (she died in 1996). She was editor of The Piano Works of Louis Moreau Gottschalk and The Complete Works of Scott Joplin.
On Volume 1: "A marvelous book. There is nothing like it in the literature of American music."—Harold C. Schonberg, New York Times Book Review
On Volume 2: "A monumental achievement."—Victor Fell Yellin, Opera Quarterly
For two decades after rock music emerged in the 1940s, the American Federation of Musicians (AFM), the oldest and largest labor union representing professional musicians in the United States and Canada, refused to recognize rock 'n' roll as legitimate music or its performers as skilled musicians. The AFM never actively organized rock 'n' roll musicians, although recruiting them would have been in the union's economic interest. In Tell Tchaikovsky the News, Michael James Roberts argues that the reasons that the union failed to act in its own interest lay in its culture, in the opinions of its leadership and elite rank-and-file members. Explaining the bias of union members—most of whom were classical or jazz music performers—against rock music and musicians, Roberts addresses issues of race and class, questions of what qualified someone as a skilled or professional musician, and the threat that records, central to rock 'n' roll, posed to AFM members, who had long privileged live performances. Roberts contends that by rejecting rock 'n' rollers for two decades, the once formidable American Federation of Musicians lost their clout within the music industry.
Leon Theremin led a life of flamboyant musical invention laced with daring electronic stealth. A creative genius and prolific inventor, Theremin launched the field of electronic music virtually singlehandedly in 1920 with the musical instrument that bears his name. The theremin-–the only instrument that is played without being touched-–created a sensation worldwide and paved the way for the modern synthesizer. Its otherworldly sound became familiar in sci-fi films and even in rock music. This magical instrument that charmed millions, however, is only the beginning of the story.
As a Soviet scientist, Theremin surrendered his life and work to the service of State espionage. On assignment in Depression-era America, he became the toast of New York society and worked the engines of capitalist commerce while passing data on U.S. industrial technology to the Soviet apparat. Following his sudden disappearance from New York in 1938, Theremin was exiled to a Siberian labor camp and subsequently vanished into the top-secret Soviet intelligence machine, presumed dead for nearly thirty years. Using the same technology that lay behind the theremin, he designed bugging devices that eavesdropped on U.S. diplomatic offices and stood at the center of a pivotal cold war confrontation. Throughout his life, Theremin developed many other electronic wonders, including one of the earliest televisions and multimedia devices that anticipated performance art and virtual reality by decades.
In this first full biography of Leon Theremin, Albert Glinsky depicts the inventor's nearly one hundred-year life span as a microcosm of the twentieth century. Theremin is seen at the epicenter of most of the major events of the century: the Russian Revolution, two world wars, America's Great Depression, Stalin's purges, the cold war, and perestroika. His life emerges as no less than a metaphor for the divergence of communism and capitalism. Theremin blends the whimsical and the treacherous into a chronicle that takes in everything from the KGB to Macy's store windows, Alcatraz to the Beach Boys, Hollywood thrillers to the United Nations, Joseph Stalin to Shirley Temple. Theremin's world of espionage and invention is an amazing drama of hidden loyalties, mixed motivations, and an irrepressibly creative spirit.
(From the Preface) Many budding musicians - even from affluent families with both parents living at home and providing a strong supportive environment, combined with constant encouragement - find it very challenging to earn a PhD and reach the pinnacle of a deanship and professorship at a competitive institution of higher learning in the United States of America. As you read this book you will find that no one informed Willis Patterson of this phenomenon because without having the aforementioned criteria, he accomplished those goals and many more.
The book’s main character begins his life, similar to a diamond in the rough, and over time evolves into a rare gem at maturity. These pages will reveal how Willis Patterson of Ann Arbor, Michigan developed from somewhat of a lost child in the 1930s into a: sophisticated academician (Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration and Supervision from Wayne State University in Detroit, MI); a superior vocal performer; Voice Department Chair, Fulbright Scholar; esteemed Master Voice Teacher; Choral and Glee Club director extraordinaire; University Leader in the recruitment and retention of Minority students (Voice/Performing/Composition); an established Church Choir Director; and Associate Academic Dean of the School of Music at one of America’s finest universities, the University of Michigan.
This book is about a very humble man of significant stature. Although he was motivated and driven to become the best he could be in his quest for excellence - by kicking open the door of opportunity whenever it was presented (audition ready) - he never forgot his family members or hometown acquaintances.
West African Pop Roots
John Collins Temple University Press, 1992 Library of Congress ML3503.A358C63 1992 | Dewey Decimal 781.630966
"Collins-Lowry gives persuasive examples of how employment gains made by Blacks in the 80's were rather more marginalized than we like to think."
Against the backdrop of increasing ambivalence in the federal government commitment to race-based employment policies, this book reveals how African-Americans first broke into professional and managerial jobs in corporations during the sixties and offers in-depth profiles of their subsequent career experiences.
Two sets of interviews with the most successful Black executives in Chicago's major corporations are used to demonstrate how the creation of the Black business elite is connected to federal government pressures and black social unrest that characterized the civil Rights movement in the sixties.
Black Corporate Executives presents, first hand, the dilemmas and contradictions that face this first wave of Black managers and reveals a subtle new employment discrimination. Corporations hired these executives in response to race-conscious political pressures and shifted them into "racialized" positions directing affirmative action programs or serving "special" markets of minority clients, customers, or urban affairs. Many executives became, as one man said, "the head Black in charge of Black people." These positions gave upper-middle-class lifestyles to those who held them but also siphoned these executives out of mainstream paths to corporate power typically leading through planning and production areas. As the political climate has become more conservative and the economy undergoes restructuring, these Black executives believe that the importance of recruiting Blacks has waned and that the jobs Blacks hold are vulnerable.
Collins-Lowry's analysis challenges arguments that justify dismantling affirmative action. She argues that it is a myth to believe that Black occupational attainments are evidence that race no longer matters in the middle-class employment arena. On the contrary, Blacks' progress and well-being are tied to politics and employment practices that are sensitive to race.
David Rowell is a professional journalist and an impassioned amateur musician. He’s spent decades behind a drum kit, pondering the musical relationship between equipment and emotion. In Wherever the Sound Takes You, he explores the essence of music’s meaning with a vast spectrum of players, trying to understand their connection to their chosen instrument, what they’ve put themselves through for their music, and what they feel when they play.
This wide-ranging and openhearted book blossoms outward from there. Rowell visits clubs, concert halls, street corners, and open mics, traveling from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland to a death metal festival in Maryland, with stops along the way in the Swiss Alps and Appalachia. His keen reportorial eye treats us to in-depth portraits of musicians from platinum-selling legend Peter Frampton to a devout Christian who spends his days alone in a storage unit bashing away on one of the largest drum sets in the world. Rowell illuminates the feelings that both spur music’s creation and emerge from its performance, as well as the physical instruments that enables their expression. With an uncommon sensitivity and grace, he charts the pleasure and pain of musicians consumed with what they do—as all of us listen in.