Analytical and Cross-Cultural Studies in World Music

Analytical and Cross-Cultural Studies in World Music

Analytical and Cross-Cultural Studies in World Music

Analytical and Cross-Cultural Studies in World Music

Synopsis

Analytical and Cross-Cultural Studies in World Music presents intriguing explanations of extraordinary musical creations from diverse cultures across the world. All the authors are experts, deeply engaged in the traditions they describe. They recount the contexts in which the music is created and performed, and then hone in on elucidating how the music works as sound in process. Accompanying the explanatory prose is a wealth of diagrams, transcriptions, recordings, and (online) multimedia presentations, all intended to convey the richness, beauty, and ingenuity of their subjects. The music ranges across geography and cultures--court music of Japan and medieval Europe, pagode song from Brazil, solos by the jazz pianist Thelonius Monk and by the sitar master Budhaditya Mukherjee, form-and-timbre improvisations of a Boston sound collective, South Korean folk drumming, and the ceremonial music of indigenous cultures in North American and Australia--much of which has never been analyzed so thoroughly before. Thus the essays diversify and expand the scope of this book's companion volume, Analytical Studies in World Music, to all inhabited continents and many of its greatest musical traditions. An introduction and an afterword point out common analytical approaches, and present a new way to classify music according to its temporal organization. Two special chapters consider the juxtaposition of music from different cultures: of world music traditions and popular music genres, and of Balinese music and European Art music, raising provocative questions about the musical encounters and fusions of today's interconnected world. For everyone listening in wonderment to the richness of world music, whether listener, creator, or performer, this book will be an invaluable resource and a fount of inspiration.

Excerpt

The predecessor to this volume, Analytical Studies in World Music (Tenzer 2006), explored how diverse cultures organize sound into music. In each chapter, using terms and concepts familiar to most musically trained readers, a specialist identified the elements, processes, and form of a particular selection, represented by an audio recording and detailed transcriptions. Going beyond an inventory of generic technical features, the contributors highlighted the music’s individuality, in many cases by focusing on its distinctive ways of shaping time. Hitherto such specifically analytical accounts could only be found dispersed throughout the academic research literature. Bringing them together was intended to satisfy the evident desire of music practitioners and students to appreciate others’ music in these terms. To scholars it also exemplified how music theory broadly construed—not as a codification of Western harmonic practice, but as symbolic systems for conveying musical knowledge—can serve ethnomusicology’s consideration of music in culture, by enabling the description and comparison of sound patterns, and of the cognitive schemas that shape how they are heard.

For many reasons this project deserved continuation. Building a knowledge base for comparison requires an appropriately diverse set of repertoires, both musically and geographically, but the constraints of a single volume forced the omission of whole continents and popular genres. The more that today’s students gather music recordings from various places and times into their personal music libraries, the greater the need for an accessible consolidation . . .

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