The Garland encyclopedia of world music /

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Other Authors: Nettl, Bruno, 1930-
Stone, Ruth M.

Porter, James, 1937-

Rice, Timothy, 1945-
Format: Book
Published:New York : Garland Pub., 1998-
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Review by Choice Review

The first in a ten-volume set, this volume is large by any measure. It has an 8x10 format and more than 800 pages; conceptually, it covers a wide range of topics in 39 chapters by 35 authors. It includes a CD with 21 examples, all but one of which are previously unreleased field recordings by 12 of the authors. The organization will continue in future volumes. Part 1, "Overview," consists of four chapters: an overview of Africa as a continent, music in the context of other arts, a far-reaching overview of African music by the leading African music scholar, J.H. Kwabena Nketia, and the representation of African music in early documents. Part 2, "Issues and Processes in the Music," consists of 17 chapters devoted to conceptual topics: music and other arts, music and healing, music and Islam, technology, notation, timbre, time, art-composed music, African dance, rural/urban interchange, the role of Latin American music in Africa, popular music, and the guitar in Africa. Part 3, "Regional Case Studies," offers five overview articles that introduce West, North, East, Central, and Southern regions, each followed by one to four articles focused on a country or an ethnic group, for a total of 13. The chapters in Part 3 are the most straightforward, presenting basic information in textbook style. The chapters in Part 2 range from straightforward to arcane, but contribute most to the distinctive nature of this volume. Other distinctive features are the page layout, with a wide left margin and a title bar at the top of every left-hand page which contains either a quote or a brief glossary taken from the two facing pages. These distinctive features are quirky: the quotes, printed in large font, do not always seem strikingly important, while the glossary, usually containing significant terms, is printed in a tiny font, making it harder to read than the already small print in the text. Although there are many good black-and-white photos, modifying the format slightly could allow for more and larger photographs. Two suggestions that would improve future volumes: include the author's name at the top of each page where the chapter title already appears, and list the authors. The well-known authors need no introduction, but those relatively unknown remain unknown, since we learn only their names. Shortcomings aside, this is a significant volume containing significant and timely research. Although the level is primarily professional rather than introductory, it belongs in all academic music libraries. R. Knight Oberlin College

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