New PDF release: Music of the Common Tongue: Survival and Celebration in

By Christopher Small

ISBN-10: 0819563579

ISBN-13: 9780819563576

E-book Date: March 1, 2011

In transparent and chic prose, track of the typical Tongue, first released in 1987, argues that via any average reckoning of the functionality of tune in human existence the African American culture, that which stems from the collision among African and eu methods of doing tune which happened within the Americas and the Caribbean in the course of and after slavery, is the most important western track of the 20th century. In displaying why this can be so, the writer offers not just an account of African American tune from its origins but additionally a extra common attention of the character of the track act and of its functionality in human existence. the 2 streams of debate occupy trade chapters in order that each one casts mild at the different. the writer deals additionally a solution to what the Musical instances known as the "seldom posed although manifestly obtrusive" query: "why is it that the song of an alienated, oppressed, frequently persecuted black minority must have made so robust an influence at the complete industrialized international, regardless of the colour of its dermis or monetary status?"

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Additional info for Music of the Common Tongue: Survival and Celebration in African American Music (2nd Edition)

Example text

May seem absurd when we consider the enormous variety of ways in which music is made and listened to in that vast and culturally diverse continent. It can, however, be said that beneath the diversity of technique and instrumentation, of repertory and style, there is a unity of attitude, of approach to the making of music, which can be called African, and which has proved much more persistent in the Americas than any technical features in themselves. It is not surprising that these underlying features can be related to those social attitudes which I have been discussing.

These were immensely wealthy. A fourteenth-century Emperor of Mali, Mansa Musa, who is said to have ruled over the largest domains on earth apart from the Mongol Empire, made his pilgrimage to Mecca in 1324 (Islam spread early into West Africa, but the Africans transformed it, as they did later the Christianity of the missionaries, into a specifically African 18 Music of the Common Tongue syncretism that co-existed, and still co-exists, comfortably with the older polytheistic religions); his largesse with gold was so prodigal that the value of the local currency in Cairo was depressed for some twelve years after his visit.

It is not surprising that these underlying features can be related to those social attitudes which I have been discussing. In the first place, music is not set apart in any way from everyday life but is an integral and essential part of it, and plays an important role in all aspects of social interaction and individual self-realization. Music is closely identified with Africans, Europeans and the Making of Music 25 social events and purposes; without music many of those events simply could not take place at all.

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Music of the Common Tongue: Survival and Celebration in African American Music (2nd Edition) by Christopher Small


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