Music of the Common Tongue Survival and Celebration in African American Music

ISBN-10: 0819563579
ISBN-13: 9780819563576
Edition: Reprint 
List price: $32.95 Buy it from $3.00
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Description: In clear and elegant prose, Music of the Common Tongue, first published in 1987, argues that by any reasonable reckoning of the function of music in human life the African American tradition, that which stems from the collision between African and  More...

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Book details

List price: $32.95
Publisher: Wesleyan University Press
Publication date: 3/31/1999
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 509
Size: 5.50" wide x 8.50" long x 1.25" tall
Weight: 1.298

In clear and elegant prose, Music of the Common Tongue, first published in 1987, argues that by any reasonable reckoning of the function of music in human life the African American tradition, that which stems from the collision between African and European ways of doing music which occurred in the Americas and the Caribbean during and after slavery, is the major western music of the twentieth century. In showing why this is so, the author presents not only an account of African American music from its origins but also a more general consideration of the nature of the music act and of its function in human life. The two streams of discussion occupy alternate chapters so that each casts light on the other. The author offers also an answer to what the Musical Times called the "seldom posed though glaringly obtrusive" question: "why is it that the music of an alienated, oppressed, often persecuted black minority should have made so powerful an impact on the entire industrialized world, whatever the color of its skin or economic status?"

Preface to the 1998 Edition
Introduction Africans
Europeans and the Making of Music
On the Ritual Performance
Rituals for Survival I
On Cultures and Their Fusion
Styles of Encounter I
On Values and Values
Rituals for Survival II
On Literacy and Nonliteracy
Styles of Encounter II
On Improvisation
Styles of Encounter III
On the Decline of a Music
Styles and Rituals
On Records and Rewards
Styles of Encounter IV
Confronting the Rational God
Index

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