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Rough Guide to World Music Volume One:…

Rough Guide to World Music Volume One: Africa, Europe & The Middle East

by Simon Broughton

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Well done, particularly considering the scope of the task. A lot of prominent (at least prominent in world music circles) scholars, journalists and music industry figures take part (like Folk Roots editor Ian Anderson, African discographer & historian Ronnie Graham, Franco biographer & collector Graeme Ewens, the musicologist son of pioneering musicologist Hugh Tracey, etc.).

Lots of expertise brought to bear and to good effect in the Rough Guide--much contextual info, many capsule, tight-focus detours. And the book strikes a good balance between telling the story of each country and its music and telling the western reader (lets face it, this book was not written to let the Congolese know about their own musical heritage!) how the music is distinct in our sonic context and how to get ahold of some.

Occasionally (as, sadly, in the Congo portion) the record recommendations get rather crazily obscure, recommending dozens of records you would be lucky to find in a year dedicated to nation hopping & crate digging. AND the recommendations are very Anlgo-centric, so if you are on the west side of the Atlantic, many of the reasonable-in-Britain recommendations are rare finds in the US.

But all in all a fine, commendable effort at being a "rough guide" for westerners to half the worlds music. (And there's a newer edition that may correct the causes of some of my cavils.) ( )
  ehines | Nov 27, 2011 |
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Divided by region and subregion, this volume examines the indigenous music of different countries, its current status, major performers, and special instruments.

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