Music of the Common Tongue: Survival and Celebration in African American Music [NOOK Book]

Overview

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

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Overview

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?"
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A magnificent book about Afro-American music and its impact on western culture." —Race and Class

"A real gem: deeply committed, pesuasively argued and imbued throughout with a love and understanding of the music."—The Wire

“Essential for anyone interested in obtaining another perspective on the aesthetics of African-American music and hot it relates to culture.”
—The Black Perspective in Music

"Christopher Small has written a magnificent book about Afro-American music and its impact on western culture. He totally fulfills his aim of showing that black American music has become of far greater human significance than any superficial assessment of classically-oriented evaluation would allow."—Race and Class

Race/Class Music/Culture
A magnificient book about Afro-American music and its impact on western culture.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780819572257
  • Publisher: Wesleyan University Press
  • Publication date: 3/1/2011
  • Series: Music Culture
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 509
  • File size: 4 MB

Meet the Author

CHRISTOPHER SMALL is also author of Musicking (1998), Music, Society Education (1996), and Schoenberg (1978). Senior Lecturer at Ealing College of Higher Education in London until 1986, he lives in Sitges, Spain
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Table of Contents

Preface to the 1998 Edition
I. Introduction Africans
1. Europeans and the Making of Music
2. On the Ritual Performance
3. Rituals for Survival I
4. On Cultures and Their Fusion
5. Styles of Encounter I
6. On Values and Values
7. Rituals for Survival II
8 On Literacy and Nonliteracy
9. Styles of Encounter II
10. On Improvisation
11. Styles of Encounter III
12. On the Decline of a Music
13. Styles and Rituals
14. On Records and Rewards
15. Styles of Encounter IV
16. Confronting the Rational God
17 Index
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