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Songcatchers: In Search of The World's Music

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For 30 years now, Mickey Hart has been on a quest&#!51;to search out and record the wealth of different musics in the world, many of them little known. He's also been fascinated by the recordists who came before him, themselves pioneers in the sound-capturing field, and the extraordinary technological developments that have made their work possible.

Songcatchers looks at our universal appreciation of music and the reasons why, over the past century, technology and curiosity ...

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Overview

For 30 years now, Mickey Hart has been on a quest&#!51;to search out and record the wealth of different musics in the world, many of them little known. He's also been fascinated by the recordists who came before him, themselves pioneers in the sound-capturing field, and the extraordinary technological developments that have made their work possible.

Songcatchers looks at our universal appreciation of music and the reasons why, over the past century, technology and curiosity have carried the shamanic chants of Siberia, the dying folk music of isolated European villages, and the ecstatic gamelan sounds of Bali to music lovers all over the world.

The personal tales of the songcatchers are full of romance, derring-do, and intrigue: some of them were scholars, others adventurists, and a few full-fledged spies. The machines that made their work possible progressed from the early treadle-powered phonographs that allowed sound waves to imprint wax cylinders to magnetic tape that captured sound in iron oxide particles to the digital domain of today.

Hart ventures across time and continents in following the songcatchers and their machines, and throughout it all he celebrates music and its ability to transcend the mundane and transport the human spirit.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this slim though handsomely illustrated volume, musicologist Hart-best known as the percussionist for the Grateful Dead-leads readers on a personal journey through world music. A promoter of musicians from around the globe (his collaboration on the album Planet Drum won him a Grammy in 1991), Hart discusses his early influences (as a kid he found African music records in his parents' collection wedged in between Count Basie and Duke Ellington albums) through his time with the Grateful Dead and his experiences beyond. For Hart, writing with Kostyal (Trial by Ice: A Photobiography of Sir Ernest Schackleton), music is "the orphan echo of the Big Bang that blew us into existence... the path the spirit travels between the physical and the metaphysical worlds." And his narrative reflects that passion, with discussions on Pythagoras (who "recognized the healing powers of music"), Prussian-born explorer Franz Baos (who recorded songs and chants through his journeys) and Alan Lomax, the grandfather of ethnomusicology who traveled throughout the U.S.'s poor South, Europe and Africa. (June) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780792241072
  • Publisher: National Geographic Society
  • Publication date: 5/27/2003
  • Pages: 192
  • Product dimensions: 8.07 (w) x 10.28 (h) x 0.78 (d)

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