am 5. März 2003
This is a very academic study of the phenomenon of world music. As such it provides interesting theories and also some important facts, but I doubt whether the average world music fan would derive much enjoyment from it. The author includes worldwide music from the folk, art and popular traditions and mentions that it can be sacred, secular or commercial. So far, so good, but with sentences like: "As we encounter world music, therefore, it is important to recognize the need to reckon with different epistemologies and ontologies if we are to understand what world music can mean in its virtually infinite varieties," I nearly fell of my chair laughing. In its defence, the book does include informative albeit short pieces on the 1932 Cairo Congress of Arab Music, the great Egyptian singer Umm Kulthum, Rai music, Leadbelly, Celtic music, the Eurovision Song Contest, Bob Marley, Manu Dibango from Cameroon and the musics of the various diasporas. Two maps are included: The Celtic Fringe in Europe and the Polka Belt in the USA plus there are illustrations, a bibliography, discography and an index. I picked up the book without properly checking the contents - it's great source material if you want to write a dissertation on music from different traditions, but not a text that reflects the rhythms of the rich variety of world music that is becoming more and more available to everybody in our current era of globalisation.