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Cajun and Zydeco Dance Music in Northern California

Modern Pleasures in a Postmodern World

Queen Ida. Danny Poullard. Documentary filmmaker Les Blank. Chris Strachwitz and Arhoolie Records. These are names that are familiar to many fans of Cajun music and zydeco, and they have one other thing in common--longtime residence in the San Francisco Bay Area. They are all part of a vibrant scene of dancing and live Louisiana-French music that has evolved over several decades. Cajun and Zydeco Dance Music in Northern California traces how this region of California has been able to develop and sustain dances several times a week with more than a dozen bands. Description of this active regional scene opens into a discussion of several historical trends that have affected life and music in Louisiana and the nation. The book portrays the diversity of people who have come together to adopt Cajun and Creole dance music as a way to cope with a globalized, media-saturated world. Ethnomusicologist Mark F. DeWitt innovatively weaves together interviews with musicians and dancers (some from Louisiana, some not), analysis of popular media, participant observation as a musician and dancer, and historical perspectives from wartime black migration patterns, the civil rights movement, American folk and blues revivals, California counterculture, and the rise of cultural tourism in "Cajun Country." In so doing, he reveals the multifaceted appeal of celebrating life on the dance floor, Louisiana-French style.

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California Polyphony

Ethnic Voices, Musical Crossroads

Mina Yang

What does it mean to be "Californian"? Mina Yang suggests an answer that lies at the intersection of musicology, cultural history, and politics. Consisting of a series of musical case studies of major ethnic groups in California, this book approaches the notion of Californian identity from diverse perspectives, each nuanced by class, gender, and sexuality. This most populous and most affluent state in the Union has been setting musical and cultural trends for decades, and Yang's study thoughtfully illuminates the multiculutral nature of its musics.

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Cancionero

Songs of Laughter and Faith in New Mexico

John Donald Robb

Composer John Donald Robb (1892–1989) built an invaluable legacy in the preservation of New Mexico’s rich musical traditions. His extensive field recordings, compositions, papers, and photographs now comprise the John Donald Robb Archives in the University of New Mexico Libraries’ Center for Southwest Research. Cancionero presents thirteen Hispanic folk songs from Robb’s renowned archive. Created for musicians and vocalists, Cancionero features arrangements for voice with piano or guitar accompaniments as well as selected concert versions for voice, oboe, harp, and piano. Introductions include information about song forms, history, and subjects, providing further insight into each song.

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Cantonese Love Songs

An English translation of Jiu Ji-yung's Cantonese songs of the early 19th century

Peter Morris

This collection of 97 Cantonese love songs aims to give a wider audience the opportunity of reading these songs in English. The author investigates the language and social background of the songs and provides cross-references to Chinese and Western literature.

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Cape Town Harmonies

Memory, Humour and Resilience

Armelle Gaulier

"Cape Town’s public cultures can only be fully appreciated through recognition of its deep and diverse soundscape. We have to listen to what has made and makes a city. The ear is an integral part of the ‘research tools’ one needs to get a sense of any city. We have to listen to the sounds that made and make the expansive ‘mother city’. Various of its constituent parts sound different from each other … [T]here is the sound of the singing men and their choirs (“teams” they are called) in preparation for the longstanding annual Malay choral competitions. The lyrics from the various repertoires they perform are hardly ever written down. […] There are texts of the hallowed ‘Dutch songs’ but these do not circulate easily and widely. Researchers dream of finding lyrics from decades ago, not to mention a few generations ago – back to the early 19th century. This work by Denis Constant Martin and Armelle Gaulier provides us with a very useful selection of these songs. More than that, it is a critical sociological reflection of the place of these songs and their performers in the context that have given rise to them and sustains their relevance. It is a necessary work and is a very important scholarly intervention about a rather neglected aspect of the history and present production of music in the city." — Shamil Jeppie, Associate Professor, Department of Historical Studies, University of Cape Town

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Cape Verde, Let's Go

Creole Rappers and Citizenship in Portugal

Derek Pardue

Musicians rapping in kriolu --a hybrid of Portuguese and West African languages spoken in Cape Verde--have recently emerged from Lisbon's periphery. They popularize the struggles with identity and belonging among young people in a Cape Verdean immigrant community that shares not only the kriolu language but its culture and history. Drawing on fieldwork and archival research in Portugal and Cape Verde, Derek Pardue introduces Lisbon's kriolu rap scene and its role in challenging metropolitan Portuguese identities. Pardue demonstrates that Cape Verde, while relatively small within the Portuguese diaspora, offers valuable lessons about the politics of experience and social agency within a postcolonial context that remains poorly understood. As he argues, knowing more about both Cape Verdeans and the Portuguese invites clearer assessments of the relationship between the experience and policies of migration. That in turn allows us to better gauge citizenship as a balance of individual achievement and cultural ascription.

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Carl Maria von Weber and the Search for a German Opera

Stephen C. Meyer

Stephen C. Meyer details the intricate relationships between the operas Der Freischütz and Euryanthe, and contemporary discourse on both the "Germany of the imagination" and the new nation itself. In so doing, he presents excerpts from a wide range of philosophical, political, and musical writings, many of which are little known and otherwise unavailable in English. Individual chapters trace the multidimensional concept of German and "foreign" opera through the 19th century. Meyer's study of Der Freischütz places the work within the context of emerging German nationalism, and a chapter on Euryanthe addresses the opera's stylistic and topical shifts in light of changing cultural and aesthetic circumstances. As a result, Meyer argues that the search for a new German opera was not merely an aesthetic movement, but a political and social critique as well.

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Carla Bley

Amy C. Beal

This is the first comprehensive treatment of the remarkable music and influence of Carla Bley, a highly innovative American jazz composer, pianist, organist, band leader, and activist. With fastidious attention to Bley's diverse compositions over the last fifty years spanning critical moments in jazz and experimental music history, Amy C. Beal tenders a long-overdue representation of a major figure in American music._x000B__x000B_Bley is best known for her jazz opera "Escalator over the Hill," her role in the Free Jazz movement of the 1960s, and her collaborations with artists such as Jack Bruce, Don Cherry, Robert Wyatt, and Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason. She has successfully maneuvered the field of jazz creating works that range from the highly accessible and tradition-based to commercially unviable and avant-garde. Beal details the staggering variety in Bley's work as well as her use of parody, quotations, and contradictions, examining the vocabulary Bley has developed throughout her career and highlighting the compositional and cultural significance of her experimentalism._x000B__x000B_Beal also points to Bley's professional and managerial work as a pioneer in the development of artist-owned record labels, the cofounder and manager of WATT Records, and the cofounder of New Music Distribution Service. Showing her to be not just an artist but an activist who has maintained musical independence and professional control amid the profit-driven, corporation-dominated world of commercial jazz, Beal's straightforward discussion of Bley's life and career will stimulate deeper examinations of her work.

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Carlos Aldama's Life in Batá

Cuba, Diaspora, and the Drum

Umi Vaughan and Carlos Aldama

Batá identifies both the two-headed, hourglass-shaped drum of the Yoruba people and the culture and style of drumming, singing, and dancing associated with it. This book recounts the life story of Carlos Aldama, one of the masters of the batá drum, and through that story traces the history of batá culture as it traveled from Africa to Cuba and then to the United States. For the enslaved Yoruba, batá rhythms helped sustain the religious and cultural practices of a people that had been torn from its roots. Aldama, as guardian of Afro-Cuban music and as a Santería priest, maintains the link with this tradition forged through his mentor Jesus Pérez (Oba Ilu), who was himself the connection to the preserved oral heritage of the older generation. By sharing his stories, Aldama and his student Umi Vaughan bring to light the techniques and principles of batá in all its aspects and document the tensions of maintaining a tradition between generations and worlds, old and new. The book includes rare photographs and access to downloadable audio tracks.

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Carlos Chavez and His World

Leonora Saavedra

Carlos Chávez (1899–1978) is the central figure in Mexican music of the twentieth century and among the most eminent of all Latin American modernist composers. An enfant terrible in his own country, Chávez was an integral part of the emerging music scene in the United States in the 1920s. His highly individual style—diatonic, dissonant, contrapuntal—addressed both modernity and Mexico’s indigenous past. Chávez was also a governmental arts administrator, founder of major Mexican cultural institutions, and conductor and founder of the Orquesta Sinfónica de México. Carlos Chávez and His World brings together an international roster of leading scholars to delve into not only Chávez’s music but also the history, art, and politics surrounding his life and work.

Contributors explore Chávez’s vast body of compositions, including his piano music, symphonies, violin concerto, late compositions, and Indianist music. They look at his connections with such artistic greats as Aaron Copland, Miguel Covarrubias, Henry Cowell, Silvestre Revueltas, and Paul Strand. The essays examine New York’s modernist scene, Mexican symphonic music, portraits of Chávez by major Mexican artists of the period, including Diego Rivera and Rufino Tamayo, and Chávez’s impact on El Colegio Nacional. A quantum leap in understanding Carlos Chávez and his milieu, this collection will stimulate further work in Latin American music and culture.

The contributors are Ana R. Alonso-Minutti, Amy Bauer, Leon Botstein, David Brodbeck, Helen Delpar, Christina Taylor Gibson, Susana González Aktories, Anna Indych-López, Roberto Kolb-Neuhaus, James Krippner, Rebecca Levi, Ricardo Miranda, Julián Orbón, Howard Pollack, Leonora Saavedra, Antonio Saborit, Stephanie Stallings, and Luisa Vilar Payá.

Bard Music Festival 2015:
Carlos Chávez and His World
Bard College
August 7-9 and August 14-16, 2015

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