Roots Music: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Roots Music

1st Edition

Edited by Mark F. DeWitt


536 pages

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Hardback: 9780754629627
pub: 2011-10-21
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When we talk about roots music, what do we mean and what is at stake? Ethnomusicologist Mark F. DeWitt delves into these questions in an introductory bibliographic essay and selects twenty-one articles published between 1974 and 2010 that have advanced our knowledge and insight about this topic. The collection focuses on the nexus between popular musics in North America and Europe and the traditional musics that have been their foundation, on both the real and imagined connections between the present and past: Olly Wilson and Gerhard Kubik on African American music, Aaron Fox on country music, Eric Lott on blackface minstrelsy, Barry Shank on the elusive Bob Dylan. Works by Sara Cohen, Beverley Diamond, Peter Manuel, Svanibor Pettan and others range on subjects from the accordion, balladry and blues to Bulgarian folk orchestras, flamenco, gospel, Irish sessions, Native American women musicians, the Roma, Tex-Mex music and zydeco.

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction; Part I Roots, Deconstructed: The popular marketing of 'old ballads': the ballad revival and 18th-century antiquarianism reconsidered, Dianne Dugaw; Another history of bluegrass: the segregation of popular music in the United States, 1820-1900, Allen Farmelo; Analogies and differences in African-American musical cultures across the hemisphere: interpretive models and research strategies, Gerhard Kubik; Love and theft: the racial unconscious of blackface minstrelsy, Eric Lott; 'That wild Mercury sound': Bob Dylan and the illusion of American culture, Barry Shank. Part II Roots, Experienced: Zydeco/zarico: beans, blues and beyond, Barry Jean Ancelet; Sounding out the city: music and the sensuous production of place, Sara Cohen; Techniques of blues composition among Black folksingers, David Evans; Changing contexts for traditional dance music in Ireland: the rise of group performance practice, Hazel Fairbairn; 'A special kind of courtesy': action at a bluegrass festival jam session, Michelle Kisliuk; Composition, authorship, and ownership in flamenco, past and present, Peter Manuel; 'Funky drummer': New Orleans, James Brown and the rhythmic transformation of American popular music, Alex Stewart; Afro-American gospel music: a crystallization of the Black aesthetic, Pearl Williams-Jones; The significance of the relationship between Afro-American music and West African music, Olly Wilson. Part III Offshoots: Metaphors of power, metaphors of truth: the politics of music professionalism in Bulgarian folk orchestras, Donna A. Buchanan; Native American contemporary music: the women, Beverley Diamond; The jukebox of history: narratives of loss and desire in the discourse of country music, Aaron A. Fox; Searching for rockordion: the changing image of the accordion in America, Marion S. Jacobson; From ranchero to jaiton: ethnicity and class in Texas-Mexican music (two styles in the form of a pair), Manuel Peña; Encounter with 'the others from within': t

About the Editor

Mark F. DeWitt was appointed Professor of Music at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette in 2010 and is the inaugural holder of the Dr. Tommy Comeaux Endowed Chair in Traditional Music. Prior to that, he was an independent scholar and won the Society for Ethnomusicology's 2004 Klaus P. Wachsmann Prize for "innovative methods in the study of musical instruments", specifically for an article on the Cajun accordion. He earned a Ph.D. in ethnomusicology at the University of California, Berkeley and has also taught at Ohio State University.

About the Series

The Library of Essays on Popular Music

The Library of Essays on Popular Music
Popular music has become not only one of the most lucrative spheres of human activity, but also one of the most influential on the identities of individuals and communities. Popular music matters, and it matters to many people, people we can only partially understand if we do not understand their music. In the light of this phenomenon the academic study of popular music has become universally established as an active discipline at university level and this timely series brings together the fruits of recent teaching and research in this field. It makes overt recognition of the fact that the study of popular music is necessarily inter-disciplinary and addresses issues as diverse as: the popular music industry and its institutions; aspects of the history of genres; issues in the theories and methodologies of study and practice; questions of the ontologies and hermeneutics of particular musics; the varying influence of different waves of technological development; the ways markets and audiences are constructed, reproduced and reached; and aspects of the repertory without which there would be no popular music to study. The eight volumes in this series span the range of the world's popular music genres from rap, hip hop, soul and jazz, to roots, electronica, dance and club music. Each volume editor has contributed an introductory essay which constitutes a broad overview of the specific group of genres, and made a selection of the most important and influential published articles, papers and other relevant material. Taken together, these volumes offer an invaluable resource for the study of popular music today in all its forms.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
MUSIC / Ethnomusicology