Monday, August 19, 2013

New Music Books I Wish I Had Time to Read #3

In honor of school starting up again, here's my third installment of New Music Books I Wish I Had Time to Read. As always, this summer I've been busy processing new books for the music library (about 100 per month), and I note the ones that I think would be interesting to read, had I the time. Maybe you'll find something you want to explore more! Here are my picks, listed in no particular order:
  • Rhythm of Labour: Music at Work in Britain, by Marek Korczynski, Michael Pickering, and Emma Robertson - People do more than just whistle at work. In fact, music has been a part of work for centuries. This book examines British work music from before the industrial revolution to broadcast music. It's nice to read about the practical application of music.
  • Elgar’s Earnings, by John Drysdale - A study of how a British composer in the late 19th century made money, compared with other Victorian artistic types. The writing might be a little dry (hah!), but I think it’s interesting how musicians actually make a living. Especially since our current system is in such a flux.
  • Romani Routes: Cultural Politics and Balkan Music in Diaspora by Carol Silverman - The Roma (also called Gypsy) people have always been important music producers across Europe, Asia, and beyond, and although their music is often celebrated, their culture is not.
  • The Globalization of Irish Traditional Song Performance, by Susan H. Motherway - It used to be that only people from Ireland (or with close ancestry) performed Irish music, but that is not the case anymore. People from all over the the world now perform it, and this globalization changes the way the music is performed and received.
  • The Sounds of War: Music in the United States during World War II, by Annegret Fauser - This book is written by a German professor who works at UNC and deals with a fascinating part of US music history. I hear her next project is on music during World War I, which is great because I just cataloged a bunch of sheet music from World War I for UNC's collection. Good timing for WWI's 100-year anniversary.
  • I Drum, Therefore I Am: Being and Becoming a Drummer, by Gareth Dylan Smith - Although the title could be better, Smith shares some interesting ideas and observations about the culture of kit drumming, including a chapter on gender and drumming.
  • Avatar of Modernity: The Rite of Spring Reconsidered, edited by Herman Danuser and Heidy Zimmermann - This is a collection of new essays about Stravinsky's Rite of Spring, produced for the recent 100th anniversary of the first performance of ballet, one of my favorite pieces of music ever.
  • The Sociology of Wind Bands: Amateur Music Between Cultural Domination and Autonomy, by Vincent Dubois, Jean-Matthieu Meon, and Emmanuel Pierru - There’s not much scholarly written about volunteer marching and other wind bands, despite that fact that a large number of Americans have participated in them and they are a common cultural reference in our society. Of course, this is a French study translated into English, so I’m not sure how much it would transfer.
  • Performing the “New” Europe: Identities, Feelings, and Politics in the Eurovision Song Contest, edited by Karen Fricker and Milija Gluhovic - I've been in Europe for several Eurovision song contests, and they're really...something else. As the title of this collection of essays suggests, more than music that determines how a country's delegation fares.
  • Building the Operatic Museum: Eighteenth-Century Opera in Fin-de-Si├Ęcle Paris, by William Gibbons - While performing old opera seems so common nowadays (is there anything other than old opera? Not really), for most of the 19th century, opera in Paris was all about new! new! new! But near the end of the century, some operatic companies decided to start putting on operas that were over 100 years old, and it was a revelation for some people and a political magnet for others.
  • The Scotch-Irish Influence on Country Music in the Carolinas: Border Ballads, Fiddle Tunes & Sacred Songs, by Michael C. Scoggins - This book is too close to home for me not to be interested, as I have Scotch-Irish ancestry and live in North Carolina.
  • Pop Pagans: Paganism and Popular Music, ed. by Donna Weston and Andy Bennett - It's interesting how much popular subculture, especially connected to music, is based on various forms of Paganism. Music is important for many religions, including this one. One chapter I'm particularly interested in is on New Age and its connection with Celtic.
  • Bug Music: How Insects Gave Us Rhythm and Noise, by David Rothenberg - A book about insect sounds and how they have influenced our music? Need I say more?
Is there any book in this list you are excited about? Is there a music book you've seen or read recently that you want to add to this list? 

Vocab: rhythm, sheet music, wind band, New Age music

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