The classic introduction to the Caribbean's popular music brought up to date
Caribbean Music from Rumba to Reggae
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Revised and Expanded Edition
Peter Manuel with Kenneth Bilby and Michael Largey
Outstanding Academic Books, Choice, 1996
Gordon K. Lewis Memorial Award for Caribbean Scholarship, Caribbean Studies Association, 1996
Music is the most popular and dynamic aspect of Caribbean expressive culture. From the well-known genressalsa, merengue, reggae, calypso, and bachatato more localized forms like chutney and kaseko, this wide-ranging book surveys Caribbean music's prodigious diversity and colorful history.
Enhanced with numerous illustrations and musical examples, Caribbean Currents is an up-to-date overview of the region's music, covering Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, Trinidad, Suriname, and smaller islands like Martinique and Guadeloupe. Engaging descriptions of musical forms and innovations, festivals and dance halls, as well as musicians and fans, are situated in the context of the modern genres' relationship to issues of race, regional diversity, gender, and socio-political conflicts.
This revised and expanded version features:
Praise for the First Edition:
"This is an exciting text that offers an excellent survey of the popular musical styles of the Caribbean.... The authors assert that Caribbean music has something to offer everyone, and this text is intended to cater for a very broad audience ranging from Caribbean music lovers, to students of Caribbean and/or pan-American society, to readers of Caribbean descent who wish to learn more about their unique and dynamic music-culture."
"There is very much to admire in this comprehensive and insightful work. Caribbean Currents blends musical and sociocultural analysis, draws significance from fascinating song lyrics, and traces the social history of many of the Caribbean's most important genres of music and dance. The result is a package perfectly suited to classroom settings that should serve for some time as the standard text on Caribbean music."
"Professor Manuel is a superb ethnomusicologist with several important books to his credit. He is well versed in the intricacies of hybrid music forms on the Caribbean... This is an excellent summary volume on Caribbean music."
"This excellent book encompasses Caribbean music in all its diversity and complexity. Manuel shows a great deal of contemporary sensibility and sensitivity in covering this fertile region of world musiche is able to relate the many musical traditions present in the region to those that are present in world music today."
"This is an excellent resource for any who would understand the background of the musical styles which have emerged from this region, providing the connections necessary to understand the events and individuals involved in Caribbean music's evolution."
"Manuel presents a good overview of the array of Caribbean musical styles and their place in 'world cultural history.' Students and general readers will find this book appealing, and the inclusion of bibliographies, discographies, and a glossary enhance its educational value."
Praise for the Revised and Expanded Edition:
"The revised edition addresses the most important and significant new developments in the 21st century Caribbean, and will be welcomed by those who enjoyed the original due to the considerable additions and enhancements in the revised edition....undoubtedly a valuable resource."
Preface to the Second Edition
1. Introduction: The Caribbean Crucible
3. Puerto Rico
4. Salsa and Beyond
5. The Dominican Republic
6. Haiti and the French Caribbean
8. Trinidad, Calypso, and Carnival
9. East Indian Music and Big Sounds from the "Small Islands"
10. Five Themes in the Study of Caribbean Music
Kenneth Bilby is Research Associate in the Department of Anthropology, Smithsonian Institution.