It’s a sad fact: hip-hop album liners have always been reduced to a list of producer and sample credits, a publicity photo or two, and some hastily composed shout-outs. That’s a damn shame, because few outside the game know about the true creative forces behind influential masterpieces like PE’s It Takes a Nation of Millions. . ., De La’s 3 Feet High and Rising, and Wu-Tang’s Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers). A longtime scribe for the hip-hop nation, Brian Coleman fills this void, and delivers a thrilling, knockout oral history of the albums that define this dynamic and iconoclastic art form.
The format: One chapter, one artist, one album, blow-by-blow and track-by-track, delivered straight from the original sources. Performers, producers, DJs, and b-boys–including Big Daddy Kane, Muggs and B-Real, Biz Markie, RZA, Ice-T, and Wyclef–step to the mic to talk about the influences, environment, equipment, samples, beats, beefs, and surprises that went into making each classic record. Studio craft and street smarts, sonic inspiration and skate ramps, triumph, tragedy, and take-out food–all played their part in creating these essential albums of the hip-hop canon.
Insightful, raucous, and addictive, Check the Technique transports you back to hip-hop’s golden age with the greatest artists of the ’80s and ’90s. This is the book that belongs on the stacks next to your wax.
“Brian Coleman’s writing is a lot like the albums he covers: direct, uproarious, and more than six-fifths genius.”
–Jeff Chang, author of Can’t Stop Won’t Stop
“All producers and hip-hop fans must read this book. It really shows how these albums were made and touches the music fiend in everyone.”
–DJ Evil Dee of Black Moon and Da Beatminerz
“A rarity in mainstream publishing: a truly essential rap history.”
–Ronin Ro, author of Have Gun Will Travel
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Beginning with jazz, rhythm and blues, and gospel, this book demonstrates that while each genre of music is distinct—possessing its own conventions, performance practices, and formal qualities—each is also grounded in similar techniques and conceptual frameworks identified with African American musical traditions. Ramsey provides vivid glimpses of the careers of Dinah Washington, Louis Jordan, Dizzy Gillespie, Cootie Williams, and Mahalia Jackson, among others, to show how the social changes of the 1940s elicited an Afro-modernism that inspired much of the music and culture that followed.
Race Music illustrates how, by transcending the boundaries between genres, black communities bridged generational divides and passed down knowledge of musical forms and styles. It also considers how the discourse of soul music contributed to the vibrant social climate of the Black Power Era. Multilayered and masterfully written, Race Music provides a dynamic framework for rethinking the many facets of African American music and the ethnocentric energy that infused its creation.
The contributors include experts in music, history, literature, culture, sociology, and anthropology, as well as practicing rockeros and rockeras. The multidisciplinary, transnational, and comparative perspectives they bring to the topic serve to address a broad range of fundamental questions about rock in Latin and Latino America, including: Why did rock become such a controversial cultural force in the region? In what ways has rock served as a medium for expressing national identities? How are unique questions of race, class, and gender inscribed in Latin American rock? What makes Latin American rock Latin American? Rockin' Las Américas is an essential book for anyone who hopes to understand the complexities of Latin American culture today.
Every culture on Earth has music. Every culture that’s ever existed has had it, but we don’t exactly know why. Music is not like food, shelter, or having opposable thumbs. We don’t need it to live, and yet we can’t seem to live without it. Glenn Dixon travels the globe exploring how and why people make music. From a tour of Bob Marley’s house to sitar lessons in India, he experiences music around the world and infuses the stories with the latest in brain research, genetics, and evolutionary psychology. Why does music give us chills down the backs of our necks? What exactly are the whales singing about and why does some music stick in our minds like chewing gum?
Through his adventures, Dixon uncovers the real reasons why music has such a powerful hold on us – and the answers just might surprise you.
Part One provides an in-depth introduction to Africa. Part Two focuses on issues and processes, such as notation and oral tradition, dance in communal life, and intellectual property. Part Three focuses on the different regions, countries, and cultures of Africa with selected regional case studies.
The second edition has been expanded to include exciting new scholarship that has been conducted since the first edition was published. Questions for Critical Thinking at the end of each major section guide and focus attention on what musical and cultural issues arise when one studies the music of Africa -- issues that might not occur in the study of other musics of the world. An accompanying audio compact disc offers musical examples of some of the music of Africa.
Part one provides an in-depth introduction to the area of Southeast Asia and explores a series of issues and processes, such as colonialism, mass media, spirituality, and war. The articles in this section are important in gaining historical, political, and social perspective. Part two focuses on mainland Southeast Asia, with essays representing Cambodia, Thailand, Laos, Burma, Peninsular Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore, and the minority peoples of mainland Southeast Asia. Part three focuses on island Southeast Asia, dividing the area into three sections: Indonesia, the Philippines, and Borneo. In addition to offering a detailed study of the music of each area, it also offers recent perspectives on the gamelan and theater traditions of Indonesia. Questions for Critical Thinking at the end of each major section guide and focus attention on what issues – musical and cultural – arise when one studies the music of Southeast Asia – issues that might not occur in the study of other musics of the world. An accompanying compact disc offers musical examples from Southeast Asia.
Pushing urban geography into new cultural contexts Music and Urban Geography will offer those concerned with the social effects of space newtheoretical models. Ranging from Anonymous 4 to Alanis Morissette, from Curaçao to Seattle, Music and Urban Geography presents a truly wide-ranging, interdisciplinary, and theoretically ambitious view of both musical and urban change.
This revised and expanded version features:
* Twenty-seven new illustrations
* Recent developments in the region's music, such as the emergence of reggaetón and timba
* A new and extensive study of Jamaican dancehall
Beginning with the French villages on the Mississippi River, Marshall leads us chronologically through the settlement of the state and how these communities established our cultural heritage. Other core populations include the “Old Stock Americans” (primarily Scotch-Irish from Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, and Virginia), African Americans, German-speaking immigrants, people with American Indian ancestry (focusing on Cherokee families dating from the Trail of Tears in the 1830s), and Irish railroad workers in the post–Civil War period. These are the primary communities whose fiddle and dance traditions came together on the Missouri frontier to cultivate the bounty of old-time fiddling enjoyed today.Marshall also investigates themes in the continuing evolution of fiddle traditions. These themes include the use of the violin in Westward migration, in the Civil War years, and in the railroad boom that changed history. Of course, musical tastes shift over time, and the rise of music literacy in the late Victorian period, as evidenced by the brass band movement and immigrant music teachers in small towns, affected fiddling. The contributions of music publishing as well as the surprising importance of ragtime and early jazz also had profound effects. Much of the old-time fiddlers’ repertory arises not from the inherited reels, jigs, and hornpipes from the British Isles, nor from the waltzes, schottisches, and polkas from the Continent, but from the prolific pens of Tin Pan Alley.
Marshall also examines regional styles in Missouri fiddling and comments on the future of this time-honored, and changing, tradition. Documentary in nature, this social history draws on various academic disciplines and oral histories recorded in Marshall’s forty-some years of research and field experience. Historians, music aficionados, and lay people interested in Missouri folk heritage—as well as fiddlers, of course—will find Play Me Something Quick and Devilish an entertaining and enlightening read.
With 39 tunes, the enclosed Voyager Records companion CD includes a historic sampler of Missouri fiddlers and styles from 1955 to 2012. A media kit is available here: press.umsystem.edu/pages/PlayMeSomethingQuickandDevilish.aspx
This book also includes explanations of traditional Navajo dance steps, notations on hand movements for selected songs, a discography, and sources for recordings and videos. Accompanied by a CD of twelve songs sung by Marilyn Help, this book is designed for people of all ages seeking to celebrate Navajo music and culture.
"I consider this book to be a treasure."--David P. McAllester, Professor Emeritus of Music and Anthropology, Wesleyan University
Mr. Chase has collected a wide variety of folklore for inclusion in this volume. Here you will find tales of dry humor whose telling will enliven any friendly gathering, or the "jump" tales that literally require the teller to jump at his listener, mostly ghost stories that have enthralled generations of children and grandchildren. Here, complete with guitar chords, are American versions of old English ballads like "The Devil's Questions" and "Bold Robin Hood," and original mountain ballads like "Old Bangum and the Boar." Here too are many hymns and children's songs current in the mountains of the South. A sample of fiddle music and country games can provide inspiration for all manner of parties or family amusements.
In addition to the ballads, songs, and stories, Mr. Chase also gives such amusing folk miscellany as riddles, love-rhymes, and jokes. For anyone who seeks a wider familiarity with folk materials, Mr. Chase provides an ample list of suggested further reading and an amateur collector's guide. Notes accompanying each item identify the informant or origin and give details concerning the author's editing "For popular use."
American Folk Tales and Songs is meant to be used. The author, one of America's foremost folklorists, has presented his stories and songs so that they can increase the repertory of both storytellers and fireside singers, for folk traditions can live only through the voices and imaginations of those who love good stories and good songs.
Bali has developed and nourished an astonishing variety of musical ensembles—called gamelan—comprising dozens of instruments mainly made of bronze or bamboo, and organized into groups with as many as 30 to 40 players. In Balinese Gamelan Music, Michael Tenzer, a noted Professor of Music at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, presents an introduction to many types of Balinese gamelan ensembles, each with its own established tradition, repertoire and context. The instruments and basic principles underlying the music are introduced, providing listeners with the means to better appreciate the music—and its importance not only in Bali but around the world.
The gamelan music of Bali is a centuries-old kaleidoscope of sound and rhythm that is recognized today as one of the world's most sophisticated musical traditions. Despite rapid changes in contemporary village life, hundreds of groups still perform regularly around this tiny island—from isolated mountain hamlets to the bustling precincts of Denpasar, Kuta and Ubud. The primary function of gamelan music in Bali is to accompany religious rituals. Each village typically maintains several different gamelan sets, using each one for a different set of occasions. Music is memorized and rehearsed in village meeting halls, temples, or private homes. When a gamelan group accompanies a Balinese dance performance, the close coordination between the dancers' movements and the music is established through a complex system of interactive cues and responses. Performance standards are extremely high and even with Bali's rapid modernization in recent years, the gamelan tradition remains vital and largely undiminished by outside musical influences.
Focusing on a group of musicians from Bahia, an impoverished state in northeastern Brazil noted for its vibrant Afro-Brazilian culture, Christopher Dunn reveals how artists including Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil, Gal Costa, and Tom Ze created this movement together with the musical and poetic vanguards of Sao Paulo, Brazil's most modern and industrialized city. He shows how the tropicalists selectively appropriated and parodied cultural practices from Brazil and abroad in order to expose the fissure between their nation's idealized image as a peaceful tropical "garden" and the daily brutality visited upon its citizens.
Against this historical backdrop, Yoshihara interviews Asian and Asian American musicians, such as Cho-Liang Lin, Margaret Leng Tan, Kent Nagano, who have taken various routes into classical music careers. They offer their views about the connections of race and culture and discuss whether the music is really as universal as many claim it to be. Their personal histories and Yoshihara's observations present a snapshot of today's dynamic and revived classical music scene.
Contributors are T. Christopher Aplin, Tara Browner, Paula Conlon, David E. Draper, Elaine Keillor, Lucy Lafferty, Franziska von Rosen, David Samuels, Laurel Sercombe, and Judith Vander.
From 1983 to 1988, Alan Govenar traveled more than 35,000 miles around Texas, interviewing, recording, and photographing the vast cultural landscape of the state. In Everyday Music, he compares his experiences then with his attempts to reconnect with the people and traditions that he had originally documented. Stopping at gas stations, restaurants, or street-corner groceries in small towns and inner-city neighborhoods, Govenar asked local residents about local music and musicians. What he found on his road trip around the state—and what he shares in the pages of this book — are the time-honored songs, tunes, and musical instruments that have been passed down from one generation to the next. Govenar invites you to accompany him on his journey — one that will forever change the way you look at the traditional music that is such an important part of our everyday lives.
Everyday Music is accompanied by a special online resource (www.everydaymusiconline.org) with video clips, recorded interviews, and performances. The site also features special resources for teachers who want to bring this rich cultural experience into their classrooms and for general readers who simply want to know more.
Table of Contents:
Julius Vita: Czech Accordion, Seymour 9
John Burrus: Cowboy Songs and Country Hymns, Stephenville 18
Osceola Mays: Spirituals and Poems, Dallas 30
Howard Dee “Wes” Westmoreland III: Fiddling, Gustine 40
Miguel Pedraza: Tigua Drumming and Chanting, El Paso 51
Alexander H. Moore: Barrelhouse Blues, Dallas 62
W. W. Trammell: Guitar Maker and Musician, Lone Star 73
Lydia Mendoza: Boleros, Corridos, and Rancheras, Houston 83
Original Oompah Band: German Dance Music, Tivydale 96
John Henry “Bones” Nobles: Bones Percussion, Beaumont 107
Yani Rose Keo: Cambodian Music and Dance, Houston 117
Appendix: Traditional Music in Texas Radio Series 129
For Further Reading, Listening, and Viewing 133
Part One, Creating Connections, provides introductory materials for the study of South African Music. Part Two, Musical Migrations, moves to a more focused overview of significant musical styles in twentieth-century South Africa -- particularly those known through world circuits. Part Three, Focusing In, takes the reader into the heart of two musical cultures with case studies on South African jazz and the music of the Zulu-language followers of Isaiah Shembe. The accompanying CD offers vivid examples of traditional, popular, and classical South African musical styles.
In Empire of Song: Europe and Nation in the Eurovision Song Contest, contributors interpret the ESC as a musical “mediascape” and mega-event that has variously performed and performs the changing visions of the European project. Through the study of the cultural politics of the ESC, contributors discuss the ways in which music operates as a dynamic nexus for making national identities and European sensibilities, generating processes of “assimilation” or “integration,” and defining the celebrated notion of the “European citizen” in a global context. Scholars in the volume also explore the ways otherness and difference are produced, spectacularized, challenged, or even neglected in the televised musical realities of the ESC. For the contributing authors, song serves as a site for constituting Europe and the nation, on- and offstage. History and politics, as well as the constant production of European subjectivities, are sounded in song. The Eurovision song is a shifting realm where old and new states imagine their pasts, question their presents, and envision ideal futures in the New Europe.
Essays in Empire of Song adopt theoretical and epistemological orientations in their exploration of “popular music” within ethnomusicology and critical musicology, questioning the idea of “Europe” and the “nation” through and in music, at a time when the European self appears more fragmented, if not entirely shattered. Bringing together ethnomusicology, music studies, history, social anthropology, feminist theory, linguistics, media ethnography, postcolonial theory, comparative literature, and philosophy, Empire of Song will interest students and scholars in a vast array of disciplines.
Focus: Gamelan Music of Indonesia is an introduction to the familiar music from Southeast Asia's largest country - both as sound and cultural phenomenon. An archipelago of over 17,000 islands, Indonesia is a melting pot of Hindu, Buddhist, Islamic, Portuguese, Dutch, and British influences. Despite this diversity, it has forged a national culture, one in which music plays a significant role. Gamelan music, in particular, teaches us much about Indonesian values and modern-day life. Focus: Gamelan Music of Indonesia provides an introduction to present-day Javanese, Balinese, Cirebonese, and Sundanese gamelan music through ethnic, social, cultural, and global perspectives.
Part One, Music and Southeast Asian History ̧ provides introductory materials for the study of Southeast Asian music. Part Two, Gamelan Music in Java and Bali, moves to a more focused overview of Gamelan music in Indonesia. Part Three, Focusing In, takes an in-depth look at Sundanese gamelan traditions, as well modern developments in Sundanese music and dance. The accompanying CD offers vivid examples of traditional Indonesian gamelan music.