Through recorded songs and live performances, Puerto Rican musicians were important representatives for the national consciousness of their compatriots on both sides of the ocean. Yet they also played with African-American and white jazz bands, Filipino or Italian-American orchestras, and with other Latinos. Glasser provides an understanding of the way musical subcultures could exist side by side or even as a part of the mainstream, and she demonstrates the complexities of cultural nationalism and cultural authenticity within the very practical realm of commercial music.
Illuminating a neglected epoch of Puerto Rican life in America, Glasser shows how ethnic groups settling in the United States had choices that extended beyond either maintenance of their homeland traditions or assimilation into the dominant culture. Her knowledge of musical styles and performance enriches her analysis, and a discography offers a helpful addition to the text.
The pioneering works on the music or the dance of Vodun have attempted to cover the whole ritual spectrum. Fleurant contends that the religion is too complex and too sensationalized to be treated in one volume and that each rite should be studied separately and in greater depth. Dancing Spirits examines drum rhythms, song tunes, and texts of the major Rada dances. A model of the Rada ceremony in B�po, a community located some ten miles north of Port-au-Prince, serves as a guide to the reader not familiar with Vodun liturgy. The work challenges studies that do not delve deeply enough into this complex religion, and serves as a model for further studies.
Vietnamese youth at the end of the second and beginning of the third millennium are influenced by the challenges generated by a number of seemingly opposite ideologies and realities, such as "the past" versus "the present," socialism versus capitalism, and cultural traditionalism versus globalization. Vietnam has undergone a radical demographic shift with a very pronounced youth movement, and consequently, Vietnamese popular culture has been radically reshaped by a young population coming of age in the twenty-first century. As Olsen reveals, the way Vietnamese young people cope with these opposing and contrasting forces is often expressed in their active and passive music making.