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.
John Morgan O'Connell makes a significant contribution to the study of Turkish music in particular and Turkish history in general. Conceived as a historical ethnography, the book brings together archival sources and ethnographic materials to provide a critical revision of Turkish historiography, music providing a locus for interrogating singular representations of a national past.