Conditions of Use
As established in the introduction of the text, Music in World Cultures offers a "small sampling" of traditional uses of music in ways that most hearing people are able to relate. Other than using primarily Youtube as its multimedia platform,... read more
As established in the introduction of the text, Music in World Cultures offers a "small sampling" of traditional uses of music in ways that most hearing people are able to relate. Other than using primarily Youtube as its multimedia platform, which itself encourages the viewer to dive deeper into a topic, the most comprehensive section of the book were the two chapters in the Introduction section.
However, it would be difficult for the book to cover ALL existing cultures' music with the same amount of depth, so I appreciate the sorting of music into the five themes. I would argue that there wasn't a big enough difference for me between the Place and Identity&Politics themes. I would have loved to see a specific Children's Music section, though I know there would again be crossover with other sections.
I enjoyed the detail in the book backed by news articles and webpages. The book is painstakingly thorough especially in its listening guides; they include translated titles, artist names, year published, country of origin, by-the-second descriptions, and lyric translation where the text is important to the theme. I also appreciated how it shows how samples of some world music has been adapted to other popular songs through direct sample or quote.
My FAVORITE part of the text book was the deliberate multi-media approach, but this is also its Achilles heel. Here are a list of youtube links that no longer exist:
1. Orchestral cymbals
2. The Message
3. Tumira Vana Kuhondo
4. Begin Japanology Kabuki (NHK Documentary). 2018
There was an image missing as well:
The book is enjoyably approachable! My favorite chapter of the book was the Fundamentals, which did well to lay groundwork for the rest of the text.
Some of the videos, vocabulary, and graphic choices I found only questionably demonstrated each topic:
Dynamics= Bob Marley and the Wailers
Harmony= "relaxed" vs. "tense" vocabulary and the use of the word "happy" to describe Jarabi
Homophonic= The Kossoy Sisters; maybe a video of multiple singers or instruments singing the same thing would be better
I would have loved to have seen specific links to Eurovision performances referenced, and seen images/videos of instruments in the Jingju. In that way, I find the book to be a bit inconsistent in level of detail.
This text can be done in any order after the Introduction section. It can be used or referenced in other classes, like Music Appreciation, World History, and other culture-specific classes.
There were three videos that were used twice:
2. I’ll Fly Away
I think the book could have used other videos in the Fundamentals chapter instead of these OR referenced the dual use of the videos
The book adheres to its structure by theme, and is easy to follow.
Other than links that went nowhere, navigation was fluid.
The only questionable bit of text for me was in Fundamentals: “However, if the instruments are playing the same,...” The same what? The listening guide for the youtube link clarifies this.
I found the book's effort to find different terms for dynamics effective, not limiting vocabulary to Italian. Of course it is a lot of hard work to make such multi-media text about cultural uses of music inclusive for non/hard of-hearing and non/hard of-seeing people, so this is the only point where I find the text lacking culturally.
This is my kind of text book; multi-media and user friendly! I encourage the authors to stay on top of the media links, as they're my favorite part of the text. I anticipate that future editions will take care of this, and will include more recent developments in the popular music world, as globalization brings us closer together.
As an OER textbook on world music, the first of its kind, this text offers a great selection of musical culture of the world. Instead of introducing music cultures based on geographic location, this book organizes its six chapters based on... read more
As an OER textbook on world music, the first of its kind, this text offers a great selection of musical culture of the world. Instead of introducing music cultures based on geographic location, this book organizes its six chapters based on different issues relating to place, identity and politics, theatre, dance, religion and spirituality as well as an introduction chapter. A great mix of traditional and contemporary musical cultures from Europe, Africa, North America, South America, Oceania, East Asia, South Asia and the Middle East are analyzed in a consistent format (including historical background together with music examples, followed by a brief listening guide). Some very helpful maps and images are also used. As the authors point out themselves, “this text provides just a small sampling of some of the various musical styles and traditions,” and it serves as a strong springboard for future editions and related texts that will expand OER resources in this field.
The content in the book is accurate.
This book is most likely to be used in an introductory world music class together with other visual aids (image and video examples) and learning materials. Certain chapters could also be used in area studies classes, like Asian Studies, African studies, and American studies.
The text is easy to read, concise and without any academic jargon.
The structure and terminology are consistent across all chapters.
The textbook can be used as a whole, or adopted by chapter in addition to other learning material.
The chapters in the text are efficiently organized by topics.
I found the text easy to navigate. The video links work great.
I didn’t find any major grammatical issues in the text.
This text is written in a culturally responsive manner as it intends to build a better understanding of world music cultures.
The authors did an outstanding job creating this text! It’s well-organized, consistent, and easy to use. I have adopted some of the maps used in this textbook in my own courses (thank you!), and plan to include selections from its chapters in my introductory world music class. This is a really wonderful first edition, and I am looking forward to seeing a second edition that could extend the scope of the text’s coverage of world musical cultures in terms of both breadth and depth.
This book provides snapshots of several styles of music from around the world. This sampling of musical traditions from around the world is fascinating and varied and I appreciated the organization of the book into different themes, i.e. place,... read more
This book provides snapshots of several styles of music from around the world. This sampling of musical traditions from around the world is fascinating and varied and I appreciated the organization of the book into different themes, i.e. place, identity and politics, theatre, dance, religion and spirituality. However, this book is not terribly comprehensive - and I don't think it was necessarily intending to be. The title may be somewhat misleading: rather than giving broad overviews of the function of music in as many world cultures as possible, this book instead presents more in-depth examples of thirteen styles of music from different countries. These musical styles were not necessarily evenly distributed across different regions of the world: for example, three styles of music from Zimbabwe were included, but only one was included from all of Latin America.
The content of the book was accurate and highly interesting. It was refreshing to encounter a music textbook that did not center around Western Classical European music and instead prioritized diverse musical traditions from around the world.
The written content in the book is fairly relevant, as it discusses historical and contextual information about each style of music. I didn't find the information particularly up-to-date: for example, the chapter on hip-hop did not discuss any music written after 1982, which leaves out huge and crucial developments in that genre of music. Furthermore, while I appreciated the YouTube video examples linked in the text, I imagine these videos will quickly become out of date and could even be removed from YouTube in coming years, rendering the book far less useful.
The book's introduction gives excellent and clear explanation of musical terms like timbre and dynamics.
This book maintains consistency in its terminology and framework.
The chapters are of a manageable length and include subsections within them.
I appreciated the way that the different musical styles were grouped together by theme. I would have appreciated some subthemes as well: for example, religion/spirituality is a huge category that could include music for holidays, celebrations, mourning rituals, and more that could be highly different from one another.
One mild obstacle was having to wait for the ads to play before viewing the videos on YouTube.
The text contains no grammatical errors.
This book did an outstanding job of highlighting rich and complex styles of music that are often ignored in scholarly music texts.
Overall this is a fascinating and worthwhile book to consider teaching from. This book's greatest benefit is its in-depth look into several specific styles of music from around the world (particularly the non-Western world). This is not a comprehensive text on the ways in which music is broadly used in cultures around the world; I wished for a more even representation of music from all broad regions of the world, and moreover I just wished for more content - more styles of music chosen, more details presented about each style of music, and more countries represented. However, the styles of music that are discussed are interesting and relevant, and they are effectively grouped by theme of function within a culture. The video examples are useful and bring these styles of music to life.
Table of Contents
- I. Introduction
- II. Place
- III. Identity and Politics
- IV. Theatre
- V. Dance
- VI. Religion and Spirituality
About the Book
This text provides just a small sampling of some of the various musical styles and traditions that might be found, though the skills developed in this course can be applied to any type of music.
About the Contributors
Matthew Mihalka joined the Music Department at the University of Arkansas in 2011. His research addresses the use of music in 20th/21st century American society, particularly during sporting events. His work has been published in The American Organist, Notes, American History through American Sports, and Music in the Social and Behavioral Sciences. He is the co-editor of Music around the World: A Global Encyclopedia, a three-volume music reference work published in 2020.
Justin R. Hunter is an ethnomusicologist specializing in Indigenous studies, Japanese studies, and Ozark music of Arkansas. He received his PhD in ethnomusicology from the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa and his BA and MM from the University of Arkansas. Dr. Hunter has served as a member of the Society for Ethnomusicology advisory council and in leadership roles for numerous special interest groups, sections, and committees for the society. He currently serves as the co-chair of the Japanese Performing Arts Special Interest Group and the secretary of the Indigenous Music Section. He has book reviews in Ethnomusicology Forum and the journal Notes. He is an alumnus of the Alpha Omicron chapter of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia and was inducted into Pi Kappa Lambda in 2009 at the University of Arkansas campus.