Songs of Earth: Aesthetic and Social Codes in Music (Paperback)
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Based upon Cantometrics: An Approach to the Anthropology of Music (1976), by Alan Lomax, Songs of Earth: Aesthetic and Social Codes in Music is a contemporary guide to understanding and exploring Cantometrics, the system developed by Lomax and Victor Grauer for analyzing the formal elements of music related to human geography and sociocultural patterning. This carefully constructed cross-cultural study of world music revealed deep-rooted performance patterns and aesthetic preferences and their links with environmental factors and ancient socioeconomic practices. This new and updated edition is for anyone wishing to understand and more deeply appreciate the forms and sociocultural contexts of the musics of the world's peoples, and it is designed to be used by both scholars and laypeople. Part One of the book consists of a practical guide to using the Cantometrics system, a course with musical examples to test one's understanding of the material, a theoretical framework to put the methodology in context, and an illustration of the method used to explore the roots of popular music. Part Two includes guides to four other analytical systems that Lomax developed, which focus on orchestration, phrasing and breath management, vowel articulation, instrumentation, and American popular music. Part Three provides resources for educators who wish to use the Cantometrics system in their classrooms, a summary of the findings and hypotheses of Lomax's original research, and a discussion of Cantometrics' criticisms, applications, and new approaches, and it includes excerpts of Lomax's original writings about world song style and cultural equity.
About the Author
Anna L. Wood is an anthropologist, public folklorist, and president of the Association for Cultural Equity, a not-for-profit organization founded by Alan Lomax. Wood has collaborated with immigrant communities to document, revitalize, and present their traditions and produced over a hundred scholarly editions of Lomax's sound recordings. With Jeffrey A. Greenberg and Steve Rosenthal, she was awarded a Grammy for her production of Jelly Roll Morton--The Complete Library of Congress Recordings by Alan Lomax and was nominated for Alan Lomax in Haiti.