Musics Lost and Found
Title Details

312 Pages

23.4 x 15.6 cm

51 b/w illus.

Imprint: Boydell Press

Musics Lost and Found

Song Collectors and the Life and Death of Folk Tradition

by Michael Church

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This ground-breaking book is the first-ever study of the role played in musical history by song collectors.
This is the first-ever book about song collectors, music's unsung heroes. They include the Armenian priest who sacrificed his life to preserve the folk music which the Turks were trying to erase in the 1915 Genocide; the prisoner in a Nazi concentration camp who secretly noted down the songs of doomed Jewish inmates; the British singer who went veiled into Afghanistan to learn, record and perform the music the Taliban wanted to silence. Some collectors have been fired by political idealism - Bartok championing Hungarian peasant music, the Lomaxes bringing the blues out of Mississippi penitentiaries, and transmitting them to the world. Many collectors have been priests - French Jesuits noting down labyrinthine forms in eighteenth-century Beijing, English vicars tracking songs in nineteenth-century Somerset. Others have been wonderfully colourful oddballs.

Today's collectors are striving heroically to preserve endangered musics, whether rare forms of Balinese gamelan, the wind-band music of Chinese villages, or the sophisticated polyphony of Central African Pygmies. With globalisation, urbanisation and Westernisation causing an irreversible erosion of the world's musical diversity, Michael Church suggests we may be seeing folk music's 'end of history'. Old forms are dying as the conditions for their survival - or replacement - disappear; the death of villages means the death of village musical culture.

This ground-breaking book is the sequel to the author's award-winning The Other Classical Musics, and it concludes with an inventory of the musics now under threat, or already lost for ever.
Introduction


Why it all began
1 From broadsides to Child ballads: Songs of the British people
2 Orientalists from France: Jesuit priests in Beijing, Salvador-Daniel in Algiers
3 Going native in Constantinople: Dimitrie Cantemir, the happy hostage

The birth of ethnomusicology
4 The Song of Approach, the Pipes of Friendship: Alice Fletcher and the Omaha Indians
5 'I am now a true Eskimo': Franz Boas and first principles
6 Voice of Armenia: The tragedy of Komitas
7 Britain's folk-song revivals, and the contentious Cecil Sharp
8 'I in seventh heaven - Perks': The ineffable Percy Grainger


Carrying the torch: Collectors in Northern and Eastern Europe
9 'And what does the gentleman want': Béla Bartók as song detective
10 Girdling the globe: The empire of the Lomaxes
11 'I am a white-skinned Aranda man': Theodore Strehlow's divided self
12 The stirring of a thousand bells: Jaap Kunst, Colin McPhee, and gamelan
13 Hot mint tea and a few pipes of kif: Paul Bowles in Morocco
14 A voice for Greece: Domna Samiou's crusade
15 Things that are made to cry: John Blacking and the Venda
16 Record companies as collectors: Folkways, Smithsonian, Nonesuch, IMA, Ocora, World Circuit, Topic, Pan, Muziekpublique

Musical snapshots: The importance of sound archives
17 Magic in two strings: Central Asia awakes
18 Red badge of courage: Musicians in Afghanistan
19 Out of the womb of Russia: Riches awaiting rediscovery
20 Three-in-one: The Georgian way
21 Small is beautiful: Pygmy polyphony
22 It's a physical thing: A Persian musician relocates the radif
23 Plucking the winds: Chinese village music today
24 Voice, handkerchief, fan: New life for Korea's p'ansori
25 'My whole body was singing': Kodo and the taiko drum
26 'Intangible cultural heritage': UNESCO's lengthening list
27 Going, going...: disappearing musics

Sources and further reading
Bibliography
Index

MICHAEL CHURCH has spent much of his career in newspapers as a literary and arts editor; he is a former television critic of The Times, and since 2010 has been the opera critic of The Independent. From 1992 to 2005 he reported on traditional musics all over the world for the BBC World Service; in 2004, Topic Records released a CD of his Kazakh field recordings, and in 2007 two further CDs of his recordings in Georgia and Chechnya. He is the editor of The Other Classical Musics: Fifteen Great Traditions (Boydell Press, 2015), winner of the Royal Philharmonic Society's Award for Creative Communication.

"Musics Lost and Found is a valuable introduction to the pioneering figures who have been brave enough to depart from the flow to recognize, gather and preserve traditional musics around the world before it disappeared." Simon Broughton, Songlines Magazine
"Critic Michael Church's new book highlights those who have worked to save a music tradition from extinction." Michael White, Camden New Journal
"Musics Lost and Found makes an engaging diachronic introduction to fieldworkers, and the musics they documented, in societies around the world.... More digestible than the New Grove and Garland encyclopedias, sections in the two New Grove Ethnomusicology volumes, or even The Rough Guide to World Music, this book leads audiences to a wealth of traditions.... [C]overs an impressive amount of ground." Stephen Jones, ethnomusicologist
"An important new study." Fiona Maddocks, The Observer
"[A] fascinating and moving study of folk-song collectors from the 18th century to the present day, from all around the world.... One of the virtues of Church's book is that he doesn't confine himself to accredited ethnographers or academic collectors working for grand institutions. He gives equal weight to enterprising record companies...as well as amateur enthusiasts like [Paul] Bowles." Ivan Hewett, The Daily Telegraph
"[An] appealing account of folk song collectors around the world.... Church is a convincing and passionate advocate both for folk song and its enthusiasts, and the breadth of this colourful and absorbing book is commendable. Three stars." Kate Wakeling, BBC Music Magazine
"There is a cinematic sweep to Church's history of the world's song collectors...but there is also an urgent message, as traditional folk music faces the threat of an erosion of musical diversity." Richard Fairman, The Financial Times
"Engrossing... its chapters range beguilingly across the globe and the centuries" Jim Gilchrist, The Scotsman
"Church's volume proves compulsively readable. It is in no way limited to musically conversant readers, thanks to its mixture of informed yet approachable prose and, most of all, a cavalcade of extraordinary characters.... If the book errs in any way, it is simply that it leaves you wanting more." Jessica Duchen, i-paper

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9781783276073

October 2021

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Title Details

312 Pages

2.34 x 1.56 cm

51 b/w illus.

Imprint: Boydell Press