Posted by: lisaparavisini | April 18, 2010

New bibliography on music of Haiti and the French-speaking Caribbean

Next month African Diaspora Press will release the first in a projected six volume bibliographic series on vernacular musics of the Caribbean and Latin American. Titled From Vodou to Zouk this pioneering reference work includes nearly 1300 entries on all islands of the French-speaking Caribbean, in particular Haiti, Martinique, Guadeloupe, and French Guiana, as well as their overseas enclaves in France, the United States and Canada.

Two lengthy General Works and Regional Studies sections document idioms ranging from liturgical musics, in particular those of Haitian Vodou, to folk and popular styles such as bele, compas, zouk, and ragga. These are complemented by an even lengthier biographical and critical section which includes information on more than 350 of the region’s leading musicians and producers. Most of the book’s citations are in English, French, and Spanish, with a smattering in Creole, and range in date from 1698 to 2008, with the bulk having been published between the 1930s and 2008.

A wide variety of interdisciplinary perspectives are represented, chiefly from the humanities and social sciences, and encompass both academic studies and popular reportage. Of particular note is the strong representation of sources from the Caribbean and France not found anywhere else. The book’s four main sections—Cultural History and the Arts; Festivals and Carnival; Music of the French-speaking Caribbean; and Biographical Studies—are followed by a list of Sources Consulted, a guide to specialist libraries and archives, two appendices grouping musicians by idiom/occupation and country, and separate indexes for Authors and Subjects. A scholarly foreword by ethnomusicologist Julian Gerstin helps to contextualize the history of the region and its rich musical legacy.

The compiler is veteran music bibliographer John Gray whose previous works include Blacks in Classical Music, African Music, and Fire Music: a bibliography of the New Jazz, 1959-1990, all published by Greenwood Press.

To pre-order please visit the ADP website: www.african-diaspora-press.com.


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