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Merengue : Dominican Music and Dominican Identity Paperback – January 22, 1997


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Merengue : Dominican Music and Dominican Identity + Bachata A Social History of a Dominican Popular Music
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 216 pages
  • Publisher: Temple University Press (January 22, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1566394848
  • ISBN-13: 978-1566394840
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,037,819 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"This book points the way toward that ideal zone of understanding. Austerlitz is a leading scholar of merengue. But he wears his erudition lightly. Through all the exposition he remains a buen elemento, able to pick up a sax and play merengue with hes peers. His informants clearly consider him a colleague and share with him aesthetic judgements and considerations... The message of merengue, like rap, mambo, samba, and dancehall, ultimately may boil down to this: subvert the threat of a posthominid future with collective honesties of sweat and motion." --Robert Farris Thompson, from the Foreword "In a well written and organized narrative that avoids academic jargon, the book invites all kinds of readers to the world of 'euphoric sounds' that initially drew the author to this music...One of the most significant contributions of this study lies in its analysis of merengues's stylistic continuities and transformations. A jazz and merengue saxophonist himself since the 1980s, Austerlitz demonstrates a profound knowledge of how merengue 'works' musically, and a sharp ear in identifying significant stylistic characteristics and changes. His familiarity with the medium also gives him access to perceptions and value judgments of other musicians thereby enriching his analysis...The reader will be delighted with the sounds of all these voices integrated into a coherent historical account. Austerlitz also has an experienced voice. He has a riff that we want to go on hearing." --Mareia Quintero Rivera, The World of Music

From the Publisher

A fascinating examination of the social history of merengue dance music and its importance as a social and cultural symbol

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Michael J Webb on April 24, 2000
Format: Paperback
If you are looking for a quick yet thorough coverage of this topic then this is the book for you. It is a relatively short book, coming in at 167 pages (not including bibliography but including notes section), yet it covers the whole spectrum of the national music of the Dominican Republic.
Mr Austerlitz covers the beginnings of this music all the way through to its current state. It also spends time on Merengue's development during the Trujillo era (a particularly interesting topic to anyone who studies the Dominican Republic).
Mr Austerlitz also does a good job of addressing the sociological issues that arise from music and manages to blend well the merengue of the campo with that of the salon.
A good read and it even comes with a CD with some very good campo (country) merengue. If you are looking for merengue at its roots then this CD should please you.
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
1.Introduction
PART 1: THE HISTORY OF MERENGUE 1854-1961. 2. Nineteenth-Century Caribbean Merengue. 3. Merengue Cibaeno, Cultural Nationalism, and Resistance. 4. Music and the State: Merengue during the Era of Trujillo, 1930-1961.
PART 2: The Contemporary Era, 1961-1995. 5. Merengue in the Transnational Community. 6. Innovation and Social Issues in Pop Merengue. 7. Merengue on the Global Stage. 8. Enduring Localism. 9. Conclusion
Let me know if you found this useful.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 8, 1999
Format: Paperback
Enjoyed the insight into the history of Merengue and its cultural context. This book has a place on my bookshelf along with "The Latin Tinge" and "The Brazilian Sound."
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Carlos Russo on May 3, 2008
Format: Paperback
The book was brand new and was the one I needed for class. I couldn't find it in our book store, but luckily enough, amazon had it! Thanks!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By John S. Roberts on April 26, 2001
Format: Paperback
Up in Manhattan's Morningside Heights and its Dominican analogs all over the US, salsa is edged out by the magnificently manic beat of the merengue, whether stirred into Dominican rap and house (the most original as well as the least known versions of the genre) or in the tear-em-down accordion of Fefita La Grande. Austerlitz has all this and a lot more, all the way from the luckless Toma' back in the 1840s (read the book!)Austerlitz covers merengue from rural to hi-society in all its fierce joviality. Read this book and you'll know there's one good thing Trujillo did for the Dominican Republic!
John Storm Roberts
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