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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on November 12, 1997
Format: Paperback
This book is great!!!! This book provides the only transcription of sacred rhythms of Santeria I have been able to find. The transcriptions are accurate. The authors are also very respectful of the religious nature of the music. This book is useful for both musicians and non-musicians.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on August 8, 2002
Format: Paperback
Having been a student of Amira's, and having travelled to Cuba several times, I know a little about what this book means for people who study Afro-Cuban sacred rhythms. Cornelius is also a drummer and ethnomusicologist.
This book is accurate, interesting, and extremely informative. But it is a shame that Amazon doesn't carry the CD that goes with this book--it is a clearly laid out study of the most important rhythms. I have known some drummers who grew up playing in Havana to get excited when they heard this recording, and ask to play specific sections over again to study them in detail.
This book is satisfying to all levels--from the beginner who wants to start learning a little about the rhythms, to the advanced scholar who is ready to dive into the details. The authors are completely trustworthy sources of information and this is a work of devotion and years of study.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on April 15, 2003
Format: Paperback
This is a great book for learning about the music of santeria, but it has some short comings as far as TEACHING how to play the bata drums. This book covers historical background, musical structure and provides notations for many traditional bata songs. I would not consider it to be an instructional book.
My book came with a CD, which is perhaps the best recording I have been able to find of traditional bata drumming (most discs have vocals with the drumming that make it difficult to specifically concentrate on the drums). This disc consists of recordings of specific songs being performed on bata drums.
I wish that the CD would have broken up the parts for the indivdual drums to make that easier to hear. I would also have liked to have some instructional demonstrations on the disc to hear various techniques of playing the bata drums. The text is also weak on instructional techniques for the drums with only 9 photographs and 1 page of text dedicated to teaching technique. There is no discussion or demonstration for the use of bata drums with contemporary music. I realize that this is not the intention of this book, and apparently teaching technique is not either. (I sure would like to find a book dealing with these issues!)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on April 17, 2008
Format: Paperback
I agree with everyone who loves this book, which combines the historical scholarship of Fernando Ortiz with careful transcriptions of New York-based bata drummers, including Jesus Perez, Julio Collazo, and Puntilla.

This book is all rhythms, marvelous if you are a drummer or other musician, do not get this if you are looking for a history of santeria.

This book DOES include the CD, which is indispensable for learning the rhythms. There is only one ISBN for the BOOK/CD set, which is 0-941677-70-2. If your copy doesn't contain the CD, return it for one that does, and do NOT buy the CD from dealers who try to sell it separately for as much as $200 on Amazon marketplace and elsewhere.

Happy drumming!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on October 27, 1998
Format: Paperback
The book did what I was looking for to do in regard to the bata drumming styles and rhythms. This is the real timimg of the Yoruba-Nigerian and Cuban expressions of the bata drums. I hope it would had the same effect on you as it did to me. Even if you are not a musician or just love community drumming the bata rhythms are the original trive toques(Spanish)of the Afro-Caribean Cuban Santeros and the Latinos Musicians that used them in Salsa Music of today.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on October 12, 2014
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
This book and CD are just useless...music notation reading is for extremely highly advance player who are extremely great at reading music...the CD quality is terrible...Another reason why one must study Bata in Cuba and not the USA..
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