Cuba and Its Music: From the First Drums to the Mambo Hardcover – May 1, 2004
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From Publishers Weekly
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- Item Weight : 2.33 pounds
- Hardcover : 688 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1556525168
- ISBN-13 : 978-1556525162
- Dimensions : 6 x 1.64 x 9 inches
- Publisher : Chicago Review Press; First Edition (May 1, 2004)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,608,575 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Ned Sublette explains why in his marvelous book. I find myself pouring over passages, rereading and underlining and making notes to myself in the back. I can't take a lot of this at one time. I'll put the book down to pick it up a week later and end up rereading what I'd already read. The prospect of getting all the way to the end of it fills me with joy and dread at the same time. It's not that it's densely written: on the contrary, it's some of the clearest, easiest to read scholarly writing I've ever run across (and that's a lot, by the way).
The book is not for everyone. You have to like music, for starters. Then, it would be good if you enjoy learning about how musical styles originate, travel, and influence other styles. Cuba has been a true melting pot for many of the world's musical traditions, and most have made their way to this country, through New Orleans, through New York, and by other means, to the point that its influence is discernible in almost every popular American genre today. Sublette has traced these influences in the most careful and understandable way, and the result is enlightenment on every single page.
Now I hear that Sublette has another book out on the musical cultures and history of New Orleans. This is wonderful news even if it means I'll spend the next five years finishing both volumes. Amazon won't let me review a book twice, so I won't be able to comment on the latter parts of Cuba and Its Music here. Maybe I'll be able to mention it when I finally report on The World that Made New Orleans: From Spanish Silver to Congo Square.
Because I admire and particularly enjoy multidisciplinary cultural histories, Sublette's book is a feast. His explorations are ours. You will be fascinated, and you will be delighted. The book is an education. Buy it.