The Rough Guide to World Music is the unchallenged reference work on sounds from around the globe. This third edition is more comprehensive than ever - updated and expanded throughout and with a number of new countries added. Volume 1: Africa & Middle East has full coverage of genres from Afrobeat to Arabesque, and artists from Amadou & Mariam to Umm Kulthum. The book includes articles on more than 60 countries written by expert contributors, discographies for each article with biographical notes on thousands of musicians and reviews of their best CDs.
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It's fitting that this new edition of the Rough Guide to World Music coincides with the start of a new millennium, for it deals with the oldest and newest music in the world - from centuries-old traditions to contemporary fusions. It includes the most sacred and profound music and the most frivolous and risquŽ, music of healing, music of protest, the loudest music you'll ever hear, the softest and most intimate, and maybe also the most moving and enjoyable.
The Guide sets itself a clearly impossible task: to document and explain the popular, folk and (excluding the Western canon) classical music traditions around the globe. However, since the first edition appeared in 1994 it has been the chief handbook for enthusiasts and become a resource for those working in and around the World Music business itself. In producing a new edition we were aware of omissions and shortcomings in the first edition and we have added many new pieces on countries that weren't covered before - France, Germany, Italy, Iran, Israel, Angola, Mozambique, Burundi and Uganda, to name a handful in this volume. Other articles were expanded, revised and rewritten; Scandinavia, for example, turned from one piece into five, as did the former Yugoslavia.
In addition, the new edition reflects the huge expansion of the whole World Music market over the past five years. There are more concerts and festivals than ever before - and many would say that there is actually a surfeit of CDs. In preparing this edition, we surveyed the lot, completely overhauling our discographies, adding biographical entries for artists, and reviewing and highlighting the best discs available.
That's the main reason why this new edition of the Rough Guide is not one book, but two: this volume covers Africa, Europe and the Middle East, while Volume Two has the Americas, Asia and the Pacific. Even with two books, each volume has turned out longer than the entire first edition.
The articles - from more than eighty contributors - are designed to provide the background to each country's music styles, explaining how they relate to history, social customs, politics and identity, as well as highlighting the lives and sounds of the singers and musicians. We hope you'll find this enriches the whole experience of listening to World Music.
How this book works
This volume is divided into three geographical sections: Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Within each section the entries are arranged alphabetically by country or by ethnic group (for instance the entries on Gypsy, Jewish Sephardic, Kurdish and Pygmy music). There are running heads and an index to help you find your way.
Our discographies follow the arrangment of each article and when it makes things clearer by style (for example, Nigeria has sections for Traditional, Juju, Fuji, Highlife, and Afro-beat). Compilations are listed first and artists follow (listed A-Z), with a brief biography and reviews of their key discs.
Each section has one or two 'star discs' which are indicated by a larger than usual CD symbol ( p). These are the ones to buy first. All other selections are preceded by a CD (p), cassette (A) or vinyl (V) symbol: those specified as cassette or vinyl are not available on CD but worth checking out all the same. To avoid any conflict of interest, as some of our contributors are professionally involved with bands or record labels, the selections are the responsibility of the editors. In the directories at the end of the book we've included addresses and websites of the most important record labels releasing the music featured in this volume, as well as the best specialist shops to track down CDs.
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