No-Nonsense Guide to World Music

No-Nonsense Guide to World Music

By Louise Gray


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“World music” is an awkward phrase. Used to describe the hugely multifaceted nature of a range of, typically, non-English language popular musics from the world over, it’s a tag that throws up as many problems as it does solutions.

Louise Gray’s No-Nonsense Guide to World Music attempts to go behind the phrase to explore the reasons for the contemporary interest in world music: who listens to it and why? Through chapters that focus on specific areas of music, such as rembetika, fado, trance music and new folk, it explores the genres that have emerged from marginalized communities, music from conflict zones, and music as a form of escapism.

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Louise Gray confronts [the issues] with unflinching intelligence, insight, fairness, and a keen awareness of how politics, cultural and contextual differences, fantasies and more prosaic expectations must be taken into account before this remarkable story can be fully understood.

– David Toop, musician, author and sound curator


Foreword by David Toop
Chapter 1 Inventing World Music
Chapter 2 Music on the Margins
Chapter 3 Discord and Disharmony
Chapter 4 Looking for the Blues: Authentic Misery
Chapter 5 Lost in Music: Ecstatic Visions
Chapter 6 Whose Song Is it Anyway?
Chapter 7 Lift Up Your Voice