New Internationalist books and publications


A mapping of the world's rich and ever-changing musical landscape . . . fascinating and thoroughly informative. - Jocelyn Pook, composer.

At a mere 45,000 words, the concision of this aptly titled _No-Nonsense Guide_ is one of its most admirable qualities. Yet the work is in no way slight, for Gray packs in more cogent argument and intelligent observation than less disciplined writers manage in tomes of two or three time the length. - Nigel Williamson, journalist .

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Louise Gray confronts 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.

Gray has well-tuned political antennae, and, unlike many writers on World Music, has some broad sense of what is currently going on beyond the confines of the latest record label press release, including an awareness of radical and experimental work. - Clive Bell, The Wire.

In the course of a handful of pages, Gray's perceptive grasp of shared experiences smoothly takes us from Tuvan throat singers to Steve Reich via alan Lomax, Robert Johnson and Tinariwen. Contrivance is avoided. - Nige Tassell, music journalist.

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? It looks at genres, such as fado and rembetika, that emerged from marginalized communities; and engages with trance music, hiphop, national anthems and new folk.

It also probes the dark side – the role that music plays in conflict from Rwanda to the Middle East. But ultimately, this unique guide, which combines the seduction of sound with politics and social issues, makes the case for music as a powerful tool to bring people together.

About the Author: Louise Gray is a writer and editor whose work on music and performing arts has appeared in the New Internationalist, The Wire, The Independent on Sunday, The Guardian and Art Review. She co-edited Sound and the City (British Council, 2007), a book exploring the changing sound-world of China.

Format: Paperback
Dimensions: 180 x 110mm
Page extent: 192
Publication date: April 2009
ISBN-13: 978-1-906523-12-1

Date added: July 30, 2010

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