Jamaican Folk Music - A Synthesis of Many Cultures

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This first in-depth study of the entire genre of Jamaican folk music illustrates the effect that acculturation has had. It contains nearly 200 musical examples, the majority of which are Jamaican, with some British and West African to illustrate comparative points made in the text. It is the largest comprehensive collection of Jamaican folk music covering all categories of the genre. An appraisal of the multifarious races which constitute the population of Jamaica enable comparisons to be made between the music contained in each of the categories with the ethnic musics of the peoples who make up the population. The study disagrees with several previously accepted prognoses, which were based on small samples in individual genres. In addition to the ethnic analysis, this study includes the categories of play, work, and religion.


". . . demonstrates Rouse’s diligence in assembling a collating a corpus of music sufficient I size and variety to enable valid conclusions to be drawn about the Jamaican acculturation process. Evidence that the music of the Maroons is the most diverse in the use of scales, and that the Phrygian mode is prominent in Myal songs, makes it thought-provoking. . . . a significant contribution to Jamaican thought and culture." Michael Burnett

Table of Contents

Table of contents:
Preface; Introduction
1. A Historical Perspective
2. Singing Games
3. Dance Songs
4. Jonkonnu
5. Anansi Stories
6. Work
7. Religion
8. The Music of the Maroons
9. Comparisons
10. Conclusion
Appendix; Bibliography; Index

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