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Author Topic: The Blues: A Very Short Introduction (OUP)  (Read 1145 times)

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Offline Bunker Hill

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The Blues: A Very Short Introduction (OUP)
« on: September 01, 2010, 01:42:25 AM »
Elijah Wald keeps knocking them out:

The Blues: A Very Short Introduction
Oxford University Press, 2010

Offline dj

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Re: The Blues: A Very Short Introduction (OUP)
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2011, 03:29:43 PM »
This is a very short book: 123 pages, plus 3 pages of notes, 3 pages of recommended reading, and an index.  It probably won't impart any startlingly new knowledge to anyone who is hanging around Weenie Campbell and reading this.  Covering 90 years of recorded music in just over 100 pages, The Blues: A Very Short Introduction necessarily touches only on the highlights and major artists of any blues style.  Still, for someone who's encountering the music this can be a valuable book.  I wish it had been available c. 1968 when I was a blues newbie.  Wald's introduction to the blues is particularly worthwhile for two reasons.  First, in his introductory chapter, Wald makes clear that "the blues" means different things at different times to different people: blues is an emotional state, or a musical form, or an expression of a particular culture, or a commercial marketing category, or a combination of two or more of the above.  Second, Wald makes the perceptive comment that our view of blues and old-time/country as separate musics, one white and one black, owes mainly to peculiarities of American history and the marketing needs engendered by these peculiarities, and that absent the above, we would likely not be as certain as we are today of the racial characteristics of the music.  (Dang, I wish I could find the actual citation of this - Wald puts it so much better than I do).       

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