Music, Mind and Culture ~ Recommended Reading for November 2009

“…it is a principle of music to repeat the theme.  Repeat and repeat again, as the pace mounts.  The theme is difficult but no more difficult than the facts to be resolved.”  -from The Orchestra by William Carlos Williams (1954)


It is an interesting exercise trying to define “music.”  To say that life is better with music is misleading, for a life utterly void of it is difficult to imagine.  So much more than entertainment, music informs and expands every aspect of human life – from the rites we observe to mark significant passages to the subliminal sonic cues we’re bombarded with as we shop.  Though we’re all born into a world of familiar music, life can get considerably more interesting if we decide to explore the musically unfamiliar!

Our Recommended Reading shelf for November invites you to do just that.  A musical miscellany, the list is comprised of works from social, cultural, psychological, historic, philosophical, technical and artistic perspectives.  Also included are electronic books, websites, and a small sample of DVDs and CDs from the Media Collection.

So come to your Highline Library this month and get a groove on; or, as James Brown advised, “get up, step up; there it is baby…”


Music / Mind:

Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain by Oliver Sachs 781.115121m 2007

The Singing Neanderthals: the Origins of Music, Language, Mind, and Body by Steven Mithen 781.11M684s 2007

Music in Everyday Life by Tia DeNora 781.11D413m 2000

Music and Trance: a Theory of the Relations between Music and Possession by Gilbert Rouget 781.11R856m 1985

Emblems of Mind: The Inner Life of Music and Mathematics by Edward Rothstein 780.1R847e

Formalized Music: Thought and Mathematics in Composition by Iannis Xenakis 781.61X5f

The Acoustical Foundations of Music by John Backus 7681.1B126a

Music / Culture:

Global Noise: Rap and Hip-Hop outside the USA by Tony Mitchell 782.421649 G562 2001

Cuba and its Music: from the First Drums to the Mambo by Ned Sublette 780.97291S941c 2004

Jamaican Warriors: Reggae, Roots and Culture by Stephen Foehr 781.646F654j 2000

Barrio Rhythm: Mexican American Music in Los Angeles by Steven Loza 781.7L925b

African Rhythm and African Sensibility: Aesthetics and Social Action in African Musical Idioms by John Chernoff 780.96C521a

African Music: a People’s Art by Francis Bebey 780.96B387a

The Music of the Arabs by Habib Hassan Touma 781.62927T725m 1996

The Ragas of North India by Walter Kaufmann 781.754K21r

The Life of Music in North India: the Organization of an Artistic Tradition by Daniel Neuman 781.754N489L

The Traditional Music of Japan by Shigeo Kishibe 781.752K61t

A Guide to the Gamelan by Neil Sorrell 780.9598S714g

A History of Norwegian Music by Nils Grinde 780.9481G866h

Testimony: The Memoirs of Dmitri Shostakovich by Solomon Volkov (Ed.) 785.092s559t

The Beatles Anthology by the Beatles 782.1660922B369 2000

Ethnomusicology and Modern Music History by Stephen Blum, Philip V. Bohlman, Daniel M. Neuman (Eds.) 781.72E74

Native Americans:

War Dance: Plains Indian Musical Performance by William Powers 781.6297301554P888w 1990

The Indians’ Book: Songs and Legends of the American Indians by Natalie Curtis (Ed.) 781.6297073C978 1968


America’s Musical Life: a History by Richard Crawford 780.973C899a 2005

The Land Where Blues Began by Alan Lomax 784.53L839L

Lost Sounds: Blacks and the Birth of the Recording Industry, 1890-1919 by Tim Brooks 781.49 B873L 2005

Race Music: Black Cultures from Bebop to Hip-Hop by Guthrey Ramsey 781.64R183r 2003

The Rough Guide to Hip-Hop by Peter Shapiro 782.421649 S529r 2005

Doo Wop: The Forgotten Third of Rock n’ Roll by Anthony Gribin 784.54G846d

“The Whorehouse Bells Were Ringing” and Other Songs Cowboys Sing by Guy Logsdon 782.42164W628 1989

In the Country of Country by Nicholas Dawidoff 781.642D268i 1998

Creating Country Music: Fabricating Authenticity by Richard Peterson 781.642P485c

Hole in Our Soul: the Loss of Beauty and Meaning in American Popular Music by Martha Bayles 780.42B358H


A New History of Jazz by Alyn Shipton 781.6509S557n 2007

Lush Life: a Biography of Billy Strayhorn by David Hajdu 781.65092S913h 1997

Thinking in Jazz: the Infinite Art of Improvisation by Paul Berliner 781.B515t 1994


The Complete Annotated Gilbert and Sullivan by Ian Bradley (Ed.) 782.12S949c 1996

Opera: A Pictorial Guide by Quaintance Eaton 782.E14o

The Standard Operaglass; containing the detailed plots of one hundred forty-one celebrated operas, with critical and biographical remarks, dates, etc. by Charles Annesley 782.13A614s 1905

Unique Instruments:

The Musical Arts of Ancient China – Exhibition Catalog 784.1907431M987 2001

Genesis of a Music: an Account of a Creative Work, its Roots and Fulfillments by Harry Partch 780.92P273S

Simple Folk Instruments to Make and to Play by Ilene Hunter and Marilyn Judson 781.91H945s

Notes on the page:

Complete Preludes, Books 1 and 2 by Claude Debussy 784.18928D289c 1989

Complete Preludes and Etudes by Frederick Chopin 784.18928C549c 1998

Electronic Books

Recording Engineer’s Handbook by Bobby Owsinski

2005 – Online – Electronic Book

Small Tech: the Culture of Digital Tools by Byron Hawk, David M. Rieder, and Ollie Oviedo (Eds.)

2008 – Online – Electronic Book

The Music Tech Dictionary: a Glossary of Audio-related Terms and Technologies by Mitch Gallagher

2009 – 786.703 Online – Electronic Book

Composition for Computer Musicians by Michael Hewitt

2009 – Online – Electronic Book

It All Begins with the Music: Developing Successful Artists and Careers for the New Music Business by Don Grierson and Dan Kimpel

2009 – Online – Electronic Book

Rocking Your Music Business: Run Your Music Business at Home and on the Road by Simon Cann

2009 – 780.23 Online – Electronic Book

Righting Wrongs in Writing Songs by Danny Cope

2009 – Online – Electronic Book

Art of Teaching Music by Estelle R. Jorgensen

2008 – 780.71 Online – Electronic Book

Music, Informal Learning and the School: a New Classroom Pedagogy by Lucy Green

2008 – 780.712 Online – Electronic Book

Film Music by Paul Tonks

2001 – 781.542 Online – Electronic Book

Global Bollywood: Travels of Hindi Song and Dance by Sangita Gopal and Sujata Moorti (Eds.)

2008 – Online – Electronic Book

Music in the Life of the African Church by Roberta R. King with Jean Ngoya Kidula, James R. Krabill, and Thomas Oduro

2008 – 264/.2096 Online – Electronic Book

Blues Traveling: the Holy Sites of Delta Blues by Steve Cheseborough

2009 – 781.64309762 Online – Electronic Book

78 Blues: Folksongs and Phonographs in the American South by John Minton

2008 – 781.640975 Online – Electronic Book

Subversive sounds: Race and the Birth of Jazz in New Orleans by Charles Hersch

2007 – 781.65/20976335 Online – Electronic Book

Power stronger than itself: the AACM and American Experimental Music by George E. Lewis

2008 – 781.6506/077311 Online – Electronic Book

Music Therapy and Traumatic Brain Injury: a Light on a Dark Night by Simon Gilbertson and David Aldridge

2008 – Online – Electronic Book

Sounding Out the City: Personal Stereos and the Management of Everyday Life by Michael Bull

2000 – 303.483 Online – Electronic Book

The Defense of Tradition in Brazilian Popular Music: Politics, Culture and the Creation of Música Popular Brasileira by Sean Stroud

2008 – 781.640981 Online – Electronic Book

Dance of Life: Popular Music and Politics in Southeast Asia by Craig A. Lockard

1998 – 306.4/84 Online – Electronic Book

Flamenco: Passion, Politics, and Popular Culture by William Washabaugh

1996 – 781.62/610468 Online – Electronic Book

Music, Body, and Desire in Medieval Culture: Hildegard of Bingen to Chaucer by Bruce W. Holsinger

2001 – 780/.9/02 Online – Electronic Book


Native American Music:

Infography of Native American Music:

Omaha Indian Music:

Inuit Throat Singing:

The Phonograph Turntable and Performance Practice in Hip Hop Music:

Ernesto’s Tango Page:

Arab Music (in 4 parts):

Music in the Afghan North 1967-1972:

Traditional Iranian Dastgâh Music:

Turkish Music:

West African Djembe Drums:

Mbira (Shona music of Zimbabwe):

The Traditional Music and Cultures of Kenya:

Afropop Worldwide:

Traditional Music of the Ethnic Minorities on the Philippine Islands:

University of Washington Libraries Ethnomusicology / World Music Subject Guide:


The Worlds of Mei Lanfang – 782.10951092 L268 2000

Raga – a Deben Bhattacharya Production – 781.264 R141 2004

Make It Funky! – 781.65 M235 2005

Voices of Forgotten Worlds – 781.62 V889


The Art of Persian Music – Jean During, Zia Mirabdolbaghi – 780.955 A784 CD

Ragas – Ustad Ali Akbar Khan – 781.69 K45

Ghana: Ancient Ceremonies, Songs & Dance Music – 781.69667 G411

Shakuhachi: The Japanese Flute – 781.6961 M685s

Korean Court Music – 781.69095 K95k

Tibet: Buddhist Chant – 781.7 T553

Star Time – James Brown – 781.644 B878s 1991

Miles Davis & John Coltrane: the Complete Columbia Recordings 1955-1961 – 781.65 D263m 2004

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