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Bender offers the first cultural history of modern
African music. He describes the whole range of African
musical genres—from the Senegambian/Manding style
through Congolese soukous, Cameroonian makossa, West
African Highlife, and the music of struggle and
liberation of South Africa—and locates each in its
social, political, and historical context. Sweet
Mother contains information available in no other
single source, including an extensive discography and
"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.
Text: English (translation)
Original Language: German
In six broad chapters, Bender (African studies, Univ. of Mainz) covers contemporary music making in all of black Africa, with sociopolitical commentary that complements the information in Ronnie Graham's Da Capo Guide to Contemporary African Music ( LJ 7/88). Theoretical terminology is reserved for an appendix, though the traditional concern of ethnomusicology with how music enculturates is the real focus of Bender's book: music used as a political tool of current governments; as a cultural force (for "Negritude" in Senegal or "nation building" in Tanzania, for example); as an educational messenger (the griot tradition); as an expression of liberation (South Africa); and so on. A wide-ranging discussion of specific musicians, bands, and songs as well as general practices is included. Despite a rather wooden style, this book belongs in most music libraries.
- Bonnie Jo Dopp, Dist. of Columbia P.L.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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