Tuesday, September 29, 2009

English and American Folk Music (book review)

English and American Folk Music, by Richard Carlin, is an in-depth description of the methods and history of the musical genre we call "folk music". Carlin discusses the roots of the music, the different types, and the music theory behind it. We learn how it was passed from Europe to America, and how African-Americans added their own unique flavor to it. We travel to Louisiana to learn about Cajun and Creole dances, to Texas to learn about the unique Mexican-American music known as Tex-Mex, and are introduced to many famous musicians along the way.

If you want to learn about folk music, this is definitely the book to read. It was in-depth and descriptive, but not boring. However, in Chapter 8 the printing went wrong and a few of the paragraphs were switched around, leaving sentences hanging off into space and having words pop up at inopportune moments in the book. It's too bad, too, because that looked to be the most interesting chapter!

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