Songcatchers - In Search Of The Worlds Music
June 18, 2015
On March 15, 1890, ethnographer Jesse Walter Fewkes walked out onto a field in Calais, Maine, and, pumping a foot treadle for power, recorded a Passamaquoddy Indian singing a salutation song. The first field recording of traditional music ever made, the song he captured was heard around the world, creating a revolution in music that continues today. In Songcatchers, we trace the adventures of these field recordists, as well as my own new additions.
At the same time, we tell the story of the extraordinary developments in technology that made sound capturing possible: How sound waves were first imprinted in wax, then how electric microphones, radio, and other inventions changed the world soundscape. And how, with the advent of computers and the digital age, a recordist can now walk into a remote corner of the globe with nothing more than a pocket-size digital recorder, a few batteries, and a microphone, and capture the world of the rain forest - its peoples, animals, and spirit - for tens of thousands of listeners to appreciate.
What readers are saying, courtesy of Amazon.com;
"This book bowled me over in a couple of ways.It really convinced me that all music is important and precious.That goes for Hank Williams singing "The First Fall of Snow",Woody Guthrie singing Philadelphia Lawyer,Elvis singing "Love Me Tender",Sinatra singing "New York,New York",Patty Reilly singing "The Town I Love So Well",the music of the Rain Forest,regional and tribal music from around the world, and even my son's Rock." ~ J. Guild
"...lest anyone misunderstand the depth and scope of Mr. Hart's broad musical background, this book should be considered essential reading. He has painstakingly researched and documented recorded music in a way that I quite honestly never considered in any formal way. Best of all, he's illuminated the historical process and power of recorded music on a global platform, all-the-while presenting it in the most readble and accessible manner. I believe this is the best of Mr. Hart's many outstanding books on music. No wonder he works for the Smithsonian. Scholarly, yes. Boring, not for a single word." ~ D. Sean Brickell
"I want to start by saying that the merits of this book certainly make it worth owning for those with an interest in ethnomusicology and/or field recording. It's packed full of fascinating information, riveting images and passionate pleas for the conservation of music and culture." ~Josh B.
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