Category Archives: Book Reviews

The Rough Guide to Irish Music

The Rough Guide to Irish Music
The Rough Guide to Irish Music
The Rough Guide to Irish Music is a thick 560 page, pocket-sized book. Written by Geoff Wallis and Sue Wilson, it has a brief introduction about Irish music and its roots. There is a chapter dedicated to music styles, where the authors describe some of the most important categories in Irish music: reels, jigs, hornpipes, and marches.

Most of the book is dedicated to biographies of Irish musicians, listed by instrument. At the end of the book there is a great resources section with listing of Irish festivals, schools, organizations, record shops and media. ISBN 1-85828-642-5

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The Rough Guide to Cuban Music

The Rough Guide to Cuban Music
The Rough Guide to Cuban Music
The Rough Guide to Cuban Music, written by Philip Sweeney,  is part of the pocket sized books published by Rough Guides. This specialized guide serves as complement to the larger Rough Guides to World Music.

Seeeney’s book has 350 pages. The first part of the book focuses on the origin of the peoples that now live in Cuba and the music their ancestors brought with them. It explains how both Spanish and African influences gave form to today’s Cuban music. The book gives special attention to some of the key musical forms in Cuba: son, bolero and trova. It also details how Cuban sounds influenced musicians from other countries.

Since this is a new book and not a reprint, the history of Cuban music reaches up to the end of the 20th century so it is very current. Most of the key figures in Cuban music are listed, with biographies and discographies, although many of the discographies are incomplete. There is also a short glossary of Cuban musical terms. ISBN 1-85828-761-8.

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