Review Of "The Unity Of Music And Dance In World Cultures" By D. Akombo

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Akombo (ethnomusicology and music education, Jackson State Univ.) has written previously on African music, music education, music therapy, and music and medicine. Oriented around what the author believes to be the complementary and interlocking relationship between music and dance, the present book provides an overview, not an in-depth investigation. Using too-brief and sometimes reductive examples from 38 different cultural contexts, Akombo outlines various ways music and dance can coexist. These examples include historical and contemporary practices from Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe, and the South Pacific. Some discussions, e.g., those of specific music and dance traditions in various African cultures, provide sufficient detail; readers can easily discover how to delve further. Others, of Afghan traditions for example, lack of specificity, which leads to generalizations that do not serve the author’s intent. Overall, the information regarding music and cultural context is more consistent and useful than that concerning dance. Each chapter includes bibliographic references. This book could be a supplemental resource for students new to world music. Summing Up: Optional. Lower-division undergraduates.


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