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Volume 58 / Humanities

MUSIC


ALFRED E. LEMMON, Director Assistant Professor, Music, Williams Research Center, Historic New Orleans Collection


THE WORKS ON CENTRAL AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN selected for review this biennium reflect a healthy trend in the development of the region's musicological studies. The appearance of a luxurious edition of colonial music, published in a format and style usually reserved for scholarly editions of the European masters, is a milestone. Compilers of colonial music anthologies have frequently seen superb work appear in less than ideal formats and, therefore, the publication of Robert Snow's A New-World Collection of Polyphony for Holy Week and the Salve Service: Guatemala City, Cathedral Archive, Music MS 4 should be celebrated (item #bi 98010764#), as should the efforts of others who have labored to create scholarly editions of Latin American colonial music.

Articles on Latin American music continue to appear in a wide variety of journals. The essay of Alfred E. Lemmon and John A. Crider in Mesoaméerica is a reflection of the journal's willingness to publish essays on Central American music with some regularity (item #bi 98010762#). The editors of American Music should likewise be commended for including the essays by Warren R. Pinckney, Jr. dealing with Barbados and the Virgin Islands (items #bi 99009719# and #bi 99009718#). The growing inclination of journals to accept articles on musical topics indicates that solid research is being conducted on the region.

It is heartening to see colonial music of the Caribbean and Central America receiving attention from performance groups, and equally encouraging to see the subsequent appearance of superb recordings. The Exaudi Choir of Cuba, under the direction of María Felicia Peréz, was featured in two recordings of Esteban Salas (1725-1803) on the Jade label. Cuban Baroque Sacred Music: Esteban Salas (Jade 35808-2) and Un Barroco Cubano del Siglo SVIII: Esteban Salas (Jade 35746-2) are superior recordings of excellent music. They reflect the renewed interest in Salas seen in Robert Stevenson's Inter-American Music Review essay (item #bi 99009717#) and Victoria Eli Rodríguez's article in Revista Musical de Venezuela (item #bi 99004468#).

The growing number of scholars in the Caribbean and Central America with appropriate academic credentials is a welcome trend. Olive Lewin's article "The UMH Contribution to the English, French, and Dutch-Speaking Caribbean," presented at the 15th Congress of the International Musicological Society and published in Revista de Musicología (see HLAS 56:4724) documents this tendency and examines the impact of "The Universe of Music: A History," a project of UNESCO's International Music Council. The project is the work of authors native to the Caribbean and has helped to stimulate musicological research in the region.

The sheer volume of material, together with its increasingly high quality, is welcome. Also promising is the wide range of music currently under study, from art music to folk music to popular music. In light of this surge of interest in musical topics, it is encouraging that reprints of exemplary works are newly available, for example, Fernando Ortiz's trilogy concerning the Afro-Cuban musical experience (item #bi 97017986#).

The number of entries selected for HLAS 58, slightly greater than in previous years, is an indication of the strength of current research and the number of publications issued on the music of Central America and the Caribbean. While it was impossible to include each work published this biennium, an attempt was made to ensure equal representation of topics and regions.


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