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Retention and Preservation of African Roots in Jamaican Folk Music

:: 14 Works Cited
Length: 4205 words (12 double-spaced pages)
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Retention and Preservation of African Roots in Jamaican Folk Music


Amid tens of thousands of volumes in this library collection at UVM, the "silence" is in fact a low hum issuing from the vents. I read essay upon essay, ideas and histories of ideas, until I pause in a pensive moment. A thick green binding breaks my meditation. A title, The Power of Sound, fills my mind with music. I consider the power of words.

The music issuing from the Caribbean island of Jamaica has for decades — and many contend longer — broadcast a uniquely Jamaican identity. This personality arises from a complex intermingling of diverse cultures, unforgivable power structures, passionate religious expressions, not to mention the late twentieth century pressures of global capitalism. Though many characters both principle and complimentary have passed away amid this cultural evolution, a musical lineage bears witness to the island’s history.

This study will focus on cultural themes in Jamaica’s colonial history which contributed to the retention of distinctively African forms of musical expre...

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... 1954).

Rattray, Robert Sutherland. Ashanti (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1923).

Roberts, John Storm. Black Music of Two Worlds (Trivoli, New York: Original Music, 1972).

Stewart, Gary. Rumba on the River, a history of the popular music of the two Congos (London: Verso, 2000).

Waterman, Christopher A. "The Uneven Development of Africanist Ethnomusicology: Three Issues and a Critique" in Comparative Musicology and Antrhropology of Music edited by Bruno Nettl and Philip V. Bohlman (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1991), pp. 169-186.

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