Another Deeply Perceptive Music History from Ted Gioia
Ted Gioia is well-known to jazz readers and music scholars, thanks to his best-selling book The History of Jazz and his recent Healing Songs. He is noted for finely-tuned prose and an uncanny ability to get to the heart of the matter. A gifted pianist and composer, Gioia is a co-founder of Stanford Universitys program in Jazz Studies. His recorded discography includes End of the Open Road and Tango Cool.
Work Songs is his latest book a volume to cherish for its documentary insights. Here Gioia explores the role of music to transform society and the experience of work. Everywhere one turns there is music of some type. It is there an intricate part of our existence.
Gioia describes work songs from the prehistoric times to the present day. He makes an interesting study of the numerous rhythms and melodies found in individual vocations. His ability to synthesize an enormous amount of material for easy reading is remarkable.
Gioia's chapters divide along the lines of hunter cultivator herder thread and cloth the new rhythms of work seas and shore lumberjack miner and prisoner among others. His discussion on the labor movement is essential reading for all individuals who wish to understand the lifelong importance of music.
The introduction and the epilogue are brilliantly written pieces. The book also comes complete with end notes recommended listening a bibliography and an index.
Work Songs is alive with feeling and sensitivity. Though the subject may sound academic this material is by no means dry. The pages burst with intensity and emotion. Many thnks to Gioia for a fine book one that is both a scholar's delight and a reader's sweet dessert! Highly recommended.