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Guthrie P Ramsey Jrs book Race Music is an intensive study of African American music post World War II The entire book is profoundly informed by the authors experience as an accomplished musician a cultural theorist and musical enthusiast I have found very little to negatively critique about this book being that it is so well researched and well-organized The author steers clear of any cryptic language despite the fact that the book is probably read mostly by scholars of music theory and African American studies a point he later brings up Race Music explores the global influence and popularity of African American music its social relevance and the various interpretations of former and present scholars Ramsey explains that his book is not a sequential and historical study of African American music This is not a comprehensive strictly chronological study of African American popular music Rather it is a meditation on the interpretation and criticism of various aspects of history Ramsey xi Ramsey provides a thorough analysis of several genres of African American music He explains how jazz rhythm and blues and gospel are unique and grounded in their own conventions and performance practices but how they are all also connected by similar techniques and conceptual structure recognized within traditional African American music Ramsey also profiles three musicians essential to the development and popularity of African American music Dinah Washington Louis Jordan and Cootie Williams Race Music is a well documented powerful and multi-faceted book Ramsey provides a dynamic framework for rethinking African American music and the history and culture that infused its formation Toward a Cultural Poetics of Race Music Ramsey with the opening of his book brings into thought the idea of cultural memory by using a quote by Samuel A Floyd Jr author of The Power of Black Music a book he later explains in greater detail Cultural memory obviously a subjective concept seems to be connected with cultural forms -
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