Glenn Buhr loves music so much he questions the unquestionable and reveres the irreverent, and we and music are better for it.
– Tom Allen, trombonist/author/CBC host
The essays explore the idea that music is social, and that it emerges organically in every society through social rituals, such as concerts, festivals, church, and simple singing. Music is a language, and like verbal language, it’s an essential quality of every culture.
The essays look at many of the world’s various musics – European classical music, American jazz, pop music, Jamaican reggae, East Indian classical music, contemporary music and sound art – from this perspective. The book looks at countries with successful musical legacies and compares them to countries, like Canada, who are only just emerging with a musical voice of their own.
Some of the writing is analytical. And some is anecdotal, drawing on the author’s experiences as a composer and conductor of symphonies and ballets, and his various tours of jazz and folk festivals as an improvisational pianist, guitarist and songwriter. Some essays are more philosophical, exploring the impact of music on our lives and the reason that music is elemental to every culture.
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