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Carriacou String Band Serenade
Performing Identity in the Eastern Caribbean
Rebecca S. Miller


2008 • 312 pp. 37 illus. 6 x 9"
Music / Latin American & Caribbean Studies

$49.95 Hardcover, 978-0-8195-6858-8

Rebecca S. Miller's ethnographic precision, her experience of performing with a variety of musicians in Carriacou, and her detailed musical transcriptions and analyses enable her... [continued in Reviews below]”—Stephen Stuempfle, Journal of Folklore Research

A Caribbean music festival as a window on social change

Every year, on a weekend before Christmas, the small Caribbean island of Carriacou, Grenada, holds its annual Parang Festival, featuring concerts, performances of local quadrille dance, Hosannah band (a cappella singing) competitions, and the climactic string band competition. Born in the years leading up to Grenada's 1979 Socialist Revolution, the Parang Festival today offers a vehicle for Carriacouans to articulate and assert a progressive understanding of local cultural identity as well as a regional, pan-Caribbean belonging. Rebecca S. Miller examines the varying impact that factors such as cultural ambivalence, globalization, and technology have had on the performance of Carriacou's folk and traditional music and dance forms. Using historical sources and current ethnography, she illuminates the enduring significance of the Parang Festival to illustrate the social and political history of Carriacou as well as this culture’s contemporary process of modernization. The book includes a web link allowing the reader to listen to a variety of musical examples.

Click here for TABLE OF CONTENTS

Reviews / Endorsements

“Rebecca S. Miller's ethnographic precision, her experience of performing with a variety of musicians in Carriacou, and her detailed musical transcriptions and analyses enable her to capture the complexity of musical form and meaning in this island community. Moreover, her enthusiasm for her subject matter and her crystal-clear prose will make the book a pleasure for students and general readers, as well as specialists.”Stephen Stuempfle, Journal of Folklore Research

Carriacou String Band Serenade is a valuable contribution to the ethnographic literature on music in the Caribbean. … Overall, this book provides an evocative ethnographic portrait of historically important musical traditions, many of which are on the brink of disappearance or transformation.”—Tina K. Ramnarine, Ethnomusicology

“A welcome addition to existing scholarship. Her thoughtful approach to the materials and detail of research make this book a particularly strong and exciting contribution. Miller creates an ethnography that meshes Carriacou’s string band tradition with the island’s complex political, social, and cultural history.”Nanette de Jong, New West Indian Guide

“Rebecca Miller has taken full advantage of her lengthy fieldwork—and her own experience as one of the only living exponents of Canute Caliste’s style of violin playing—to create the most complete study ever made of this historically important tradition.”—Donald R. Hill, professor of Africana/Latino studies and anthropology, SUNY College at Oneonta

“In this first ever study of Caribbean string band music, Rebecca Miller deftly weaves together political history and contemporary ethnography. Using Carriacou's Parang Festival as a lens, Miller examines issues of cultural identity in the context of political upheaval and globalization.”—Michael Largey, associate professor and Chair of Musicology, Michigan State University

Author Photo

REBECCA S. MILLER is an associate professor of music at Hampshire College, a public sector folklorist/documentary maker, and an accomplished traditional fiddler.

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 12:54:31 -0500