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Songs, Dreamings, and Ghosts
The Wangga of North Australia
Allan Marett



Music/Culture

Wesleyan
2009 • 320 pp. 13 illus., 11 figs., 56 tables, 29 musical examples 7 x 10"
Music / Popular Culture / Anthropology

$34.95 Paperback, 978-0-8195-6934-9


2nd edition paperback

“The culmination of nearly twenty years of ethnomusicological research among the Aboriginal peoples of the Daly region of northwest Australia (Marri-tjevin and Marri-ammu... [continued in Reviews below]”—Michael Jackson, Journal of Folklore Research

A mesmerizing journey into the musical world of Australia’s Aboriginal people.

Aboriginal musicians receive songs both from an eternal realm known as The Dreaming and from the ghosts of deceased ancestors. Songs, Dreamings, and Ghosts is the first book-length study of wangga, a musical and ceremonial genre of Aboriginal people of the Daly Region of Northern Australia. This work is a labor of love, the culmination of nearly 20 years of field work and research by renowned ethnomusicologist Allan Marett, and represents the only comprehensive documentation of a single major genre of Aboriginal music. With first-hand, in-depth knowledge of Northwest Australia’s Aboriginal cultures, Marett provides the reader with a penetrating description and analysis of this compelling musical practice. This book makes a significant contribution to knowledge of Aboriginal studies, and provides a rare glimpse into relatively unknown traditions and cultures. It includes illustrations, musical examples, and links to a web-based virtual CD loaded with samples of this fascinating music, closely linked to the text, at http://www.wesleyan.edu/wespress/wanggacd/.

It includes illustrations, musical examples, and links to a web-based virtual CD loaded with samples of this fascinating music, closely linked to the text, at http://www.wesleyan.edu/wespress/wanggacd/.

Click here for TABLE OF CONTENTS

Reviews / Endorsements

"The culmination of nearly twenty years of ethnomusicological research among the Aboriginal peoples of the Daly region of northwest Australia (Marri-tjevin and Marri-ammu), this exemplary work extends and deepens our understanding of Aboriginal traditional song, while going a long way toward closing the gap between our scant knowledge of Aboriginal musical arts and our abundant knowledge of Aboriginal painting…Allan Marett is to be congratulated for his painstaking work in doing justice to the Aboriginal songmen whose work it is to keep their ancestral world alive."—Michael Jackson, Journal of Folklore Research

"This book…deserves the widest possible attention, not just because Marett is the doyen of Australian ethnomusicologists, and this is his masterwork, but because the art form he seeks to anatomise is dying."—Nicolas Rothwell, The Australian

"Marett provides a model for how to successfully integrate social and musical analysis, not just in the Australian context, but within ethnomusicology more generally… This book is admirably concise and efficient in its distillation of an enormous amount of information into 325 pages…Songs, Dreamings, and Ghosts is one of the finest books on Australian music published to date."—Steven Knopoff, The World of Music

“an intelligent and detailed look at and attitude towards music and performance outside Western traditions that really does a magnificent job of making the subject clear…a scholarly book, but…fascinating.” —Robert M. Tilendis, The Green Man Review

“In this brilliant and passionate book, Allan Marett reaches profound insights on Australian Aboriginal music through detailed analysis of the musical and linguistic features of many wangga songs, some of their accompanying dances, and the social and cosmological processes enacted through their performance.”—Anthony Seeger, professor of ethnomusicology, UCLA

“It is rare to find such a detailed and developed musical analysis in a single publication. This is a major advance on other ethnomusicological studies on Indigenous Australia and will become the new standard against which to judge subsequent contributions.”Stephen Wild, Graduate Convenor in Music, Australian National University

Awards/Recognition:

Winner of the Stanner Award from the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders Studies (2006)


Author Photo

A recognized authority on Aboriginal music and culture, ALLAN MARETT is a professor of musicology and director of the Centre for Music Research at the University of Sydney.



Wed, 2 Aug 2017 09:06:56 -0500