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Merengue Dominican Music and Dominican Identity by Paul Austerlitz

Merengue Dominican Music and Dominican Identity


Merengue Dominican Music and Dominican Identity by Paul Austerlitz

A fascinating examination of the social history of merengue dance music and its importance as a social and cultural symbol


This book points the way toward that ideal zone of understanding. Austerlitz is a leading scholar of merengue. But he wears his erudition lightly. Through all the exposition he remains a buen elemento, able to pick up a sax and play merengue with hes peers. His informants clearly consider him a colleague and share with him aesthetic judgements and considerations... The message of merengue, like rap, mambo, samba, and dancehall, ultimately may boil down to this: subvert the threat of a posthominid future with collective honesties of sweat and motion. --Robert Farris Thompson, from the Foreword In a well written and organized narrative that avoids academic jargon, the book invites all kinds of readers to the world of 'euphoric sounds
that initially drew the author to this music

...One of the most significant contributions of this study lies in its analysis of merengues's stylistic continuities and transformations. A jazz and merengue saxophonist himself since the 1980s, Austerlitz demonstrates a profound knowledge of how merengue 'works
musically, and a sharp ear in identifying significant stylistic characteristics and changes. His familiarity with the medium also gives him access to perceptions and value judgments of other musicians thereby enriching his analysis

...The reader will be delighted with the sounds of all these voices integrated into a coherent historical account. Austerlitz also has an experienced voice. He has a riff that we want to go on hearing. --Mareia Quintero Rivera, The World of Music

About the Author

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Book Info

Publication date

1st December 1996


Paul Austerlitz

More books by Paul Austerlitz
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Temple University Press,U.S.


216 pages


Light orchestral & big band music
Cultural studies



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