Music Around the World: A Global Encyclopedia

ABC-CLIO. 3 vols. 2020. 1,017p. ed. by ed. by Andrew R. Martin & Matthew Mihalka. ISBN 9781610694988. $319. REF
The carefully chosen title of this three-volume set clues readers in to the approach of editors Martin (Inver Hills Community Coll., MN) and Mihalka (Univ. of Arkansas). In the introduction, they discuss how world music, though intended to refer to all non-Western music, is a loaded term that doesn’t acknowledge intricacy. The editors note that Edward Said’s concept of Orientalism, or the Eurocentric tendency to fetishize Asian cultures, often also applies to Western perspectives on non-Western music. To combat this and to give their work nuance and depth, they ensure that entries are written by local experts as authors. Reflecting the interconnectedness of music cultures across locations, entries are listed alphabetically rather than geographically as in the extensive Garland Encyclopedia of World Music. While Garland could effectively be used by scholars from all levels, this work is most beneficial to early researchers, mostly high school or undergraduate students. The variety of entries ranging from people (Ravi Shankar), to places (Japan, the Marshall Islands), to instruments (accordion, bagpipes, banjo), to genres (Afrobeat, calypso) makes this work wide in scope; however, the entries themselves are often brief. Each includes further reading, usually a list of two to six resources. Occasional images and sidebars with relevant information can be found here.
VERDICT A successful dive into global music culture in an easy-to-digest format for beginner researchers.
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