The Latin American Songbook in the Twentieth Century provides a contextual analysis of musical practices as an expression of identity in Argentina, Chile, and Brazil. Garcia (history and social history, Paulista State Univ., Brazil) sustains her analysis with solid ethnographic and historical data that reveal how and why songs have emerged and their stylistic and functional evolution, as products of specific cultures that define the perimeter within which music evolved. The book is an excellent model of ethnographic and ethnomusicological analysis, and the information it provides reveals the hidden social roles of songs in their respective context, in time and space. Garcia structures the book in two. . . sections. Part 1, “From Folklore to Mass Media,” comprises seven chapters devoted to folk music traditions from Argentina, Chile, and Brazil, highlighting the characteristics that identify the songs with their respective country. In part 2, “The Militant Song in Latin America" (two chapters), the author outlines the role of militant songs in various political movements. All this is written in language accessible to all readers. The book closes with a generous reference list.
Summing Up: Recommended. Graduate students, researchers, faculty.