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Preview โ€” Folk Music by Mark Slobin. Written by award-winning musicologist Mark Slobin, this is the first compact introduction to folk music that offers a truly global perspective. Slobin offers an extraordinarily generous portrait of folk music, one that embraces a Russian wedding near the Arctic Circle, a group song in a small rainforest village in Brazil, and an Uzbek dance tune in Afghanistan.

He looks in detail at three poignant songs from three widely separated regions--northern Afghanistan, Jewish Eastern Europe, and the Anglo-American world--with musical notation and lyrics included. And he also describes the efforts of scholars who fanned out across the globe, to find and document this ever-changing music.

Music: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)

Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. More Details Very Short Introductions. Other Editions 4. Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Folk Music , please sign up. Lists with This Book.

Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Dec 14, Walter rated it liked it Shelves: music. Jul 14, kelly rated it really liked it Shelves: nonfiction , music. This little introduction to the study of folk music was exactly what I wanted it to be: a high level overview, but not so abstract that it didn't have interesting examples. One of my favorites was a particular African culture in which each person in the community has a song. When the musicians play your song, you go over and groove to the music while having a little exchange with the musicians, at the end of which you drop a few dollars on their instrument.

How fun is that!? It reminded me that t This little introduction to the study of folk music was exactly what I wanted it to be: a high level overview, but not so abstract that it didn't have interesting examples. It reminded me that there are so many ways a culture can use music. Also shocking was that in Afghanistan, playing music is considered a rather low-brow thing to do or at least in one particular people group -- forgot which. For that reason, the author, an ethnomusicologist who did most of his research there, had a hard time just getting a person to ADMIT that he was a musician!

One of my favorite parts was the discussion about YouTube. He started by taking a single song and doing an analysis of it throughout time: the American folk song "Old Paint. Of course, in those days, you only heard and learned music live, so there was inevitable regional variation: the origin story and style you hear from a singer in Texas was different from the one in Wyoming. Next, the song gets included in "The American Songbag," a collection by folk musicologist Carl Sandburg, and gatherings all over the nation can buy the book and play a now-standardized version.

Later, in the era of mass music production, listeners may learn the song as it is covered by famous stars, such as Linda Ronstadt. And today? A young woman might record herself singing and playing the song on guitar and shares it on YouTube. And in a strange way, the global public platform of YouTube allows a return to some aspects of folk: its homemade intimacy, its creation and perpetuation by amateurs. I thought of this story when I watched an amazing group of three brothers play bluegrass on YT. A similar lens on the projector then unsqueezed it, producing an image more than twice as wide as it was high.

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The screening ratio adopted by Fox was 2. Although it involved a lot of remodelling of theatres to accommodate the wider screen, CinemaScope was an instant success. Other companies either sub-licensed it or devised alternative screen-enhancing processes of their own. The first uses of CinemaScope were for colour spectaculars. But it could also be used for modestly budgeted films in black and white. Alongside the new wider screen, the studios introduced stereophonic sound.

This, too, was not a new invention. Recording engineers had been experimenting with it for years and, in cinema, Disney had made an abortive attempt to produce a stereo soundtrack for Fantasia in Again the stimulus to its introduction was competition, this time from the record industry.

Mark Slobin

Throughout the s and s cinema had offered the possibility of a much better sound experience than could be obtained on a domestic radio or record-player, but the introduction of the long-playing vinyl record around , first in mono and then in stereo, threatened this precious advantage, forcing film companies to react. One way of making the frame area larger, adopted by the Paramount studio for their VistaVision process, was to run the film horizontally through the camera as was done in 35 mm still photography.

This provided a much better negative, but the film still had to be projected in the normal way.

The alternative was simply to double the gauge of the film. The late s saw the introduction of various processes which culminated in the projection of spectacular films in 70 mm in selected theatres in big cities, with the print scaled down to 35 mm for less prestigious locations. Meanwhile some of what had appeared to be problems with the original CinemaScope faded away or were resolved by technical improvements of one kind or another, such as a new generation of superior Panavision lenses and more sensitive film emulsions.


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After a brief period of frenetic innovation things settled down. Ultra-wide ratios went out of fashion partly because films were now regularly rescreened on television where the screen continued to be in and could not comfortably accommodate wider ratios. A revolution in image quality had taken place, and in sound quality too with the introduction of multi-track Dolby Stereo in the s.

Animation and special effects In the cinema, what you see is not always what you think you are seeing.

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That giant ape on top of the skyscraper is not really an ape, nor is the skyscraper a skyscraper. As for the woman cradled in that giant simian hand, she really is the actress Fay Wray or a photograph of that actress , but she was only ever in the studio. All the rest was trick work, alias special effects.

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The use of special effects, as they came to be known, is as old as cinema itself, or even older. From the early s onwards, however, more sophisticated forms of special effect came into use as part of the necessary armoury of film-makers working in the feature film industry. Sometimes, as in the example from the original King Kong Figure 2 , effects were needed in order to represent something that could not exist in real life, such as a monster on top of a skyscraper. They could also be used to show something that could and indeed did exist but was difficult to film in situ.

Mostly, however, they were used to save money. Thus a second-unit film crew could be sent out to film a remote landscape, and the material they brought back could be back-projected in the studio while the expensively hired actors performed suitable dialogue in appropriate dress in front of it.