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Where Rivers and Mountains Sing: Sound, Music, and Nomadism in Tuva and Beyond


Where Rivers and Mountains Sing: Sound, Music, and Nomadism in Tuva and Beyond Cover

ISBN13: 9780253223296
ISBN10: 0253223296
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Theodore Levin takes readers on a journey through the rich sonic world of inner Asia, where the elemental energies of wind, water, and echo; the ubiquitous presence of birds and animals; and the legendary feats of heroes have inspired a remarkable art and technology of sound-making among nomadic pastoralists. As performers from Tuva and other parts of inner Asia have responded to the growing worldwide popularity of their music, Levin follows them to the West, detailing their efforts to nourish global connections while preserving the power and poignancy of their music traditions.

About the Author

Theodore Levin is Professor of Music at Dartmouth College and author of The Hundred Thousand Fools of God: Musical Travels in Central Asia (and Queens, New York) (IUP, 1997).

Valentina Süzükei is Senior Academic Officer of the Tuvan Institute for Humanities Research in Kyzyl, Tuva. She is author of three books on Tuvan music, including The Musical Culture of Tuva in the Twentieth Century (in Russian).

Table of Contents




On Language and Pronunciation

Dramatis Personae

1. Finding the Field

Road Warriors


Reinventing Tuva

2. The World Is Alive with the Music of Sound

Musical Offerings

In a Cave

Natural Reverb


3. Listening the Tuvan Way

Timbre-Centered Music

Throat-Singing: The Ideal Timbral Art

4. Sound Mimesis

Mimesis and the Power of Representation

Hunters: The Earliest Sound Technologists?

Ludic Mimesis

Sound Mimesis and Spiritual Landscape

Sound Mimesis as Narrative

The Mimesis of Mimesis

Mimesis as Cultural Memory

5. Music, Sound, and Animals

Animal Spirits

Signaling and Singing to Animals

Listening to Animals

Animals in Music

"Animal Style" Art and Music

6. An Animist View of the World

Huun-Huur-Tu at Home

Epic Dreams

Shamans and Champagne

The Spirit of Manas

Women Are Not Supposed to Do This

The Ondar Phenomenon


Postlude: Appropriation and Its Discontents





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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

bookchick887, March 1, 2011 (view all comments by bookchick887)
Theodore Levin was the first Western academic to visit Tuva with the intent of studying the culture and country, and he has done a thorough job. This book is the best I have read about the Tuvan culture as well as the music of Tuva, especially throatsinging.
I have loved Tuva for years and read many books, collected cds and watched videos about this country, and this is the best. It includes a dvd with many examples of Tuvan music; from throatsinging, to women singing traditional lullabies, to a ceremony with a shaman. There is a cd on the other side with just music. I studied this book before Huun Huur Tu came to our town for a concert because I was giving a class about the history and culture of Tuva, and found all the information I needed for my lecture.
I was privileged to have dinner with the band and when I asked them about this book they said, “Oh Ted, I remember him!”
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Product Details

Levin, Theodore
Indiana University Press
Suzukei, Valentina
Bloomington, IN
Music-Folk and Ethnic
Folk & Traditional
Eurasian Studies; Anthropology; Asia; Asian Studies; Central Asia; Culture; East European; Ethnomusicology; Folklore and Myth; Middle Eastern Studies; Music; Music Asian Studies; Russia; Russian
Edition Description:
Print PDF
Publication Date:
41 bandw photos, 5 figures, 32 color pho
9.21 x 6.21 x 0.83 in

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Music » Ethnomusicology
Arts and Entertainment » Music » Genres and Styles » Folk » Folk and Traditional
Arts and Entertainment » Music » Genres and Styles » International
History and Social Science » Anthropology » General
History and Social Science » Geography » General
History and Social Science » Sociology » General

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