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1 Burnside Asia- Central Asia

This title in other editions

The Hundred Thousand Fools of God: Musical Travels in Central Asia (and Queens, New York) with CD (Audio)


The Hundred Thousand Fools of God: Musical Travels in Central Asia (and Queens, New York) with CD (Audio) Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

"This erudite, absorbing volume chronicles the travels of ethnomusicologist Theodore Levin through urban and rural Transoxania... He writes in evocative, imaginative, personalized prose that vividly captures the flavor of his everyday experiences, providing plush visual detail, trenchant character profiles, attention to perplexing local hospitality codes and the shaping hand of gender, throughout." --Slavic Review

"... extremely informative, using music as a platform for a much wider discussion of cultural and political issues." --Times Literary Supplement, London

"The subject is music, but Levin uses it to cast a wider light, revealing places of considerable sorrow long hidden in the shadows of Soviet power, and to create a travelogue with wide potential appeal.... Candor about his own uncertainties and personal struggles helps make this a personal as well as a scholarly adventure." --Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Not to be missed by those interested in music and world culture... " --Library Journal

"... may be destined to become the definitive work on the music of this newly accessed region." --Dirty Linen

The Hundred Thousand Fools of God assembles a living musical and ethnographic map by highlighting the fate of traditions, beliefs, and social relationships in Muslim and Jewish Central Asian cultures during and after seventy years of Soviet rule. Theodore Levin evokes the spectacular physical and human geography of the area and weaves a rich ethnography of the life styles, values, and art of the musical performers. Photographs, maps, and an accompanying CD (featuring 24 on-site recordings) make The Hundred Thousand Fools of God a unique reading and listening experience.

Table of Contents



Key to Selections on Compact Disc

Guide to Pronunciation and Transliteration

1. Tashkent

Moscow to Tashkent

An Uzbek Fellow Traveler

Plan of the City

The Conservatory

A Russian Composer Finds the East

The Last of the Jadids

Neofeudalism with a Human Face

The Singing Mullah

Frozen Music

A Traditional Innovator

The Avatar of a Master

A Contralto and a Pop Queen

2. Bukhara

The Imaginal City

A Drive to Bukhara

A Bukharan Jewish Musical Dynasty

The Cupola of Islam Redux

More Frozen Music

Two Wedding Entertainers

Going West

3. The South: Surxandarya and Qashqadarya


A "Traveler" in Baysun

Baxhi Chic in Shirabad (last a with circumflex)

Xaja Mahmun (first a in Xaja with circumflex)

4. Khorezm

Across the Kara-Kum

Khorezm Reimagined

Two Evenings of Classical Music

A Baxshi and His Pupil

Searching for a Zhirau


5. The Upper Zaravshan and Yagnab (final a on Yagnab with a circumflex)

A Mysterious Valley

The Yagnab Affair (Yagnab with circumflex on final a)

Trekking for Music

A Wedding in Dargh

Wedding Songs

Poetry in the Afternoon

Strange Polyphony

The Zarb

6. Shahristan

A Forbidden Vocation

Calling Spirits

The Baxshi's Dance

More Syncretisms

7. Queens

An Apartment in Forest Hills

Growing Up Jewish in Kattakurgan

A Fool of God in Queens



Bibliographic and Discographic Guide


Product Details

Musical Travels in Central Asia (and Queens, New York)
Levin, Theodore
Indiana University Press
Bloomington, IN
History & Criticism *
History & Criticism - General
Music-Folk and Ethnic
Anthropology; Asian Studies; Central Asia; Cultural Studies; Ethnomusicology; Folklore and Myth; Music; World
Edition Description:
Print PDF
Publication Date:
33 bandw photos, 8 figures, 7 maps
9.36x6.13x1.07 in. 1.14 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Music » General
Arts and Entertainment » Music » Genres and Styles » Folk » Folk and Ethnic
Arts and Entertainment » Music » Genres and Styles » International
Arts and Entertainment » Music » History and Criticism
History and Social Science » Asia » Central Asia
History and Social Science » World History » General

The Hundred Thousand Fools of God: Musical Travels in Central Asia (and Queens, New York) with CD (Audio) Used Trade Paper
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Product details 352 pages Indiana University Press - English 9780253213105 Reviews:
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