John Blacking is a renowned ethnomusicologist and this book is one of those seminal works that anyone studying the subject at university is expected to read, but I think that this is a book that is accessible to anyone. Blacking is reflecting on what it means to be a musical person and considering it in terms of his research with the Venda. This is a society that makes up part of South Africa and regard musical activity as something everyone in their community should be involved in. Blacking considers this perspective against the idea that he had of musicality when he grew up: that some people were talented musicians and therefore performed music whilst other people were not talented and therefore listened to music. He questions this idea of talent and ponders on whether musicality is the very essence of humanity. It's a book for anyone who has ever wondered whether there was more to music than just being talented at it!
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