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Soul Music [Hardcover]

Candace Allen
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
RRP: 12.99
Price: 10.38 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

19 July 2012
Can classical music change lives? In Soul Music, novelist of African descent, Candace music from Blues, Miles Davis as friend of the family, hiphop, musical to classical in her own life to places where different cultures meet. Her personal journey takes her to the streets of London and Scotland, Venezuela, where the Sistema scheme has offered thousands of young people a route out of the ghetto mentality through virtuoso musical training, bringing global fame to the charismatic conductor Gustavo Dudamel; to the Middle East, and Daniel Barenboim's East-West Divan Orchestra in which young Israelis and Palestians play side, and a pioneering opera project in Kinsasha.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Gibson Square Books (19 July 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1908096217
  • ISBN-13: 978-1908096210
  • Product Dimensions: 20 x 13.2 x 2.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 806,291 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description


'The most interesting book to date on the subject of social music projects like El Sistema, Buskaid and the Al Kamandjâti music school.... passion, zeal and candour...will appeal and infuriate.' --Marshall Marcus, Southbank Centre s Sistema Research Programme

'Amazing wordcraft... devastating throwaway insights... how the generation younger than mine is using musical culture to inspire hope.' --Simon Hewitt-Jones

'Intriguing... series of reflections on the interplay of race and music, particularly western music... Enthralled by her grasp of the educational subtleties of El Sistema... There is much food for contemplation and much for confrontation.' --Norman Lebrecht, Arts Journal

'So powerful... She reveals much about what lies at the heart of any journey into so-called classical music.' --Guy Dammann, New Statesman

'Singing songs of freedom from Kinshasa to Caracas.' --Independent

'Formidable.' --Evening Standard

'Singing songs of freedom from Kinshasa to Caracas.' --Independent

'Formidable.' --Evening Standard

About the Author

Candace Allen is a novelist and was the first African-American female member of the Directors Guild of America. Diversity and music are an integral part of her life, from Miles Davis friendship with her family, her later immersion in the world of classical music, to her political activism in the 60s and the Obama election campaign. She lives in Islington, London.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential 29 Jan 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I loved this book for its insight it's fresh approach to how music can change lives.
The author visits cities and countries where music has a transformative effect of those who immerse themselves in learning and mastering an instrument
Music in its many genres is examined for meaning and purpose.
Music is something that can make you err heart sing and the intelligent but not out of reach narrative carries the reader along from player to player from continent to continent
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5.0 out of 5 stars Soul Music The Pulse of Race and Music 18 Nov 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
It is a book that anyone who is involved in music education, the music industry or the arts should read. It presents some pithy up to date thoughts
on the connections between class, culture, creativity, status and aspirations in music of all kinds. It makes some very up to the minute astute
observations about the benefits young people stand to gain from being involved in inspired music programmes such as El Sistema. There are
lessons to be learned from music systems for young people in Venezuela, as opposed to the gospel preached by societies where great
emphasis is placed on identities being built on money, bling, and designer labels; leading young people to become lost souls.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Miles, Music and multiculturalism 5 Sep 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
In SOUL MUSIC, social and music critic Candace Allan takes you through the labyrinth of the cultural wars of the 60's to those of the 21st century with verve and expertise, drama and intelligence, investigating and evoking the pitched street battles of the 60's and the new corporate conglomerates of 2012 Hip Hop. Shimmering prose and first person intimacy keep SOUL MUSIC fast paced in a political riff of imposing breath and sensuality. Her language swings, swoops and seduces while it lays out a grid for 21st century inclusive, post racial musicality. Schooled in Jazz through her family's friendship with Miles Davis and in Western classical music through her marriage to Berlin symphony conductor Simon Rattle, Allen finds herself straddling the existential void between "their" music and "our" music which she believes is partly resolved in the experimental orchestras she investigated in London and Kinshasa, New York and Palestine, Berlin and Venezuela called "El Sistema" which teaches that all music is without nationality or borders and therefore without a restrictive culture. Her theory is that music belongs to everyone and should be taught and experienced as such, eliminating class, culture, nationality and race.

Passionate and brilliant, SOUL MUSIC takes you on a roller coaster ride towards a new, necessary road to cultural diversity in the Western world. Highly recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars why you will enjoy this book 29 Aug 2012
By Alex
This is the kind of book that you will read and want to keep on your shelf because you will want to recommend it to someone else. You will hear the author's voice and feel that by the end of the book you have begun to get to know her. You will read about her teenage angst finding her identity listening to soul music, as the only black girl in her high school class. Reading this book you can not but be moved by the intelligence of the critical and self-critical perspective, and the passion with which the questions are asked about how to understand the influence of music on people's lives, particularly young people, and citizens of the developing world, some in areas of conflict. I have recommended this book to friends who have an interest in the arts, an interest in young people and education, an interest in the future of the planet. I recommend it to you.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5.0 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I really loved SOUL MUSIC! 7 Oct 2012
By Christine S. Cuddy - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a fascinating memoir and commentary which ranges from an African-American childhood in suburban Connecticut through life as a black woman at Harvard in the 60s and up-to-the-moment travels to youth music academies in Palestine, Venezuela and Kinshasa, among other places. It is a look at the intersection of race and music from a most interesting point-of-view.
5.0 out of 5 stars Music as the key to self, and the world 28 Aug 2012
By Jamie B. Thomas - Published on
Candace Allen's book is a fascinating exploration of her life journey told through the prism of her passionate relationship to music. Everyone who loves music; everyone who seeks to define themselves through the music they love; everyone who wonders how the power of music can be harnessed for the good of the world; -- all such people will find a kindred spirit in Candace Allen and her thoughtful, illuminating, even poetic book.
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, thoughtful and moving 28 Aug 2012
By Sergio Mims - Published on
Ms. Allen's book Soul Music is a beautifully written, moving and thoughtful book chronicling how the transformative power of classical music is changing the lives of Third World people in dire circumstances around the world from Africa to Venezuela to Palestine and the U.S. giving them hope, a vision of what is possible and the power of renewal.

And yet her book is much more than that. She interweaves throughout the book a deeply felt memoir of her quite extraordinary and multifaceted life and how music has, in her own personal life and experiences, transformed her has well giving her a sense of purpose and identity. As a result bringing the common and human connection between herself and those who she writes about into focus. It is an important book that deserves to be read and discussed by anyone interested not just in classical music, but in humanity and what makes us all connected with each other.
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