Music Book News (April 2018)

Shirley Collins

Music Book News (April 2018)

A round-up of new and recent books.

Featured below: Shirley Collins; European hip-hop; Viv Albertine; Fernando Ortiz; songs of English Renaissance comedy. Please send information on new music books to editor [at]

All in the Downs: Reflections on Life, Landscape, and Song
Shirley Collins 
Strange Attractor Press
10 Apr 2018

Singer Shirley Collins has been a major figure in the English folk music scene for more than sixty years. She has recorded over 20 albums, is currently president of the English Folk Dance and Song Society in London, and her album Lodestar, released in 2016, marked a return to performance after thirty-eight years. Her new memoir, All in the Downs, tells the story of her lifelong relationship with English folksong.



Flip the Script: European Hip-Hop and the Politics of Postcoloniality
J. Griffith Rollefson
University of Chicago Press

Published late last year, but launched in Cork earlier this month, Flip the Script – by UCC’s Griffith Rollefson, Ireland’s first lecturer in Popular Music Studies – explores hip-hop in Europe, where it has become a powerful form of expression for the children and grandchildren of immigrants from former colonies. The book explores how the genre is deployed by Senegalese Parisians, Turkish Berliners and South Asian Londoners to differentiate themselves from and relate to the dominant culture.


To Throw Away Unopened
Viv Albertine
5 April 2018

Songwriter and musician Viv Albertine was the guitarist in the influential female punk band The Slits. In 2015, she published her memoir with Faber, Clothes, Clothes, Clothes. Music, Music, Music. Boys, Boys, Boys. To Throw Away Unopened is her second book, a dissection of her obsession with the truth – the truth about family, power, and her identity as a rebel and outsider.


Fernando Ortiz on Music: Selected Writings on Afro-Cuban Culture
Edited by Robin D. Moore
Temple University Press
19 April 2018 

Fernando Ortiz (1881–1969) was an influential Latin American author of the twentieth century. In Fernando Ortiz on Music: Selected Writings on Afro-Cuban Culture, ethnomusicologist Robin Moore has collected and translated a selection of Ortiz’s publications. These essays on Afro-Cuban culture, music and dance are available for the first time in English.


Some Other Note: The Lost Songs of English Renaissance Comedy
Ross W. Duffin
Oxford University Press USA
29 March 2018

English comedy from the fifteenth to the early seventeenth century abounds in song lyrics, but most of the original tunes were thought to have been lost. By deducing that playwrights borrowed melodies from songs they already knew, Ross W. Duffin – author of How Equal Temperament Ruined Harmony (and Why You Should Care) (Norton, 2007) – has used the existing English repertory of songs to reconstruct hundreds of songs from more than a hundred plays and other stage entertainments. Some Other Note tells the story of the investigations that unravelled these centuries-old mysteries.


Please send information on new music books to editor [at]

Published on 18 April 2018

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