Allen, Ray and Lois Wilcken. Island Sounds in the Global City: Caribbean Popular Music and Identity in New York. New York: New York Folklore Society, 1995.
A collection of critical essays exploring the relationship between music and cultural identity in the nations most diverse urban center. Case studies include reggae, merengue, calypso, and steel pan music.
Brown, Karen. Mama Lola: A Vodou Priestess in Brooklyn. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1991.
A readable and vibrantly engaging ethnographic study that helps to demystify the vodou religion and explore it through the perspective of people who are deeply rooted in Haitian folk performance and religious practices. The author is especially attuned to issues of gender and power as they emerge in the music.
Knight, Roderic. Mande Music: Traditional and Modern Music of the Mandinka of Western Africa. London, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000.
An ethnographic study of an African traditionthe music of the jalisthat predates the Malian empire in the 13th century and continues today in the recording studios of Paris.
Lai, T.C., and Robert Mok. The Jade Flute: The Story of Chinese Music. New York: Schocken Books, 1981.
An appealing, if somewhat condensed, introduction to Chinese music in its various philosophical, literary, and historical dimensions, with illustrations and excerpts from primary sources.
Nettl, Bruno. The Study of Ethnomusicology: Twenty-nine Issues and Concepts. Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1983.
An introduction to the core ideas that continue to shape the study of ethnomusicology and its methodological and theoretical foundations, written by a veteran in the field.
Neuman, Daniel. The Life of Music in North India: The Social Organization of an Artistic Tradition. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1980.
A very readable ethnographic study of the relationship between music and society in Hindu culture.
Robertson, Carol E. Musical Repercussions of 1492. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1992.
A collection of essays by music scholars discussing the musical performance traditions, dances, and instruments of the Americas, organized around the themes of conquest and colonization.
Shelemay, Kay. Soundscapes: Exploring Music in a Changing World. New York, London: W.W. Norton and Company, 2001.
Designed for teaching world-music courses at the college level, this textbook organizes the study of music not by region or period, like its more conventional cousins, but by the way most people encounter itby the roles it plays in their lives and communities. With accompanying CDs, bibliographies and videographies, and sample syllabi and student projects.
Stuempfle, Stephen. The Steelband Movement: Forging of a National Art in Trinidad. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1995.
A complete and comprehensive historical study of the steelband movement, focusing on the historical and sociological aspects of Trinidadian music and identity.