Why do we sing and what first drove early humans to sing? How might they have sung and how might those styles have survived to the present day? This history addresses these questions and many more, examining singing as a historical and cross-cultural phenomenon. It explores the evolution of singing in a global context - from Neanderthal Man to Auto-tune via the infinite varieties of world music from Orient to Occident, classical music from medieval music to the avant-garde and popular music from vaudeville to rock and beyond. Considering singing as a universal human activity, the book provides an in-depth perspective on singing from many cultures and periods: western and non-western, prehistoric to present. Written in a lively and entertaining style, the history contains a comprehensive reference section for those who wish to explore the topic further and will appeal to an international readership of singers, students and scholars.
Dapha, or dapha bhajan, is a genre of Hindu-Buddhist devotional singing, performed by male, non-professional musicians of the farmer and other castes belonging to the Newar ethnic group, in the towns and villages of the Kathmandu Valley, Nepal. The songs, their texts, and their characteristic responsorial performance-style represent an extension of pan-South Asian traditions of raga- and tala-based devotional song, but at the same time embody distinctive characteristics of Newar culture. This culture is of unique importance as an urban South Asian society in which many traditional models survive into the modern age. There are few book-length studies of non-classical vocal music in South Asia, and none of dapha. Richard Widdess describes the music and musical practices of dapha, accounts for their historical origins and later transformations, investigates links with other South Asian traditions, and describes a cultural world in which music is an integral part of everyday social and religious life. The book focusses particularly on the musical system and structures of dapha, but aims to integrate their analysis with that of the cultural and historical context of the music, in order to address the question of what music means in a traditional South Asian society.
Following a suspension after closing the Mercury Man case, Detective-Sergeant Natalie Dvorak is back on the job with the Vermont State Police at full rank. Her latest case has Dvorak on the trail of brutal killers whose crime complicates Dvorak's own personal life, threatening someone she holds dear. A demo tape of songs containing racist lyrics proves to be a vital clue to the murderers' identity, suggesting they will fight to the death rather than surrender. To catch the Singing Shooters, Sergeant Dvorak seeks help from a hostile teenage girl and an old flame she once put in prison.