Pub. Date:
Indiana University Press
The Hundred Thousand Fools of God: Musical Travels in Central Asia (and Queens, New York)

The Hundred Thousand Fools of God: Musical Travels in Central Asia (and Queens, New York)

by Theodore Levin
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"This erudite, absorbing volume chronicles the travels of ethnomusicologist Theodore Levin through urban and rural Transoxania... He writes in evocative, imaginative, personalized prose that vividly captures the flavor of his everyday experiences, providing plush visual detail, trenchant character profiles, attention to perplexing local hospitality codes and the shaping hand of gender, throughout." —Slavic Review

"... extremely informative, using music as a platform for a much wider discussion of cultural and political issues." —Times Literary Supplement, London

"The subject is music, but Levin uses it to cast a wider light, revealing places of considerable sorrow long hidden in the shadows of Soviet power, and to create a travelogue with wide potential appeal.... Candor about his own uncertainties and personal struggles helps make this a personal as well as a scholarly adventure." —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Not to be missed by those interested in music and world culture... " —Library Journal

"... may be destined to become the definitive work on the music of this newly accessed region." —Dirty Linen

The Hundred Thousand Fools of God assembles a living musical and ethnographic map by highlighting the fate of traditions, beliefs, and social relationships in Muslim and Jewish Central Asian cultures during and after seventy years of Soviet rule. Theodore Levin evokes the spectacular physical and human geography of the area and weaves a rich ethnography of the life styles, values, and art of the musical performers. Photographs, maps, and an accompanying CD (featuring 24 on-site recordings) make The Hundred Thousand Fools of God a unique reading and listening experience.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780253213105
Publisher: Indiana University Press
Publication date: 03/22/1999
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 352
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.07(d)

Table of Contents

Key to Selections on Compact Disc
Guide to Pronunciation and Transliteration

1. Tashkent
Moscow to Tashkent
An Uzbek Fellow Traveler
Plan of the City
The Conservatory
A Russian Composer Finds the East
The Last of the Jadids
Neofeudalism with a Human Face
The Singing Mullah
Frozen Music
A Traditional Innovator
The Avatar of a Master
A Contralto and a Pop Queen

2. Bukhara
The Imaginal City
A Drive to Bukhara
A Bukharan Jewish Musical Dynasty
The Cupola of Islam Redux
More Frozen Music
Two Wedding Entertainers
Going West

3. The South: Surxandarya and Qashqadarya
A "Traveler" in Baysun
Baxhi Chic in Shirabad (last a with circumflex)
Xaja Mahmun (first a in Xaja with circumflex)

4. Khorezm
Across the Kara-Kum
Khorezm Reimagined
Two Evenings of Classical Music
A Baxshi and His Pupil
Searching for a Zhirau

5. The Upper Zaravshan and Yagnab (final a on Yagnab with a circumflex)
A Mysterious Valley
The Yagnab Affair (Yagnab with circumflex on final a)
Trekking for Music
A Wedding in Dargh
Wedding Songs
Poetry in the Afternoon
Strange Polyphony
The Zarb

6. Shahristan
A Forbidden Vocation
Calling Spirits
The Baxshi’s Dance
More Syncretisms

7. Queens
An Apartment in Forest Hills
Growing Up Jewish in Kattakurgan
A Fool of God in Queens

Bibliographic and Discographic Guide

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