In the wake of the Buena Vista Social Club, the world has rediscovered the rich musical tradition of Cuba. A unique combination of popular and elite influences, the music of this island nation has fascinated since the golden age of the son -- that New World aural collision of Africa and Europe that made Cuban music the rage in Paris, New York, and Mexico beginning in the 1920s.Originally published in 1946 and never before available in an English translation, Music in Cuba is not only the best and most extensive study of Cuban musical history, it is a work of literature in its own right. Drawing on such primary documents as obscure church circulars, dog-eared musical scores pulled from attics, and the records of the Spanish colonial authorities, Music in Cuba sweeps panoramically from the sixteenth into the twentieth century. Carpentier covers European-style elite Cuban music as well as the popular rural Spanish folk and urban Afro-Cuban music.
In a substantial introduction based on extensive original research, Timothy Brennan explores Carpentier's career prior to the writing of his novels. Looking especially at Carpentier's work as a music reviewer, radio producer, and musical theorist, Brennan suggests new ways of thinking about the role of Latin American artists in Europe between the wars and about the central place of radio and music-club cultures in the European avant-gardes.