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Raymond Ammann
Sounds of Secrets
Field Notes on Ritual Music and Musical Instruments on the Islands of Vanuatu
Reihe: KlangKulturStudien/SoundCultureStudies
Bd. 7, 2012, 320 S., 31.90 EUR, 31.90 CHF, br., ISBN 978-3-643-80130-2

Double flute, shoulder flute and large standing slit drums with carved decorations are only a few of the unique musical instruments used in the islands of Vanuatu. People of this South Pacific archipelago live, in many ways, according to their traditional cultures and conduct their ritualsand ceremonies as their great-grand-fathers did.

This book deals comprehensivelywith traditional musical instruments and their role and function in ceremonies. Music, dance, and musical instruments are not only means to highlight certain moments in ceremonies, but help to set up an entire network of secrets.

The field notes, personal opinions and ideas in this book are the result of an intensive study of over twenty years on music in south Melanesia. This is the first reference book on the music of Vanuatu that constitutes an invaluable source for musicologists and anthropologists alike and will surprise general readers with its interesting and lively accounts.

Raymond Ammann is a Swiss ethnomusicologist and his main field of research is Melanesia.

David Becker is an American cultural photographer who has lived for more than 25 years in Melanesian countries and documents the life style of the Melanesian people with his photographs.

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