THE ROUGH GUIDE to World Music
Africa & Middle East
Since The Rough Guide to World Music first appeared in 1994, the World Music scene has grown dramatically. Vast numbers of CDs are released each month, artists from across the world perform regularly in major concert halls in the “West”, and the BBC has created the annual Awards for World Music (The Planets). In addition, ease of travel makes it feasible for those in Europe and America to go and experience the music of the world, in person, in situ. Now African music enthusiasts don’t just hang out around Sterns record shop in London and listen to Andy Kershaw on the radio – they go to the Essaouira Festival in Morocco, which has become a sort of Gnawa Woodstock attracting 400,000 people each year, or to the celebrated Festival in the Desert near Timbuktu. Music can be a window on and a passport to the world.
This third edition of The Rough Guide to World Music reflects the music’s burgeoning popularity – most obviously in its size. The book has grown to fill three volumes, with this first instalment, Africa & Middle East, to be followed by Europe, Asia & Pacific and The Americas & Caribbean. All in all the guide will be around three times the size of the original edition: close to a million words and in excess of two thousand pages.