At its recent conference in Austin, the Society for Ethnomusicology (SEM) recognized the excellence of James Revell Carr‘s Hawaiian Music in Motion: Mariners, Missionaries, and Minstrels. The book is a co-recipient of Alan Merriam Prize, awarded for the most distinguished, English-language monograph in the field of ethnomusicology.
Committee chair Harris M. Berger had this to say:
[Carr’s book] is a sophisticated social history of Hawaiian music and globalization, as told through carefully researched, evocatively drawn, and richly interpreted discussions of Hawaiian performance, both at home and abroad. An extraordinarily diverse set of sources, topics, genres, and settings are discussed in the book. . . .
The subtle treatment of original sources and penetrating interpretations give this book a kind of resonance that only comes in the best social histories. Carr’s discussion of the missionaries’ never fully successful attempts to stamp out indigenous music, for example, will have a powerful resonance for anyone who studies the contemporary culture war rhetoric about music, dance, and degeneracy. . . . Hawaiian Music in Motion is a powerful and important contribution to the field of ethnomusicology and one richly deserving the Alan Merriam Prize.
Hawaiian Music in Motion is part of UIP’s popular and acclaimed Music in American Life series. Other UIP books to win the prize include Shoshone Ghost Dance Religion: Poetry, Songs, and Great Basin Context, by Judith Vander.