CM Archive
CM Archive Book Review line

Sharon MacGougan and Brian Holtan
Illustrated by Brian Holtan

Vancouver, Briarwood Publishing/ Holtan, 1990. 164pp, paper, $30.26 (includes GST & shipping and handling), ISBN 0-965073-0-5
Available from The History of Rock 'n' Roll, 7411 Ash St., Richmond, B.C. V6Y2R9. CIP

Reviewed by Patricia L.M. Butler.

Volume 19 Number 5
1991 October

This book is divided into twelve units, each covering a period in history that has contributed to the development of rock and roll. The general layout seems to be a discussion of the era (jazz, blues, the 60s), followed by biographies of notable contributors, representative listening selections, and notable news (to help place things in historical perspective). It is difficult to determine if this is in fact what the authors intended, as there are abrupt changes in presentation (between units 7 and 8) and unclear delineation of headings throughout that make it difficult to follow.

The factual information provided is correct, with some exceptions. For example, Rastafarian dreadlocks are not braided (this misinformation could cause the teacher some embarrassment). The synopsis of musical style is brief, some­times opinionated, and would need a good deal of supplement for the non-specialist. A bibliography is provided. The proposed listening format, in which students are to record their observations, is a good beginning to music apprecia­tion. However, the authors' comments under the heading "Listening Focus" (ranging from musical analysis to supplementary personal facts) are not consistent enough to provide the teacher, especially the non-specialist, with enough examples.

There are some good ideas for group discussion and project work, ranging from forming a group and planning its musical and business career to staging a benefit radio show. As a manual, however, it falls short of providing the instructor with sufficient information to answer students' questions or to adapt the program to specific classes without having to consult secondary sources.

Patricia L.M. Butler, Scarborough, Ont.
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1971-1979 | 1980-1985 | 1986-1990 | 1991-1995


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