PhD, MFA Princeton University
BA Amherst College
Hundred Thousand Fools of God
Theodore Levin is an ethnomusicologist whose research has focused on the traditional music of Central Asia, Siberia, and Slavic Russia. He is an active record producer, concentrating on folk music and classical music repertory from Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. For five years he worked as an impresario in US-Soviet cultural exchanges and arranged major entertainment events in the Soviet Union. His book, The Hundred Thousand Fools of God, was published in 1997.
Hundred Thousand Fools of God
• Theodore Levin
MUSIC • 1999 • PAPER • 346 PAGES
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An engaging account of adventures in ethnomusicology in contemporary Central Asia, Levin is a wonderful guide to musical traditions in Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. With an accompanying CD featuring the traditional music of Central Asia. (CAS59, $29.95)
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The Hundred Thousand Fools of God $29.95
The Hundred Thousand Fools of God
Musical Travels in Central Asia (and Queens, New York)
An ambitious and compelling musical ethnography of Central Asia with accompanying CD.
"This erudite, absorbing volume chronicles the travels of ethnomusicologist Theodore Levin through urban and rural Transoxania . . . He writes in evocative, imaginative, personalized prose that vividly captures the flavor of his everyday experiences, providing plush visual detail, trenchant character profiles, attention to perplexing local hospitality codes and the shaping hand of gender, throughout." —Slavic Review
". . . extremely informative, using music as a platform for a much wider discussion of cultural and political issues." —Times Literary Supplement, London
"The subject is music, but Levin uses it to cast a wider light, revealing places of considerable sorrow long hidden in the shadows of Soviet power, and to create a travelogue with wide potential appeal. . . . Candor about his own uncertainties and personal struggles helps make this a personal as well as a scholarly adventure." —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"Not to be missed by those interested in music and world culture . . . " —Library Journal
". . . may be destined to become the definitive work on the music of this newly accessed region." —Dirty Linen
The Hundred Thousand Fools of God assembles a living musical and ethnographic map by highlighting the fate of traditions, beliefs, and social relationships in Muslim and Jewish Central Asian cultures during and after seventy years of Soviet rule. Theodore Levin evokes the spectacular physical and human geography of the area and weaves a rich ethnography of the life styles, values, and art of the musical performers. Photographs, maps, and an accompanying CD (featuring 24 on-site recordings) make The Hundred Thousand Fools of God a unique reading and listening experience.
Theodore Levin is Associate Professor of Music at Dartmouth College. He began conducting musical and ethnographic research in Uzbekistan in 1978. His recordings of music from Central Asia and other parts of the former Soviet Union appear on Smithsonian Folkways, Nonesuch, Ocora, and other labels.
Publication date: 3/1/1999
Format: paper & CD 352 pages, 33 b&w photos, 8 figures, 7 maps, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4