Oxford Global Music Series

Lindsey Macchiarella and David Knapp


Oxford Web Site

This series consists of twenty-four volumes that cover individual music cultures. Texts may be selected to suit the needs and interests of the teacher. In this way the series employs a “block and gap” approach to curricular scope similar to the Bakan book, while allowing greater flexibility. Additionally, the series has two introductory volumes Thinking Musically and Teaching Music Globally for the student and teacher, respectively.

List of Volumes:
Music in South India: The Karnatak Concert Tradition and Beyond
Music in East Africa
Music in Turkey
Music in Central Java
Native American Music in Eastern North America
Music in Mainland Southeast Asia
Carnival Music in Trinidad
Music in Bali
Music in Ireland
Music in China
Music in Egypt
Music in the Hispanic Caribbean
Music in Brazil
Music in America
Music in Bulgaria
Music in North India
Mariachi Music in America
Music in West Africa
Music in the Andes
Music in Japan
Teaching Music Globally
Thinking Musically

The website says there are 26 books in total, though we only found 22. This could be due to the fact that they are continually adding books to the series and four more are in process.


  • Each volume is written by different authors who are experts on that region. The result is in-depth information, presented with lively context.
  • Different volumes have similar organization and tone, even though written by different authors.
  • Cultures are presented as living, changing, and not as static museum pieces.
  • Lots of audio examples (15-50 for each book).
  • Good photos (though black and white).
  • Class activities throughout each book. Activities are generalized, so teachers may easily adapt for their class.
  • Extensive glossary.
  • Music examples employ a variety of notation styles, including Western and non-Western.
  • Series edited by Patricia Campbell and Bonnie Wade, who have extensive experience as educators and ethnomusicologists.


  • Music notation varies from simple for music majors to too complex for non-majors.
  • Lack of pronunciation guides.
  • No study guides.
  • Book printed in black and white. Layout is clean, but does not pop.


  • Chapters are written in prose, without calling attention to important words. This makes for a good read, but it provides little help to the student about what to study for.

Teaching Music Globally (Campbell):
This text is not so much a teacher’s manual, as it is a discussion of world music pedagogy. Chapters include “Cultures, Courses and Classrooms,” “Learning through Attentive Listening,” and “Performance as Enactive Listening.” These help to guide the prospective teacher in thinking about their course. This text also includes audio examples and class activities. These serve as models for good teaching, and Campbell offers a discussion on how to implement these activities for the classroom.

Thinking Musically (Wade):
This text introduces the student to musical and cultural concepts and includes chapters directed at both. The chapters related to music are framed while avoiding ethnocentric labels (“time” instead of “rhythm, “) and Wade use a variety of musical examples from around the world to make her points. The result is an introduction to music thinking that is long and dense that may be difficult to implement. The music examples in this text cover a wide variety of cultures, presumably including those not covered by the teacher, and may be used to fill in a few curricular gaps.

We think the books are an excellent choice for teachers because of their depth and flexibility. The introductory texts are also very thoughtful in what they provide to the student and teacher. Because Thinking Musically is so long (228 pgs.), we recommend this text be taught gradually throughout the semester, with the teacher choosing which sections to assign. Otherwise, it would take students weeks to advance out of the introduction. Also, Teaching Music Globally is a great resource for those studying world music pedagogy. Though individual books are cheaper than other series’ texts ($24.95, including CD), the overall price of four or so volumes is approximately the same as another series with accompanying CDs.