Ten folktales from parts of the globe as widely separated as the Arctic and Fiji. Drums and the magical or inspirational powers attributed to them play a role in each of the stories (e.g., Miriam, the sister of Moses, plays a drum and sings to encourage the panic-stricken Israelites at the crossing of the Red Sea; in a tale from County Clare, a drummer's irresistible rhythms keep the menacing denizens of a haunted house hopping until dawn and their exertions render them harmless). Each story is prefaced by a description of the drums used and the role of drumming in that culture. Examples of typical drum rhythms are shown in musical notation. Jaffe's background as a storyteller is apparent in the simplicity and verve of her retellings, and her experiences as a student of African and Latin drumming styles inform her perceptive, enthusiastic commentary. A very unusual and valuable resource, combining good stories with careful ethnomusicological research. Illus. not seen; ideally, they would include pictures of the drums mentioned. Miscellaneous explanatory notes (including a classification of drums); glossary; extensive bibliography and discography, including addresses of sources; meticulous source notes for each story.