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PATAKIN by Nina Jaffe


World Tales of Drums and Drummers

by Nina Jaffe

Age Range: 10 & up

Pub Date: July 1st, 1994
ISBN: 0-8050-3005-0
Publisher: Henry Holt

 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. (Nonfiction. 10+)