This market-leading, best-selling text covers ethnomusicology-the study of music in a people's way of life, which treats music as a distillation of cultural styles. The authors of this text approach diverse musical styles with the desire to understand them on their own terms-as the people who make the music would understand them. The text is organized by region. Each study focuses on the life histories and autobiographies that are essential to understanding music as a human activity. Song lyrics are singled out by the authors as a way to understand the meaning and purpose of musical performances. Musical examples, or transcriptions, are included on the accompanying CDs (sold separately), and are treated throughout as points of departure for discussion. Student music-making projects-singing, building and playing instruments-greatly increase music appreciation and allow students to experience firsthand what it's like to be an ethnomusicologist puzzling out unfamiliar music. This text seeks to provide as much pleasure as knowledge, fostering lifelong curiosity and a desire to experience and appreciate music in all its forms.