Peter L. Manuel

Peter L. Manuel - Professor -  profile photo
  • Professor Emeritus, Music

Research Interests

  • music of India and the Caribbean; world popular music


  • PhD, UCLA


Affiliated Campus(es)

  • John Jay College of Criminal Justice

Peter Manuel has written extensively about popular and traditional musics of India, the Caribbean, and elsewhere. Three of his books have earned prestigious awards. An amateur sitarist, jazz pianist, and flamenco guitarist, he teaches seminars on Indian music, Latin American music, world popular music, aesthetics, and other topics.



  • Tales, Tunes, and Tassa Drums: Retention and Invention in Indo-Caribbean MusicUniversity of Illinois Press, 2015.
  • Temple University Press, 2000 (winner of the Caribbean Studies Association 2001 Gordon K. Lewis Best Book Award)
  • Caribbean Currents: Caribbean Music from Rumba to Reggae. Temple University Press, 1995 (with Michael Largey and Ken Bilby) (winner of the Caribbean Studies Association 1996 Gordon K. Lewis Best Book Award, and “Outstanding Academic Book” award of Choice 1996) (2nd edition, 2006).
  • Cassette Culture: Popular Music and Technology in North India. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1993 (also co-published by Oxford University Press – India, 2001)
  • Essays on Cuban Music: North American and Cuban Perspectives. University Press of America (Lanham, MD), 1991.
  • Thumri in Historical and Stylistic Perspectives. New Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 1989.
  • Popular Musics of the Non-Western World: An Introductory Survey.  New York: Oxford UniversityPress, 1988 (winner of an Ascap-Deems Taylor Award).

Documentary videos

  • Tassa Thunder: Folk Music from India to the Caribbean. (53’) 3/2010.
  • Drumming for Ganesh: Music at Pune’s Ganpati Festival.  (17’) 3/2014.
  • Tan-Singing of Trinidad and Guyanas: Indo-Caribbean "Local-Classical Music."   (50' ethnographic documentary) 2/2000.


  • “The Intermediate Sphere in North Indian Music Culture: Between and Beyond ‘Folk’ and ‘Classical’.”  Ethnomusicology 59(1), 2015:82-115.                          
  • “The Regional North Indian Popular Music Industry in 2014: From Cassette Culture to Cyberculture.”  Popular Music 33(3), 2014: 389-412.
  • “Retention and invention in Bhojpuri diasporic music culture: Perspectives from the Caribbean, India, and Fiji.” In Caribbean Issues in the Indian Diaspora, edited by Noor Kumar Mahabir, New Delhi: Serials Publications, 2013.
  • “Music cultures of mechanical reproduction,” in The Cambridge History of World Music, ed. Philip Bohlman. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press 2013, pp. 55-74.
  • “Democratizing Indian Popular Music: From Cassette Culture to the Digital Era,” in No Limits: Media Studies from India, ed. Ravi Sundaram.  New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2013, pp. 356-80.
  • “The trajectories of transplants: Singing Alha, Birha, and the Ramayan in the Indic Caribbean.” Asian Music 43(2), 2012: 115-54.
  • "Popular music as popular expression in North India and the Bhojpuri region, from cassette culture to VCD culture." South Asian Popular Culture 2012: 1-14 (Taylor & Francis [online]).
  • “Music in Lucknow’s Gilded Age,” in India’s Fabled City: The Art of Courtly Lucknow. Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 2010, pp. 243-49.
  • Old Media, New Media, and Neo-Traditional Indo-Caribbean Music.” In Re-Constructing Place and Space: Media, Culture, Discourse and the Constitution of Caribbean Diasporas. Edited by Kamille A. Gentles-Peart, Ph.D. and Maurice L. Hall, Ph.D.  Cambridge University Press, 2012: 53-73.
  • “Ethnomusicology” and “India” [in "Classical aesthetic traditions of India, China, and the Middle East"] The Routledge Companion to Philosophy and Music, ed. T. Gracyk and A. Kania 2011: 245-50, 535-46.
  • “From Contradanza to Son: New Perspectives on the Prehistory of Cuban Popular Music.” Latin American Music Review 30(2), 2009.
  • “Composition, Authorship, and Ownership in Flamenco, Past and Present”,  Ethnomusicology 54(1), 2010:106-35. (Reprinted in Roots Music, ed. Allan Moore Ashgate Publishing, 2011).
  • “Thumri, ghazal, and modernity in Hindustani music culture.” In Hindustani Music: Thirteenth to twentieth centuries. Edited by J. Boer, F. Delvoye, J. Harvey, and E. Nijenhuis. Delhi: Manohar. 2010, pp. 239-252.
  • “Transnational Chowtal: Bhojpuri Folksong from North India to the Caribbean, Fiji, and Beyond.”  Asian Music 40(2), 2009: 1-32
  • “Tonalidad, Tradición, y el Sabor del Son Cubano,” in El son y la salsa en la identidad del Caribe, edited by Darío Tejeda and Rafael Yunén. Santo Domingo: INEC, and Santiago: Centro León, 2008, pp. 429-37.
  • “North Indian Sufi Popular Music in the Age of Hindu and Muslim Fundamentalism.”  Ethnomusicology 52/3, 2008, pp. 378-400.
  • “Mode, Melody, and Harmony in Traditional Afro-Cuban Music: From Africa to Cuba.’  Co-authored with Orlando Fiol. Black Music Research Journal, 27(1), 2007, pp. 45-80.
  • “The Saga of a Song: Authorship and Ownership in the Case of 'Guantanamera'.” Latin American Music Review  27/2, 2006, pp. 1-47.
  • “Popular Music in Latin America and the Caribbean,” in The Greenwood Encyclopedia of World Popular Culture, ed. John Bratzel. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2007, pp. 195-216.
  • “Indo-Caribbean Music Enters the New Millennium.” Review 72 (Latin American-Asian Writing and Arts) (Routledge) May 2006, pp. 151-56.
  • “Salsa,” in The Palgrave Dictionary of Transnational History, ed. Akira Iriye et al. (forthcoming).
  • “Negative Emotions and Music Revisited.” Contemporary Aesthetics Vol. 3, 2005 (on-line: ).
  • “Composition, Authorship, and Ownership in Flamenco, Past and Present,” in Music and Copyright, edited by Anthony McCann, Wesleyan University Press (under review).
  • “The Riddim Method: Aesthetics, Practice, and Ownership in Jamaican Dancehall,” co-authored with Wayne Marshall. Popular Music 2006 25(3): 447-70. 
  • “Flamenco in Focus: An Analysis of a Performance of Soleares.” In Analytical Studies in World Music, edited by Michael Tenzer. New York: Oxford University Press, 2006, pp. 92-119.
  • “Urbanization,” in Continuum Encyclopedia of Popular Music of the World, Vol. 1, ed. John Shepherd et al (London & NY:  Continuum), 2003, pp. 385-89 (with John Shepherd). “India” (co-authored), in Vol.  V: Asia and Oceania (2005), pp. 71-82; “Punjab” (with Joyce Hughes), pp. 94-96; in Vol. III: Caribbean and Latin America (2005), “The Caribbean Islands”, pp. 3-7. Forthcoming entries: “Gramco (India),” “India,” and “Khan, Nusrat Fateh Ali.”
  • “The Guajira between Cuba and Spain: A Study in Continuity and Change.” Latin American Music Review 25/2, 2004, pp. 137-62.
  • "The Influence of Jazz on International Popular Music," in Such Sweet Thunder: Views on Black American Music, edited by Mark Baszak (Amherst: Univ. of Massachusetts, 2003), pp. 92-98.
  • "Indo-Caribbean 'Local-Classical Music': A Unique Variant of Hindustani Music," Sangeet Natak Akademic Bulletin 37/1, 2003, pp. 1-16.
  • "Ghazal," "Film Music," "Cassettes," "Popular Music," in South Asian Folklore: An Encyclopedia (NY: Routledge, 2003), pp. 248-9, 191-2, 95-6, 480-1.
  • "Flamenco Guitar: History, Style, and Context," in The Cambridge Companion to the Guitar, ed. Victor Coelho (Cambridge University Press, 2003).
  • “From Scarlatti to ‘Guantanamera’: Dual tonicity in Spanish and Latin American Musics,” Journal of the American Musicological Society 55/2, summer 2002, pp. 313-38.
  • "Modernity and Musical Structure: Neo-Marxist Perspectives on Song Form and its Successors," in Music and Marx: Ideas, Practice, Politics, ed. Regula Qureshi (New York: Routledge, 2002), pp. 45-62.
  • "Popular Music: World Popular Music," "Pop: Non-Western culture," "India: Popular Music," "North India: Thumri, Dadra, and Tappa," "Bhangra," "Suriname 4: East Indians," and "Chutney" (total ca. 18,000 words) in The New Grove Encyclopaedia of Music and Musicians (2001).
  • "The construction of a diasporic tradition: Indo-Caribbean 'local classical music,'" in Ethnomusicology 44/1, 2000, pp. 97-119.
  • "Thumri, ghazal, and modernity in Hindustani music culture," in Music and Culture (Korean Society for World Music), 2000, pp. 133-56.
  • "Popular Music: World Popular Music," "Pop: Non-Western culture," in The New Groves Encyclopaedia of Music and Musicians (2001).
  • "The construction of a diasporic tradition: Indo-Caribbean 'local classical music,'" in Ethnomusicology 44/1 (2000).
  • "Pop Music and Audio-Cassette Technology: Northern Area," in Garland Encyclopedia of World Music: South Asia  (New York: Garland Publishing, 2000), pp. 547-54.
  • "Indo-Caribbean Music," in Garland Encyclopedia of World Music: The Americas (New York: Garland, 2000), pp. 813-17
  • "Popular music in cross-cultural perspectives" (syllabus, with introduction), in Journal of Popular Music Studies 9-10, 1997-98, pp. 229-34.
  • "Afro-Caribbean sacred music," "Afro-Caribbean secular music," "conga, "plena," and "bomba," in Afropedia, edited by Henry Louis Gates, Jr., and Anthony Appiah (total 5000 words).
  • "The Harmonium in Indian and Indo-Caribbean Music: From Colonial Tool to Nationalist Icon," The Free-Reed Journal 1, 1999, pp. 48-59.
  • "Improvisation in Latin dance music: History and style," in Bruno Nettl, ed., In the course of performance: Studies in the world of music improvisation: (Univ. of Chicago Press, 1998).
  • "Chutney and Indo-Trinidadian Cultural Identity," in Popular Music 17/1, 1998.
  • "Music, Identity, and Images of India in the Indo-Caribbean Diaspora," in Asian Music 29(1), 1997/1998.
  • "Ethnic Identity, National Identity, and Music in Indo-Caribbean Culture", in Music and the Racial Imagination, ed. Philip Bohlman and Ronald Radano (University of Chicago Press, 2000).
  • "Gender politics in Caribbean Popular Music: Consumer Perspectives and Academic Interpretation," in Popular Music and Society 22/2, 1998.
  • "Music, the Media, and Communal Relations in North India, Past and Present," in Contesting the Nation: Religion, Community, and the Politics of Democracy in India, ed. David Ludden (Philadelphia: Univ. of Pennsylvania, 1996).
  • "Music as Symbol, Music as Simulacrum: Pre-Modern, Modern, and Postmodern Aesthetics in Subcultural Musics,"  Popular Music 14(2), 1995.
  • "Puerto Rican Music and Cultural Identity: Creative Appropriation of Cuban Sources from Danza to Salsa,"  Ethnomusicology 38(2), Spring/Summer 1994.
  • "The Popularization and Transformation of the Light-Classical Urdu Ghazal Song," in Knowledge, Performance, and Transmission in South Asian Folk Traditions   (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania, 1991).
  • "Modal Harmony in Andalusian, Eastern European, and Turkish Syncretic Musics,"Yearbook for Traditional Musics  vol. 21,1989.
  • "Andalusian, Gypsy, and Class Identity in the Contemporary Flamenco Complex,"   Ethnomusicology, vol. 33, no. 1, Winter 1989.
  • "A Historical Survey of the Urdu Gazal-Song in India," Asian Music, vol. 20, no. 1 (Fall/Winter 1988-89).
  • "Popular Music in India: 1901-1986."  Popular Music, 7/2, Summer 1988.
  • "Marxism, Nationalism and Popular Music in Revolutionary Cuba," Popular Music   (Cambridge), vol. 6, no. 2, 1987.
  • "Jaipongan: Indigenous Popular Music of West Java," Asian Music, vol. 18, no. 1, Fall-Winter 1986 (co-authored with Randall Baier).
  • "Theoretical perspectives on urban popular music in Latin America and the Caribbean," "Salsa," and "Indo-Caribbean Music" in Latin American Music: An Encyclopedic History of Musics from South America, Central America, Mexico, and the Caribbean, ed. M. Kuss (Schirmer/UNESCO, forthcoming).
  • "Tan-Sangit and Indo-Caribbean Identity: Some Preliminary Considerations," in Indo-Caribbean Review 4/1, 1998-99, pp. 13-19.
  • "Representations of New York City in Latin Music," in Island Sounds in the Global City: Caribbean Music and Culture in New York, ed. Ray Allen (New York: Institute for Studies in American Music, Brooklyn College, 1998), pp. 23-43.
  • "World Beat," "Salsa," "Caribbean Music," and "Indian Music" in Encarta 97 (CD-ROM encyclopedia published by Microsoft Word, 1997).
  • "India: Popular Music," in Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart (MGG) (Barenreiter, 1994).
  • "Syncretism and Adaptation in Rasiya, a Braj Folksong Genre," Journal of Vaishnavite Studies 1, Winter 1994, pp. 33-60.
  • "The Soul of the Barrio: 30 Years of Salsa," NACLA (North American Council on Latin America), 9-10/94, pp. 22-29.  Reprinted in Sounding Off!, edited by Ron Sakolsky and Fred Ho (Autonomedia, 1995).
  • "Chutney-Soca: Indo-Caribbean Pop Comes of Age," The Beat  12/6, Fall 1993, pp. 46-48.
  • "Popular Music and Media Culture in South Asia," Asian Music  24/1, 1993, pp. 91-100.
  • "The Cassette Industry and Popular Musics in North India," Popular Music, 10/2, 1991, pp. 189-204.
  • "Latin Music in the United States: Salsa and the Mass Media,"  Journal of Communication, 41/1, Winter 1991, pp. 104-116.
  • "Legitimate and Illegitimate Variation in Rag Interpretations," Sangeet Natak Akademi Quarterly Journal, no. 96 (April-June 1990), pp. 19-26.
  • "Music and Cultural Pluralism in Revolutionary Cuba," International Journal of Politics, Culture and Society vol. 3, no. 3, Spring 1990, pp. 297-314.
  • "Rock Music and Cultural Ideology in Revolutionary Cuba," in World Music, Politics and Social Change  (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1989), pp. 161-66.
  • "Guerrilla Ethnomusicology vs. Voodoo Ethnomusicology," Echology  2, 1988, pp. 98-99.
  • Five entries on Cape Verdean music in Historical Encyclopedia of  Cape Verde, ed. Richard Lobban (London: Scarecrow, 1988, second edition) pp. 21, 37, 51, 57, 75.
  • "Evolution and Structure in Flamenco Harmony." Current Musicology, no. 42, 1986, pp. 46-57 (published 1988).
  • "Courtesans and Indian Music," Asian Review  (Southern Conn. State Univ.), vol. 7, no. 1, 1987, pp. 12-17.
  • "Cuban Popular Music Literature: Progress and Polemics," Studies in Latin American Popular Culture, 1986, pp. 253-56.
  • "The Evolution of Modern Thumri."  Ethnomusicology, vol. 30, no. 3 (Fall 1986), pp. 470-90.
  • "Formal Structure in Popular Music as a Reflection of Socio-Economic Economic Change," International Review of the Aesthetics and Sociology of Music, vol. 16, no. 2, 1985, pp. 163-80.
  • "Thumri and the Decline of the Courtesans." Society for Ethnomusicology: Pre-Published Paper Sessions  (accompanying 1985 SEM National Conference), Univ. of Washington: School of Music, 1985, pp. 12-15.
  • "Ideology and Popular Music in Socialist Cuba,"  Pacific Review of Ethnomusicology  (UCLA), vol. 2, Fall 1985, pp. 1-27.
  • "The Anticipated Bass in Cuban Popular Music," Latin American Music Review, vol. 6, no. 2, Fall/Winter 1985, pp. 249-61.
  • "Faiz and Indo-Pakistani Music," Pakistan Progressive  6(4), Winter 1984-5, pp. 26-9.
  • "Cuban Views on the Question of Pop," The Guardian, 11/7/84.
  • "The Concept of Tala in Semi-Classical Music," National Centre for the Performing Arts: Quarterly Journal  (Bombay), vol.12, no. 4, December 1983. pp. 7-14.
  • "The Evolution of Todi Raag-s in Indian Music," Journal of the Indian Musicological Society (Bombay), vol. 12, no. 3&4, Winter 1981, pp. 14-30.
  • "The Relationship between Prosodic and Musical Rhythms in Urdu Ghazal-Singing," in Studies in the Urdu Ghazal and Prose Fiction (Madison: University of Wisconsin, 1979), pp. 101-119.
  • "Classicism and Modernity in Nine Poems of Faiz Ahmad Faiz," Journal of Asian Culture (UCLA), vol. 3, Spring 1979, pp. 1-15.
  • East Indian Music in the West Indies: Tan-singing, Chutney, and the Making of Indo-Caribbean Culture
Peter L. Manuel - Professor -  profile photo


Affiliated Campus(es)

  • John Jay College of Criminal Justice