Sounding the Depths in English and Italian

My book, “Sounding the Depths,” first published back in 2011 as a "blog book," is an innovative inquiry into the origins and deep history of some of humankind's most venerable and highly valued traditions, suggesting “solutions to mysteries that, until recently, were thought to be completely beyond the reach of systematic investigation.” A major objective is to demonstrate that evidence distilled from the music of contemporary indigenous peoples can function as a kind of cultural “genome,” roughly analogous to the biological genome currently being explored by geneticists. Indeed, it is the author’s hope that his research may some day do for cultural history what population genetics is currently doing for our biological history; going, in both cases, all the way back to our beginnings in Africa.

I'm pleased to announce that a (somewhat condensed) Italian version of "Sounding the Depths," has recently been published, by Codice Edizione, translated by  B. Martera and G. Ferrari, with a preface by the Italian musicologist Stefano Zenni. It's available in both paperback and e-book format, and can be ordered from this site (among others):

I've also just released a new improved -- expanded, revised and updated -- version of the English language original, in e-book format, available for purchase here, at half the price of the original paperback version:

As with the original blog version, the e-book contains direct links to all the many audio and video examples, and also contains many of the illustrations omitted from the original paperback version. To access the links you'll need a multimedia e-book reader with Internet access, such as Kindle Fire, Apple i-Pad, i-Phone, Android devices, etc. There are free apps available for Macs and PCs as well. And I must announce also that I've decided to discontinue the blog version of the book, after several years of free access, and over 58,000 hits. For more information, see my latest blog post, at

I want to thank the many people who've responded enthusiastically to this work, and want also to express the hope that the new version will encourage more of you to engage with it, both as a text and a resource for accessing so many remarkable audio and video clips from all over the world. Imo Sounding the Depths would make an excellent supplementary text for classes in world music, introduction to ethnomusicology, music in society, musical evolution, etc., not to mention comparative anthropology, cultural evolution, etc. An extensive preview ("Look Inside") is provided at the Amazon site.

Victor Grauer
Pittsburgh, PA, USA

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