Can music change lives, and classical music in particular? In Soul Music, novelist and former activist of African descent, Candace Allen asks whether the pitched battles between ';our' music and ';their' music of her youth are alive among young people engaged in music study. She follows the beat of music from Blues, Miles Davis as friend of the family, hiphop, musical to classical in her own life to places where different cultures meet.Her personal journey takes her to the streets of London and Scotland, Venezuela, where the Sistema scheme has offered thousands of young people a route out of the ghetto mentality through virtuoso musical training, bringing global fame to the charismatic conductor Gustavo Dudamel; to the Middle East, and Daniel Barenboim's East-West Divan Orchestra in which young Israelis and Palestians play side by side; and to Soweto and a pioneering opera project.Candace Allen is a novelist and was the first African-American female member of the Directors Guild of America. Race and music are an integral part of her life, from Miles Davis's close friendship with her father to her marriage to Simon Rattle, and her political activism at Harvard University, Hollywood, and recently for Obama.

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