Stevenson’s well-known work, first published in 1968 and now reissued, is a topically organized description of music in the areas of Aztec and Inca dominance from the time of the conquest through the colonial period. An admirably-researched and gracefully-written compendium of information from existing historical and ethnographic sources, the book includes extensive critical surveys of scholarship on pre-conquest music and instruments, an outline of methodologies for approaching the subjects, accounts of European reactions to the music, analyses of musical acculturation from the fifteenth through the eighteenth centuries, descriptions of music teaching in Peru, remarks on indigenismo in contemporary Latin American composition, and an examination of sources for the study of Peruvian folk music. The main body of the text and the bibliography are unchanged from the original edition. The preface has been slightly retouched, and eight pages of plates have been added, including a sixteenth-century illustration of Aztec dancers and musicians and modern photographs of selected Mesoamerican and Incan instruments. In this printing, the format is slightly reduced, enhancing neither readability nor the book’s original good design.

Criticisms voiced when the work first appeared centered on the somewhat idiosyncratic and incongruent organization of the two sections, Aztec and Inca, the predominance of description and summary over analysis, and the absence of a unifying hypothesis or principle. A detailed commentary may be found in Gerard Béhague’s review article in Musical Quarterly [LV (January 1969), 115-120]. In spite of not having been significantly revised or updated, Music in Aztec and Inca Territory remains an essential research tool which offers a wealth of topics for further study, and which belongs in every college and university library.