Musicologist Publishes Collection of Field Notes on Bells of Malta

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Otto Henry offers examination of Maltese culture, historic significance of island’s churches.

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In the daily notes I took, I hoped to capture the wonder of these massive bronze implements and their celebration of different times of day, occasions and religious services.

A Greenville-based musicologist and retired college professor has compiled and released a collection of field notes documenting his time spent visiting the Mediterranean island of Malta during the early 1970s. Through “Ringing Bells in Malta,” Otto Henry puts forth his examination of the Maltese church bells and their significance to the country’s seasons of life.

“Ringing Bells in Malta” follows Henry’s spur-of-the-moment journey to the island alongside a couple anthropology colleagues who, at the time, had recently finished a dissertation on Maltese folk music. Determined to find his niche among unfamiliar surroundings, Henry drinks in the rich culture and history of Malta and is ultimately drawn to the mystique of the country’s majestic church bells.

“In the daily notes I took, I hoped to capture the wonder of these massive bronze implements and their celebration of different times of day, occasions and religious services,” Henry said. “Publishing this book is a celebration and closure of the research I did and encounters I had during this fascinating journey.”

Told from the first-person perspective of a music scholar, Henry’s book presents readers with helpful illustrations, colorful interactions with Maltese bell ringers and adventurous anecdotes from atop Malta’s church roofs. “Ringing Bells in Malta” offers readers a unique, nonfiction account of music history and chronicles how strangers from different cultures can come together to document something beautiful.

“Ringing Bells in Malta”
By Otto Henry
ISBN: 978-1-5245-4601-4 (hardback); 978-1-5245-4600-7 (paperback); 978-1-5245-4599-4 (electronic)
Available at the Xlibris Online Bookstore, Barnes & Noble and Amazon

About the author
Otto Henry was born in Nevada during the early years of the Great Depression and holds a doctorate in music history from Tulane University. Henry spent more than 30 years teaching music history and composition at East Carolina University. Now retired, he currently resides in Greenville, N.C. To learn more, please visit http://www.owhenry9.com.

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