Dr. Olive Lewin
(1937- ) is a Jamaican
author, social anthropologist, musicologist, and teacher. Dr.Lewin is probably best known for her recorded anthologies of old Jamaica folk songs, researched and collected over her lifetime. Olive Lewin studied music and ethnomusicology in the United Kingdom. She is a Fellow of Trinity College, London
, and an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music
and the Royal School of Music. She has also held the position of Director of Arts and Culture at the office of the Prime Minister of Jamaica as well as that of Director of the Jamaica Institute of Folk Culture. Since 1983 she has directed the Jamaica Orchestra for Youth.
Dr. Lewin is the author of several books and has made numerous recordings of folk music, performed by the Jamaican Folk Singers. She has been honored by the Government of Jamaica, the United Nations, the Organization of American States, the Government of France and by academia for her outstanding lifelong contribution to the Arts. In 2001 she was awarded the Jamaican Order of Distinction.
Dr. Lewin preferred live concerts to present her collections of old Jamaican folk songs, and useful recordings are difficult to find. There is some evidence of Dr. Lewin's collected folk songs on the internet but most of the few original recordings are very difficult to find since the original reel-to-reel tapes have deteriorated; once plentiful 78rpm records are now difficult to find.
Works by Olive Lewin
- Alle, Alle, Alle: 12 Jamaican Folk Songs. (London: Oxford UP) 1977. Music scores incl.
- Beeny Budd: 12 Jamaican Folk-songs for Children. (London: Oxford UP) 1975.
- Brown Gal in the Ring: 12 Jamaican Folk Songs, Collected and Arranged for Schools. (London: Oxford UP) 1974.
- Dandy Shandy: 12 Folk-songs for children. (London: Oxford UP) 1975. Folklore. Music. Songs. Jamaica.
- Forty Folk Songs of Jamaica. (Washington, DC: OAS) 107 pages, 1 map, 1973.
- Some Jamaican Folk Songs. (Kingston: Oxford Group Publishers) 1970. A collection of 36 folk songs, including scores.
- "Mento". Article in The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, second edition, vol. 16, pages 435-6. (London: Macmillan Publishers Limited) 2001.
- Rock It Come Over: the Folk Music of Jamaica. (Kingston: University of the West Indies Press) 2000. Map, Illustrations, Foreword, Introduction, Preface, Acknowledgments, References, Indexes, and chapters as follows:
1. The Making of a Musician
2. Slavery: Old Souls in a New World
3. Conflicting Concepts of Wealth
II. Non-Cult Traditional Jamaican Music
4. Music for Work, Play and the Spirit
5. Mento and Other Styles for Dance, Entertainment and Ceremony
III. Cults and Cult Music in Jamaica
6. Maroon, Tambo, Goombeh, Ettu, Nago
7. Revivalism and Rastafarianism
IV. Kumina and Queenie Kennedy
8. The Kumina Cult
9. Queenie Kennedy: Her Life
10. Queenie Kennedy: Her Teachings and Her Work
Laura Tanna, "Olive Lewin: A Life of Service," Jamaica Journal, vol. 21, no. 1, Feb-April, 1988, pages 2-11.