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VOYAThe series editors of this reference set define popular simply as "music that attracts a reasonably large audience." There are seven volumes, which may be purchased as a set or individually, that also cover country, rock and roll, folk, jazz, and blues. Each volume is an A-to-Z encyclopedia, discussing people, places, styles, and musical terms, illustrated with black-and-white photographs. The strength of the set lies in excellent introductions, detailing the history and importance of each genre, and in the appendixes, each of which includes a recommended listening list, bibliography, chronology and index. The introduction to Rhythm and Blues, Rap, and Hip-Hop is excellent in tracing the relevant genres and their influences, but the A-to-Z entries do not include all of the people or terms mentioned as important. For example, the Ink Spots are highlighted in the forward but left out of the encyclopedia itself. It is also unfortunate that an artist might be mentioned in an article about a particular style, but that style is not, in turn, mentioned in his biography. For example, Prince is in the "funk" article as one of the most popular funk punk artists, but the only style named in his entry is disco. Overall, it is a useful reference set and might even inspire some teens to read cover to cover. Although far from comprehensive, it is written at a high school level with teen appeal and is recommended for public and school libraries where demand exists. A comprehensive index volume is available only with purchase of the complete set. Considering the cross-pollination inherent in American music, especially in the twentieth century, it is an essential purchase. (American Popular Music).2006, Facts on File, 332p.; Index. Photos. Biblio. Chronology. Appendix., PLB $67. PLB $469/set.. Ages 15 to Adult.