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Early Downhome Blues: A Musical and Cultural Analysis / Edition 2

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Overview

Hailed as a classic in music studies when it was first published in 1977, Early Downhome Blues is a detailed look at traditional country blues artists and their work.

Combining musical analysis and cultural history approaches, Titon examines the origins of downhome blues in African American society. He also explores what happened to the art form when the blues were commercially recorded and became part of the larger American culture. From forty-seven musical transcriptions, Titon derives a grammar of early downhome blues melody. His book is enriched with the recollections of blues performers, audience members, and those working in the recording industry.

In a new afterword, Titon reflects on the genesis of this book in the blues revival of the 1960s and the politics of tourism in the current revival under way.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Accessible to both student and fan . . . [this book] belongs in every blues library.

Living Blues

A classic study of blues. Jeff Titon reveals the artistry of blues performers and their rich contributions to American music.

William Ferris, University of Mississippi

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807844823
  • Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
  • Publication date: 2/28/1995
  • Series: Cultural Studies of the United States Series
  • Edition description: Second Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 340
  • Product dimensions: 7.03 (w) x 10.01 (h) x 1.03 (d)

Meet the Author

Jeff Todd Titon is professor of music at Brown University and author of Downhome Blues Lyrics, Powerhouse for God, and Give Me This Mountain.
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Table of Contents

Transcriptions
Foreword
Preface
Acknowledgments
1 Down Home 3
2 The Singers' Perspective 30
3 Early Downhome Blues on Record: A Representative Sample 59
4 Musical Analysis: Toward a Song-Producing System 137
5 Formulaic Structure and Meaning in Early Downhome Blues Lyrics 175
6 Recording the Blues 193
7 The Cultural Significance of Race Record Advertisements 218
Afterword 261
APP. A: Patterns of Record Purchase and Listening 281
APP. B: Sermon by the Reverend Emmett Dickinson: "Is There Harm in Singing the Blues?" 287
Notes 289
Bibliography 305
Index 313
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