Music in American Life: An Encyclopedia of the Songs, Styles, Stars, and Stories That Shaped Our Culture

Overview

Music has been the cornerstone of popular culture in the United States since the beginning of our nation's history. From early immigrants sharing the sounds of their native lands to contemporary artists performing benefit concerts for social causes, our country's musical expressions reflect where we, as a people, have been, as well as our hope for the future. This four-volume encyclopedia examines music's influence on contemporary American life, tracing historical connections ...

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Music in American Life: An Encyclopedia of the Songs, Styles, Stars, and Stories that Shaped our Culture [4 volumes]: An Encyclopedia of the Songs, Styles, Stars, and Stories That Shaped Our Culture

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Overview

Music has been the cornerstone of popular culture in the United States since the beginning of our nation's history. From early immigrants sharing the sounds of their native lands to contemporary artists performing benefit concerts for social causes, our country's musical expressions reflect where we, as a people, have been, as well as our hope for the future. This four-volume encyclopedia examines music's influence on contemporary American life, tracing historical connections over time.

Music in American Life: An Encyclopedia of the Songs, Styles, Stars, and Stories That Shaped Our Culture demonstrates the symbiotic relationship between this art form and our society. Entries include singers, composers, lyricists, songs, musical genres, places, instruments, technologies, music in films, music in political realms, and music shows on television.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"This set serves as a fine introduction to various influences, venues, forms, genres, and styles of music that affected American life, and the musicians with whom these forms are associated."

-

ARBA

"This superbly written and edited set is full of pleasant surprises. . . . [T]his title does a commendable job of presenting the story of the American condition, past and present, as told through the universal language of melody."

-

Library Journal, Starred Review

"[R]eaders will discover many excellent articles and thought-provoking perspectives. This set is appropriate for public, community college, and undergraduate libraries, and would be useful for courses in American popular music. Recommended."

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Choice

"This resource is intended for general, high school and undergraduate students and music students to discover various topics and genres associated with music in the USA. . . . This particular resource . . . is of use and interest in most public and undergraduate college libraries."

-

Reference Reviews

From the Publisher

"This set serves as a fine introduction to various influences, venues, forms, genres, and styles of music that affected American life, and the musicians with whom these forms are associated."

-

ARBA

"This superbly written and edited set is full of pleasant surprises. . . . [T]his title does a commendable job of presenting the story of the American condition, past and present, as told through the universal language of melody."

-

Library Journal, Starred Review

Library Journal
★ 02/01/2014
This superbly written and edited set is full of pleasant surprises, from offbeat entries, such as "U.S. Presidents as Musicians," to fascinating trivia (the band the B-52s got its name from "Southern slang for a large beehive hairstyle that resembled the nose cone of the B-52 aircraft"). From the silly to the serious, as in "Fools and Foolish Behavior in Song" vs. "American Federation of Musicians," the volumes encompass the breadth and depth of the American music scene. The bulk of the work consists of 500-plus alphabetically arranged, signed entries covering notable personalities; famous bands, singers, and songwriters; musical instruments, genres, and styles; organizations; social movements; technology as an influence on music; and a multiplicity of other topics. Add to this engaging mix a half-dozen special features, including a chronology, bibliography, discography, list of music festivals, and so on, plus a refreshingly high degree of academic rigor, and the result is a set that not only makes for interesting reading but is truly useful as a research tool. Edmondson (education, Pennsylvania State Univ., University Park) has gathered a cast of contributors that consists of "more than 280 musicians, scholars, critics, and industry experts from the United States, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom." It should be noted that the contributors' pages are unusually detailed regarding education, experience, and background of the individual writers, so one gets a much better sense of their musical credentials than is available from a mere listing of a name and an institution. VERDICT While one could carp about obvious omissions (doo-wop, harmonica, and Nashville are but a few), this title does a commendable job of presenting the story of the American condition, past and present, as told through the universal language of melody. Those who need much more detail on the subject should consider the eight-volume Grove Dictionary of American Music, 2d ed.—Michael Bemis, St. Paul
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780313393471
  • Publisher: Greenwood Publishing Group, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/30/2013
  • Pages: 1270
  • Product dimensions: 8.90 (w) x 11.40 (h) x 4.30 (d)

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