Raggin' Jazzin' Rockin': A History of American Musical Instrument Makers

Overview

Meet the inventors and innovators who defined American music history. A radio repairman imagined inventing the electric guitar. The inventor of 3-D glasses envisioned an electric organ in every home. And a German carpenter immigrated to New York City with the dream of designing the greatest piano in the world. From Steinway pianos and Moog synthesizers to Zildgian cymbals and Martin guitars, noted music writer VanHeke offers a fascinating, insider view of the personalities and perseverance that led to some of ...

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Overview

Meet the inventors and innovators who defined American music history. A radio repairman imagined inventing the electric guitar. The inventor of 3-D glasses envisioned an electric organ in every home. And a German carpenter immigrated to New York City with the dream of designing the greatest piano in the world. From Steinway pianos and Moog synthesizers to Zildgian cymbals and Martin guitars, noted music writer VanHeke offers a fascinating, insider view of the personalities and perseverance that led to some of music's most important innovations—from classical to jazz to rock. This ALA Notable Children's Book includes photos, source notes, and glossaries.

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Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Madelene Rathbun Barnard
This interesting music business read moves at a quick pace, although at times, dry details about the music industry slow down the text. Each chapter covers one instrument maker's history and their relationship with famous musicians. Author VanHecke includes various musical sections, with chapters on the cornet, strings, drums and keyboards, while gushing over business pioneers, ranging from C.G. Conn to Steinway & Sons. Most music students, as well as history buffs and music lovers, will enjoy this book. Photographs and other illustrations pepper the book, including wonderful shots of famous musicians. From the country music of Bill Monroe and the classics of John Phillip Sousa to the jazz of drummer Buddy Rich and rock-and-roll legends John Bonham and guitarist Eric Clapton—readers will enjoy this back stage pass to the history of American musical instrument makers. Reviewer: Madelene Rathbun Barnard
VOYA - Angi Barnard
Musicians and music lovers look no further. Raggin' Jazzin' Rockin' is a book for everyone. From ordinary instruments like guitars and piano to fun little devices like the vibraphone and the cassette tape recorder, this is an interesting book. For example, included in this informative text are factual accounts of famous musicians. On another note, a portion of the book proceeds is donated to support music charities. Reviewer: Angi Barnard, Teen Reviewer
School Library Journal
Gr 5–9—Music lovers and history buffs will find this wonderful compilation both informative and fascinating. Reading about the individuals behind the creation and development of instruments used and heard in performances today helps bring a new understanding to the significance and impact each one has made on the world of music. Beginning with the story behind the clashing cymbals of Turkish creator Avedis Zildjian, and continuing with the Steinway brothers' prestigious pianos, C. G. Conn's brass horns, Martin guitars, Ludwig drums, Hammond's electric organs, Fender electric guitars, and Bob Moog's synthesizers, the text chronicles major events in the lives of the creators and successfully conveys the determination, persistence, and perseverance that made their contributions great. Connections to many famous performers and artists of the past and present add to the book's appeal. It is written in an easy-to-read style and filled with copious historical photos and drawings, including many of famous performers.—Susan Shaver, Hemingford Public Schools, NE
Kirkus Reviews
This absorbing history examines the lives and work of eight innovators in the design and manufacture of musical instruments. From Avedis Zildjian, who brought his family's centuries-old cymbal-making business from Turkey to Boston, to Robert Moog, whose electronic synthesizer rocked the music world, VanHecke's portraits celebrate the inquisitive scientific tinkering, dedication to craft and business moxie that rendered Steinway pianos, Hammond organs and Fender guitars both household names and performers' favorites. The writing's freshest when VanHecke changes it up with bits of cultural trivia, like Beatles lore. (It's dullest when awash in the minutiae of cousins, marriages and succession.) Examining the effect of the Great Depression, the World Wars and immigration on these family businesses vibrantly contextualizes those issues for kids. Numerous well-captioned photos and period illustrations, sidebars and clearly labeled diagrams of the musical instruments expertly extend the text. Students and teachers of music are the natural audience for this unique treatment. (introduction, endnote, quotation sources, bibliographies, websites, photo credits, index) (Nonfiction. 10-14)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781590785744
  • Publisher: Boyds Mills Press
  • Publication date: 4/1/2011
  • Pages: 140
  • Age range: 11 - 14 Years
  • Lexile: 1090L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 11.20 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Susan VanHeke is a journalist and author and the former publisher and editor of Original Cool, a rockabilly/swing magazine. Her work has appeared in numerous publications and she served as an arts and entertainment correspondent for the Virginian-Pilot. Susan lives in Virginia.

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