American Popular Music

American Popular Music

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University of Massachusetts Press

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American Popular Music

Designed as a broad introductory survey, and written by experts in the field, this book examines the rise of American music over the past hundred years—the period in which that music came into its own and achieved unprecedented popularity. Beginning with a look at music as a business, eleven essays explore a variety of popular musical genres, including Tin Pan Alley, blues, jazz, country, gospel, rhythm and blues, rock and roll, folk, rap, and Mexican American corridos. Reading these essays, we come to see that the forms created by one group often appeal to, and are in turn influenced by, other groups—across lines of race, ethnicity, class, gender, region, and age.

The chapters speak to one another, arguing for the primacy of such concepts as minstrelsy, urbanization, hybridity, and crossover as the most powerful tools for understanding American popular music. Moving beyond outdated music-industry categories and misleading genre labels, while acknowledging the complexities of the market, the book recovers and reinforces the essential blackness of much popular music—even a presumably white form like country and western.

In addition to Rachel Rubin and Jeffrey Melnick, contributors include Reebee Garofalo, Geoffrey Jacques, Kip Lornell, Mark Anthony Neal, Millie Rahn, David Sanjek, James Smethurst, Elijah Wald, and Gail Hilson Woldu.

About the Authors:
Rachel Rubin is assistant professor of American studies at the University of Massachusetts Boston and author of Jewish Gangsters of Modern Literature.

Jeffrey Melnick is assistant professor of American studies at Babson College and author of A Right to Sing the Blues: African Americans, Jews, and American Popular Song.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781558492677
Publisher: University of Massachusetts Press
Publication date: 05/08/2001
Pages: 296
Product dimensions: 6.53(w) x 9.58(h) x 1.15(d)

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