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The Cambridge History of American Music


  • Page extent: 654 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 1.07 kg


 (ISBN-13: 9780521545549 | ISBN-10: 0521545544)

The Cambridge History of American Music, first published in 1998, celebrates the richness of America's musical life. It was the first study of music in the United States to be written by a team of scholars. American music is an intricate tapestry of many cultures, and the History reveals this wide array of influences from Native, European, African, Asian, and other sources. The History begins with a survey of the music of Native Americans and then explores the social, historical, and cultural events of musical life in the period until 1900. Other contributors examine the growth and influence of popular musics, including film and stage music, jazz, rock, and immigrant, folk, and regional musics. The volume also includes valuable chapters on twentieth-century art music, including the experimental, serial, and tonal traditions.

• The first history of American music by a team of specialists • Up-to-date scholarship, fully researched and backed by extended bibliographies • Coverage leans towards non-art music such as ethnic music histories, cultural differences; reflects true nature of music in American history


Notes on contributors; Editor's preface; Part I: 1. American Indian musics, past and present Victoria Lindsay Levine; 2. Music in America: an overview (part 1) William Brooks; 3. Secular music to 1800 Kate Van Winkle Keller with John Koegel; 4. Sacred music to 1800 Nym Cooke; 5. African-American music to 1900 Jacqueline Cogdell DjeDje; 6. Immigrant, folk and regional musics in the nineteenth century Michael Broyles; 7. Nineteenth-century popular music Dale Cockrell; 8. Art music from 1800 to 1860 Katherine K. Preston; 9. Art music from 1860 to 1920 Michael Broyles; Part II: 10. Music in America: an overview (part 2) William Brooks; 11. Immigrant, folk and regional musics in the twentieth century Philip V. Bohlman; 12. Popular song and popular music on stage and film Stephen Banfield; 13. The rock and roll era Robert Walser; 14. Ragtime and early jazz Jeffrey Magee; 15. Jazz from 1930 to 1960 David Joyner; 16. Jazz since 1960 Ronald Radano; 17. Tonal traditions in art music from 1920 to 1960 Larry Starr; 18. Serialism and complexity Stephen Peles; 19. Avant-garde and experimental music David Nicholls; 20. Tonal traditions in art music since 1960 Jonathan W. Bernard; Bibliography and references; Index.


'Unlike European musical history, the terra incognita of American music for non-specialists is the pre-modern era. The first half of The Cambridge History of American Music covers all aspects of this period and is worth the price of the whole.' The Times Literary Supplement

'Enjoyable and non-technical, this fine volume has much to offer to all those interested in the highways and byways of the American musical landscape.' BBC Music Magazine

'… copes with its subject's pluralism by employing many authorities, collated under a general editor, David Nicholls, whose approach is as far-sighted as it is intelligent.' Tempo

'The generally high quality of the essays as well as the admirable and unexpected liveliness of the book as a whole shows the virtue of Nicholls's approach.' Journal of the American Musicological Society


Victoria Lindsay Levine, William Brooks, Kate Van Winkle Keller, John Koegel, Nym Cooke, Jacqueline Cogdell DjeDje, Michael Broyles, Dale Cockrell, Katherine K. Preston, Philip V. Bohlman, Stephen Banfield, Robert Walser, Jeffrey Magee, David Joyner, Ronald Radano, Larry Starr, Stephen Peles, David Nicholls, Jonathan W. Bernard

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