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Paperback American Popular Music: From Minstrelsy to Mtvtext & Audio CDs [With CD] Book

ISBN: 019510854X

ISBN13: 9780195108545

American Popular Music: From Minstrelsy to Mtvtext & Audio CDs [With CD]

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Format: Paperback

Condition: Good

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Book Overview

The history of American popular music provides crucial insights into the establishment of a distinctively American culture. Authors Larry Starr and Christopher Waterman examine popular music in the United States from its beginnings to the end of the 20th century, furthering our understanding of the relationship between music, culture, and social identity. Using well-chosen examples, insightful, up-to-date commentaries, and an engaging writing style,...

Customer Reviews

4 ratings

Great product and seller

This product arrived in great shape from the seller and is well written and organized. I plan on using it with a high school class and think that it is clear and concise for that purpose.

Used as extra backup for insights

This was very helpful when I was teaching a "History of Rock and Roll" class because the text the school chose (and another they gave me) both started with too little information for the time prior to the 1950's and the book filled in (as most jazz texts would). I was glad I had this to give students a deeper, earlier foundation, which I think they didn't expect, but I transitioned over to be more be rock-centered after about the third week, and it worked. The book is not jazz focused after swing arrives, but it does a good job weaving the whole early picture together - you just need to get a history of jazz to have depth about all the later styles of jazz. I got the CD's included in the cover, and found one glitch so Benny Goodman track even though the text offers a "listening guide" to him, but the same song is on YouTube anyway.

American Popular Music

American Popular Music is a book that is easy to read and is very useful when wanting to learn more about Music History. I would recommend this book for people who would like to brush up on their music skills and who want to learn more about different music that has developed over the years.

Very Thorough Undergraduate Text

This book is designed to be an introductory college-level text for courses about Popular Music in America. It's good overall, but not great. The book begins with the initial "split" in America between "Classical" and "Popular" music in the nineteenth century, with minstrel shows and brass band music. The following chapters cover social dance and jazz, Tin Pan Alley, "race" records and "hillbilly" music, swing, postwar era music, Rock `n' Roll, the British Invasion, the 1960s, the 1970s, outside influences on 70s music (reggae, punk, funk, progressive country, etc.), the 1980s and MTV, and the rise of "alternative" music. There are some great aspects about this textbook. First the prose is well-written, informative, entertaining, and thorough from a social/cultural standpoint. The book does not make any significant omissions, which is not easy considering all the subject matter which must be covered. Also, with two CDs included with the book price, the textbook does provide a good value. This is a nice feature. I was able to find some serious drawbacks to the book, however. The book seems to focus more on the cultural aspects and less on the musical aspects of each section. The analyses of the musical tracks on the included CDs are too fluffy. It is likely that students will not get enough from the book to understand why the music is so special. Also, while 2 CDs may seem like a lot of music, it is really inadequate to chronicle the history of jazz, blues, musical theater, rock `n' roll, alternative rock, and so on. There was one minor aspect of the book which also cropped up repeatedly. The authors seemed a little too eager to inject race into every nook and cranny. Obviously, racism is a central issue American popular music and deserves a healthy focus. The book, however, includes racism related not just to singers and performers, but record companies, disc jockeys, and more. I found it extraneous in some parts. This textbook is very strong, but I would probably recommend And the Beat Goes On by Michael Campbell. With that series, one can order a 5-CD set, and the textbook, while shorter, has more in-depth musical analysis. This textbook is very close in quality overall, and is more up-to-date.
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