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, American Popular Music: From Minstrelsy to MTV poses such questions as: Why do people make and listen to music? What do they want from it? What does it give them? Numerous listening examples (corresponding to the 2-CD package that accompanies the text) prompt readers to listen closely to popular music and to learn about its history and the people and institutions that have produced it. American Popular Music: From Minstrelsy to MTV integrates detailed discussions of particular popular songs and recordings with a thoughtful consideration of the broader historical and cultural context. Other distinctive features include a rich illustration program, strong pedagogy including numerous boxed inserts, inclusion of earlier American popular music, and well-organized listening charts with lyrics. Themes such as the multicultural roots of popular styles, the development of musical technology, and the operations and strategies of the music industry unify the text. This book is an ideal text for courses in American Studies, Cultural Studies, Popular Culture, and Music. Its accessible style and warm tone will captivate students and other readers, encouraging them to become more critically aware listeners of popular music.
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