I Hear America Singing: An Introduction to Popular Music

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9780133533767: I Hear America Singing: An Introduction to Popular Music

The first edition of American Popular Music introduces the history and influence of American music within the broader context of American culture. It reveals how the history of American music connects to contemporary popular music through specific examples showing how past styles and performers have influenced current musical styles. Presents a balanced, accurate, and comprehensive portrayal of American popular music within a narrative, conversational style while discussing various musical styles and performers in a larger social and historical context that provides a larger perspective on American cultural history. The book relates the development of each musical genre to its historical period and places individual performers and styles within their larger social or artistic context. It includes numerous excerpts from literary works that reveal the tremendous influence popular music has had on American culture. It also presents over 300 photos and illustrations, including album covers, posters, sheet music illustrations, and song lyrics. An important reference for any reader interested in the history of American popular music.

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From the Back Cover:

I Hear America Singing: An Introduction to Popular Music explores the evolution of popular music within the broader context of American social, political, and cultural history. By forging connections between contemporary popular music and its roots in blues, jazz, and traditional folk music, this book offers a compelling portrait of America's rich musical heritage.

  • Tells the story of the major genres of American popular music using an engaging narrative style.
  • Sidebars provide biographical sketches as well as entries on subjects of special interest (such as the minstrel show, Tin Pan Alley, and the griot tradition).
  • Excerpts from works by Jack Kerouac, Sterling A. Brown, Frank O'Hara, Jayne Cortez, and Ralph Ellison, among others, highlight the influence of popular music on American literature and culture.
  • Suggested projects for each chapter encourage an active learning experience.
  • Approximately 125 contemporary and archival photographs reflect the vitality of America's popular music.

About the Author:

David Kastin has over twenty-five years experience as an educator and curriculum specialist. He has used his academic background in American studies and journalism to create innovative programs for institutions such as The American Museum of the Moving Image, New York Newsday, and The American Social History Project. He also has written on music and the media for the Village Voice, Downbeat, and other publications. He currently is teaching an interdisciplinary course in American literature and popular music at Stuyvesant High School in New York City.

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