America's Musical Life: A History

Front Cover
W. W. Norton & Company, 2001 - Music - 976 pages
2 Reviews
The fascinating story of music in the United States, from the sacred music of its earliest days to the jazz and rock that enliven the turn of the millennium. Richard Crawford leads us along the widely varied paths taken by American music, beginning with that of Native Americans and continuing with traditions introduced by Spanish, French, and English colonizers; Africans brought here as slaves; and other immigrants. He shows how the three spheres of folk, popular, and classical music continually interact to form a variegated whole. Throughout, the music is set in historical and social context. America's Musical Life strikes a balance in presenting general background and highlighting individual composers, performers, and pieces of music. We learn how sacred music-making coexisted with secular song and dance in the colonies; how nineteenth-century commerce ruled the publication of parlor music; and how the twentieth century introduced an incredibly rich array of styles, encompassing blues, jazz, sound tracks, folk revival, swing, minimalism, rock, and hip-hop, to name just a few, as well as the music of Charles Ives, George Gershwin, Duke Ellington, and Sarah Vaughan--the list is endless. Bringing order to this cacophony, America's Musical Life gives us a highly readable and informative account of this country's rich musical traditions.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

America's musical life: a history

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Here, Crawford (Glen McGeoch Collegiate Professor of Music, Univ. of Michigan; former president, American Musicological Society) has assembled a comprehensive tome poised to supersede all previous ... Read full review

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

Arguably one of the finest texts of its kind in one volume on the subject of American Music. Mr. Crawford has done a superb job in bringing the quagmire of American Music and where it came from into a manageable volume that whets the appetite for those interest in the Culture and Metamorphosis of music in America. The text covers the cultural/social aspects of music in America beginning with the arrival of the Europeans to modern day events in the American Music Scene. While not exhaustive in any one area, this "introduction" certainly serves as a great launching point from which to begin a more in depth and scholarly study on any pof the myriad subjects mentioned in the book. I have found this book to make an excellent text for a college level class on the survey of American Music. A must read for any one interest in American Music.  

Contents

The First Song Native American Music
3
European Inroads Early Christian Music Making
15
From Ritual to Art The Flowering of Sacred Music
29
Old Simple Ditties Colonial Song Dance and Home Music Making
56
Performing By Particular Desire Colonial Military Concert and Theater Music
83
Maintaining Oral Traditions African Music in Early America
102
Correcting the Harshness of Our Singing New England Psalmody Reformed
125
The Nineteenth Century
137
After the Ball The Rise of Tin Pan Alley
471
The Twentieth Century
493
To Stretch Our Ears The Music of Charles Ives
495
Come On and Hear The Early Twentieth Century
524
The Jazz Age Dawns Blues Jazz and a Rhapsody
557
The Birthright of All of Us Classical Music the Mass Media and the Depression
580
All That Is Native and Fine American Folk Song and Its Collectors
597
From New Orleans to Chicago Jazz Goes National
619

Edification and Economics The Career of Lowell Mason
139
Singing Praises Southern and Frontier Devotional Music
156
Be It Ever So Humble Theater and Opera 18001860
173
Blacks Whites and the Minstrel Stage
196
Home Music Making and the Publishing Industry
221
From Ramparts to Romance Parlor Songs 18001865
240
Of Yankee Doodle and Ophicleides Bands and Orchestras 1800 to the 1870s
272
From Church to Concert Hall The Rise of Classical Music
293
From Log House to Opera House Anthony Philip Heinrich and William Henry Fry
314
A New Orleans Original Gottschalk of Louisiana
331
Two Classic Bostonians George W Chadwick and Amy Beach
351
Edward MacDowell and Musical Nationalism
372
Travel in the Winds Native American Music from 1820
387
Make a Noise Slave Songs and Other Black Music to the 1880s
407
Songs of the Later Nineteenth Century
430
Stars Stripes and Cylinders Sousa the Band and the Phonograph
453
Crescendo in Blue Ellington Basie and the Swing Band
641
The Golden Age of the American Musical
664
Classical Music in the Postwar Years
689
Rock Around the Clock The Rise of Rock and Roll
714
Songs of Loneliness and Praise Postwar Vernacular Trends
736
Jazz Broadway and Musical Permanence
755
Melting Pot or Pluralism? Popular Music and Ethnicity
778
From Accessibility to Transcendence The Beatles Rock and Popular Music
799
Trouble Girls Minimalists and The Gap The 1960s to the 1980s
813
Black Music and American Identity
837
Epilogue
853
Notes
861
Bibliography
897
Credits
925
Index
931
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (2001)

Crawford is Glen McGeoch Collegiate Professor of Music at the University of Michigan and a past president of the American Musicological Society.

Bibliographic information