American Popular Music: The Rock Years

American Popular Music: The Rock Years

American Popular Music: The Rock Years

American Popular Music: The Rock Years

Synopsis

Rock, country, pop, soul, funk, punk, folk, hip-hop, techno, grunge--it's all here. In American Popular Music: The Rock Years, Larry Starr and Christopher Waterman take readers on a fascinating journey through the rich historical and stylistic landscape of American rock. An abridged version of the authors' acclaimed American Popular Music: From Minstrelsy to MTV, this volume includes chapters 8-14 of the longer book along with new introductory and concluding chapters.
American Popular Music: The Rock Years traces the development of rock from its roots in the mid-1940s to its current state in the twenty-first century, integrating in-depth discussions of the music itself with solid coverage of the attendant historical, social, and cultural circumstances. It strikes a balance between musical analysis and social context, showing how rock and American culture have continuously influenced each other over time. Using well-chosen examples, insightful commentaries, and an engaging writing style, the authors highlight the contributions of diverse groups to the development of rock music, explain the effects of advancements in recording technology, and chronicle the growth of rock music as an industry. The book is enhanced by a rich illustration program; boxed inserts on significant individuals, recordings, and intriguing topics; and well-organized listening charts for recordings that are discussed in detail in the text. Remarkably accessible, American Popular Music: The Rock Years is ideal for introductory courses in the history of rock and roll and will encourage readers to become more critically aware listeners of rock music.

Excerpt

In presenting this survey of the rich terrain of American popular music during the rock era, we hope to have created a book capable of serving a number of purposes. It may be used as a text for introductory college-level courses, obviously, as it assumes a mature and literate reader but not one who necessarily has any specific background in music or in this particular area of musical study. These same assumptions will also make this book useful to the general reader who wishes a broad-based introduction to our subject. In addition, this volume will serve the interests of specialists—musicians, graduate students, teachers, and scholars—who need a one-volume overview, or review, of the topic. We have kept this wide potential audience constantly in mind as we strove to keep our book accessible and inviting, while always reflecting our own deep involvement in the music and in contemporary scholarly issues surrounding it.

American Popular Music: The Rock Years is an abridged version of our comprehensive book American Popular Music: From Ministrelsy to MTV. We have made every effort to retain the inclusive approach of the parent volume while producing a work of manageable size that can stand alone successfully as an internally consistent whole. Nevertheless, we must stress that this book inevitably tells just a portion of a huge and impressive story, and we direct those readers wishing to gain a thorough insight into the remarkable history of American popular music to our original, unabridged text.

What distinguishes our book from others in its rapidly growing field is that it combines two perspectives not often found in the same place: the study of cultural and social history on the one hand, and the analytical study of musical style on the other. Lest this sound disconcertingly heavy, let us assure our readers at the outset that we have brought to the treatment of our subject years of experience in teaching courses for a general student population and in lecturing on musical subjects to general audiences. This experience has taught us that it is neither necessary nor desirable to talk down, write down, or think down to such groups. People love music and can quickly grasp all kinds of intricacies and subtleties concerning music, so long as jargon is avoided and explanations kept clear and unpretentious. We love American popular music ourselves—that is why we . . .

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