The literature concerning music for the dance in America is often contained within volumes that have another primary focus. There is extensive information in print; however, one must frequently find it a chapter or a page at a time. The works mentioned below were selected as a basic introduction for the general reader.
An excellent survey of recent developments in concert music in the United States is John Rockwell, All American Music: Composition in the Late Twentieth Century ( New York: Vintage Books, 1984). Its lengthy bibliographic essay is most helpful in locating other sources of information. An unusually lucid volume dealing with complicated technology is Thomas B. Holmes, Electronic and Experimental Music: History, Instruments, Technique, Performers, Recordings ( New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1985).
There is a very readable chapter on American music, giving an overview since colonial times, in Karl Haas, Inside Music: How to Understand, Listen to, and Enjoy Good Music ( New York: Doubleday & Co., 1984). A more extended exploration is H. Wiley Hitchcock , Music in the United States: A Historical Introduction (Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1974). Nevertheless, Mr. Hitchcock warns that: "One of the least-studied areas of early American music is that of the dance" (p. 42).
A slightly different approach is Daniel Kingman, American Music: A Panorama ( New York: Schirmer Books, 1979), which presents the various ingredients of American musical heritage and includes information about twentieth-century pioneer composers as well. Highly recommended is Eileen Southern, The Music of Black Americans ( New York: W. W. Norton, 2nd ed. 1983). It includes much unusual and interesting information about music for dancing.
A lovely, illustrated introduction to both contemporary ballet and modern concert dance in the United States is Agnes de Mille, America Dances ( New York: Macmillan, 1980). Robert Coe has documented the important role of television in Dance in America ( New York: E. P. Dutton, 1985).
For a general introduction to ballet, two books by Mary Clarke and Clement Crisp