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Book Title: Music in the New World|
The author of the book: Charles Hamm
Edition: W. W. Norton & Company
Date of issue: February 17th 1983
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 16.10 MB
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Loaded: 2984 times
Reader ratings: 7.8
ISBN 13: 9780393951936
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This well-written history of music and music-making in America is a little on the basic side, but still well worth reading. Hamm starts with hymnody in the early colonial period and goes right up through rock in the 1970s and early 1980s, with more or less alternating chapters on classical and popular music. Along the way, he concentrates on exploring what is distinctively American about the music and musical practices he discusses.
I liked Hamm's coverage of classical music a lot. He gave the expected discussions of major American composers and compositional trends. However, he covered some of the more obscure figures, too. In addition, he traced the development of classical music performance and education, which I found really enlightening, particularly as it helps contextualize the lives and works of the composers.
I found Hamm's discussions of popular music to be especially interesting. His discussions of rock and country included a lot of fascinating and insightful material about those genres origins and development. I also liked the way he discussed the Tin Pan Alley repertoire and how he showed that it forms a fairly continuous thread through most of 20th century American popular music, and thus just how central those songs were and continue to be.
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