Books

A Bibliography of Early Secular American Music

By Oscar George Theodore Sonneck

Originally published by the Library of Congress in 1945.

A Chronicle of American Music: 1700-1995

By Charles J. Hall

This comprehensive reference covers 295 years of music history, year-by-year. Each entry contains a concise survey of world political and cultural highlights to provide context for the year's musical developments; a listing of events in popular and commercial music including significant births, deaths, debuts, musical theater productions, and number one hits; and a listing of events in classical and art music including important births, deaths, debuts, compositions, new positions, honors, awards, and publications.

A Concise History of American Painting and Sculpture: Revised Edition (1st Ed.)

By Matthew Baigell

This clear, thorough, and reliable survey of American painting and sculpture from colonial times to the present day covers all the major artists and their works, outlines the social and cultural backgrounds of each period, and includes 409 illustrations integrated with the text. Although some determining factors in American art are considered, Matthew Baigell views the rich and diverse achievements of American art as the result of the efforts and talents of a pluralistic society rather than as fitting into a particular mold.This edition includes corrections and revisions to the text, an updated bibliography, and 13 new illustrations.

A History of American Art

By George M. Cohen

George Marshall Cohen (August 4, 1919 – April 18, 1999) was an American painter and art professor.

A History of Song

By Denis Stevens

This is the story of almost a thousand years of song, from the time of the troubadours to the present day. Dealing exhaustively with the history and development of secular art-song in the Western world, the book is an indispensable guide to the amateur music-lover, the student, and the singer.

A New Anthology of Art Songs By Contemporary African American Composers

By Margaret R. Simmons and Jeanine Wagner (selection)

The featured composers are H. Leslie Adams, Mable Bailey, Charles S. Brown, Wallace McClain Cheatham, Adolphus Hailstork, Jacqueline B. Hairston, William H. Henderson, Jeraldine Saunders Herbison, Betty Jackson King, William Foster McDaniel, Undine Smith Moore, Byron Motley, Bar­bara Sherrill, Robert Owens, Nadine Shanti, Frederick Tillis, Dolores White, and Julius P. Williams.

A Singer’s Guide to the American Art Song: 1870-1980

By Victoria Etnier Villamil

Foreword by Thomas Hampson. Considers the lives and contributions of 144 significant composers in the field. Includes a general discography, bibliography, and indexes for both titles and poets.

All American Music: Composition in the Late Twentieth Century

By John Rockwell

John Rockwell, director of the Lincoln Center Festival in New York City, wrote about music of all kinds for The New York Times for twenty years. Here he delineates the heritage, actuality, and potential of American music, demonstrating not only the possibility but the necessity of dealing with artists as seemingly unrelated as Elliott Carter and David Byrne, Milton Babbitt and Laurie Anderson, John Cage and Neil Young, Philip Glass and Ornette Coleman.

America’s Musical Landscape

By Jean Ferris

This text addresses the broad range of music in the United States from early periods to today, presenting this rich tapestry of sound in its historical and cultural context. Its reasonable length, readability, and logical organization make the text a useful and attractive means of furthering appreciation of the musical heritage of the United States. Frequent connections to other arts, particularly the visual arts, add to the book's appeal and enhance understanding of core musical concepts. The text also offers an elegant and readable introduction to the fundamentals of music.

America’s Musical Life: A History

By Richard Crawford

An illustrated history of America's musical heritage ranges from the earliest examples of Native American traditional song to the innovative sound of contemporary rock and jazz.

American Art Song and American Poetry (2nd Ed.)

By Ruth C. Friedberg and Robin Fisher

In this second edition, now published in a convenient, one-volume format, Ruth Friedberg and Robin Fisher have updated the entries on composers and poets from the first edition and added new individuals to both categories. As before, musical examples are liberally employed to illustrate specific approaches to poetic text-setting and are much more visually accessible due to present-day digital technology.

American Music: A Panorama (5th Ed.)

By Lorenzo Candelaria and Daniel Kingman

This concise, accessible book describes American music as a panorama of distinct yet parallel streams--hip-hop and Latin; folk and country; gospel and classical; jazz, blues, and rock--that reflect the uniquely diverse character of the United States. Comparing and contrasting musical styles across regions and time, the authors deliver a vision of American music both exuberant and inventive--a music that arises out of the history and musical traditions of the many immigrants to America's shores.

American Renaissance: Art and Expression in the Age of Emerson and Whitman

By F. O. Matthiessen

Centering his discussion around five of its literary giants--Emerson, Thoreau, Hawthorne, Melville, and Whitman--Matthiessen elucidates their conceptions of nature and the function of literature, and the extent to which these were realized in their writings. The breadth of the book lies in the author's use of the five-year period from 1850 to 1855 as a focal point in interpreting what went before and what followed in the development of our prose and poetry.

American Women Composers Before 1870

By Judith Tick

Art Song in the United States, 1759-2011 (4th Ed.)

By Judith E. Carman, William K. Gaeddert and Rita M. Resch

This fourth edition of "Art Song in the United States, 1759–2011" covers songs for solo voice and piano by American composers from the mid-18th through the early 21st centuries. The book is structured as an annotated bibliography with approximately 2,850 numbered entries listed alphabetically by composer and title and indexed in various ways to help teachers and singers locate the particular song they require for practice or performance.

Big Blonde and Other Stories

By Dorothy Parker

Dorothy Parker's first book of short stories.

Black Women Composers: A Genesis

By Mildred Denby Green

Includes chapters on Florence Price, Margaret Bonds, Julia Perry, Evelyn Pittman, and Lena McLin.

Composers’ Voices from Ives to Ellington: An Oral History of American Music

By Vivian Perlis and Libby Van Cleve

The first decades of the twentieth century were a fertile and fascinating period in American musical history. This book and the two CDs that accompany it present an exceptional collection of interviews with and about the most significant musical figures of the era.

Enough Rope

By Dorothy Parker

Dorothy Parker's first book of published poetry, from 1926.

Modern Music-Makers: Contemporary American Composers

By Madeleine Goss

Originally published in 1952, this volume is dated but does contain a thorough biography, chronology, and catalog for many important song composers, including Charles Ives, John Alden Carpenter, Marion Bauer, William Grant Still, Virgil Thomson, Aaron Copland, Lousie Talma, Samuel Barber, William Schuman, and Leonard Bernstein.

Music in America (1883)

By Frédéric Louis Ritter

Music in the New World

By Charles Hamm

A panoramic study of American music that details the historical events, personalities, and cultural influences that have played a significant role in the development of the various types of music in the United States.

Music in the United States: A Historical Introduction

By H. Wiley Hitchcock

This book provides a chronological look at American music from colonial times to the end of the 20th century.

Musical Americans: A Biographical Dictionary, 1918-1926

By Mary DuPree (ed.)

Between 1918 and 1926, the widely read music magazine, Musical America, published 414 short biographies of prominent American musicians born between ca. 1860 and 1900. This biographical dictionary collects those articles into a convenient and richly detailed source of information on the composers, teachers, scholars, and performers who were active at the time American music was coming of age.

Musical Settings of American Poetry: A Bibliography

By Michael Hovland

This book's principal aim is to link American library texts with their published musical settings. It covers more than 2,400 works by 99 19th- and 20th-century poets, including Edgar Allan Poe, Emily Dickinson, Vachel Lindsay, Sylvia Plath, and Allen Ginsberg, and provides access to approximately 5,800 settings by 2,100 composers.

Nineteenth Century American Painting

By James Thomas Flexner

Not Much Fun: The Lost Poems of Dorothy Parker

By Dorothy Parker

Poems from throughout Dorothy Parker's life that weren't published in her three original collections of poems.

Photography: A Concise History

By Ian Jeffrey

A critical examination of the history and development of the art of photography ranges from its beginnings in the middle of the nineteenth century to the present

Poetry Into Song: Performance and Analysis of Lieder

By Deborah Stein & Robert Spillman

Focusing on the music of the great song composers--Schubert, Schumann, Brahms, Wolf, and Strauss--this book offers a systematic introduction to the performance and analysis of German Lieder. Directed toward students in both voice and theory, and toward all singers, the authors establish a framework for the analysis of song based on a process of performing, listening, and analyzing, designed to give the reader a new understanding of the reciprocal interaction between performance and analysis.

Prose of the Victorian Period

By William E. Buckler (ed.)

Selections by Thomas Babington Macaulay, Thomas Carlyle, John Henry Newman, John Stuart Mill, John Ruskin, Matthew Arnold, Thomas Henry Huxley, Walter Horatio Pater.

Recent American Art Song: A Guide

By Keith E. Clifton

This book is a reference source devoted to songs with English texts by American composers, written for solo voice and piano. It focuses exclusively on art song since 1980, a substantial period largely ignored by scholars. This is the first study to examine this repertory in detail, and many of the songs and composers are discussed in print for the first time.

So You Want to Sing Spirituals: A Guide for Performers

By Randye Jones

With their rich and complicated history, spirituals hold a special place in the American musical tradition. This soul-stirring musical form is irresistible to singers seeking to diversify their performance repertoire, but it is also riddled with controversy, especially for singers of non-African descent. Singer and historian Randye Jones welcomes singers of all backgrounds into the style while she explores its folk song roots and transformation into choral and solo vocal concert repertoire. Profiling key composers and pioneers of the genre, Jones also discusses the use of dialect and other controversial performance considerations. Contributed chapters address elements of collaborative piano, studio teaching, choral arrangement, voice science, and vocal health as they apply to the performance of spirituals. Produced in partnership with the National Association of Teachers of Singing.

The American Composer Speaks: A Historical Anthology, 1770-1965

By Gilbert Chase (Ed.)

A compilation of compositions by American composers discussing the evolution of American music including William Billings, George Gershwin, and Earle Brown.

The Americana Song Reader

By William Studwell

This book is an entertaining and informative collection of over 130 historical essays on various American and foreign songs that have had a significant impact on U.S. popular culture. The essays give you basic historical data on the work, refer to any related or affiliated works, and touch upon the cultural context of its creation and popular usage in the United States. Presented in an offbeat, somewhat irreverent, yet scholarly style, the author has once again compiled a reference book that is fun to read.

The Art of Setting Words to Music

By Bainbridge Crist

The Birth of the Modern, 1815-1830

By Paul Johnson

This book takes fifteen critical years (1815-1830) and subjects them to a fascinatingly detailed analysis: their geopolitics and politics, their cultural and intellectual life, their technology and science. Johnson investigates every area of life, in every corner of the world. And he makes of this huge variety of elements a coherent narrative, told through the lives and actual words of the age's people - outstanding and ordinary - so that the reader feels he was there.

The History of American Classical Music: MacDowell through Minimalism

By John Warthen Struble

American classical music has come a long way in a short time. From the European-style music that was the norm at the end of the 19th century, a body of music has evolved that at the end of the 20th can be termed authentically and distinctively "American." This book takes an in-depth, panoramic look at this amazing variety of music, how it developed and the often fascinating people who composed it.

The Literature of American Music in Books and Folk Music Collections: A Fully Annotated Bibliography

By David Horn

The MacDowell Colony: A Musical History of America’s Premiere Artists’ Community

By Bridget Falconer Salkeld

As one of America's greatest cultural assets, New Hampshire's MacDowell Colony has hosted some of the twentieth century's most respected musicians. By first presenting a well-informed survey of nineteenth and early twentieth-century artist colonies in the United States, a clear context for the founding of the MacDowell Colony in 1907 is presented.

The Muse That Sings: Composers Speak about the Creative Process

By Ann McCutchan

First-person interviews with 25 composers, including American song composers William Bolcom, John Corigliano, John Harbison, and Libby Larsen.

The Music Makers

By Deena Rosenberg and Bernard Rosenberg

Includes first person chapters by American composers Aaron Copland, Milton Babbitt, Miriam Gideon, and Earle Brown, as well as American scholars and teachers, conductors, and performers.

The Norton/Grove Dictionary of Women Composers

By Julie Anne Sadie, Ph. D. & Rhian Samuel, Ph.D. (eds.)

In recognition of these nearly invisible yet greatly talented musicians, Sadie and Samuel have brought together an international corps of experts to produce The Norton/Grove Dictionary of Women Composers. This definitive source provides detailed biographies of more than 1,000 creators of Western classical music. In signed articles, the Dictionary chronicles the lives and works of women composers from all corners of the world. Here you can read about the Medieval mystic Hildgard von Bingen, the Renaissance madrigalist Maddalena Casulana, the flamboyant seventeenth-century vocal composer Barbara Strozzi, the prolific New Englander Amy Beach, and the Pulitzer Prize winner Ellen Taaffe Zwilich.

The Oxford Companion to American Literature (6th Ed.)

By James D. Hart, with revisions and additions by Phillip W. Leininger

For more than half a century, The Oxford Companion to American Literature has been an unparalleled guide to America's literary culture, providing one of the finest resources to this country's rich history of great writers. There are over 2,000 biographical profiles of important American authors (with information regarding their style, subjects, and major works) and influential foreign writers as well as other figures who have been important in the nation's social and cultural history. There are more than 1,100 full summaries of important American novels, stories, essays, poems (with verse form noted), plays, biographies and autobiographies, tracts, narratives, and histories. (Last revision: 2006)

Unsung: A History of Women in American Music

By Christine Ammer

This updates and expanded edition of the classic text in the field describes hundreds of women musicians -- composers, instrumentalists, orchestra and opera managers, music educators, and music patrons, and their activity from the 18th to 21st centuries.

Voices That Are Gone: Themes in Nineteenth-Century American Popular Song

By Jon W. Finson

Includes information about pioneering composers of American song, including Charles Wakefield Cadman, James Weldon Johnson, George Pope Morris, George Frederick Root, Henry Russell, Marion Dix Sullivan, Joseph Philbrick Webster, and Henry Clay Work.

Women and Music: A History (2nd Ed.)

By Karin Pendle

This updated, expanded, and reorganized edition of Women and Music features even more women composers, performers, and patrons, even more musical contexts, and an expanded view of women in music outside Europe and North America. A popular university textbook, this book is enlightening for scholars, a good source of programming ideas for performers, and a pleasure for other music lovers.

Women Composers: A Checklist of Works for the Solo Voice

By Miriam Stewart-Green