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It's long been my personal opinion that music is the single most important contribution to world culture to have come from America. The dominant component of that music comprises the forms that have come from African-Americans: from field hollers, minstrelsy (at first from whites imitating blacks), gospel songs, and blues, to avant-garde jazz and hip-hop.Author Richard Crawford does an excellent job of defining the dichotomy between Western classical music in America that came across from Europe...
I took a chance and used this book as a course text for an American music course for non-majors. Crawford's writing is engaging and geared toward a more general audience, but informed by top-notch scholarship. His three-sphere model of American music (cultivated, vernacular and traditional spheres) made a useful and multi-dimensional lens through which to trace the development of musical styles and genres. I appreciated the performer-based approach rather than the standard "a history of dead whi...
Comprehensive and generally interesting, but very slow in parts.
About as exhaustive as one (big) book can be.