Popular Music in America: Forging the American Spirit

Author(s): Stan L Breckenridge

Edition: 3

Copyright: 2016


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There exists great interest in those music styles that have become a part of the American music scene. Some of these include American-born styles such as punk, folk, rhythm & blues, bluegrass, thrash, disco, jazz, and blues, soul, country, hip-hop, honky-tonk, heavy metal, and styles from abroad now nestled in American culture such as reggae, polka, Latin music, and classical music. Since the late 19th century, America remains to be a place where different musical styles and traditions are welcomed. Attributable to its diverse population and musical tastes, there exists, more so than in any other country, numerous styles of music in America.

Popular Music in America: Forging the American Spirit examines music in a chronological format. The book is organized chronologically and placed within historical parameters, thereby creating a framework for the discussion of artistic and stylistic tendencies, as well as specific influential musicians. Each time period examined includes coverage of the music, artists, and the social, political, cultural and economic environments.

Popular Music in America: Forging the American Spirit:

  • Examines the role of youth culture as a targeted consumer for marketing popular music has played and its role in the scheme of popular music and the business of music.
  • Uses the 1940s and WWII as principal dividing line for examining popular music in America.
  • Explains the advancements in technology and its role in popular music.
  • Includes coverage of popular music in the 21st Century.
  • Features a section on the “nature” or meaning of music – Particularly useful to students of diverse musical understanding, social and cultural backgrounds, gender, and age.
  • Dedicates an entire chapter to the business of music. 

• The Forging of the American Spirit
• The American Spirit Gives Birth to American Music
• Organization of this Book

Chapter One- What is Popular Music?
• Introduction
• Substance as a Contributing Factor to a Song’s Popularity
• Functionality as a Contributing Factor to a Song’s Popularity
• Quality as a Contributing Factor to a Song’s Popularity

Chapter Two - The Business of Music
• Introduction
• The Recording Industry: A History
• Record Labels—Pre WWII
• Record Labels—WWII through the 1960s
• Record Labels—Present Day
• Record Labels—Divisions
• Record Labels—Distribution
• Copyright
• Music Contracts and Publishing
• Songwriter and Publisher
• Producer
• Artist and Manager
• Marketing and Artist Management
• Licensing
• Royalties
• Music Unions
• Trade Journals
• Music Charts
• Music Charting System

Chapter Three - Getting Music to the People
• Introduction
• Sheet Music
• Radio
• Popular Music and the Vinyl Record Industry
• Television Programs
• Music Festivals
• Youtube and Social Media Networks
• Athletic Events
• Video Games
• The Cloud


Chapter Four - European Origins of Popular Music
• Introduction
• European Expansion into the New World
• Musical Styles and Dancing Activities during the Colonial Period–Overview
• Singing during the Colonial Period
• Singing among the Colonists
• 18th Century: Popular Music Activities
• High Art Music Activities: 18th Century
• Popular Music Activities: 19th Century
• Religious Music Activities

Chapter Five - African American Origins of Popular Music
• Introduction: Musical Activities during the African Diaspora
• Occasions for Music Activities among the Slaves: Work, Recreation, and Worship
Work: An Occasion for Slave Music Activities
• Recreation: An Occasion for Slave Music Activities
• Worship: An Occasion for Slave Music Activities
• Festival and Holiday Activities among the Slaves
• Conclusion

Chapter Six - Popular Entertainment
• Minstrelsy
• Traveling Road Shows
• Vaudeville


Chapter Seven - Popular Entertainment
• Ragtime
• Marching Band Music
• Tin Pan Alley
• Mainstream Musical Theatre
• Black Musical Theatre

Chapter Eight - New Orleans Jazz
• Introduction
• Musical Character of New Orleans Jazz
• Musical Inl uences of Other Styles on New Orleans Jazz
• New Orleans Jazz Inl uences on Other Musical Styles

Chapter Nine - Blues: Folk and Classic Styles
• Introduction
• Historical Background and Musical Commonalities
• Blues Songs vs. Blues Style
• Blues Types
• Country/Folk Blues
• The Transition from Country to Classic Blues
• Classic Blues
• Classic Blues Lyrics and the 12-Bar Blues Progression
• Subsequent Country Blues Recordings

Chapter Ten - Country: Hillbilly and Bluegrass Styles
• Hillbilly
• Bluegrass

Chapter Eleven - Jazz: Chicago Jazz, New York Jazz, and Big Band Jazz
• Introduction
• Chicago Jazz
• New York Jazz
• Big Band Jazz [A.K.A. Swing]



Chapter Twelve - Electri?ed Country and Blues Music
• Western Swing
• Honky-Tonk
• Electric Blues
• Conclusion

Chapter Thirteen - Jazz: Bebop and Cool Styles
• Bebop
• Cool Jazz


Chapter Fourteen - Rhythm & Blues
• Introduction
• Distinction between Electric Blues and Urban Rhythm & Blues
• Rhythm & Blues: Boogie-Woogie
• Rhythm & Blues: Urban
• Rhythm & Blues: Doo-Wop

Chapter Fifteen - Rock & Roll
• Rock & Roll
• Pop-Style Music
• Pop-Style Rock: Pop
• Pop-Style Rock: Teen Idols
• Pop-Style Rock: Surf Sound

Chapter Sixteen - A Revitalization of American Music: The British Invasion; 1960S Revival Music (Folk, Blues, and Country); and Psychedelic Music
• Introduction
• British Invasion
• 1960’s Revival Music: Folk, Blues, and Country
• Folk
• Folk Rock
• Blues Revival
• Country Revival
• Country Revival: Southern Rock
• Country Revival: Country-Style Rock
• Psychedelic

Chapter Seventeen - New Approaches to Black Music during the 1960s: Funk, Disco, and Soul Styles
• Introduction
• Soul Music
• Soul: Basic
• Soul: Motown
• Funk
• Disco

Chapter Eighteen - Jazz Traditions: Free Form/Free Jazz, Fusion, and Jazz Rock
• Free Form/Free Jazz
• Fusion
• Jazz Rock


Chapter Nineteen - Rock Music and Theatricalism: Art Rock and Glitter and Glam Rock
• Art/Progressive Rock
• Glitter and Glam

Chapter Twenty - Hard Rock and Heavy Metal
• Hard Rock
• Transition: Hard Rock to Heavy Metal
• Heavy Metal

Chapter Twenty-One - Socio-Political Activism Music: Reggae, Punk, and Hip-Hop
• Introduction
• Reggae
• Punk
• Hip-Hop

Chapter Twenty-Two - Yesteryear’s Mainstream and Alternative Rock
• Singer Sonwriters
• Rock Mainstream (A.K.A. Mainstream)
• Mainstream Artists: 1980s and 1990s
• Alternative Rock Styles

Chapter Twenty-Three - Popular Music in the 21st Century
• Introduction
• The Turn of the 21st Century Music
• Beginning of the 2nd Decade of the 21st Century


Stan L Breckenridge

Stan Breckenridge is an academician, author, composer, vocalist and pianist, recording artist, and performer, and holds a Ph.D. in Musicology from Claremont Graduate University in Claremont, California, USA. He currently is a “Artist in Residence” Visiting Professor in the Faculty of English at Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Poland and gives numerous lecture-demonstrations and concerts throughout Poland and surrounding countries.He taught in the Department of African American Studies at California State University,Fullerton,CA,USA for over 30 years and served as the department Co-chair from Spring 2017 to the beginning of Spring 2018. Dr. Breckenridge was selected as a United States Distinguished Chair Fulbright Scholar to Poland for the 2012–2013 academic year,with an extension through the 2013–2014 academic year where he taught in the Department of American Studies at the 650-year-old Jagiellonian University in Krakow, and the University of Marie Curie Sklodowska in Lublin, Poland. (He was also selected as a Fulbright Scholar for the Fall of 2005.) While in Poland, Dr. Breckenridge gave over 100 concerts, performances, and lectures representing American society throughout Poland—from cities at the Balic Sea in the north like Gdańsk to Zakopane and Krakow in the south; and from the west in Zielona Góra and Poznań to Biała Podlaska, Chełm, and Zamość in the east. Some guest appearances were for previous U.S. Ambassadors to Poland the Honorables Paul W. Jones, Stephen D. Mull, and Lee A. Feinstein, as well as distinguished Consul Generals Ellen Germain and Walter Braunohler and a number of T.V . appearances and interviews. Dr. Breckenridge possesses a proven track record of educational excellence. Over the years, his teaching assignments have spanned the curriculum such as in music history and appreciation, technology, and performance. Lastly, Dr. Breckenridge currently gives workshops in vocal and instrumental jazz for aspiring musicians, as well as lectures on American music worldwide. As a specialist in American music, Dr. Breckenridge has authored three books: Music Taste or Waste: Critical Listening Skills for Students, Teachers, and Parents (3rd edition, 2018 Kendall Hunt Publishing); Popular Music in America: Forging the American Spirit (3rd edition,2015,Kendall Hunt Publishing); and African American Music for Everyone: Including Theater, Film and Dance (3rd edition, 2014, Kendall Hunt Publishing). He has also presented papers at a number of international conferences such as in Metz, France; Debrecen, Hungary; and at The Fryderyk Chopin Academy of Music in Warsaw, Poland. The latter was sponsored by the joint efforts of the US Embassy in Poland and the Music Academy for the Embassy’s ongoing program titled “America Presents.” Dr. Breckenridge has performed and continues to perform internationally as well as nationally in countries such as France, Germany, Hungary, Japan, Lithuaina, Mexico, Poland, Slovakia, and the Ukraine. His most recent significant performance entails a number of appearances on Jaka to Melodia, one of Poland’s popular music TV programs. National performances have included a number of states, and at venues such as The Dorothy Chandler, The Greek Theater, The Los Angeles Forum, The Los Angeles Sports Arena, The Embassy Hotel,The Hollywood Bowl, The Watts Summer Festival, Capitol Records, TV Channels 5,11 and KOCE, Maverick’s Flats, Dooto’s, and many others. Stan Breckenridge has appeared with and/or performed for personalities such as Madeleine Albright, Scott Baio, Bobby Blue Bland, Bill Cosby, The Five Blind Boys of Alabama, Rosie Grier, Merv Griffin, Mahalia Jackson, Jerry Lewis, Moms Mabley, Greg Morris, Martha Reeves (of the Vandellas), Sam Riddle, Marsha Clark (District Attorney for the Simpson trial), Rowan and Martin, Greg Morris, David Ruffin (of the Temptations), Avery Schriber, Bernard Shaw, Nancy Sinatra, O.C. Smith, The Stylistics, Lea Thompson, John Travolta, John Wayne, The Young Hearts, and many others. He also gave many concerts through the United Europe Jazz Festival with Jazz Band Ball Orchestra—one of Poland’s most successful traditional jazz groups since the 1960s, and with Poland’s most famous Hammond B-3 organist Wojciech Karolak. As a recording artist, Stan Breckenridge has released an album every other year since 1999. In 2017 he recorded an album, titled Black & Tan Fantasy with JBBO (Jazz Band Ball Orchestra) - - the longest running septet among Polish musicians who perform traditional jazz. (Stan Breckenridge also performs with JBBO each year since 2014 where they do approximately 40 concerts/year. His most recent solo album titled Inspirations (released December 2014) draws upon experiences while living in Poland for two years (2012–2014). His collaboration with a young and gifted vocalist and violinist from Poland, named Klaudia Kowalik produced two albums, namely Jazz is Alive! (released January 2015) and All About Jazz (released March 2013). Also in February 2013, Stan Breckenridge released a solo album titled Out of Love for Jazz, which was recorded live in 2012 in Lublin,Poland. Other recordings include Reflections (2009), A Soulful Christmas (2008), This Is My Song (2007), Live in Poland (2005), Solo (2003), Meditations (2001), and Expositions (1999). Most albums and songs are available on itunes, Rhapsody, Amazon, Tidal, Spotify, Napster, andt hrough many other music download companies worldwide. In closing, Dr. Breckenridge has received numerous awards such as the CSUF Creative Activity certificate, six CSUF Faculty Author certificates, CSUF Grant Initiatives for faculty student projects, and a Distinguished Medal of Solidarity and Cultural Recognition Certificate both from the city of Radom, Poland. On July 6, 2017 Dr. Breckenridge was acknowledged by the Polish Secretary of Defense and received a certificate for performing a concert at the Polish American Military Picnic titled “Always close by, Safe together” organized on the occasion of the visit of U.S.President Donald Trump. The prestigious Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion is his most recent award (April 2018). This award is for his contribution to creating an exhibit titled African American Civic Engagement, and its initiated African American Studies Vision for the Future Initiative.Performances,lectures, and interviews are chronicled in numerous newspaper articles, magazines, and university journals worldwide. Dr. Breckenridge has served as an Ambassador as well as a committee reviewer for the Fulbright Scholar Program,is a member of the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers; United States Fulbright Alumni Association; and Phi Mu Alpha Music Fraternity.

Related ISBN's: 9781465299437, 9781524908546

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ISBN 9781465299437

Details Print Prod w/Audio/Video, Napster 180 days