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The Music of Multicultural America - Performance, Identity, and Community in the United States

The Music of Multicultural America

Performance, Identity, and Community in the United States

Edited by Kip Lornell & Anne K. Rasmussen
Series: American Made Music Series

Hardcover : 9781628462203, 464 pages, 42 b&w illustrations, January 2016
Paperback : 9781496803740, 432 pages, 42 b&w illustrations, January 2016

The classic text on American musical expression, updated with four new chapters


The Music of Multicultural America explores the intersection of performance, identity, and community in a wide range of musical expressions. Fifteen essays explore traditions that range from the Klezmer revival in New York, to Arab music in Detroit, to West Indian steel bands in Brooklyn, to Kathak music and dance in California, to Irish music in Boston, to powwows in the midwestern plains, to Hispanic and Native musics of the Southwest borderlands. Many chapters demonstrate the processes involved in supporting, promoting, and reviving community music. Others highlight the ways in which such American institutions as city festivals or state and national folklife agencies come into play.

Thirteen themes and processes outlined in the introduction unify the collection's fifteen case studies and suggest organizing frameworks for student projects. Due to the diversity of music profiled in the book—Mexican mariachi, African American gospel, Asian West Coast jazz, women's punk, French-American Cajun, and Anglo-American sacred harp—and to the methodology of fieldwork, ethnography, and academic activism described by the authors, the book is perfect for courses in ethnomusicology, world music, anthropology, folklore, and American studies.

Audio and visual materials that support each chapter are freely available on the ATMuse website, supported by the Archives of Traditional Music at Indiana University.


"From Irish music in Boston pubs to North Indian dance in San Francisco, this volume provides a rich sampling of the musical lives of communities across the United States. With its new and expanded introduction along with additional case studies, this is a welcome return of an American classic. "

- Kay Kaufman Shelemay, G. Gordon Watts Professor of Music and professor of African and African American studies, Harvard University

"This book contains a treasure-trove of fifteen musical jewels, each presenting a rich and multifaceted portrait of a unique musical community within the multicultural mix that is America today. Presenting new ethnographic research on diasporic and indigenous musical cultures, each essay explores how and why communities come together to play, listen, and experience their musics together. Perfect as a text for an 'Introduction to American Music' course!"

- Ellen Koskoff, professor of ethnomusicology, Eastman School of Music (University of Rochester)