Segregating Sound (inbunden)
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Duke University Press
234 x 158 x 25 mm
671 g
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Segregating Sound (inbunden)

Segregating Sound

Inventing Folk and Pop Music in the Age of Jim Crow

Inbunden Engelska, 2010-02-11
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In Segregating Sound, Karl Hagstrom Miller argues that the categories that we have inherited to think and talk about southern music bear little relation to the ways that southerners long played and heard music. Focusing on the late nineteenth century and the early twentieth, Miller chronicles how southern music-a fluid complex of sounds and styles in practice-was reduced to a series of distinct genres linked to particular racial and ethnic identities. The blues were African American. Rural white southerners played country music. By the 1920s, these depictions were touted in folk song collections and the catalogs of "race" and "hillbilly" records produced by the phonograph industry. Such links among race, region, and music were new. Black and white artists alike had played not only blues, ballads, ragtime, and string band music, but also nationally popular sentimental ballads, minstrel songs, Tin Pan Alley tunes, and Broadway hits. In a cultural history filled with musicians, listeners, scholars, and business people, Miller describes how folklore studies and the music industry helped to create a "musical color line," a cultural parallel to the physical color line that came to define the Jim Crow South. Segregated sound emerged slowly through the interactions of southern and northern musicians, record companies that sought to penetrate new markets across the South and the globe, and academic folklorists who attempted to tap southern music for evidence about the history of human civilization. Contending that people's musical worlds were defined less by who they were than by the music that they heard, Miller challenges assumptions about the relation of race, music, and the market.
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"A cultural exploration and, in part, a polemic, Segregating Sound is at once a social history, musical history, business history and an intellectual history. . . . Miller is an engaging writer who regularly turns memorable phrases. Thickly researched and cogently argued, Segregating Sound makes a thought-provoking, very likely lasting contribution to how we think about and relate to American musical genres." -- Barry Mazor * American Songwriter * "Ultimately Miller's study succeeds because it questions many assumptions about folk and pop music, and about the commercial music business and the academic folklore world." -- Rory Crutchfield * Popular Music * "Miller . . . provides a fascinating exploration of the segregation of commercial music in the US during the course of the 20th century. . . . Supported by extensive notes, this study adds considerably to the already extensive literature on the blues and country music." -- R. D. Cohen * Choice * "[B]rilliant . . . . Miller is the first scholar to take the overwhelming presence of popular music in the South seriously and to weave the story of changing ideas about what makes music 'authentic' into the history of what musicians from the South were actually playing and what people were actually listening to. Segregating Sound tells the stories of the varied cast of characters who invented the category of southern music, a significant part of what is called 'folk' or 'Americana' or 'roots' music today and understood as part of the American musical canon." -- Grace Hale * Southern Spaces * "Segregating Sound provides a convincing and far-reaching argument that the duality within southern music developed out of three factors in the latter part of the nineteenth century: the rise of political and economic segregation, the academic professionalization of folklore, and the modernization of the music industry. . . . Segregating Sound is a valuable and interesting work that anyone working in cultural studies should consult." -- Kenneth J. Bindas * Register of the Kentucky Historical Society * "Scrupulously researched, engagingly written, and bursting with ideas, Segregating Sound asks readers to reengage with the origins of folk and pop music in a manner that offers a roadmap to the future, rather than simply a dismantling of the past." -- John Dougan * Journal of Southern History * "In this fascinating study of the nature of music, those who study music, and the music business, Miller explains how musicologists and folklorists tried drawing hard lines during the late 19th and early 20th centuries between what they considered music of the folk (poor black and, sometimes, white, Southern musicians) and more worldly pop music. [T]he author displays an incredible depth of knowledge and presents an important history of music." * Library Journal * "In this head-banging, eye-opening study, Karl Hagstrom Miller examines with stunning clarity the historical and material grounding of the music industry's three main revenue streams: live performance, recording, and publishing. Along the way, he demonstrates how the notion of authenticity in folklore discourse, systemic Jim Crow, and minstrelsy legacies worked together to calcify our contemporary-and quite naturalized-perceptions about music and racialized bodies.If you ever wondered where MTV, CMT, VH1, and BET got their marketing logic, look no further. In fact, you'll never experience a Billboard chart, nor the words 'keep it real' in the same way after reading this book!"-Guthrie P. Ramsey Jr., author of Race Music: Black Cultures from Bebop to Hip-Hop "Segregating Sound provides a convincing and far-reaching argument that the duality within southern music developed out of three factors in the latter part of the nineteenth century: the rise of political and economic segregation, the academic professionalization of folklore, and the modernization of the music

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Övrig information

Karl Hagstrom Miller is an Assistant Professor who teaches in the History Department and the Sarah and Ernest Butler School of Music at the University of Texas, Austin.


Acknowledgments vii Introduction 1 1. Tin Pan Alley on Tour: The Southern Embrace of Commercial Music 23 2. Making Money Making Music: The Education of Southern Musicians in Local Markets 51 3. Isolating Folk, Isolating Songs: Reimagining Southern Music as Folklore 85 4. Southern Musicians and the Lure of New York City: Representing the South from Coon Songs to the Blues 121 5. Talking Machine World: Discovering Local Music in the Global Phonograph Industry 157 6. Race Records and Old-Time Music: The Creation of Two Marketing Categories in the 1920s 187 7. Black Folk and Hillbilly Pop: Industry Enforcement of the Musical Color Line 215 8. Reimagining Pop Tunes as Folk Songs: The Ascension of the Folkloric Paradigm 241 Afterword: "All Songs is Folk Songs" 275 Notes 283 Bibliography 327 Index 351