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by Kerry McCarthy PhD

The composer Thomas Tallis (c. 1505 - November 1585) lived and worked through much of the turbulent Tudor period in England. Unlike many of his contemporaries, he did not just react to radical change: he thrived...

Crafting Consensus

by Nicole Baerg

In a world dependent on the constant sharing of information, central bankers increasingly communicate their policies to the mass public. Central bank communications are drafted in monetary policy committee meetings...

Christmas Carols Ancient and Modern

by Annie Russell Marble

This article, "Christmas Carols, Ancient and Modern," from the December 1901 issue of The Bookman magazine, talks about the history and origins of traditional and popular Christmas carols, ancient as well as...


by Edward Spencer

This article "Hand Organs," by Edward Spencer, from the October 1865 issue of The Knickerbocker magazine, discusses the state and quality of American music at the time. 

Music Ho!: A Study of Music in Decline

by Constant Lambert

A brilliant analysis of the music of the twenties and thirties, also discusses the music of composers like Stravinsky, Satie, Gershwin, and considers the contributions of jazz and other pop music of the time...

Child Composers in the Old Conservatories

by Robert O. Gjerdingen

In seventeenth century Italy, overcrowding, violent political uprising, and plague led an astonishing number of abandoned and orphaned children to overwhelm the cities. Out of the piety of private citizens and...

Kick It

by Matt Brennan

The drum kit has provided the pulse of popular music from before the dawn of jazz up to the present day pop charts. Kick It, a provocative social history of the instrument, looks closely at key innovators in...

After Debussy

by Julian Johnson

Classical music shows a close relationship to language, and both musicology and philosophy have tended to approach music from that angle, exploring it in terms of expression, representation, and discourse. This...

Samuel Barber

by Barbara B. Heyman

Samuel Barber (1910-1981) is one of the most admired and honored American composers of the twentieth century. An unabashed Romantic, largely independent of worldwide trends and the avant-garde, he infused his...

Musical Solidarities

by Andrea F. Bohlman

Musical Solidarities: Political Action and Music in Late Twentieth-Century Poland is a music history of Solidarity, the social movement opposing state socialism in 1980s Poland. The story unfolds along crucial...

Scream With Me

by Jeremy Dean, Tom Bejgrowicz & Shepard Fairey

The ultimate visual history paying tribute to one of punk's most iconic bands 

Formed in 1977, the Misfits deeply influenced the genres of punk rock and metal alike by blending their music with horror film...

God Save the Queens

by Kathy Iandoli

An NPR Best Books of 2019

Can’t Stop Won’t Stop meets Girls to the Front in this essential and long overdue history of hip-hop’s female pioneers and its enduring stars.

Every history of hip-hop previously...

The Relation of Music to Mental Progress

by Stephen A. Pearce

This book treats of the relation of music to the mental progress.The music of a people may be considered in direct relation to their supersensuous natures. From this point of view alone, strongly marked differences...

"Taken by the Devil"

by Margaret Notley

Censorship had an extraordinary impact on Alban Berg's opera Lulu, composed by the Austrian during the politically tumultuous years spanning 1929 to 1935. Based on plays by Frank Wedekind that were repeatedly...


by Mark Katz

Since 2001, the U.S. Department of State has been sending hip hop artists abroad to perform and teach as goodwill ambassadors. There are good reasons for this: hip hop is known and loved across the globe, acknowledged...

Lost Transmissions

by Desirina Boskovich & Jeff Vandermeer

A fascinating illustrated history of lost, overlooked, and uncompleted works of science fiction and fantasy


Science fiction and fantasy reign over popular culture now. Lost Transmissions is a rich trove...

The Matter of Song in Early Modern England

by Katherine R. Larson

Given the variety and richness of the sixteenth- and seventeenth-century English 'songscape', it might seem unsurprising to suggest that early modern song needs to be considered as sung. When a reader encounters...

Opera After the Zero Hour

by Emily Richmond Pollock

Opera After the Zero Hour: The Problem of Tradition and the Possibility of Renewal in Postwar West Germany presents opera as a site for the renegotiation of tradition in a politically fraught era of rebuilding....

Jump Up!

by Ray Allen

Jump Up! Caribbean Carnival Music in New York City is the first comprehensive history of Trinidadian calypso and steelband music in the diaspora. Carnival, transplanted from Trinidad to Harlem in the 1930s and...

The Oxford Handbook of Faust in Music

by Lorna Fitzsimmons & Charles Mcknight

Since its emergence in sixteenth-century Germany, the magician Faust's quest has become one of the most profound themes in Western history. Though variants are found across all media, few adaptations have met...