Composers and musicologists have debated the question of what makes a piece of music "American" for decades. Over the years, many varied cultures have enriched our societal fabric and have become part of our music. The pieces found on this album are just a sampling of all of the musical influences and ideas that have become part of the powerful and vibrant history of American music. Family Album, a compilation recorded by the United States Marine Band, contains important pieces and movements such as "Family Album Suite", "Vientos y Tangos" and "An Outdoor Overture". The six American composers featured on the album have each created tangos, polkas, marches, and waltzes, all forms which originated in different lands but which have been appropriated and transformed. Directed by Lieutenant Colonel Michael J. Colburn, the United States Marine Band plays beautifully on each piece, bringing new meanings to the characteristics of great American music.