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The History of Texas Music (John and Robin Dickson Series in Texas Music, sponsored by the Center for Texas) Paperback – March 8, 2008


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The History of Texas Music (John and Robin Dickson Series in Texas Music, sponsored by the Center for Texas) + House of Hits: The Story of Houston's Gold Star/SugarHill Recording Studios (Brad and Michele Moore Roots Music Series)
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Product Details

  • Series: John and Robin Dickson Series in Texas Music, sponsored by the Center for Texas
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Texas A&M University Press (March 8, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 160344002X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1603440028
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.3 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #807,734 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"The book is a strong addition to any collection on Texas music."
(The Journal of Texas Music History 2008-01-01)

About the Author

GARY HARTMAN is founding director of the Center for Texas Music History at Texas State University. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Texas. Among his publications in the lengthy introduction to The Roots of Texas Music, an edited volume published by Texas A&M University Press.

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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Kevin Tipple VINE VOICE on September 29, 2008
Format: Paperback
Written by Austin resident and founding director of the "Center for Texas Music History at Texas State University" Gary Hartman chronicles the background and history of what he defines as Texas music. He attempts to define what Texas music was and is today. That definition can basically be boiled down to being part of anything and everything out there in music. He then attempts to show how the nature of the sound has changed over time.

To do so, he looks at the history and culture of the American Southwest before looking at various ethnic groups such as Native American, Mexican American, and others that influenced Texas music. Each had a period of strong influence in the sound of Texas music before slipping back and being replaced by a different ethnic group that had risen to prominence. Those ethnic changes relate directly to the changing of culture and history in the Lone Star State and he argues that these changes make Texas music unique.

And while he may have a point, too often that idea is lost because of the heavy commentary full of dates, facts, too few anecdotes, and an immensely dry writing style. Musician as well as a historian, Gary Hartman uses this book to expand on an essay he originally wrote for "The Roots of Texas Music." As such, this book is first and foremost a history book. Clearly the author knows his subject matter from both a personal and a professional standpoint. Still, unfortunately, this book never really comes alive for the reader. Instead, it drones on and on for more than 226 pages with plenty of names, dates, and all the rest, but no human sense of who these people were.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By D. Feder on November 2, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This review is long overdue and for a book that's long overdue its kudos. Dr. Hartman shows an incredibly in-depth knowledge of the music that came out of the Great State and his forensics point to an impeccable approach to researching origins that were obscure by their nature, so much having come from a community that had been deliberately marginalized and largely buried. Chasing down mere hints and snatches and wisps of folk melodies that are today taken for granted, Hartman shows that he has not only an eye for good detective work but an ear as well. And, I suppose, a nose for sniffing out those truffles among the roots of foundation music. It pays off, when one considers the disproportionate representation Texas has in modern music. Best of all, the book is eminently readable and even fun. I loved this book!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Dixie Diamond on January 9, 2009
Format: Paperback
This is not in-depth, but it's not intended to be. It's a good place to start if you're interested in Texas music and need an overview. I love that it has recommended listening lists at the end of the chapters.

The writing is not gushy but I would call it straightforward rather than dry. The author doesn't try to put a lot of emotional weight on it, which, again, is not really the point of the book. I find it reads fairly quickly because the writing is pretty streamlined.

My only minor complaint is that he assumes that the reader is familiar with a lot of different musical terms. I'm not up on my tejano music and had to look up "cumbia," "bolero," etc. Sometimes the definitions one finds for things like this are a bit either vague, conflicting (depending on who wrote them), or very technical, and it's a little hard to tell just what he meant. I didn't think it was that big a problem, though, since it's the kind of thing one could research in more detail easily enough with more genre-specific sources.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ronnie G. Mason on February 17, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It don't get no better than this. Texas Music is diverse and of great interest to me. This book is a treasure trove.
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