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Music in the Age of Anxiety: American Music in the Fifties (Music in American Life) Kindle Edition
|Length: 312 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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About the Author
"Wierzbicki takes on the difficult task of linking all musical genres from 1945 to 1960 to the neurosis of the era… The author successfully demonstrates the impact of social change upon Fifties music in a well-written and engaging way. Recommended."--Library Journal
"Provides a fresh view of the socially and politically complex decade of the 1950s. Wierzbicki's sense of humor supplements a concise writing style that is easy to read but authoritative. The quality of research and annotations are remarkable, and his work provides invaluable sources for scholars who would like to dig deeper into the wide range of subjects covered. His breadth of research and topics should be of interest to musicians and non-musicians alike."--Notes
"Music in the Age of Anxiety is a book for both general interest and scholarly study."--Journal of American Culture
- Publication date : April 30, 2016
- File size : 1590 KB
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Publisher : University of Illinois Press (April 30, 2016)
- Print length : 312 pages
- ASIN : B0189EHD9Y
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- Language: : English
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,906,543 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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The writing flowed well with little academic jargon in the text itself but offers detailed explanations and resources for those interested in more than just the "that song really sounds good" aspect of music. If your interest is in music and not just songs, the endnotes and resources are a treasure while the text itself is clear and easy to follow.
As with almost every book that addresses music in conjunction with history, whether music history or history in general, this is 'a' history of music in the 19502, not 'the' history. Wierzbicki is not exhaustive in his examples but rather uses enough examples to illustrate his points within each section as well as the book as a whole.
Most of the history books and courses with which I am familiar emphasize a couple of points about why the musical changes that took place then took place, based primarily on the perspective of the authors or instructors. This volume fills the holes that are left from those longer histories and does so with a very balanced view.
I would recommend this to anyone interested in music and how it can lead or follow societal shifts or how it can comment on society. While there will certainly be some nostalgia induced for many readers this is less nostalgic than, say, a work like Covach's What's That Sound? Covach's book is still an essential book for history of rock 'n roll courses but because it is looking closer at charts and song form (AABA, etc) it stirs a great deal more nostalgia.
Reviewed from a copy made available by the publisher via NetGalley.
In this 288-age paperbound book Australian music professor James Wierzbicki from the University of Sydney, explores the changes that occurred in music composed, performed and recording during the decade of the 1950s. There are chapters devoted to “popular music” (think Sinatra, Clooney, Doris Day), Rock and Roll, Opera, Classical, Jazz, Hollywood and Broadway (separate chapters for the last two as well). One genre missing is “country” – which would have been called “country & western” back then.
The author quotes or paraphrases a lot and you’ll have to turn to the copious “notes” which fill 50 pages- 25% as long as the core text. I found the writing a bit dry and – with all the “source notes” it was more like a textbook than for general reading. There’s also a 20-page “Bibliography”.
There are no photos or illustrations in the volume.
The concept of the book is fine (and I wonder how an American living through the 1950s – as I did as a teenager – would see the changes differently.)
But, if the subject of “the fifties” interests you, the book may satisfy you. It didn’t me.
I hope you found this review both informative and helpful.
I think, sometimes, I expect books like this, to take me back in time - which it did for me to a part. Where it lost me, was that I am not that familiar with local politics in America and I couldn't quite get into that part of it.
I am sure that reader who lived in America at the time , will really feel like they have taken a step back in time.
I was only a child at the Cuba crisis, but the book and the songs took right back, as if it happened yesterday. Put shivers up my spine
This book was provided to me in return for an honest and unbiased review