University of Nevada, Las Vegas

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Music Library


Music Research

American Music

Welcome to the American Music web page. This page is not comprehensive, but is intended as a starting point to get information on many aspects of American music.

Selected Bibliography

Austin, William W. "Susanna," "Jeanie," and "The Old Folks at Home": The Songs of Stephen Foster from His Time to Ours. Urbana, Ill.: University of Illinois Press, 1987.
UNLV Book Stacks ML410.F78 A9 1987

Chase, Gilbert. America's Music, from the Pilgrims to the Present. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1955.
UNLV Book Stacks ML200 .C53A 1955

Crawford, Richard, R. Allen Lott, Carol J. Oja, editors. A Celebration of American Music: Words and Music in Honor of H. Wiley Hitchcock. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1990.
UNLV Book Stacks ML200 .C44 1990

Floyd, Samuel A. The Power of Black Music: Interpreting its History from Africa to the United States. New York: Oxford University Press, 1995.
UNLV Book Stacks ML3556 .F65 1995

Gann, Kyle. American Music in the Twentieth Century. New York: Schirmer Books; London: Prentice Hall International, 1997.
UNLV Book Stacks ML200.5 .G36 1997

Gioia, Ted. The History of Jazz. New York: Oxford University Press, 1997.
UNLV Book Stacks ML3506 .G54 1997

Hamm, Charles. Music in the New World. 1st ed. New York: Norton, 1982.
UNLV Book Stacks ML200 .H17

Hamm, Charles. Yesterdays: Popular Song in America. New York: Norton, 1979.
UNLV Book Stacks ML3477 .H35

Hitchcock, H. Wiley. Music in the United States: A Historical Introduction. Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Prentice Hall, 2000.
UNLV Book Stacks ML200 .H58 2000

Howard, John Tasker. Our American Music: a Comprehensive History from 1920 to the Present. New York: T.Y. Crowell, 1965.
UNLV Book Stacks ML200 .H8 1965

Nicholls, David, editor. The Cambridge History of American Music. Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 1998.
UNLV Book Stacks ML200 .C36 1998

Southern, Eileen. The Music of Black Americans: A History. New York: Norton, 1997.
UNLV Book Stacks ML3556 .S74 1997

Stewart, Earl L. African American Music: An Introduction. New York: Schirmer Books; London: Prentice Hall International, 1998.
UNLV Book Stacks ML3556 .S87 1998

Tirro, Frank. Jazz: A History. 2nd ed. New York: Norton, 1993.
UNLV Book Stacks ML3506 .T57 1993

Journal Articles

There are several databases to help find journal and magazine articles about aspects of American Music, listed below:

The full-text databases have entire journal articles online. You need not go to the library to pull the journal article you need. The indexes will contain citations only. Once you find articles in the indexes you would like to see, go to the UNLV library catalog to see if we own the journal. If so, you will need the call number. You will need to go to Lied Library to get the journal volume where the article is located (either on 2nd floor or from LASR). If we do not own the journal, you can request the article via Interlibrary Loan.

You can access all of these databases by going to the list of Music Electronic Indexes and Databases.

Dictionaries and Encyclopedias

There are several dictionaries and encyclopedias that may be helpful to you, listed below.

The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians
(Available full-text online)

The New Grove Dictionary of American Music
(Music Ref. ML101.U6 N48 1986)

The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz
(Available full-text online as part of New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians)

The Harvard Dictionary of Music
(Available full-text online)

The Harvard Biographical Dictionary of Music
(Available full-text online)

Oxford Reference Online
(Available full-text online; contains the Oxford Dictionary of Music plus many other useful general dictionaries)

Larkin, Colin. The Encyclopedia of Popular Music
(Music Ref. ML102.P66 G84 1998)

Hischak, Thomas. The American Musical Theatre Song Encyclopedia
(Music Ref. ML102.M88 H59 1995)

Selected Web Sites
Brown University African-American Sheet Music Collection

"This collection consists of 1,305 pieces of African-American sheet music dating from 1850 through 1920. The collection includes many songs from the heyday of antebellum black face minstrelsy in the 1850s and from the abolitionist movement of the same period."

Although the collection itself is housed at Brown University, the website is part of the Library of Congress American Memory project.

I Hear America Singing

Contains special presentations, papers, digitized collections of music and historic photographs, as well as information on some current events.

Duke University Historic American Sheet Music

"The Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library at Duke University holds a significant collection of 19th and early 20th century American sheet music. The Historic American Sheet Music Project provides access to digital images of 3042 pieces from the collection, published in the United States between 1850 and 1920."

The Lester S. Levy Sheet Music Collection

"The Lester S. Levy Collection of Sheet Music is part of Special Collections at the Milton S. Eisenhower Library of The Johns Hopkins University. It contains over 29,000 pieces of music and focuses on popular American music spanning the period 1780 to 1960."

University of North Texas Jazz Research Portal

"The University of North Texas Music Library's launch site for jazz research." To get to research resources, use their major jazz meta-lists.

Sacred Harp Singing