Music at American Borders

in Genre in Popular Music

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print October 2007 | ISBN: 9780226350370
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226350400 | DOI:
Music at American Borders

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This chapter evaluates the work of genre in canons of “American music” and their discursive contexts. The notion of roots enjoyed a revival in the culture of American roots music in the 1990s, which illustrates the lasting effect of the folk song collectors. Then, it uses genre as a tool for understanding aspects of the problem of music and national identity in American cultural history. It demonstrates how poetics can be utilized to design a type of anthology that is more sensitive to diversity than anthologies that follow the big canons. The big ethnic markets eventually had a major effect on defining American popular music in black and white. Flaco Jiménez's rendition of “Inditamia” is in some ways typical of the classic late 1950s conjunto style. Jiménez shows that the relation between ethnic and mainstream American musics is not always one between folk and popular music.

Keywords: genre; American roots music; national identity; American cultural history; American popular music; Flaco Jiménez; Inditamia

Chapter.  11384 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Popular Music

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