Article

American Country Music

Travis Stimeling

in Music


Published online June 2015 | | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780199757824.016.0148

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What is now known as “country music” in the United States, Canada, and much of Europe has gone by a variety of monikers since the first recordings of the genre were made in the early 1920s—including “hillbilly,” “old familiar tunes,” and “country and western,” among others—and has encompassed any of a number of subgenres, including western swing, honky tonk, and bluegrass, among many others. Scholars frequently use the term “country music” to describe this wide array of musical practices and music industry marketing terms. Country music scholarship is fundamentally multidisciplinary, with strong roots in the fields of American history, folklore, literary studies, sociology, anthropology, and, more recently, musicology and ethnomusicology. Moreover, many record collectors, amateur historians, and journalists have also contributed useful—and, in some cases, indispensible—studies and resources to the field of country music studies. This multidisciplinarity of country music studies is evident from the earliest published research on the subject, which dates from the mid-1960s and can be traced to the folk revival movement that spread across college and university campuses across the United States and Canada during the 1950s and 1960s. In addition to documenting the genre’s history, published studies from the first decade of country music studies reveals sociology’s central role in shaping country music studies. As a consequence, country music studies has been quite interested in exploring the social forces that have had an impact on country music production, consumption, and reception, as well as music’s corollary role in shaping society.

Article.  17556 words. 

Subjects: Music ; Applied Music ; Ethnomusicology ; Music Theory and Analysis ; Musicology and Music History ; Music Education and Pedagogy

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