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American Popular Music History TextbookOnAmerican Popular Music is a complete interactive web textbook that explores the rich tapestry of popular music in the United States – from its origins to today. Based on Dr. Simon Anderson’s title, OnAmerican Popular Music focuses on listening and references over 600 pieces of streaming music linked directly from the text.

Great for an online, face-to-face, or a hybrid course, OnAmerican Popular Music offers a robust and integrated set of digital content History of Popular Music in Americaand instructional tools designed to make learning accessible and enjoyable for your students.

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Table of Contents

American Popular Music History

Lesson 1: American Popular Music in the Nineteenth Century

  • Introduction
  • Blackface Minstrelsy
  • Sheet Music
  • Sheet Music (cont.)
  • Conclusion
  • Lesson 1 Assessment

Lesson 2: Tin Pan Alley and Ragtime

  • Introduction
  • Tin Pan Alley
  • Tin Pan Alley Promotional Techniques
  • The Music of Tin Pan Alley
  • Tin Pan Alley Song Types
  • Ragtime
  • Ragtime and Tin Pan Alley
  • Conclusion
  • Lesson 2 Assessment

Lesson 3: Rural Blues and Urban Blues

  • Introduction
  • Musical and Poetic Form of the 12-Bar Blues
  • Rural Blues
  • Urban Blues
  • Boogie Woogie
  • Commercial or Arranged Blues
  • Conclusion
  • Lesson 3 Assessment

Lesson 4: Dixieland

  • New Orleans: The Birthplace of Jazz
  • Musical Components of Dixieland Jazz
  • Key Figures in Dixieland Jazz
  • Dixieland on the Move
  • Recording Jazz
  • Conclusion
  • Lesson 4 Assessment

Lesson 5: Swing and Big Bands

  • Introduction
  • Music Consumption in the Swing Era
  • Society Syncopators
  • Big Bands
  • White Swing Bandleaders
  • Kansas City Swing
  • Conclusion
  • Lesson 5 Assessment

Lesson 6: Broadway and the Development of the American Musical

  • Introduction
  • From Tin Pan Alley to Broadway Musical
  • The Composers of Broadway
  • The Age of Great Standards
  • Conclusion
  • Lesson 6 Assessment

Lesson 7: Hillbilly and Country and Western Music

  • Introduction
  • The Earliest Country Music
  • The Earliest Country Music (cont.)>
  • Marketing and Consuming Hillbilly Music
  • The Rise of Country and Western Music
  • The Rise of Country and Western Music (cont.)
  • Conclusion
  • Lesson 7 Assessment
  • Written Assignment #1

Lesson 8: Traditional Pop in the 1940s and 1950s

  • Introduction
  • Louis Armstrong
  • Frank Sinatr
  • Rosemary Clooney
  • Tony Bennett
  • Perry Como
  • Doris Day
  • Patti Page
  • The Boswell Sisters
  • The Andrews Sisters
  • The Golden Gate Quartet
  • The Ink Spots
  • The Hit Parade
  • Conclusion
  • Lesson 8 Assessment

Lesson 9: Doo-Wop and Rhythm and Blues

  • Introduction
  • Gospel Music
  • Vocal Harmony Groups
  • Early Rhythm and Blues
  • From Gospel to Rhythm and Blues
  • Rhythm and Blues Crosses Over
  • Conclusion
  • Lesson 9 Assessment

Lesson 10: Early Rock and Roll

  • Introduction
  • New Technologies and Means of Consumption
  • Alan Freed
  • Cover Versions
  • Elvis’s Cover Versions
  • Sam Phillips and Sun Records
  • Colonel Tom Parker and Presley at RCA-Victor
  • Conclusion
  • Lesson 10 Assessment

Lesson 11: Rockabilly

  • Introduction
  • Rockabilly
  • Jerry Lee Lewis
  • Johnny Cash
  • Other Rockabilly Stars
  • Buddy Holly and the Crickets
  • The Day the Music Died
  • Conclusion
  • Lesson 11 Assessment

Lesson 12: Teen-Styled Rock Music in the Early 1960s

  • Introduction
  • Payola
  • American Bandstand
  • The Teen Idol
  • Brill Building
  • Conclusion
  • Lesson 12 Assessment

Lesson 13: The Record Producer and the Rise of Surf Rock

  • Introduction
  • The Rise of the Producer
  • Phil Spector
  • Girl Groups
  • Surf Rock
  • Conclusion
  • Lesson 13 Assessment
  • Written Assignment #2

Lesson 14: Soul

  • Introduction
  • The African American Presence in Pop
  • Motown 1
  • Motown 2
  • Motown 3
  • Atlantic and Stax
  • Conclusion
  • Lesson 14 Assessment

Lesson 15: The British Invasion

  • Introduction
  • Rock and Roll in the United Kingdom
  • Becoming the Beatles
  • Becoming the Beatles (cont.)
  • Beatlemania
  • The Music of the Beatles
  • From Songs to Recordings
  • Making the Rolling Stones
  • Jagger and Richards as Songwriters
  • Breaking into the United States
  • The Rolling Stones’ Music
  • Conclusion
  • Lesson 15 Assessment

Lesson 16: American Reactions to the British Invasion

  • Introduction
  • Garage Bands
  • Rock on TV
  • Rock Made for TV
  • Rock Made for TV (cont.)
  • Conclusion
  • Lesson 16 Assessment

Lesson 17: Bluegrass

  • Introduction
  • The Roots of Bluegrass
  • Bill Monroe and the Birth of Bluegrass
  • Bill Monroe and the Birth of Bluegrass (cont.)
  • Bluegrass Takes Off
  • Bluegrass and the Folk Music Revival
  • Conclusion
  • Lesson 17 Assessment

Lesson 18: Folk and Folk Rock

  • Introduction
  • Folk Music Before the 1960s
  • Authentic vs. Commercial
  • Bob Dylan
  • Bob Dylan (cont.)
  • The Rise of Folk Rock
  • Dylan’s Influence During the 1960s
  • Conclusion
  • Lesson 18 Assessment

Lesson 19: Psychedelic Rock

  • Introduction
  • Toward a Higher Consciousness
  • The Ambitious Single
  • The Ambitious Single (cont.)
  • Psychedelic Rock
  • Psychedelic Rock (cont.)
  • The Woodstock Music and Art Fair
  • Conclusion
  • Lesson 19 Assessment

Lesson 20: Midterm Exam

  • Midterm Exam

Lesson 21: Country Rock and Southern Rock

  • Introduction
  • Country Rock
  • Country Rock (cont.)
  • Southern Rock 1
  • Southern Rock 2
  • Southern Rock 3
  • Conclusion
  • Lesson 21 Assessment

Lesson 22: From Soul to Funk

  • Introduction
  • Music and the Civil Rights Movement
  • James Brown
  • James Brown (cont.)
  • James Brown’s Band
  • Other Spokespeople for Black Power
  • Conclusion
  • Lesson 22 Assessment

Lesson 23: Funk

  • Introduction
  • The Language of Funk
  • Sly and the Family Stone
  • Sly and the Family Stone (cont.)
  • George Clinton and P-Funk
  • George Clinton and P-Funk (cont.)
  • Funk and the Media
  • Conclusion
  • Lesson 23 Assessment

Lesson 24: Country Music Goes Mainstream

  • Introduction
  • Country Music on Television
  • Honky-Tonk Returns
  • Honky-Tonk Returns (cont.)
  • Women in Country Music
  • The Outlaws of Country Music
  • The Outlaws of Country Music (cont.)
  • Conclusion
  • Lesson 24 Assessment

Lesson 25: Hard Rock and Heavy Metal

  • Introduction
  • Hard Rock: Early Examples
  • Hard Rock: Early Examples
  • Hard Rock: Early Examples
  • Led Zeppelin (cont.)
  • Led Zeppelin’s Influence
  • Heavy Metal’s Musical Style
  • British Heavy Metal
  • American Heavy Metal
  • Conclusion
  • Lesson 25: Assessment

Lesson 26: Disco

  • Introduction
  • Predecessors and Roots of Disco
  • The Music and Technology of Disco
  • The Music and Technology of Disco (cont.)
  • Disco Enters the Mainstream
  • Disco Enters the Mainstream (cont.)
  • Conclusion
  • Lesson 26 Assessment

Lesson 27: Punk Rock and the New Wave

  • Introduction
  • The Roots of Punk: The Velvet Underground
  • New York Punk
  • The Musical Language of New Wave
  • New Wave at CBGB
  • New Wave Looks Backward
  • Conclusion
  • Lesson 27 Assessment
  • Written Assignment #3

Lesson 28: Detroit Techno

  • Introduction
  • The Technology of Techno
  • Roots of Techno
  • Chicago House Music
  • Detroit Techno 1
  • Detroit Techno 2
  • Detroit Techno 3
  • Conclusion
  • Lesson 28 Assessment

Lesson 29: MTV

  • Introduction
  • The Invention of MTV
  • A Second British Invasion?
  • A Second British Invasion? (cont.)
  • Race and MTV: The Case of Michael Jackson
  • Race and MTV: The Case of Michael Jackson (cont.)
  • Sex, Feminism, and MTV: The Case of Madonna
  • Conclusion
  • Lesson 29 Assessment

Lesson 30: Heavy Metal in the 1980s

  • Introduction
  • The Second Generation of British Heavy Metal
  • The Second Generation of British Heavy Metal (cont.)
  • American Heavy Metal
  • American Heavy Metal (cont.)
  • Hair Metal
  • Trash Metal
  • Conclusion
  • Lesson 30 Assessment

Lesson 31: Hip-Hop’s Roots and Origins

  • Introduction
  • The Roots of Hip-Hop
  • The Roots of Hip-Hop (cont.)
  • Early Commercial Hip-Hop
  • Hip-Hop Goes Mainstream
  • Hip-Hop Goes Mainstream (cont.)
  • Conclusion
  • Lesson 31 Assessment

Lesson 32: Hip-Hop Comes of Age

  • Introduction
  • Political Hip-Hop
  • Sample Based Hip-Hop
  • Sample Based Hip-Hop (cont.)
  • Gangsta Rap
  • Pop Rap
  • Conclusion
  • Lesson 32 Assessment

Lesson 33: The Rise of Alternative Rock

  • Introduction
  • The Rise of Alternative Rock
  • Grunge Rock
  • Grunge Rock (cont.)
  • Riot Grrrls
  • Jam Bands
  • Conclusion
  • Lesson 33 Assessment

Lesson 34: Alternative and Metal in the 1990s

  • Introduction
  • Listening to Music in the 1990s
  • Britpop
  • Industrial
  • Industrial (cont.)
  • Pop Punk
  • Conclusion
  • Lesson 34 Assessment

Lesson 35: Hip-Hop in the 1990s

  • Introduction
  • Dr. Dre and the West Coast Style
  • Dr. Dre and the West Coast Style (cont.)
  • East Coast Hip-Hop
  • East Coast vs. West Coast 1
  • East Coast vs. West Coast 2
  • East Coast vs. West Coast 3
  • Conclusion
  • Lesson 35 Assessment

Lesson 36: Hybrids and Genres Without Definition

  • Introduction
  • Rap Meets Rock 1
  • Rap Meets Rock 2
  • Rap Meets Rock 3
  • Everything but the Kitchen Sink
  • Everything but the Kitchen Sink (cont.)
  • Conclusion
  • Lesson 36 Assessment

Lesson 37: County Music in the 1980s and 1990s

  • Introduction
  • SoundScan
  • New Country, Old Country
  • New Country, Old Country (cont.)
  • Garth Brooks
  • Garth Brooks (cont.)
  • 1990s Country Superstars
  • 1990s Country Superstars (cont.)
  • Conclusion
  • Lesson 37 Assessment

Lesson 38: Popular Music and Controversy After 9/11

  • Introduction
  • The Post-9/11 Clear Channel Memorandum
  • The Post-9/11 Clear Channel Memorandum (cont.)
  • Country Musicians React to 9/11
  • The Dixie Chicks’ Response
  • The Dixie Chicks’ Response (cont.)
  • Conclusion
  • Lesson 38 Assessment

Lesson 39: Music Creation and Distribution in the 21st Century

  • Introduction
  • American Idol
  • American Idol (cont.)
  • YouTube
  • Streaming Audio
  • The Mash-Up
  • The Mash-Up (cont.)
  • Conclusion
  • Lesson 39 Assessment

Lesson 40: Conjunto Music

  • Introduction
  • Conjunto
  • The Accordion
  • The Accordion (cont.)
  • Corrido
  • Corrido (cont.)
  • Ranchera
  • Lydia Mendoza
  • 1950s Conjunto and Valerio Longoria
  • El Conjunto Bernal
  • Conclusion
  • Lesson 40 Assessment
  • Written Assignment #4

Lesson 41: Mexican American Popular Music

  • 1950s and 60s: Joining the Mainstream
  • 1960s and 70s: La Onda Chicana
  • Little Joe
  • Jimmy Gonzalez y Mazz and David Lee Garza y los Musicales
  • Patsy Torres
  • East Los Angeles Rock: Los Lobos
  • East Los Angeles Rock: Los Lobos (cont.)
  • Linda Rondstadt: Mariachi
  • Mariachi Vargas and Mexican Mariachi
  • Traje de Charro
  • Son jalisciense (Song from Jalisco)
  • 1990s: Latino Pride
  • Selena
  • Conclusion
  • Lesson 41 Assessment

Lesson 42: Final Exam

  • Final Exam


Contents & Features


  • Academically rigorous, yet accessible and designed for the web, we deliver a complete text and the most music for your online, hybrid, or face-to-face music course.
  • With C4E, your course is fully configured to your specifications. Our highly accessible, expert support team is there for you and your students every step of the way.
  • Result: seamless and efficient teaching experience for you, and a richer learning experience for your students.

OnAmerican Popular Music Table of Contents

Music – Music is the focus of this title, and there are over 600 pieces from early minstrelsy to today. Click here to see a partial list.

Discover Video – Videos in every chapter reinforce understanding and engagement while exposing students to original artists in historical context. Our video applet keeps students on the page, in the course and on task.

Listening Guides – Listening guides help students explore the inner workings of a piece of music. Our listening guides examine structure, text, texture, instrumentation, style and more.

Test / Quizzes / Assignments / Discussions - Our title contains a comprehensive set of auto-graded quizzes and tests. There are also ready-to-use written assignments and discussion forum topics. All testing is fully integrated and flows naturally from the text.

Customization – Instructors can add, remove, and edit content, assessment material, and assignments at will or leave it as is for a great out of the box experience.

Additional Features in every chapter

  • Lesson Overview and Lesson Objectives – Keep students focused
  • Test Yourself – Instant feedback to students
  • Artist Profiles – Information on performers, writers, and other important artists
  • Flash Cards – Interactive self study tool
  • Self Quizzes – Drag and drop key words and concepts
  • Comprehensive Instructor Guide – For the busy or first time instructor


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  • ISBN: 978-0-9911409-2-3
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