Segregating Sound Inventing Folk and Pop Music in the Age of Jim Crow

ISBN-10: 0822347008

ISBN-13: 9780822347002

Edition: 2010

Authors: Karl Hagstrom Miller, Josh Kun, Ronald M. Radano

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InSegregating Sound, Karl Hagstrom Miller argues that the categories that we have inherited to think and talk about southern American music bear little relation to the ways that southerners long heard and played music. Focusing on the late nineteenth century and the early twentieth, he chronicles how southern music, a fluid complex of sounds and styles in practice, was reduced to a series of distinct genres associated with particular racial and ethnic identities. The blues were African American. Rural white southerners played what came to be called country music. By the 1920s, these depictions were touted in folk song collections and the catalogues of "race" and "hillbilly" records produced by the phonograph industry. Such simple links among race, region, and music were new. Black and white artists alike had played not only blues, ballads, ragtime, and string band music, but also nationally popular sentimental ballads, minstrel songs,Tin Pan Alleytunes, and Broadway hits. In a cultural history filled with musicians, listeners, scholars, and business people, Miller describes how folklore studies and the music industry helped to create a "musical colour line," a cultural parallel to the physical colour line that came to define the Jim Crow South. Segregated sound emerged slowly through the interactions of southern and northern musicians, record companies who sought to penetrate new markets across the South and the globe, and academic folklorists who attempted to tap southern music for evidence about the deep history of human civilization. Contending that people's musical worlds were defined less by who they were than by the music that they heard, Miller challenges basic assumptions about the relation of race, music, and the market.
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Book details

Copyright year: 2010
Publisher: Duke University Press
Publication date: 2/11/2010
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 384
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 1.188
Language: English

Tin Pan Alley on tour
The Southern Embrace of Commercial Music
Making Money Making Music
The Education of Southern Musicians in Local Markets
Isolating Folk, Isolating Songs
Reimagining Southern Music as Folklore
Southern Musicians and the Lure of New York City
Representing the South from Coon Songs to the Blues
Talking Machine World
Discovering Local Music in the Global Phonograph Industry
Race Records and old-time Music
The Creation of Two Marketing Categories in the 1920s
Black Folk and Hillbilly Pop
Industry Enforcement of the Musical Color Line
Reimagining Pop Tunes as Folk Songs
The Ascension of the Folkloric Paradigm
Afterword "All Songs is Folk Songs"
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