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Welcome to the Music Research Guide! This guide is designed to assist you in your research.

New Books!

Prince on Prince

Prince on Prince gets behind the controversies to tell the Prince story in his own words.   Prince is among the most respected and influential entertainers of the twentieth century, breaking sexual, racial, and creative barriers throughout his almost forty years in the spotlight.  He was a multitalented studio artist, a master songwriter who produced and performed almost all of his own music on yearly LPs and countless singles and videos. He was one of the most dynamic live performers ever to hit the stage, a world-class dancer, and musician who's still remembered for the best Super Bowl halftime performance in history. He fought for artists' rights, changed his name to a glyph, and took a star turn in the Oscar-winner Purple Rain.  But for all this, he was a quiet and private individual, reluctant to talk about the work he felt should speak for itself. This volume offers a chronological look at some of Prince's most entertaining and revealing interviews, from 1978 and the release of his debut LP, For You, to a 2015 interview conducted only months before his untimely death at the age of fifty-seven.  Prince's memoir was left incomplete, but this volume offers a view of the man as he sought to portray himself in his own words to journalists of every status throughout his career.

This Is What It Sounds Like

This Is What It Sounds Like is a journey into the science and soul of music that reveals the secrets of why your favorite songs move you. But it's also a story of a musical trailblazer who began as a humble audio tech in Los Angeles, rose to become Prince's chief engineer for Purple Rain, and then created other No. 1 hits ,including Barenaked Ladies' "One Week," as one of the most successful female record producers of all time. Now an award-winning professor of cognitive neuroscience, Susan Rogers leads readers to musical self-awareness. She explains that we each possess a unique "listener profile" based on our brain's natural response to seven key dimensions of any song. Are you someone who prefers lyrics or melody? Do you like music "above the neck" (intellectually stimulating), or "below the neck" (instinctual and rhythmic)? Whether your taste is esoteric or mainstream, Rogers guides readers to recognize their musical personality, and offers language to describe one's own unique taste. Like most of us, Rogers is not a musician, but she shows that all of us can be musical--simply by being an active, passionate listener. While exploring the science of music and the brain, Rogers also takes us behind the scenes of record-making, using her insider's ear to illuminate the music of Prince, Frank Sinatra, Kanye West, Lana Del Rey, and many others. She shares records that changed her life, contrasts them with those that appeal to her coauthor and students, and encourages you to think about the records that define your own identity. Told in a lively and inclusive style, This Is What It Sounds Like will refresh your playlists, deepen your connection to your favorite artists, and change the way you listen to music.

The 12 Days of Christmas

In the whole body of Christmas carols sung in English, among the most famous and beloved is a song universally called "The Twelve Days of Christmas." Although its association with the holiday remains unquestioned, the tune was originally a raucous drinking song with wildly different connotations. This book documents the unfamiliar and distant history of one of the world's most well-known holiday songs, inextricably linked to the earliest celebrations of a festival suppressed by the Church itself. The rowdy and mischievous tone of traditional Christmas has vanished, as have the songs that accompanied the festival of drinking, gambling, fighting, feasting and sex. Modern participants of Christmas may be either embarrassed or pleased to discover the scandalous roots of a beloved holiday classic.

Medieval Polyphony and Song

What characterises medieval polyphony and song? Who composed this music, sang it, and wrote it down? Where and when did the different genres originate, and under what circumstances were they created and performed? This book gives a comprehensive introduction to the rich variety of polyphonic practices and song traditions during the Middle Ages. It explores song from across Europe, in Latin and vernacular languages (precursors to modern Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish); and polyphony from early improvised organum to rhythmically and harmonically complex late medieval motets. Each chapter focuses on a particular geographical location, setting out the specific local contexts of the music created there. Guiding the reader through the musical techniques of melody, harmony, rhythm, and notation that distinguish the different genres of polyphony and song, the authors also consider the factors that make modern performances of this music sound so different from one another.

Efficacy of Sound

The first book-length ethnographic study on music and Ifá divination in Cuba and Nigeria.   Hailing from Cuba, Nigeria, and various sites across Latin America and the Caribbean, Ifá missionary-practitioners are transforming the landscape of Ifá divination and deity (òrìşà/oricha) worship through transatlantic travel and reconnection. In Cuba, where Ifá and Santería emerged as an interrelated, Yorùbá-inspired ritual complex, worshippers are driven to "African Traditionalism" by its promise of efficacy: they find Yorùbá approaches more powerful, potent, and efficacious.   In the first book-length study on music and Ifá, Ruthie Meadows draws on extensive, multi-sited fieldwork in Cuba and Yorùbáland, Nigeria to examine the contentious "Nigerian-style" ritual movement in Cuban Ifá divination. Meadows uses feminist and queer of color theory along with critical studies of Africanity to excavate the relation between utility and affect within translocal ritual music circulations. Meadows traces how translocal Ifá priestesses (Ìyánífá), female batá drummers (bataleras), and priests (babaláwo) harness Yorùbá-centric approaches to ritual music and sound to heighten efficacy, achieve desired ritual outcomes, and reshape the conditions of their lives. Within a contentious religious landscape marked by the idiosyncrasies of Revolutionary state policy, Nigerian-style Ifá-Òrìşà is leveraged to reshape femininity and masculinity, state religious policy, and transatlantic ritual authority on the island.

Music Business Handbook and Career Guide

The Thirteenth Edition of this powerhouse best-selling text maintains its tradition as the most comprehensive, up-to-date guide to the music industry in all of its diversity. Readers new to the music business and seasoned professionals alike will find David Baskerville, Tim Baskerville, and Serona Elton′s handbook the go-to source, regardless of their specialty within the music field. Music Business Handbook and Career Guide is ideal for introductory courses such as Introduction to the Music Business, Music and Media, and other survey courses as well as more specialized courses such as the Record Industry, Music Careers, Artist Management, and more.  The fully updated Thirteenth Edition includes a comprehensive discussion of the streaming revolution, where this predominant form of music consumption stands today and is heading in the future. Rapid changes in music licensingare addressed and how they impact creators, musical work performance licensing, compulsory and negotiated mechanicals, and sound recording licenses. The new edition also analyzes the changing picture of music video and shows how music video has been upended by on-demand streaming.  Lastly, there is all-new coverage of COVID-19and how the concert industry has been impacted as well as digital advances that have been made.   

Whose Country Music?

In a period in which racism and gender inequity are at the fore of public, political, and scholarly discourse, this collection challenges systems of gatekeeping that have dictated who gets to participate in twenty-first century country music culture. Building on established scholarship, this book examines contemporary issues in country music through feminist, intersectional, and post-colonialist theories, as well as other intertextual and cultural lenses. The authors pose questions about diversity, representation, and identity as they relate to larger concepts of artist and fan communities, stylistic considerations of the genre, and modes of production from a twenty-first century perspective. Addressing and challenging the received narrative about country music culture, this collection delves into the gaps that are inherent in existing approaches that privileged biography and historiography and expands new areas of inquiry relating to contemporary country music identity and culture.

Black Country Music

2023 Ralph J. Gleason Music Book Award, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame 2023 ARSC Awards for Excellence in Historical Recorded Sound Research, Association for Recorded Sound Collections​ How Black musicians have changed the country music landscape and brought light to Black creativity and innovation. After a century of racist whitewashing, country music is finally reckoning with its relationship to Black people. In this timely work--the first book on Black country music by a Black writer--Francesca Royster uncovers the Black performers and fans, including herself, who are exploring the pleasures and possibilities of the genre. Informed by queer theory and Black feminist scholarship, Royster's book elucidates the roots of the current moment found in records like Tina Turner's first solo album, Tina Turns the Country On! She reckons with Black "bros" Charley Pride and Darius Rucker, then chases ghosts into the future with Valerie June. Indeed, it is the imagination of Royster and her artists that make this music so exciting for a genre that has long been obsessed with the past. The futures conjured by June and others can be melancholy, and are not free of racism, but by centering Black folk Royster begins to understand what her daughter hears in the banjo music of Our Native Daughters and the trap beat of Lil Nas X's "Old Town Road." A Black person claiming country music may still feel a bit like a queer person coming out, but, collectively, Black artists and fans are changing what country music looks and sounds like--and who gets to love it.

Vibrate Higher

From one of the most lyrically gifted and socially conscious rappers of the past twenty years, Vibrate Higher is a firsthand account of hip-hop as a political force Before Talib Kweli became a world-renowned hip-hop artist, he was a Brooklyn kid who liked to cut class, spit rhymes, and wander the streets of Greenwich Village with a motley crew of artists, rappers, and DJs who found hip-hop more inspiring than their textbooks (much to the chagrin of the educator parents who had given their son an Afrocentric name in hope of instilling in him a more traditional sense of pride and purpose). Kweli's was the first generation to grow up with hip-hop as an established culture--a genre of music that has expanded to include its own pantheon of heroes, rich history and politics, and distinct worldview. Eventually, childhood friendships turned into collaborations, and Kweli gained notoriety as a rapper in his own right. From working with some of hip-hop's greatest--including Mos Def, Common, Kanye West, Pharrell Williams, and Kendrick Lamar--to selling books out of the oldest African-American bookstore in Brooklyn, and ultimately leaving his record label and taking control of his own recording career, Kweli tells the winding, always compelling story of the people and events that shaped his life as well as the culture of hip-hop that informs American culture at large. Vibrate Higher illuminates Talib Kweli's upbringing and artistic success and gives life to hip-hop as a political force--one that galvanized the Black Lives Matter movement and serves as a continual channel for resistance against the rising tide of white nationalism.


As his mother was dying, Philip Kennicott began to listen to the music of Bach obsessively, and spent the next five years trying to learn one of the composer's greatest keyboard masterpieces, the Goldberg Variations. In Counterpoint, he recounts his efforts to rise to the challenge, and to fight through his grief by coming to terms with his memories of a difficult, complicated childhood. He describes the joys of mastering some of the piano pieces, the frustrations that plague his understanding of others, and the surpassing beauty of the melodies, harmonies, and counterpoint that distinguish them. Ultimately, he raises two questions that become increasingly interrelated, not unlike a contrapuntal passage in one of the variations itself: What does it mean to know a piece of music? What does it mean to know another human being?

Corazón Abierto

Corazón Abierto: Mexican American Voices in Texas Music provides a wide view of the myriad contributions Mexican American artists have made to music in Texas and the United States. Based on interviews with longtime stalwarts of Mexican American music--Flaco Jiménez, Tish Hinojosa, Ernie Durawa, Rosie Flores, and others--and also conversations with newer voices like Lesly Reynaga, Marisa Rose Mejia, Josh Baca, and many more, Kathleen Hudson allows the musicians to tell their own stories in a unique and personal way. As the artists reveal in their free-ranging discussions with Hudson, their influences go far beyond traditionally Mexican genres like conjunto, norteño, and Tejano to extend into rock, jazz, country-western, zydeco, and many other styles. Hudson's survey also includes essays, poetry, and other creative works by Dagoberto Gilb, Sandra Cisneros, and others, but the core of the book consists of what she describes as "a collection of voices from different locations in Texas. . . . Some represent voices from the edge, while others give us a view from the center." Weaving together a tapestry that combines "family, borders, creativity, music, food, and community," the book presents an image as varied and difficult to define as the musicians themselves. By sharing the artists' accounts of their influences, their experiences, their family stories, and their musical and cultural journeys, Corazón Abierto reminds us that borders can be gateways, that differences enrich, rather than isolate.

Free Jazz

In the late 1950s, free jazz broke all the rules, liberating musicians both to create completely spontaneous and unplanned performances and to develop unique personal musical systems. This genre emerged alongside the radical changes of the 1960s, particularly the Civil Rights, Black Arts, and Black Power movements. Free Jazz is a new and accessible introduction to this exciting, controversial, and often misunderstood music, drawing on extensive research, close listening, and the author's experience as a performer. More than a catalog of artists and albums, the book explores the conceptual areas they opened: freedom, spirituality, energy, experimentalism, and self-determination. These are discussed in relation to both the political and artistic currents of the times and to specific musical techniques, explained in language clear to ordinary readers but also useful for musicians.

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