Analysis

Declaration of Independents: A HyperHistory of Independent Jazz Labels

David Adler and a few CDsPhoto by Dr. Jennifer M. Good I’m in a Manhattan hair salon, waiting for my turn under the scissors. A DJ on WBLS-FM comments breathlessly on the signing of Patti LaBelle to Def Jam Records. “That’s huge, for both of them!” she exclaims. Why? Because LaBelle remains one of the […]

Picture Perfect: A HyperHistory of Film Music in the United States

Nicole ZarayPhoto by Sean Gullette Do film composers ever get the fame they deserve? Probably not… They toil long hours for the Hollywood machine behind the heavy curtain of post-production, while the film’s stars and director are already sauntering through candid clips on Entertainment Tonight. Rarely do we see a film composer on prime time […]

Shelf Life: How Musical Reference Materials Treat American Composers

The two leading English-language reference works on composers of classical music, The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians and Baker’s Biographical Dictionary of Musicians, brought out new, vastly expanded editions in 2001. Nearby library shelves are sagging with smaller, more specialized recent books offering information on American composers living and dead. An unprecedented amount […]

Is There Really No Place Like Home?: American Composers Abroad

Guy Livingston Writing from Paris, in the beginning of the new millennium, the city of light seems pretty tame compared to its awesome role a century ago. From about 1880 until World War II, Paris was the rarely-contested center for new and avant-garde music, painting, and writing. This cultural hub attracted vast numbers of foreigners, […]