Music History Materials

Online Music History Materials


Textbooks have been a mainstay in American education since at least the 1700s changing in content, methodology, and writing style over time to reflect new methods, pedagogy, research, and scholarship in various disciplines on diverse subjects. Since the publication of the first music history textbook in 1960 in the United States, A History of Western Music by Donald Jay Grout, subsequent books emphasizing various content and contexts of music have become available for music students at various levels of study. Some include accompanying ancillary materials such as score and sound anthologies, assessment tools, and instructional and study guides for which more information is available on publishers’ websites.

History of Western Music and Music Appreciation

A History of Western Music, 10th Edition
J. Peter Burkholder, Claude V. Palisca, and Donald Jay Grout
W. W. Norton & Company

First published in 1960, a survey of western classical and some popular music from Ancient Greece through the early twenty-first century.

Concise History of Western Music, 5th Edition, Anthology Update
Barbara Hanning
W. W. Norton & Company

A shorter version of Burkholder, Palisca, and Grout’s A History of Western Music.

American Popular Music: From Minstrelsy to MP3, 4th Edition
Larry Starr and Christopher Waterman
Oxford University Press

A social and cultural history of jazz, blues, country, rock, hip-hop, and other popular musics and their development.

Ideas and Styles in the Western Musical Tradition
Douglass Seaton
Oxford University Press

A survey of western art music from antiquity to the present contextualized within an intellectual history including art, literature, and music.

Music: A Sonic Experience, 2nd Edition
Steven Cornelius and Mary Natvig

A study of how music reflects individuals and cultures collectively demonstrating how people experience music through social frames of ethnicity, gender, love, spirituality, and more.

Oxford History of Western Music, College Edition, 2nd Edition
Richard Taruskin and Christopher Gibbs
Oxford University Press

A survey of western art music from Ancient Greece through the twenty-first century condensed from Taruskin’s five-volume Oxford History of Western Music.

Resonances: Engaging Music in Its Cultural Context
Esther Morgan-Ellis
University of North Georgia Press

A free digital and print for purchase examination of global classical, popular, and folk musics and traditions emphasizing how music creates and enriches culture through storytelling, politics, dance, entertainment, and more.

Understanding Music: Past and Present
Alan Clark, Thomas Helfin, Jeffery Kluball, Elizabeth Kramer
University of North Georgia Press

A free digital and print for purchase survey of early music through the present day that emphasizes critical thinking and listening.


World and Global Music

World Music: A Global Journey, 5th Edition
Terry E. Miller and Andrew Shahriari

Explores music expressions and culture globally on seven continents.

World Music Textbook: An Online and Open Resource for Teaching and Learning Ethnomusicology and Musicology
Kristian Nielsen, Jessie Vallejo, and Christopher Witulski

Collaborative, online, and open resource book designed for teaching and learning ethnomusicology and musicology at the undergraduate level.

World Music: Traditions and Transformation, 3rd Edition
Michael Bakan
McGraw Hill

Organized in two parts, the first explains musical elements of rhythm, pitch, dynamics, timbre, and instruments and texture and form. The second part includes chapters on Indian, Irish, West African, Latin American, Egyptian, and Chinese Zheng musics.

Worlds of Music: An Introduction to the Music of the World’s People, 6th Edition
Jeff Titon
Cengage Learning

A case study approach to studying world music and cultural traditions based on Titon’s fieldwork.