Within their approach to trace the routes of music and music's impact on identity formation the editors take the popularity of American music more or less for granted. Most genres addressed in this study have emerged within the multiethnic United States or the Americas on a larger scale, most have traversed through the Americas and, in different adaptations, through different parts of the world.
Tracing the migration of sounds, the editors see American music at home and abroad as an intricate part of a historical process of globalization and as embedded in complex and multidirectional processes of exchange and transformation. They understand the migration of American forms of music not as a one-dimensional, homogenizing process of Americanization but rather as a multidirectional journey with diverse and multi-layered forms of music emerging in different and shifting locales.
The contributors cover a broad range of musical genres, ranging from sacred music and avant- garde music to jazz, reggae, and rock. Moreover, crossovers between film, theater, video art and music are explored.
In its interdisciplinary and international orientation this book will contribute to the new direction American Studies has taken recently and expand a cultural studies approach to the field of music at the same time.
Prof. Dr. Wilfried Raussert is Professor for American Literature and Culture and Co-Director of Inter-American Studies at the University of Bielefeld.
Dr. John Miller Jones is Lecturer for American Studies and Composition at the University of Mannheim.