Print Resources

The following bibliography, created by the Voices Across Time team and supplemented by suggestions from the participants of the NEH Summer Institute for Teachers (2004, 2006).  Many of the titles under “Social and Political History” were recommended by K-12 teachers who found them to be particularly helpful for classroom instruction.



American Music, General

American Music, Region, Subject, Genre, and Period

African-American Music

Art Music

Civil War

Civil Rights

Colonial Music/Music from the American Revolution

Cowboy and Western Songs

Hip Hop/Rap


Jazz and Blues

Labor Songs


Native American

Patriotic Music

Popular Songs

Popular Song Sheet Music Collections

Religious Music

Rock and Roll


Women's Suffrage

Vietnam War

World War II

General Sheet Music Collections

Social and Political History

African-American Experience

Slave rebellions

American Revolution

Civil War


Feminist Topics

Great Depression

Utopian Communities

Westward Migration

Curriculum Supplements

Literature Connections



American Music, General

Boroff, Edith. Music Melting Round: A History of Music in the United States. New York: Ardsley House, 1995.

Chase, Gilbert. America’s Music: From the Pilgrims to the Present (Revised 3rd Ed.). Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1987.

Crawford, Richard. The American Musical Landscape.  Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993.

Crawford, Richard. America’s Musical Life: A History. New York: W.W. Norton, 2001.

Crawford, Richard. An Introduction to America’s Music. New York: W.W. Norton, 2001. (set of 3 CDs included)

Ferris, Jean. America’s Musical Landscape. Madison, WI: Brown & Benchmark, 1998.

Fowler, Charles. Music! Its Role and Importance in our Lives. (Student and Teacher’s Edition). New York: Glencoe, 1994.

Hall, Charles J. A Chronicle of American Music: 1700-1995.  New York: Schirmer Books, 1996.

Hamm, Charles. Music in the New World. New York: W.W. Norton, 1983.

Hitchcock, H. Wiley. Music in the United States: a Historical Introduction. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1969.

Kenney, William Howland. Recorded Music in American Life. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999.

The phonograph and popular culture 1890-1940

Kingman, Dan. American Music: A Panorama. New York: Schirmer, 1990.

Mellers, Willfrid. Music in a New Found Land: Themes and Developments in the History of American Music. New York: Oxford University Press, 1987.

Nicholls, David, ed. The Cambridge History of American Music. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 1998.

Reyes, Adelaida. Music in America: Experiencing Music, Experiencing Culture. NY: Oxford University Press, 2005.

American Music, Region, Subject, Genre, and Period


African-American Music

Southern, Eileen. The Music of Black Americans, A History. New York: W.W. Norton, 1997.

Fisher, Miles Mark. Negro Slave Songs in the United States. New York: Russell & Russell, 1968.

Floyd, Samuel A. The Power of Black Music. London: Oxford University Press, 1995.

Epstein, Dena. Sinful Tunes and Spirituals: Black Folk Music to the Civil War. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, 19977.

Art Music

Austin, William. Twentieth Century American Masters. New York: W.W. Norton, 1997.

Gann, Kyle. American Music in the Twentieth Century. New York: Schirmer, 1997.

Horowitz, Joseph. Classical Music in America: A History of Its Rise and Fall. New York: W. W. Norton, 2005.

Sperry, Paul, ed. American Art Songs of the Turn of the Century. Mineola, NY: Dover Publications, 1991.

Civil War

Crawford, Richard, ed. The Civil War Songbook: Complete Original Sheet Music for 37 Songs. New York: Dover, 1977.

Glass, Paul and Singer, Louis C. Singing Soldiers: A History of the Civil War in Song. New York: DaCapo Press, 1975. (Originally published in 1964 as The Spirit of the Sixties.)


Silverman, Jerry. Ballads and Songs of the Civil War. Pacific, MO: Mel Bay Publications, 1993.


Civil Rights

Erenrich, Susie, ed. Freedom is a Constant Struggle: An Anthology of the Mississippi Civil Rights Movement. Montgomery, AL: Black Belt Press, 1999.

Sanger, Kerran. “When the Spirit Says Sing!” The Role of Freedom Songs in the Civil Rights Movement. NY: Garland, 1995.


Colonial Music/Music from the American Revolution

Brand, Oscar. The Songs of ’76: A Folksinger’s History of the Revolution. M. Evans & Co., 1975.

Camus, Raoul F. Military Music of the American Revolution. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1976.

Crawford, Richard. “A Historian’s Introduction to Early American Music,” Proceedings of the American Antiquarian Society, LXXXIX/2 (October, 1979), p.261-298.

Crawford, Richard and Mckay, David. William Billings of Boston: Eighteenth-Century Composer. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1975.

Lawrence, Vera Brodsky. Music for Patriots, Politicians, and Presidents: Harmonies and Discords of the First Hundred Years. New York: MacMillan, 1975.

Cowboy and Western Songs

Fife, Austin E. and Alta S. Cowboy and Western Songs: A Comprehensive Anthology. New York: Bramhall House, 1982.

Silber, Irwin, ed. Songs of the Great American West. Mineola, NY: Dover Publications, 1995.

Hip Hop/Rap

Keyes, Cheryl. Rap Music and Street Consciousness. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, 2002.

Alex Ogg & David Upshal, The Hip Hop Years: A History of Rap (1998) – see Jennifer George Nelson – Hip Hop America (1998) . Author too of The Death of Rhythm & Blues (described by Rolling Stone as the most gifted writer on Hip Hop)

Boyd, Todd. Young, Black, Rich, and Famous: The Rise of the NBA, The Hip Hop Invasion and the Transformation of American Culture. New York: Doubleday, 2003.


Greene, Victor. A  Singing Ambivalence: American Immigrants Between Old World and New, 1830-1930. Ohio: Kent State University Press, 2004.


Jazz and Blues

Silverman, Jerry. Folk Blues. Hastings on Hudson, NY: Saw Mill Music Corp., 1983.


Wald, Elijah. Josh White: Society Blues. Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts Press, 2000.


Labor Songs

Seeger, Pete and Rob Reiser. Carry It On: The Story of America’s Working People in Song and Picture. Bethlehem, PA: A Sing Out Publication, 1991.

Ally, Evelyn.  Working Women’s Music. Somerville, MA: The New England Free Press, 1976.


Cockrell, Dale. Demons of Disorder: Early Blackface Minstrels and Their World. Cambridge University Press, 1997.

Lott, Eric. Love and Theft: Blackface Minstrelsy and the American Working Class. New York: Oxford University Press, 1993. Duality in white use of black music.

Mahar, William. Behind the Burnt Cork Mask: Early Balckface Minstrelsy and Antebellum American Popular Culture. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, 1999.  Documents different kinds of minstrelsy in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Native American Music

Fletcher, Alice C. and LaFlesche, Francis. A Study of Omaha Indian Music. Cambridge, MA: Peabody Museum of American Archaeology and Ethnology, 1983.


Patriotic Music

Lichtenwanger, William. “The Music of the ‘Star Spangled Banner.” Quarterly Journal of the Library of Congress, vol. 34, no. 3, July 1977.


Popular Songs

Campbell, Michael. And the Beat Goes On: An Introduction to Popular Music in America, 1840 to Today. New York: Schirmer, 1996.

Emerson, Ken. Doo-dah! Stephen Foster and the Rise of American Popular culture. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1997.

Emerson, Ken. Always Magic in the Air: the Bomp and Brilliance of the Brill Building Era. New York: Viking, 2005.

Ewen,David. American Popular Songs: From the Revolutionary War to Present. New York: Random House, 1966.

Finson, Jon. The Voices That are Gone: Themes in Nineteenth-Century Popular Song. New York: Oxford University Press, 1994.

Hamm, Charles. Yesterdays: Popular Song in America. New York: W.W. Norton, 1979.

Jablonski, Edward. Irving Berlin: American Troubadour. New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1999.

Joyner, David Lee. American Popular Music. Madison, WI: Brown and Benchmark, 1993.

Larkin, Colin, ed. Guinness Encyclopedia of Popular Music. Enfield, England: Guinness Publishing, Ltd., 1992.

McBrien, William. Cole Porter: A Biography. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1998.

Popular Song Sheet Music Collections

Jasen, David A., ed. “A Pretty Girl is Like a Melody” and Other Hit Songs, 1918-1919. Mineola, NY: Dover Publications, 1997.

Appelbaum, Stanley, ed. “Peg o’ My Heart” and Other Favorite Song Hits 1912 & 1913. Mineola, NY: Dover Publications, 1989.

Jackson, Richard, ed. Stephen Foster Songbook. Mineola, NY: Dover Publications, 1974.

Levy, Lester S., ed. “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” and Other Favorite Song Hits 1906-1908. Mineola, NY: Dover Publications, 1984.

Fremont, Robert, ed. Favorite Songs of the Nineties. Mineola, NY: Dover Publications, 1973.

Jackson, Richard, ed. Popular Songs of Nineteenth-Century America. Mineola, NY: Dover Publications, 1976.

Jasen, David A. “Alexander’s Ragtime Band” and Other Favorite Song Hits, 1901-1911. Mineola, NY: Dover Publications, 1987.


Religious Music

Stevenson, Robert. Protestant Church Music in America. New York: W. W. Norton, 1966.


Rock and Roll

Friedlander, Paul. Rock and Roll: A Social History. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1996.

Romanowski, Patricia and George-Warren, Holly, editors. The New Encyclopedia of Rock and Roll.  New York: Fireside, 1995.


Sea Songs and Shanties

Grasso, Glenn, ed. Songs of the Sailor: Working Chanteys at Mystic Seaport. Mystic, CT: Mystic Seaport Museum, 1998.

Harlow, Frederick Pease. Chanteying Aboard American Ships. Barre, MA: Barre Gazette, 1962.

Hullfish, William. The Canaller’s Songbook. York, PA: The American Canal and Transportation Center, 1984.


Woman Suffrage

Wolff, Francie. Give the Ballot to the Mothers: Songs of the Suffragists. Springfield, MO: Denlinger's Publishers, LTD, 1998. It's the first to publish songs AND their music together under one cover.  Also includes color reproductions for some of the original sheet music covers and excellent historical notes for each song. Packaged in a spiral binding to make it easy to use as a songbook.

Suffragist Sheet Music: An Illustrated Catalogue of Published Music Associated with the Women's Rights and Suffrage Movement in America, 1795-1921, with Complete Lyrics. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Co., 2002.

Vietnam War

Andersen, Lee. Battle Notes: Music of the Viet Nam War. Superior, WI: Savage Press, 2000.

World War II

Fauser, Annegret. Sounds of War: Music in the United States during World War II (NY: Oxford University Press, 2013),

General Sheet Music Collections

Lomax, Alan and John A. American Ballads and Folk Songs (Unaltered reprint of original published in 1934). New York: Dover, 1994.

Sandburg, Carl. The American Songbag. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1990 (first published in 1927).

Seeger, Ruth Crawford. American Folk Songs for Children. New York: Doubleday, 1975.

Silverman, Jerry. The American History Songbook. Pacific, MO: Mel Bay Publications, 1992.

Social and Political History

Bloom, Alex, ed. Long Time Gone: Sixties America Then and Now. New York: Oxford University Press, 2001.

Bloom, Alex and Breines, Wini, editors. “Takin’ it to the Streets:” A Sixties Reader. New York: Oxford University Press, 1995.

Foner, Eric. Reconstruction: America’s Unfinished Revolution, 1863-1877. New York: Perennial Classics, 2002.


Green, Harvey. The Uncertainty of Everyday Life, 1915-1945. New York: Harper & Row, 1992.

Hawke, David Freeman. Everyday Life in Early America. New York: Harper & Row, 1988.


Hoerr, John P.  And the Wolf Finally Came: The Decline of the American Steel Industry. Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1988.


Hoose, Phillip. We Were There, Too! Young People in U.S. History. New York: Farrar Straus Giroux, 2001.

Larkin, Jack. The Reshaping of Everyday Life, 1790-1840. New York: Harper & Row, 1988.

Marshall, Susan E. Splintered Sisterhood: Gender and Class in the Campaign Against Woman Suffrage. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press, 1997.

Ransom, Roger L. One Kind of Freedom: The Economic Consequences of Emancipation. Cambridge, U.K.; New York: Cambridge University Press, 2001.

Rodriguez, Richard. Brown: The Last Discovery of America. New York: Viking, 2002.

Roberts, Russell D. The Choice: A Fable of Free Trade and Protectionism. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1994.

Schlereth, Thomas. Victorian America. New York: Harper & Row, 1991.

Serrin, William. Homestead: The Glory and Tragedy of an American Steel Town. New York: Times Books, 1992.

Small, Christopher. Music, Society, Education: An Examination of the Function of Music in Western, Eastern and African Cultures with its Impact on Society and its Use in Education. New York: Schirmer, 1977.

Sutherland, Daniel E. The Expansion of Everyday Life, 1860-1876. New York: Harper & Row, 1989.

Toll, Robert C. The Entertainment Machine: American Show Business in the Twentieth Century. Oxford [Oxfordshire]; New York: Oxford University Press, 1982. Impact of technology on culture and entertainment.

Utley, Robert Marshall. The Last Days of the Sioux Nation.  New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1963.


Wolf, Stephanie Grauman. As Various as Their Land: The Everyday Lives of Eighteenth-Century Americans. New York: Harper & Row, 1993.


African American Experience

Horton, James Oliver. In Hope of Liberty: Culture, Community, and Protest Among Northern Free Blacks, 1700-1860.  New York: Oxford University Press, 1997.  Examines Northern Free Blacks in antebellum America.


Morgan, Edmund Sears. American Slavery, American Freedom: The Ordeal of Colonial Virginia.  New York: Norton, 1975. Examines Virginia as a lens on the racialization of slavery in America.  Great chapters on Bacon’s Rebellion


Tate, Greg, ed. Everything But the Burden: What White People are Taking from Black Culture. New York: Broadway Books, 2003.

Slave Rebellions

Jones, Howard. Mutiny on the Amistad: The Saga of a Slave Revolt and Its Impact on American Abolition, Law, and Diplomacy. New York: Oxford University Press, 1987.


Robertson, David. Denmark Vesey. New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 1999. About the 1822 planned uprising in South Carolina.


Sidbury, James. Ploughshares into Swords: Race, Rebellion, and Identity in Gabriel’s Virginia, 1730-1810. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1997. About Gabriel’s Rebellion planned for 1800 in Virginia.


American Revolution

Foner, Eric. The Story of American Freedom. New York: W.W. Norton, 1998.


Raphael, Ray A People’s History of the American Revolution: How Common People Shaped the Fight for Independence. New York: Perennial/HarperCollins Publishers, 2002.

Civil War

McPherson, James M. What They Fought For, 1861-1865. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1994.

Potter, David M. The Impending Crisis, 1848-1861 (Completed and edited by Don E. Fehrenbacher). New York: Harper & Row, 1976.


Ward, Geoffrey with Ric Burns and Ken Burns. The Civil War: An Illustrated History. New York: Alfred Knopf, 1990.


Takaki, Ronald. A Different Mirror: A History of Multicultural America. Boston: Little, Brown & Co., 1993.


Herzen, Aleksandr. From the Other Shore (translated from the Russian by Moura Budberg). London, Weidenfeld and Nicolson [1956].

Feminist Topics

Kaplan, E. Ann. Looking for the Other: Feminism, Film, and the Imperial Gaze. New York: Routledge, 1997.


Paules, Greta Foff.. Dishing It Out: Power and Resistance Among Waitresses in a New Jersey Restaurant. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1991. Challenges impressions of 1950s women and work, including the campaign for equal pay, child care centers, and sick leave.


Great Depression

Terkel, Studs. Hard Times : An Oral History of the Great Depression. New York: Pantheon Books, 1970.


Utopian Communities

Pitzer, Donald E., ed. America’s Communal Utopias. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1997.


Holloway, Mark. Heavens on Earth; Utopian Communities in America, 1680-1880.  London: Turnstile Press, 1951.


Appy, Christian G. Working-class War: American Combat Soldiers and Vietnam Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 1993.

Franklin, Bruce H. Vietnam and Other American Fantasies. Amherst, Mass.: University of Massachusetts Press, 2000

Franklin, H. Bruce. M.I.A., or, Mythmaking in America. Brooklyn, N.Y. : L. Hill Books, 1992

Westward Migration

Cayton, Andrew R. L. and Onuf, Peter S. The Midwest and the Nation: Rethinking the History of an American Region. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1990.


Gruenwald, Kim M. River of Enterprise: The Commercial Origins of Regional Identity in the Ohio Valley, 1790-1850.  Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2002.


Limerick, Patricia Nelson. The Legacy of Conquest: The Unbroken Past of the American West. New York: Norton, 1988.


Milner, Clyde A., ed. The Oxford History of the American West.  New York: Oxford University Press, 1994.

Nobles, Gregory H. American Frontiers: Cultural Encounters and Continental Conquest. New York: Hill & Wang, 1997.


White, Richard. "It’s Your Misfortune and None of My Own": A History of the American West. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, c1991.


Worster, Donald. Rivers of Empire: Water, Aridity, and the Growth of the American West. New York: Pantheon Books, 1985.

Curriculum Supplements

Schmid, Will. A Tribute to Woody Guthrie and Leadbelly. (Reston, VA: Music Educators National Conference with the Smithsonian Institution Office of Folklife Programs) Teachers Guide, Student Workbook, and Folkways album.

Traugh, Steven. Voices of American History, Pre-Colonial Times Through the Revolutionary War, Volume I. The Young Nation through the Civil War, Volume II. The Westward Expansion of the United States, Volume III. Three volumes with audiocassettes. (Cypress, CA: Creative Teaching Press, 1994).


Literary Connections (Fiction)



Bell, Derrick A. Faces at the Bottom of the Well: The Permanence of Racism.  New York, NY: BasicBooks, 1992. Metaphorical short stories about racism.



O’Brien, Tim. If I Die in a Combat Zone; Box Me Up and Ship Me Home. New York: Delacorte Press, 1973.

O’Brien, Tim. The Things They Carried: A Work of Fiction. New York: Broadway Books, 1998, 1990.

O’Brien, Tim. In the Lake of the Woods. New York, N.Y.: Penguin Books, 1995, 1994.

Great Depression

Steinbeck, John. Grapes of Wrath. Penguin, 2002.



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