Hearing the Americas

Hearing the Americas explores the early decades of the recording industry (1898-1925), posing new questions about the origins of popular music. Revealing how ideas about genre, race, and nation were formed in the transnational circulation of people and records, Hearing the Americas focuses on the United States and Latin America, whose vibrant musical interactions originated in the African diaspora and were reactivated in new ways by the advent of the record industry.

Hearing the Americas hopes to overcome the barriers of time and technology to make this music easier to hear, appreciate, and understand. Rather than simply using music as a decorative evocation of what the era “sounded like,” Hearing the Americas makes it easier to bring music into historical analysis for anyone interested in the history of music and the recording industry.


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