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Popular Music

Library resources on rock, jazz, hip hop, videogame music, and other popular genres

Traditional Pop

Traditional pop is a term used here to refer to any popular songwriting before the advent of rock and roll in the 1950s as well as music which continues in this tradition. In other words, we mean the songs of Tin Pan Alley, Broadway, early Hollywood, and what has been termed the "Great American Songbook"—vocal music which often has associations with jazz. Indiana has made several important contributions to this tradition, one which is celebrated and documented at The Great American Songbook Foundation in Carmel, Indiana and Archives of Traditional Music in Bloomington. The Bloomington native, songwriter Hoagy Carmichael, wrote many hits in his day, including "Star Dust." Likewise, Cole Porter, the renowned lyricist-composer of musicals like Anything Goes and Kiss Me, Kate, was born in Peru, Indiana and received his initial musical training in Marion. Last but not least, Gennett Records in Richmond was where jazz greats like Louis Armstrong and Jelly Roll Morton as well as notable blues and country musicians made some of their earliest recordings in the 1920s.

Recommended Books

The recommended books below include print reference sources and books on a wide sampling of topics related to traditional pop and vocal jazz. Most reference sources will be classified generally under popular music in ML 102.P66 (encyclopedias), ML 128.P63 (bibliographies), and ML 156.4.P6 (discographies). Other books can be found in biographies (especially ML 420) and in popular music of the United States (starts ML 3477). Books are sorted by their call numbers for ease of browsing. Hover over the info icon to see a description.

Interlibrary Loan

Users are encouraged to search for items beyond University Libraries' catalog via RILM Abstracts of Music Literature and WorldCat. Materials not available in print or online may be requested through Interlibrary Loan. Please allow up to seven days for electronic delivery and up to fourteen days for delivery of physical items.