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Music in the Age of Anxiety – American Music in the Fifties - Illinois Scholarship Online
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Music in the Age of Anxiety: American Music in the Fifties

James Wierzbicki


Derided for its conformity and consumerism, 1950s America paid a price in anxiety. Prosperity existed under the shadow of a mushroom cloud. Optimism wore a Bucky Beaver smile that masked worry over threats at home and abroad. But even dread could not quell the revolutionary changes taking place in virtually every form of mainstream music. This book sheds light on how the Fifties' pervasive moods affected its sounds. Moving across genres established (pop, country, opera, experimental, rock, jazz) the book delves into the social dynamics that caused forms to emerge or recede, thrive or fade away ... More

Keywords: 1950s, America, mainstream music, pop music, country music, opera, experimental music, rock music, jazz music, racial tension

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2016 Print ISBN-13: 9780252040078
Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017 DOI:10.5406/illinois/9780252040078.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

James Wierzbicki, author
University of Sydney