Music Cultures in the United States is a basic textbook for an Introduction to American Music course. Taking a new, fresh approach to the study of American music, it is divided into three parts. In the first part, historical, social, and cultural issues are discussed, including how music history is studied; issues of musical and social identity; and institutions and processes affecting music in the U.S. The heart of the book is devoted to American musical cultures: American Indian; European; African American; Latin American; and Asian American. Each cultural section has a basic introductory article, followed by case studies of specific musical cultures. Finally, global musics are addressed, including Classical Musics and Popular Musics, as they have been performed in the U.S..
Each article is written by an expert in the field, offering in-depth, knowledgeable, yet accessible writing for the student. The accompanying CD offers musical examples tied to each article. Pedagogic material includes chapter overviews, questions for study, and a chronoloogy of key musical events in American music and definitions in the margins.