American literature, the body of written works produced in the English language in the United States.
Like other national literatures, American literature was shaped by the history of the country that produced it. For almost a century and a half, America was merely a group of colonies scattered along the eastern seaboard of the North American continent—colonies from which a few hardy souls tentatively ventured westward. After a successful rebellion against the motherland, America became the United States, a nation. By the end of the 19th century this nation extended southward to the Gulf of Mexico, northward to the 49th parallel, and westward to the Pacific. By the end of the 19th century, too, it had taken its place among the powers of the world—its fortunes so interrelated with those of other nations that inevitably it became involved in two world wars and, following these conflicts, with the problems of Europe and East Asia. Meanwhile, the rise of science and industry, as well as changes in ways of thinking and feeling, wrought many modifications in people’s lives. All these factors in the development of the United States molded the literature of the country.
This article traces the history of American poetry, drama, fiction, and social and literary criticism from the early 17th century through the turn of the 21st century. For a description of the oral and written literatures of the indigenous peoples of the Americas, seeNative American literature. Though the contributions of African Americans to American literature are discussed in this article, seeAfrican American literature for in-depth treatment. For information about literary traditions related to, and at times overlapping with, American literature in English, seeEnglish literature and Canadian literature: Canadian literature in English.
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Available electronically on Ebrary
Duckles, Vincent H. and Ida Reed. Music Reference and Research Materials: An Annotated Bibliography. 5th ed. New York: Schirmer Books, 1997.
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Sampsel, Laurie J. Music Research: A Handbook. New York: Oxford University Press, 2009.
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Stylistic Period / Chronological Bibliographies
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Music Reference ML 105 B9
Diamond, Harold J. Music Analyses: An Annotated Guide to the Literature. New York: Schirmer Books, 1991.
Music Reference ML 128 A7 D5 1991
Hoek, D. J. Analyses of Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century Music, 1940-2000. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 2007.
Music Reference ML113 .H695 2007
Bio-Bibliographies / Composer Research Guides
Hartig, Linda Bishop. Violet Archer: A Bio-Bibliography. New York: Greenwood Press, 1991.
Music Reference ML 134 A68 H3 1991
Langford, Jeffrey Alan. Hector Berlioz: A Guide to Research. New York: Garland, 1989.
Music Reference ML 134 B5 L3 1989
Palmieri, Robert. Sergei Vasilʹevich Rachmaninoff: A Guide to Research. New York: Garland Pub., 1985.
Music Reference ML134.R12 P3 1985
Smialek, William. Frédéric Chopin: A Guide to Research. New York: Garland Pub., 2000.
Music Reference ML134.C54 S65 2000
Brookhart, Edward. Music in American Higher Education: An Annotated Bibliography. Warren, Mich.: Harmonie Park Press, 1988.
Music Reference ML 120 U5 B77 1988
Morey, Carl. Music in Canada: A Research and Information Guide. New York: Garland, 1997.
Music Reference ML 120 C2 M6 1997
Peters, Diane E. Canadian Music and Music Education: An Annotated Bibliography of Theses and Dissertations. Lanham, Md.: Scarecrow Press, 1997.
Music Reference ML 120 C2 P47 1997
Phemister, William. American Piano Concertos: A Bibliography. Detroit: Published for the College Music Society, Information Coordinators, 1985.
Music Reference ML128.P3 P5 1985
Tsuge, Genʾichi. Japanese Music: An Annotated Bibliography. New York: Garland Pub., 1986.
Music Reference ML 120 J3 T8 1986
Topical Bibliographies and Research Guides
Everett, William A. The Musical: A Research and Information Guide. New York: Routledge, 2004.
Music Reference ML128 .M78 E84 2004
Hart, Mary L. The Blues: A Bibliographical Guide. New York: Garland Pub., 1989.
Music Reference ML128.B49 H3 1989
Meadows, Eddie. Jazz Research and Performance Materials: A Select Annotated Bibliography. New York: Garland Pub., 1995.
Music Reference ML128.J3 M33 1995
Merriman, Lyle. Woodwind Research Guide: A Selective Bibliography of Materials Pertaining to the Literature, Development, and Acoustics of Woodwind Instruments. Evanston, Ill.: Instrumentalist Co., 1978.
Music Reference ML128.W5 M5
Phelps, Roger P. A Guide to Research in Music Education. Metuchen, N.J.: Scarecrow Press, 1993.
Music Reference MT1 .P5 1992
Post, Jennifer. Ethnomusicology: A Research and Information Guide. New York: Routledge, 2004.
Music Reference ML 128 E8 P6 2004
Stedman, Preston. The Symphony: A Research and Information Guide. New York: Garland Pub., 1990-
Music Reference ML128.S9 S7 1990
Pruett, James W. Research Guide to Musicology. Chicago: American Library Association, 1985.
Music Reference ML 3797 P78 1985
Yaffe, John. Arias, Ensembles, & Choruses: An Excerpt Finder for Orchestras. Lanham, Md.: Scarecrow Press, 2012.
Music Reference ML128.V7 Y34 2012