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The Music in American Culture Award Winners

This award was first presented in 2009 and each year honors a book of exceptional merit that both illuminates some important aspect of the music of the United States and places that music in a rich cultural context. See the complete award guidelines for further information.


2018 Nancy Yunhwa Rao
Chinatown Opera Theatre in North America (University of Illinois Press, 2017)
2017 John Troutman
Kika Kila: How the Hawaiian Steel Guitar Changed the Sound of Modern Music (The University of North Carolina Press, 2016)
2016 Elijah Wald
Dylan goes Electric! Newport, Seeger, Dylan, and the Night that Split the Sixties (Dey Street, 2015)
2015 Carol J. Oja
Bernstein Meets Broadway: Collaborative Art in a Time of War (Oxford University Press, 2014)
2014 Annegret Fauser
Sounds of War: Music in the United States during World War II (Oxford University Press, 2013)
2013 Beth E. Levy
Frontier Figures: American Music and the Mythology of the American West (University of California Press, 2012)
2012 Elizabeth A. Wells
West Side Story: Cultural Perspectives on an American Musical (Scarecrow Press, 2011)
2011 Albin J. Zak III
I Don’t Sound Like Nobody: Remaking Music in 1950s America (University of Michigan Press)
2010 Robin D. G. Kelley
Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times of an American Original (Simon & Schuster/Free Press)
2009 George E. Lewis
A Power Stronger Than Itself: The AACM and American Experimental Music (University of Chicago Press)

Financial support for the Music in American Culture Award is provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The Gladys Kriebel Delmas Foundation, and the generous contributions of many individual donors.