Musical Metropolis

By Kenneth H. Marcus


This book is a cultural history of Los Angeles that presents how the study of music reveals the development of the city itself: its people, its landscapes, and its institutions. Both diversity and decentralization characterized Los Angeles’s music culture, with men, women, and children comprising both performers and audiences from a variety of different backgrounds: Anglo, Latino, African American, and Asian American. Equally vital is the theme of “media diversity,” or the performance of music on recordings, radio, film, and eventually television. Decentralization defined Los Angeles’s growth since the late nineteenth century, and because the central city did not dominate the city’s music culture as was the case in cities of the East and Midwest, a greater diversification of music emerged.

The book includes a compact disc featuring 20 original recordings from the time period; see the lyrics and translations for those songs that are in Spanish.

There are 33 black and white photographs, drawn from archival collections around the southland; see the Illustration Credits.

Here are some reviews of Musical Metropolis.

For more information, please visit the book’s website at Palgrave Macmillan.

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