RAGGIN' JAZZIN' ROCKIN' by Susan VanHecke

RAGGIN' JAZZIN' ROCKIN'

A History of American Musical Instrument Makers
Age Range: 10 - 14

KIRKUS REVIEW

This absorbing history examines the lives and work of eight innovators in the design and manufacture of musical instruments. From Avedis Zildjian, who brought his family’s centuries-old cymbal-making business from Turkey to Boston, to Robert Moog, whose electronic synthesizer rocked the music world, VanHecke’s portraits celebrate the inquisitive scientific tinkering, dedication to craft and business moxie that rendered Steinway pianos, Hammond organs and Fender guitars both household names and performers’ favorites. The writing’s freshest when VanHecke changes it up with bits of cultural trivia, like Beatles lore. (It’s dullest when awash in the minutiae of cousins, marriages and succession.) Examining the effect of the Great Depression, the World Wars and immigration on these family businesses vibrantly contextualizes those issues for kids. Numerous well-captioned photos and period illustrations, sidebars and clearly labeled diagrams of the musical instruments expertly extend the text. Students and teachers of music are the natural audience for this unique treatment. (introduction, endnote, quotation sources, bibliographies, websites, photo credits, index) (Nonfiction. 10-14)
Pub Date: April 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-59078-574-4
Page count: 136pp
Publisher: Boyds Mills
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 2011




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