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In her memoir, Misty Copeland tells the story of her journey to become the first African-American principal ballerina at the prestigious American Ballet Theatre. When she first placed her hands on the barre at an after-school community center, no one expected the undersized, underprivileged, and anxious thirteen-year-old to become one of America's most groundbreaking dancers.
"Lift Every Voice and Sing" was embraced almost immediately after its composition as an anthem that captured the story and the aspirations of black Americans. Since then, it has been adopted by the NAACP and performed by countless artists in times of both crisis and celebration. In this work, Imani Perry tells the story of the Black National Anthem, and uses it as a window on the powerful ways African Americans have used music and culture to organize, mourn, challenge, and celebrate for more than a century.
In "Love Songs" Ted Gioia uncovers the unexplored story of the love song, from ancient fertility rites to YouTube videos. He reveals that love songs have often driven heated cultural conflicts, and that they played a key role in expanding personal autonomy in societies around the world. Gioia also forefronts conflicts over censorship and highlights the marginalized groups that have shaped love songs, describing how the love song has triumphed to emerge as today's dominant form of musical expression.
Whether you load your iPod with Bach or Bono, music plays a significant role in your life, evoking powerful moods and emotions. Why is that the case? The answers are at last becoming clear, thanks to revolutionary neuroscience and the emerging field of evolutionary psychology. Both a cutting-edge study and a tribute to the beauty of music itself, "This Is Your Brain on Music" unravels a host of mysteries, unlocking deep secrets about how nature and nurture forge a uniquely human obsession.
Today we have the luxury of experiencing music immediately and in a dizzying array of formats. But hundreds of years ago, there was only one recording technology: music notation. In "Capturing Music," Thomas Forrest Kelly reveals the technological advances that led us to the system of notation we use today, placing each step of its evolution in its cultural and intellectual context, and showing how we learned to keep track of rhythm, melody, and pitch with a degree of accuracy previously unimaginable.
In May 2012, bestselling author Neil Gaiman delivered the commencement address at Philadelphia's University of the Arts. In it, he shared his thoughts about creativity, bravery, and strength. He encouraged the fledgling painters, musicians, writers, and dreamers to break rules and think outside the box. Most of all, he encouraged them to make good art. The book "Make Good Art," designed by renowned graphic artist Chip Kidd, contains the full text of Gaiman's inspiring speech.
Emblematic of modernity, the grid is the underlying form of everything from skyscrapers to paintings by Mondrian. And yet, as Hannah Higgins makes clear, the grid predates modernity; it is the most prominent visual structure in Western culture. Higgins examines the history of ten grids that changed the world: brick, tablet, gridiron city plan, map, musical notation, ledger, screen, moveable type, manufactured box, and net.
For skeptics, art lovers, and the millions of us who visit art galleries every year--and are confused--this book offers a wonderfully lively, accessible narrative history of Modern Art, from Impressionism to the present day. Refreshing, irreverent and always straightforward, What Are You Looking At? cuts through the pretentious art speak and asks all the basic questions that you were too afraid to ask. Your next trip to the art gallery is going to be a little less intimidating and a lot more interesting.
In the early 1960s, Marvel Comics introduced a series of bright-costumed superheros that evolved into a modern American mythology. Over the last half-century, these characters have been passed along among generations of brilliant editors, artists, and writers who struggled with commercial mandates, a fickle audience, and one another. Written by Sean Howe, former comic book reviewer at "Entertainment Weekly," this is a gripping narrative of one of the most extraordinary pop cultural entities in America's history.
We all know Dorothea Lange's iconic photos--the "Migrant Mother" holding her child, the gaunt men waiting in breadlines--but few know her own story. In this book, Linda Gordon charts Lange's journey from polio-ridden child to wife and mother, from portrait photographer to chronicler of the Great Depression and World War II. She explores Lange's growing radicalization as she embraced the democratic power of the camera, and examines Lange's entire body of work, reproducing images previously suppressed.