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Publications [#355130] of Nicholas Stoia


  1. Stoia, N. Sweet thing: The history and musical structure of a shared american vernacular form.  Oxford University Press, USA, January, 2021 (1-266 pp.). [doi]
    (last updated on 2023/09/30)

    Sweet Thing: The History and Musical Structure of a Shared American Vernacular Form is a historical and analytical study of one of the most productive and enduring shared musical resources in North American vernacular music. Many of us learn the form as children, when we sing "If you're happy and you know it clap your hands," and we hear it frequently in popular music, but usually without realizing that this poetic and rhythmic pattern has been penetrating the minds of musicians and listeners for centuries. The antecedents of the form date back to sixteenth-century Scotland and England, and appear in seventeenth-century English popular music; eighteenth-century English and American broadside balladry; nineteenth-century American folk hymnody, popular song, gospel hymnody, and ragtime; and American folk repertoire collected in the early twentieth century. It continued to generate many songs in early twentieth-century popular genres, including blues, country, and gospel music, through which it entered into many postwar popular genres like rhythm and blues, rock and roll, soul, country pop, the folk revival, and rock music. This book offers the most comprehensive examination to date of the centuries-long history of the scheme, and defines its musical parameters in twentieth-century popular music.

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