Irving Lowens Book Award

Irving Lowens

Irving Lowens' research and writing in American music not only form a cornerstone for American music history, but also are largely responsible for making the study of American music a respected and thriving area in musicology today. As the principal founder of the Sonneck Society (now the Society for American Music) and its first president from 1974 to 1981, Irving Lowens has often been regarded as the guiding spirit for the Society. During his remarkable career he became distinguished in music criticism, musicology, and music librarianship. In his positions as music critic for the Washington Star (1953-1977), music reference librarian at the Library of Congress (1962-1966), and as Dean at the Peabody Conservatory of Music (1977-1982), he served in turn the public, the scholar, and the music student. The Irving Lowens Book Award commemorates this remarkable man and his contributions to the study of American music.

This award consists of a plaque and cash award given annually for a book that makes an outstanding contribution to American music studies.

Book Award Application Information

Lowens Book Award Winners

Publication Year Winner
2016 David Brackett, Categorizing Sound: Genre and Twentieth-Century Popular Music (University of California Press)
2015 Allison McCracken, Real Men Don’t Sing: Crooning in American Culture (Duke University Press)
2014 Thomas Brothers, Louis Armstrong: Master of Modernism (W. W. Norton)
2013 Christopher J. Smith, The Creolization of American Culture: William Sidney Mount and the Roots of Blackface Minstrelsy (University of Illinois Press)
2012 Beth E. Levy, Frontier Figures: American Music and the Mythology of the American West (University of California Press)
Honorable mention: Jeffrey Magee, Irving Berlin's American Musical Theater (Oxford)
2011 Sabine Feisst, Schoenberg’s New World: The American Years (Oxford University Press)
Honorable mention: Larry Hamberlin, Tin Pan Opera: Operatic Novelty Songs in the Ragtime Era (Oxford)
2010 Larry Stempel, Showtime: A History of the Broadway Musical Theater
2009 John Koegel, Music in German Immigrant Theater: New York City, 1840-1940
2008 Charles Hiroshi Garrett, Struggling to Define a Nation: American Music and the Twentieth Century
2007 Michael Broyles and Denise Von Glahn, Leo Ornstein: Modernist Dilemmas, Personal Choices
2006 Anne Danielsen, Presence and Pleasure: The Funk Grooves of James Brown and Parliament
2005 Jeffrey Magee, The Uncrowned King of Swing: Fletcher Henderson and Big Band Jazz
2004 Tim Brooks, Lost Sounds: Blacks and the Birth of the Recording Industry 1890-1919
2003 Gage Averill, Four Parts, No Waiting: A Social History of American Barbershop Harmony
2002 Walter van de Leur, Something to Live For: The Music of Billy Strayhorn
2001 Richard Crawford, America's Musical Life: A History
2000 Carol Oja, Making Music Modern: New York in the 1920s
1999 Howard Pollack, Aaron Copland: The Life and Work of an Uncommon Man
1998 Adrienne Fried Block, Amy Beach, Passionate Victorian
1997 Judith Tick, Ruth Crawford Seeger; A Composer's Search for American Music
1996 Ingrid Monson, Saying Something: Jazz Improvisation and Interaction
1995 S. Frederick Starr, Bamboula! The Life and Times of Louis Moreau Gottschalk
1994 Joseph Horowitz, Wagner Nights : An American History
1993 Robert Walser, Running with the Devil: Power, Gender, and Madness in Heavy Metal Music
1993 Ronald Radano, New Musical Figurations: Anthony Braxton's Cultural Critique
1993 Stephen Banfield, Sondheim's Broadway Musicals
1992 Stuart Feder, Charles Ives, "My Father's Song": A Psychoanalytical Biography
1991 Susan Porter, With an Air Debonair: Musical Theatre in America
1990 Samuel A. Floyd, Jr., Black Music in the Harlem Renaissance
1989 Dale Cockrell, Excelsior: Journals of the Hutchinson Family Singers
1989 Vivian Perlis, Copland: Since 1943
1988 Russell Sanjek, American Popular Music and Its Business
1987 D.W. Krummel, Bibliographical Handbook of American Music
1986 Gunther Schuller, Musings: The Musical Worlds of Gunther Schuller
1985 J. Peter Burkholder, Charles Ives: The Ideas Behind the Music
1984 Richard Crawford, Core Repertory of Early American Psalmody
1983 Charles Hamm, Music in the New World