H. Earle Johnson Publication Subvention


H. Earle Johnson, pioneer scholar of music in America, was a founding member, former Vice President, and first Chairman of the Publications Committee of the Sonneck Society (now the Society for American Music). He served the Society with enthusiasm and dedication tempered by realistic vision and sound judgment. His contributions to scholarly study of music in America are numerous, the quality and significance of which are reflected by ubiquitous references to his works in scholarly publications. Johnson was a member of the music faculty at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts, from 1937–1942 and 1946–1953, a visiting professor of music at Temple University in Philadelphia, and a professor in the Eminent Scholars Program of the College of William Mary in 1975. He continued at William and Mary as a visiting professor until his retirement in 1983. Early in his career, as a critic for the New Haven Register, Earle developed an ear and heart for the performers of music. Though music criticism ceased to serve as his means of livelihood, he retained an avid interest in concert life and continued to be charitable in supporting and encouraging performers and organizations. In recognition of his many contributions to the history of American music and his service to the Society, H. Earle Johnson was elected as an Honorary Member in 1986. The H. Earle Johnson Book Publication Subvention Award of the Society for American Music is intended to support the costs of the publication of significant books on American music.

The maximum award is $2,500.


Authors must be current members of the Society for American Music.


The application must come from the publisher. In addition to the application form, please provide the following materials:

  • A statement about publication plans. (Note: before application for a subvention can be made, a publisher must have agreed to put out the work)
  • Detailed financial statement, including:
    • A breakdown of publication costs showing format, print run, and projected costs.
    • Specific request for amount from the committee.
    • Indication of the impact of subvention on the price of the book or the cost borne by the author.
    • A list of other subvention awards to which the publisher or author is making application.
  • Brief curriculum vita.
  • Outline of proposed publication (including table of contents).
  • Sample chapter or excerpt from work.

Please note that the Johnson Subvention is not for research-related expenses, but for publication costs. The subvention is for completed manuscripts, not works-in-progress.



November 1

Publications Supported by the Johnson Subvention

Year Fellow
2023Matthew D. Morrison, Blacksound: Making Race and Popular Music in America

Braxton Shelley, An Eternal Pitch: Bishop G. E. Patterson, Broadcast Religion, and the Afterlives of Ecstasy
Gretchen Carlson, Improvising the Score: Rethinking Modern
Film Music Through Jazz

Lauron Kehrer Queer Voices in Hip Hop:
Cultures, Communities, and Contemporary Performance
Kimberly Teal, Jazz Places: How Performance Spaces Shape Jazz History

Panayotis League, Echoes of the Great Catastrophe: Re-Sounding Anatolian Greekness in Diaspora

John Howland, Hearing Luxe Pop: Glorification, Glamour, and the Middlebrow in American Popular Music
Sarah Eyerly, Moravian Soundscapes: A Sonic History of the Moravian Missions in Early Pennsylvania

Evan Rapport, Damaged: Musicality and Race in Early American Punk
2019 Amy Lynn Wlodarski, George Rochberg, American Composer: Personal Trauma and Artistic Creativity (University of Rochester Press)

Suzanne Robinson, Peggy Glanville-Hicks: A Life (University of Illinois Press)

Ryan Bunch, Oz and the Musical: Performing the American Fairy Tale (Oxford University Press)

Mark Katz, Build: The Power of Hip-hop in a Divided World (Oxford University Press)
2018 Sandra Jean Graham, Spirituals and the Birth of a Black Entertainment Industry (University of Illinois Press)

Christopher J. Smith, Movement Revolutions: Bodies, Space, and Sound in American Popular Culture (University of Illinois Press)

Maria S. Guarino, Listen with the Ear of the Heart: Music and Monastery Life in Weston Priory
2017 Nathan Platte, Making Music in Selznick’s Hollywood (Oxford University Press)

Nichole Rustin-Paschal, The Kind of Man I Am: Jazz Masculinity and the  World of Charles Mingus (Wesleyan University Press)
2016 The Cole Porter Companion, eds. Don Michael Randel, Matthew Shaftel and Susan Forcher Weiss (University of Illinois Press)

Michael Heller, Loft Jazz: Improvising New York in the 1970s (University of California Press)
2015 Marian Wilson Kimber, Feminine Entertainments: Women, Music and the Spoken Word (University of Illinois Press)

Danielle Fosler-Lussier, Music in America’s Cold War Diplomacy (University of California Press)
2014 Ryan Bañagale, Arranging Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue and the Creation of an American Icon (Oxford University Press)

Sherrie Tucker, Dance Floor Democracy: The Social Geography of Memory at the Hollywood Canteen (Duke University Press)
2013 Melissa de Graaf, The New York Composers’ Forum Concerts: 1935-1940 (University of Rochester Press)

Christopher Smith, The Creolization of American Culture: William Sidney Mount and the Roots of Blackface Minstrelsy (University of Illinois Press)
2012 Sheryl Kaskowitz, God Bless America: The Surprising History of an Iconic Song

Carol Hess, Representing the Good Neighbor: Music, Difference, and the Pan American Dream
2011 John Spitzer, ed., American Orchestras in the Nineteenth Century
2010 John Koegel, ed., Music, American Made: Essays in Honor of John Graziano

Steve Swayne, Orpheus in Manhattan: William Schuman and the Shaping of America’s Musical Life
2005-2009 John Koegel, Music in German Immigrant Theater: New York City, 1840-1920

Raymond Knapp, The American Musical and the Performance of Identity

Howard Pollack, George Gershwin: His Life and Legacy

Judith Tick, Music in the USA: A Documentary Companion

Catherine Parsons Smith, Making Music in Los Angeles: Transforming the Popular

Mark Zobel, The Third Symphony of Charles Ives

Larry Hamberlin, That Opera Rag: Operatic Novelty Songs in the Ragtime Era

James Lovensheimer, South Pacific: Paradise Rewritten
2004 Elizabeth B. Crist, Music for the Common Man: Aaron Copland during the Depression and War

Gayle Murchison, The American Stravinsky: The Style and Aesthetics of Copland’s New American Music, the Early Works, 1921-1938
2003 Doris Evans McGinty, A Documentary History of The National Association of Negro Musicians

Ron Pen, Louis Dolive, and Richel Brett Harley, eds., Kentucky Harmony and Supplement to Kentucky Harmony
2002 Tim Brooks, Blacks and the Birth of the Recording Industry, 1890-1919

Liane Curtis, A Rebecca Clark Reader

Leta E. Miller, Lou Harrison
2001 R. Allen Lott, Grand Tours: Five European Piano Virtuosos in the New World
2000 Carol Oja, Making Music Modern: New York in the 1920s

Ellen Koskoff, Music in Lubavitcher Life

Kai Fikentscher, “You Better Work!” Underground Dance Music in New York City
1999 Bell Yung and Helen Rees, Understanding Charles Seeger

Catherine P. Smith, Study in Contradictions: Toward a Biography of William Grant Still

Charles K. Wolfe, Good-Natured Riot: The Birth of the Grand Ole Opry

Alan C. Beuchner, Sons of Harmony
1998 Adrienne Fried Block, Amy Beach, Passionate Victorian

Michael Hicks, Sixties Rock: Garage, Psychedelic, and Other Satisfactions

Andrea Olmstead, Juilliard: A History
1997 Ralph P. Locke, Cyrillia Barr, Cultivating Music in America: Women Patrons and Activities

Dale Cockrell, Demons of Disorder: Early Blackface Minstrels and Their World

Karen Ahlquist, Democracy at the Opera: Music, Theatre, and Culture in New York City, 1815-60
1996 Judith Vander, Shoshone Ghost Dance Religion

Nolan Porterfield, The Last Cavalier: John A Lomax, 1867-1948
1995 Cecelia Conway, African Banjo, Echoes in Appalachia
1994 Marilyn Ziffrin, Carl Ruggles
1993 Katherine K. Preston, Opera on the Road: Traveling Opera Troupes in the United States, 1825-1860

Ellen Knight, Charles Martin Loeffler: A Biography
1992 Barbara Heyman, Samuel Barber: The Composer and his Music
1991 Thomas McGeary, The Music of Harry Partch: A Descriptive Catalogue