Categorizing Sound Wins 2017 Irving Lowens Book Award

We are pleased to announce that Categorizing Sound: Genre and Twentieth-Century Popular Music by David Brackett is the recipient of the 2017 Irving Lowens Book Award from the Society for American Music.

The award committee, chaired by Larry Hamberlin, said in its citation that the book:

“brilliantly tackles one of the most contentious issues in popular music studies today, that of genre, through an adept mixture of historical, musical, and interpretive analysis.”

The committee also described Categorizing Sound as a:

“watershed publication that sets a new standard for how scholars can and must examine the ways we categorize all forms of music.”

Warm congratulations to Professor Brackett on winning this prestigious award.


David Brackett is Professor of Music History/Musicology at the Schulich School of Music of McGill University. He is also the author of Interpreting Popular Music and The Pop, Rock, and Soul Reader: Histories and Debates.