JPMS Editors Look Forward to Expanded Scope with UC Press

by Oliver Wang and Diane Pecknold, editors of the Journal of Popular Music Studies

UC Press is pleased to welcome the Journal of Popular Music Studies (JPMS) to the list of journals we publish. JPMS, the official journal of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music, U.S. chapter (IASPM-US), will publish its first issue with UC Press in July. As the IASPM-US 2018 Conference convenes this week in Nashville, we asked JPMS’s editors Oliver Wang and Diane Pecknold to talk about what they are looking forward to as the journal transitions to its new publisher.  

In bringing the Journal of Popular Music Studies (JPMS) over to UC Press, one of the things we’re especially looking forward to is the ability to broaden both both the content and audience for the journal by including writing beyond just peer-reviewed academic articles. We remain committed to publishing the latter, as we always have, but we would also like to follow the lead of entities such as IAPSM-US and the annual Pop Conference in Seattle to embrace other forms of popular music content, be it music reviews, roundtable discussions, and essays by pop music researchers outside of conventional academic circles. To that degree, we’ve been inspired by UC Press’s long tradition with trade journals such as Gastronomica and Film Quarterly, both of which have found a strong balance in the kind of writing they publish.

Popular Music Studies has undergone tremendous change over the past 30 years and I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to suggest that, not that long ago, this kind of work hadn’t been fully embraced in more traditional disciplines. However, as popular culture research, in general, has become seen as more and more central to any understanding of societies around the world, both historically and in the current moment, there are few subject areas more vital than pop music. It serves as an identity beacon, as the social glue that creates/holds communities together, as the terrain upon which class/race/gender/etc. tensions are engaged and tussled over. Exploring these issues have always been the focus of our journal and we look to only grow the scope of our content with our new publishing partner.

UC Press titles awarded CHOICE’s Outstanding Academic Title for 2017

We are pleased to announce that five of our titles have been awarded Outstanding Academic Title for 2017 by CHOICE!

This selective list, announced in every year’s January issue, consists of only about ten percent of the 6,000 works reviewed by CHOICE during the previous calendar year. It is a reflection of the best scholarly titles reviewed by CHOICE, chosen based upon the following criteria:

  • overall excellence in presentation and scholarship
  • importance relative to other literature in the field
  • distinction as a first treatment of a given subject in book or electronic form
  • originality or uniqueness of treatment
  • value to undergraduate students
  • importance in building undergraduate library collections

We’re proudly displaying these winning titles in our Oakland offices. Check out our CHOICE shelf, and each individual title, below.


Hymns for the Fallen:
Combat Movie Music and Sound after Vietnam
by Todd Decker

“Marked on every page by clear logic, sensitive perception, and emotional commitment, this is a welcome and original study.”





Islamic Civilization in Thirty Lives:
The First 1,000 Years
by Chase F. Robinson

“Robinson delivers a fascinating snapshot of Islamic history through 30 brief biographies. By including a mixture of the usual suspects (Muhammad, Ali, Saladin) and the unexpected (Ibn Hazm, Ibn Muqla, Abu al-Qasim), the author offers readers a rich variety of lives in pre-Islamic history.”



The Curious Humanist:
Siegfried Kracauer in America

by Johannes Von Moltke

“Clearly written, accessible to a wide readership, and including a comprehensive bibliography, this book provides an excellent overview of Kracauer’s thought and contributions to the development of humanistic inquiry.”




The Real School Safety Problem:
The Long-Term Consequences of Harsh School Punishment

by Aaron Kupchik

A must-read book that focuses on the real problem in school safety–the over-reliance on punishment, and the under-reliance on problem-solving and caring.”
—Russell J. Skiba, Director, Equity Project, Indiana University Center for Evaluation and Education Policy




The Uses of Photography:
Art, Politics, and the Reinvention of a Medium
Edited by Jill Dawsey 

“This is a valuable introduction to the work of these individuals and, beyond that, a reasoned assessment of the nature and qualities of this aspect of an important art movement. . . Summing Up: Highly recommended.”


The Tide Was Always High: Tune In to December’s Playlist

Within the history of Los Angeles, the Latin American cadence is hard to ignore: Among the city’s most consistent beats, its most influential set of rhythms and melodies, are those that have arrived after traveling through a century or two of cultural contact and musical creativity in the Americas and across the African Diaspora. . . . Latin American music in Los Angeles is past and future at once.—Josh Kun, in his introduction to The Tide Was Always High

Musical Interventions—the Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA concert series curated by Josh Kun—wraps up this weekend, but you can still get your fill of cha cha cha rhythms and mambo melodies with his latest playlist below. And the accompanying book The Tide Was Always High is available to deepen your knowledge of Latin music and its impact on Los Angeles and American culture.

From Hollywood film sets to recording studios, vaudeville theaters to Sunset Strip nightclubs, the book explores the deep connections between Los Angeles and Latin America. Take a peek inside at some of the lush vintage album covers and check out LA Weekly for an excerpt connecting the dots between Latin music, Blondie, Mission: Impossible, and the Million Dollar Theater.

Musical Interventions
Event details at

December 2, 2017: That Bad Donato: The L.A. Brazil Connection—at Royce Hall, UCLA

This special evening revisits the 1970 album by legendary Brazilian pianist, producer and arranger João Donato, A Bad Donato (recorded in L.A.), and other moments of “Brazil-in-L.A”. musical creativity. Inspired by the Fowler Museum at UCLA exhibition Axé Bahia: The Power of Art in an Afro-Brazilian Metropolis, the concert features performances by João Donato backed by Bixiga 70, and Bahia-raised Mateus Aleluia with L.A.-based Brazilian singer Thalma de Freitas. Produced in partnership with Center for the Art of Performance at UCLA.

UC Press is thrilled to publish three books in conjunction with PST: LA/LA. Learn more here.


Why I Chose to Publish Open Access

by Thomas Patteson, author of Instruments for New Music: Sound, Technology, and Modernism

This guest post is published in conjunction with the just-concluded annual conference of the American Musicological Society where Instruments for New Music was awarded the 2017 Lewis Lockwood Award

I chose open access because I want people to read my book. For purposes of academic capital, gaining tenure, and the like, simply being published is enough. But what really matters is being pondered, discussed, enjoyed, and criticized. I want my writing to be available not only to other inhabitants of the sprawling yet exclusionary university-industrial complex, but to anyone who happens to share an interest in my somewhat esoteric field of research. Let’s be honest: having your book accessible during a limited print run, and then only through university libraries, is not a great way to broadcast your little contribution to human knowledge.

The other main reason I chose open access is what I would call a feeling of reciprocity. The fact is, neither my book nor my existence as a scholar would have been possible without the freely available resources of Project Gutenberg,, Ubuweb, Monoskop Log, and many others. These sites, some of them at best quasi-legal, are the foundation stones of a truly universal library, offering the ability to search and read on demand, unfettered by paywalls and password protection. Contributing to this project, with the sanction of a major university press to boot, was an opportunity I was happy to take. At a time of widespread privatization and profiteering, open-access publishing suggests another world is possible.

Thomas Patteson is Professor of Music History at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. He is also Associate Curator for Bowerbird, a performing organization that presents contemporary music, film, and dance.

Instruments for New Music is published in University of California Press’s Luminos open access book program. Click here to download a free digital copy.

Sign up for the Luminos eNewsletter to learn more about future Luminos publications and other Luminos news.

Formatting Keys to Play

by Roger Moseley, author of Keys to Play: Music as a Ludic Medium from Apollo to Nintendo

This guest post is published in conjunction with the just-concluded annual conference of the American Musicological Society where Keys to Play was awarded the 2017 Otto Kinkeldey Award

Those who write about play from scholarly perspectives are caught in a double bind: the sober imperative to take play seriously is hard to ignore, while the pressure to be suitably whimsical can be equally stifling. When I started tapping on my computer keyboard to form the strands of text that would eventually become Keys to Play, I lacked a clear sense of how the book would trace the course of its ludic subjects (which range from Apollo to Nintendo by way of Mozart) and could not foresee how those strands might be braided in order to bear structural weight.

As someone committed to the history and analysis of media, however, I was all too conscious of the extent to which works of art, fields of play, and discursive parameters are defined by their material affordances and constraints. Perhaps it should have been no surprise, then, that solutions to my quandaries could be found in the multifarious formats—both digital and analog—in which Keys to Play was to be published.

From the start, I was delighted that the book was to appear under the imprimatur of UC Press’s open-access Luminos program. Like many others, I was attracted by the notion of making my research accessible to a broader readership by removing the barrier of cost. What I didn’t initially realize was the degree to which the complementary formats of print-on-demand, PDF, EPUB, and Mobi would help me appreciate how the ludomusical phenomena under discussion could be experienced. In particular, they led me to consider how the book’s audiovisual elements, which include audio recordings I made with my Cornell colleagues and video footage of digital games, might best be integrated.

While companion websites to books on music and the other arts are commonplace, the print and PDF versions of Luminos titles improve the experience by incorporating not only digital object identifier (DOI) links, but also QR codes that, when scanned by a smartphone camera, take the reader directly to the media in question. The EPUB format, which is compatible with both Google Books and Apple’s iBooks, goes one better by embedding audiovisual materials within the document itself: upon tapping any video still or musical example, it starts to play. Keys to Play was the first book in the Luminos program to take advantage of this functionality, which I believe has the potential to transform scholarly writing about music, games, and other media.

The EPUB version of Keys to Play also allows readers to jump around the main text and the endnotes by tapping the note markers. The nonlinearity of this type of navigation guided me toward the structural solution I’d been seeking from the outset. Instead of five traditional chapters, the book comprises five “keys,” each of which consists in turn of five miniature keys.

This recursive arrangement reflects the book’s media-archaeological method as well as the interface of the keyboard itself. Moreover, it enabled me to inject a degree of combinatorial playfulness—one of the book’s central themes—by composing the final miniature key (“Replay: A Cento”) as a permutation of sentences drawn from each of its predecessors. In the EPUB version, tapping the relevant note markers reveals the source of each sentence, which in turn leads back to the concluding section.

With all that said, and despite the exciting opportunities that formats such as EPUB and Mobi present, I must confess that the print-on-demand version of Keys to Play remains closest to my heart. It’s somehow comforting to know that, with the click of a button, the book’s contents can still be tangibly materialized, gathered, and bound. What is more, the speed with which the analog version’s full-color images can be randomly accessed with a flicking thumb puts the search-and-scroll performance of its digital siblings to shame.

Roger Moseley is Assistant Professor of Music at Cornell University. Active as a collaborative pianist on modern and historical instruments, he has published essays on the interface of the keyboard, the performativity of digital games, the practice of eighteenth-century improvisation, and the music of Brahms.

Keys to Play is published in University of California Press’s Luminos open access book program. Click here to download a free digital copy.

Sign up for the Luminos eNewsletter to learn more about future Luminos publications and other Luminos news.

Congratulations AMS Award Winners

UC Press is honored to have numerous books and journals among the award winners at the 2017 American Musicological Society Conference. Please join us in congratulating the following  award winners.

Book Awards

Free ebook editions of the award-winning titles are available through Luminos, UC Press’s Open Access publishing program. Click on the direct links below and/or visit to download free digital copies and sign up for the Luminos eNewsletter to learn more.

Keys to Play cover Moseley


Otto Kinkeldey Award 
for outstanding work of musicological scholarship (beyond early stages)

Keys to Play: Music as a Ludic Medium from Apollo to Nintendo
by Roger Moseley






Lewis Lockwood Award 
for outstanding work of musicological scholarship (early stages)

Instruments for New Music: Sound, Technology, and Modernism
by Thomas Patteson





Article Awards

In celebration, we are making the award-winning articles free without a subscription for a limited time.

Robert M. Stevenson Award 
for outstanding scholarship in Iberian music, including music composed, performed, created, collected, belonging to, or descended from the musical cultures of Spain, Portugal, and all Latin American areas in which Spanish and Portuguese are spoken.

Carlos Chávez’s Polysemic Style: Constructing the National, Seeking the Cosmopolitan
by Leonora Saavedra
Journal of the American Musicological Society


H. Colin Slim Award 
for outstanding article in musicology (beyond early stages)

Sentimental Remembrance and the Amusements of Forgetting in Karl and Harty’s “Kentucky”
by Sumanth Gopinath and Anna Schulz
Journal of the American Musicological Society



Alfred Einstein Award
for outstanding article in musicology (early stages)

Solidarity, Song, and the Sound Document
Andrea F. Bohlman
The Journal of Musicology



Must-Read Journals at the 2017 American Musicological Society Conference

This post is part of a blog series celebrating the American Musicological Society’s annual conference taking place in Rochester, NY from November 9-12. Please visit our booth if you are attending, and otherwise stay tuned for more content related to our music books and journals programs

Whether or not you are attending the  conference in Rochester, you can access a special selection of free content from our music journals for a limited time.


The Editorial Board of the Journal of the American Musicological Society is pleased to present the Journal’s second virtual issue, which we are offering free for a limited time. This virtual issue is a compilation of reviews of digital and multimedia scholarship from previous issues. To bring these projects in digital musicology to a broader public, we are showcasing ten reviews whose themes range from composer studies to interactive database resources for teaching and research, and even include architectural frameworks for computer-based studies.



The Journal of Musicology invites you to enjoy the following articles from recent issues free for a limited time.

Musicological Omnivory in the Neoliberal University
David Blake

Bells and the Problem of Realism in Ravel’s Early Piano Music
Alexandra Kieffer

Contextualizing Josquin’s Ave Maria . . . virgo serena
Clare Bokulich


19thCentury Music offers you free access to a selection of recent pieces, including one of the standout articles from the journal’s recent special issue, “Subjectivity in European Song“; an article on Debussy’s ballet score Jeux, which, as the title promises, tells you what tennis has to do with the choreography; and a piece on Grieg which reflects the growing interest among musical scholars in “mood” and “attunement.”

Present Absence: Debussy, Song, and the Art of (Dis)appearing
Julian Johnson

Mixed Doubles: Debussy, Nijinsky, Jeux
Rachana Vajjhala

“In the Mood:” Peer Gynt and the Affective Landscapes of Grieg’s Stemninger, op. 73
Daniel M. Grimley

Join us at the American Musicological Society Annual Meeting

This week the 2017 American Musicological Society’s annual meeting convenes in Rochester, New York and AMS members can save 40% on new and forthcoming titles when they visit our booth in the exhibit hall.

If you cannot attend the meeting, the discount is available online for 15 days after the show—use source code 17E9198 online (enter code at checkout).

Meanwhile get an early look at some of the titles we’ll have on view:




We are also offering a chance to win a free paperback copy of one of our Luminos Open Access music titles. The digital editions are always free (visit to download), but please visit our booth at AMS to enter to win a print copy of your choice of either Keys to Play by Roger Moseley or Instruments for New Music by Thomas Patteson.


Watch this space through the weekend for more #amsroc17 posts, with free content from UC Press journals and more.

IASPM-US and UC Press Announce Agreement to Publish the Journal of Popular Music Studies

The International Association for the Study of Popular Music, U.S. chapter (IASPM-US) and University of California Press are very pleased to announce that beginning January 1, 2018, the IASPM-US’s long-standing journal, Journal of Popular Music Studies, will be published by University of California Press.

At University of California Press, the Journal of Popular Music Studies will join a journals list that includes some of the leading titles in musicology, such as the Journal of the American Musicological Society, The Journal of Musicology, and Nineteenth-Century Music, as well as interdisciplinary offerings such as Representations and Boom California.

IASPM-US President Steve Waksman is excited about the new partnership: “University of California is a publisher that shares our priorities. We plan to continue publishing cutting-edge scholarship on popular music while bringing in more voices from outside academia proper, capturing the interdisciplinary energy of a field where music writers of various stripes—scholars, journalists, bloggers, discographers, cultural critics—are engaging in regular dialogue.”

Co-Editors of the journal, Diane Pecknold and Oliver Wang echo the sentiment: “We’re looking forward to working with UC Press to pull together exciting new issues that maximize the potential from this new partnership.”

David Famiano, Journals Publisher at University of California Press shares this enthusiasm: “UC Press is absolutely delighted to partner with IASPM-US and to work with such a passionate and dedicated team to continue the publishing legacy of such an important journal.”

About Journal of Popular Music Studies:
Journal of Popular Music Studies is one of the three top scholarly journals devoted to the study of popular music internationally. It was originally established in 1988 with the title, Tracking, under founding editor Steve Jones of University of Illinois, Chicago, and Reebee Garofalo of University of Massachusetts, Boston, who was then co-chair of IASPM-US. The change of name to Journal of Popular Music Studies took hold in 1993 and has remained in place ever since.

When it was founded in 1988, Tracking was self-published by IASPM-US. Its status as a self-published enterprise went unchanged until 2001 when the journal entered a short-lived agreement with Taylor and Francis. In 2003, the journal established a more long-standing arrangement with the Malden, MA-based Blackwell, which evolved into a deal with prominent academic publisher Wiley, now Blackwell’s parent company. Wiley will continue to publish the journal through the end of 2017 and all back issues will remain hosted on the Wiley web portal.

About University of California Press:
As one of the world’s most forward-thinking publishers, UC Press gives voice, reach, and impact to innovative research and exceptional scholarship. With a global circulation in over 80 countries, our journals span the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences, with subject areas that include history, literature & criticism, film & media, music, religion, and sociology.


Heading to ASA? Save 40% on These American Studies Titles

From searing critiques of power and wealth, to in-depth investigations of race, gender, and class to cultural histories of activism and social justice, these new releases will inspire the way you think about America today. Visit UC Press at the American Studies Association conference (booth 405) to save 40% on these titles and more. To take early advantage of our conference discount—and see just a sample of what will be on view—visit our ASA landing page.

We’re especially excited to debut the new series American Studies Now: Critical Histories of the Present, edited by past presidents of the ASA Lisa Duggan and Curtis Marez. Offering broad context provided by deeply knowledgeable American Studies scholars and activists, these short, timely books address the political and cultural issues that matter now. Learn more about American Studies Now from the series editors. 

Take Note of These ASA Sessions:

  • American Studies Now: Critical Histories of the Present
    With UC Press Executive Editor Niels Hooper, series editors Lisa Duggan and Curtis Marez, and series authors Scott Kurashige, Sunaina Maira, Barbara Ransby, Shelley Streeby, and Macarena Gomez-Barris
    View session here
  • Rethinking History and Methods in the American Studies Classroom 
    Join Philip Deloria and Alexander Olson, authors of of American Studies: A User’s Guide, as they discuss how renewed attention to method might change the way American Studies is taught in the classroom and beyond
    View session here
  • Roderick Ferguson, author of We Demand: The University and Student Protests
    View all sessions here
  • Jack Halberstam, author of Trans*: A Quick and Quirky Account of Gender Variability 
    View all sessions here
  • Barbara Ransby, author of the forthcoming Making All Black Lives Matter: Reimagining Freedom in the Twenty-First Century
    View all sessions here
  • Josh Kun, editor of The Tide Was Always High: The Music of Latin America in Los Angeles
    View session here
  • Sharon Luk, author of The Life of Paper: Letters and a Poetics of Living Beyond Captivity
    View session here
  • Simeon Man, author of the forthcoming Soldiering through Empire: Race and the Making of the Decolonizing Pacific
    View session here

Browse more new & notable American Studies Titles.