When I saw Raggin’ Jazzin’ Rockin’: A History of American Musical Instrument Makers by Susan VanHecke, I knew my family would be interested. Ever since we had read about the development of the oddly named but fascinating Electronic Sackbut, we have been enjoying the technology/invention side of musical instruments.
VanHecke’s book covers the invention and development of eight of America’s biggest musical instrument companies, including:
- Zildjian cymbals
- Steinway pianos
- C.G. Conn band instruments
- C.F. Martin guitars
- William Ludwig drums
- Hammond electronic organs
- Fender Electric Guitar
- Bob Moog synthesizers
The book includes numerous photographs, including some in color. According to the promotional materials, there are over 200 images.
Raggin’ Jazzin’ Rockin’: A History of American Musical Instrument Makers will appeal to motivated middle grade students as well as young adults. It is likely to intrigue not only musicians, but also those interested in science/technology or history. In fact, in “A Closing Note,” the author mentions Ben Franklin’s invention of the armonica, which we had read about in Ben Franklin: His Wit and Wisdom from A to Z by Alan Schroeder.
Part of the proceeds from the book are donated to the music-in-schools advocacy group SupportMusic.com.
Hardcover: 140 pages
Publisher: Boyds Mills Press (April 1, 2011)
Be sure to look for more information about children’s books at today’s Book Talk Tuesday.