Many kinds of music have come out on the American stage within the last 100 or so and have had a great impact on it. American music is extremely varied and diverse. Instead of being dominated by the cultures and traditions of any one particular country (i.e. England or Germany), it is the proverbial "melting pot" and it has become a force with which to be reckoned. Today, American music represents people who would have never dreamed of being heard or taken seriously even as little fifty or sixty years ago. Native Americans, immigrants from all over the world, women.they are all able to stand up and be counted, but one group especially has had a great impact on American music: African-Americans. (Cooper, 569-573).
America in her early years was dominated by the ideas, traditions, and skills of Western Europe. England, particularly, had a profound impact on American culture and society. English was the language to be learned by thousands of new immigrants such as the Germans, Mediterraneans, Eastern Europeans, Asians, and Africans (although for hundreds of years, Africans were not really counted as citizens). (Cooper, 569-573) Therefore, it follows that the music in America was greatly influenced by her European contemporaries, namely England and Germany. European composers came here bringing their technical skills, traditions, and ideas. American-born composers generally went to Europe to perfect their craft. Eventually, American-born composers realized they were facing a dilemma: much of the music and art they were producing from the English past was alien to Americans of non-English background. The question then became what to do about it. (Cooper, 569-573) (Kingsman, 150).
Americanism and the need to perpetuate a uniquely American artistic perspective had been around almost since the founding of the country. However, since many American composers were busy trying to emulate the great European composers in hopes of finding their own identities, they were almost completely blinded to what was happening in their own backyards.