Category Best Seller Award for
Donald Jay Grout and Claude V. Palisca
A History of Western Music
In the preface to the first edition (1960) of A History of Western Music, Donald Jay Grout wrote, “A generation ago this book would have been called simply a ‘History of Music.’ Today’s view is different, and the word Western in our title reflects the realization that the musical system of western Europe and the Americas is but one of several among the civilizations of the world.”
In 1999, Amazon.com gave a best-seller award to the fifth edition, which had been prepared by Claude Palisca. Unfortunately, the company misunderstood the meaning of the word “Western” in the book’s title, so they placed it in the category “Musical Genres: Country.” Palisca—who did not in fact discuss Country and Western music in the book—was so amused by the mistake that he framed the award.