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MUAR 392 Notes May 1.docx

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Music-Arts Faculty
MUAR 392
Melvin Backstrom

MUAR 392 Notes May 1 st What is “Popular Music”?  What do people mean when they call something “authentic”?  Normative  Why is authenticity thought of as a good o Popular music is an inferior type thing?  Negative  When did people start caring about o Popular music is that which is authenticity? When did it become a not “folk” or “art” music positive characteristic?  Sociological o Popular music is associated Johann Gottfried Herder with a particular social group  German philosopher, theologian, and  Technologico-economic o Popular music is disseminated writer by mass media and/or in mass  Argued against universalism of the market French Enlightenment  Positivist  Different cultures were not better or o Popular music that is popular worse, but simply different  Essentialist  Therefore what was most culturally valuable was not the high culture that o Music that is mass-produced, standardized OR authentic, claimed universality, but rather the spontaneous, real, honest culture of the Volk – the Folk or the People When does Popular Music begin? Why?  What was authentic was, then, what actually came from the folk/people  The French Revolution and the rise of  Major influence on growth of nationalism the Bourgeoisie and romanticism. o Famously began July 14, 1789 with the storming of the Bastille Folk Vs People  Ludwig Van Beethoven o Born 1770 in Bonn  “Folk” from the German Volk o Died 1827 in Vienna  “People” from the Latin populous o The first musician as “artist” but  Why different connotations? NOT the most popular composer of the early 19th Authenticity and Its Problems century o Gioachini Rossini was the  Definitions “popular” one o Of authority, authoritative; entitled to obedience or respect What happens to music that is NOT art? o Entitled to acceptance or belief, Especially forms of music that “come from as being in accordance with the people”, not literate composers writing fact, or as stating fact; reliable, for the elite? trustworthy, of established credit o Original, first-hand prototypical; The invention of Popular Music required as opposed to copied. Real, various things actual, genuine o Really proceeding from its  Mechanical Reproduction reputed source or author; of  Mechanical Instrumentation undisputed origin, guanine  Mechanical Transportation o Belonging to himself, own, proper. o Acting of itself, self-originated, automatic Key Concept for Course: Authenticity The Field of Cultural Production Development of The Music Industry (up to What was Tin Pan Alley? 1920)  How did people experience music prior  Center of North American music to the proliferation of it in recorded form? publishing business located in midtown Manhattan o ALL music was life o Music was ephemeral – it was  Collection of music publishers who played and then was gone supplied songs to Broadway shows, the vaudeville circuit and sheet music- o “The Talking Machine” – 1877 The year Edison invented the buying amateurs phonograph  Music industry at this time was primarly  First ever sound about selling sheet music, recordings recording – 1877 very secondary  First music recording – Piano and cornet Some Tin Pan Alley songwriters arrangement of Arthur  Irving Berlin Sullivan’s song “The Lost Chord”  George Gershwin  Jerome Kern Technological Determinism  Hoagy Carmichael  Scott Joplin  Argument  Harry Von Tilzer o Technologies emerge from  Fats Waller study and experimentation and  Johnny Mercer then change the society into  Etc. which they are introduced o But for Edison music was NOT Two types of music popular in 1890s to the primary purpose; instead he 1920s saw business dictation and recording voices for  Victorian-style ballads and waltz songs preservation after their death as  Ragtime: Syncopated new style created primary use primarily by African-American musicians o Originally used wax cylinders that allowed both recording AND Questions about popular music 1890s-1920s playback – later replaced by non-recordable discs  Who was Irving Berlin? What was his o Radio originally two-way cultural background? medium but later becomes o One of the most successful Tin almost exclusively one way Pan Alley song writers  His Master’s Voice (HMV) o Born Israel Isodore Baline in modern Belarus the son of a cantor; immigrated to New York
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