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MUSA1300 Study Guide - Crooner, Vernon Duke, Bessie Smith

Music Academic
Course Code
Donald James

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Popular Music Exam 1
“Jeanie With the Light Brown Hair” – Stephen Foster, Composer: (1854)
-Stephen Foster is one of the first popular song-writers in the United States.
-first composer of American pop music
-white composer from Pittsburgh
-first person who made a living off songwriting
-composed short and simple songs that can sell
-related to a lighter form of lieder
-his songs had an irish sentimental and Ethiopian style
-well versed in art, opera, romantic lieder, and folk tradition
-very racialize but versatile
- sentimental song
- form is an AABA
-depicts a woman through the ages as a concept of beauty
-beginning of a popular song selling a lot of records
-foster wrote songs and gave it to a producer who performed it and that’s how he sold his
-we listened to this song because it is an example of the shift to sentimental songs and a
switch in short and simple songs
-this is an example of the Minstrel Show music in that Foster was just a composer
-they used his songs in the Minstrel Show and made it a popular song
-beginnings of making songs popular
-minstrel show was the first form of musical and theatrical entertainment to be regarded
by European audiences as distinctively American in character, featured mainly white
performers who artificially blackened their skin and carried out parodies of African
American music, dance, dress and dialect
-it is regarded as embarrassing
-it symbolized the diverse and ambiguous meaning that this form of pop culture had for
different audiences
-said to have emerged from the working-class neighborhood of NY’s Seventh War and
commercial urban zones where interracial interaction occurred
-AABA melodic structure
-basic structure, mixture with repetition and variation turns into the structure of the most
important popular song forms of the early 20th century
“Castle House Rag”- James Reese, Europe’s Society Orchesra: (1914)
-syncopated dance music
-precursor to Jazz music
-example of urban centers where upper class people were willing to participate in exotic
dance forms like the “turkey trot”
-ragtime era becomes associated with dance
-development of dance orchestra=instrumentation of brass bands
-combine Ragtime and brass instruments = syncopated dance music
-castle house is a dance studio of 1910’s in NYC and specialized in teaching new dance

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-James Reese is the most respected person for popularizing syncopated dance music
-his band sold syncopated dance music
-main party music in early 20th century
-78 revolutions per minute (rpm)
-beginning of short songs
-3 minutes of music
-1st composer and conductor to play in Europe
-acoustic limitations but hear in multi-strain form and primes the public for jazz
-beginning of jazz music
-there was also a growing market for ragtime songs at the turn of the century which
suggests a continuous fascination amongst whites with African American music first
evinced in minstrelsy
-Tin Pan Alley composers added syncopated rhythms and black dialects to spice up
otherwise bland pop tunes
-it basically was just to catch their attention
-racial imagery was visually portrayed on the covers of sheet music
-became intertwined with social class and generational identity.
-some whites appear to have associated with ragtime as a means of rebelling against the
cultural conservatism of their parents and other authority figures
“Tiger Rag”- Original Dixieland Jazz Band: (1917)
-jazz music comes from New Orleans
-rooted in black culture more specifically congo square
-rigid hierarchical way of mixing races in late 1800s
-europeans mostly French and spaniard
-when the los angeles slaves had days off, they would go to the congo square
-spoke creole and cajun
-slaves and Europeans came together to play in Congo Square=place where jazz became
-jazz=lower class
-jazz music has to swing, youll know what it is when you hear it-Armstrong
-rhythms were heavily influenced by west African culture
- funeral march had 3 main instruments=clarinet, trombone, cornet/trumpet
-collective improvisation
-bass/ drums rely on tune and make the rhythm
cornet/trumpet =tune
-trombone=base melody
-clarinet=counter melody
-first white new Orleans jazz band to record because of white privilege and goes to ny to
-ny was ready for jazz because of the syncopated dance music in jazz
-classic new Orleans sound
-syncopated and upbeat tempo
-fluid sounding/free/easy to dance to
-swing= defines aesthetic foundation of jazz
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