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Music-Arts Faculty
MUAR 392
Eric Smialek

MUAR392 Popular Music after 1945 Reading Notes Chapter 1 512013 122100 PM Chapter 1Irving Berlin in Tin Pan Alley thMost 19 cen popular song publishing was built around sheet music trade for home performersOrganizers such as vaudeville and theatrical producers had their offices in NYC which was already the center of music publishing business thndth West 28 Street ManhattanWest 4256 Streets These areas had publisher shops known as Tin Pan AlleyStand for the kind of songs created thereBoth vaudeville circuitBroadway show relied on Tin Pan Alley songwriters for music 1890s popular music scene was Victorianstyle ballads and waltz songs composed by EU Americans such as Charles K Harris Paul Dresser Harry von TilzerBefore this decade was over new style created by African American musicians called ragtimeBoth types of song persisted through years 190020Classically trained Broadway composer Jerome Kern brought a cosmopolitan harmonic and melodic richness to Victorian style balladsIrving Berlin self taught Russian Immigrant songwriter rhythm and exuberance came to stand less for ethnic difference than for social liberation especially as expressed in new dances grizzly bearturkey trotSongs from Tin Pan Alley were heard on all sorts of entertainment venues Charles HammStudies popular music on Irving BerlinFocuses on importance of ethnic identitiesJewish American Irish American African American and morein forging a Tin Pan Alley Style that was received as distinctly American both within US and around the world For Hamm Berlins songs encode or reflect or perpetuate or shape or empowerthe culture and values of this complex communityAlso emphasize important distinctions in the way authorship functions in this type of popular music compared to classical musicMany Berlin songs are collaborations not only with other songwriters but with arrangers and musical secretaries who could transcribe his ideas into musical notation for him HammDescribes the primacy of sheet music at this time for circulation of commercial music a medium that makes songs appear similar in formal terms Apparent standardized quality of these songs enables great flexibility in performanceallows songs to be rearticulated in multitude of different contexts and genresDifferences in performance strongly affect reception and meaning of songs Irving Berlin and the Crucible of GodCharles Hamm thHammborn in Israel Baline Tumen Western Siberia May 11 1888Youngest of eight children of cantor Moses Baline and his wife Leah LipkinCame to NY with parents via ththe SS Rhynland September 1893 13 MUAR392Popular Music after 1945 Reading NotesFather was parttime employment as kosher poultry inspector and manual laborer and mother became a midwifeBerlin knew he contributed less for the family income and his family was being skeptical about him so he cleared out his place and lived on his ownUsed his only talent singing to sing popular music on Saturday nights at MacAlears BarThen in 1904 he found a more secure position as a singing waiter at Pelham Caf a salon and dance hallHe served drinks and entertained them by singingDuring free time he taught himself to play the piano and tried songwriting o First attempt was Marie From Sunny Italy Max Winslow a staff member of the Harry Von Tilzer Company came to the Pelham to listen to Irving and wanted to place him in that publishing firm Von Tilzer agreed to publish the song Just Like The Rose but denied Berlin a position on his staff 1908 worked at a saloon in Union Square neighborhood run by Jimmy Kelly He collaborated with established songwriters as Edgar Leslie Ted Snyder Al Paintadosi and George Whiting which strengthened his ties with Tin Pan Alley and in 1909 the year of the premiere of Zangwills The Melting Pot he took staff lyricist position at Ted Snyder Company Berlin still maintained his ties with his family after he became famous and moved his mother in a better home in a better neighborhoodBerlin was also much a part of NYCs multicultural milieuBerlin had personal and professional association with many people outside his own ethnic group o Chuck Connors Protectorfriend during Chinatown o Mike Nicholson First collaborator o Edgar Leslie and George M Cohan and Victor Herbert who are mentorfriend Fell in love with and married Dorothy Goetz a Catholic and she died tragically and he married another Catholic then Berlin was a product of multiethnic and immigrantfirst generation community of turnofthecentury NYCHis early songs encodereflectperpetuateshapeempower depending on how one views the social function of popular music the culture and values of this complex community Tin Pan Alley songs came be to accepted far beyond the community in and for which had been createdAt the same time a different African American community was making its own popular music created for home community but also favored elsewhere as wellJazz MUAR392Popular Music after 1945 Reading NotesAlthough it retained important aspects of the character and the distinctive musical style of the people who created it it accommodated and assimilated enough external aspects of Americas older and more dominant culture to make it easily accessible to those outside the community as well Creation Collaboration and Originality Berlin would begin writing a Tin Pan Alley song with an idea for a title or a phrase or a melody and hum it out to something definiteNext stage words and music would be worked out more fully in collaboration with another songwriter and an arranger Marie from Sunny ItalyBerlin and Mike NicholsonNick was invent tune and Berlin write the lyricsBoth of them didnt know how to transcribe it onto sheet music and this was done by unnamed young Russian violinistAccepted by Joseph Stern for publication At the beginning Berlin was a collaborator who was primarily a lyricist and the texts are added to musically adept collaborators who write the music Berlin wrote both words and music for almost 23 of his early songsAdvantages of being both lyricist and composer this way o If separate forced to fit some ones words to their music or some ones music to their wordsLatitude is denied them and in consequence both lyrics and melody suffer o Writing both words and music can easily make them fit if youre doing both Even so he was still doing collaborationsNeeded someone to depend on to take down his tunes in musical notation and to work out details of the piano accompaniment This is to show that the creation of a popular song is a vastly different process from the composition of a classical piece The Material Form of Tin Pan Alley Songs TPA Production of TPA songs began with collaborative oral creation and its subsequent capture in musical notation after which the song was sent off to be engravedAs published sheet music Berlins early songs appear to exhibit a high degree of uniformity among themselves and also in relation to pieces by other songwriters Every one of them is made up of same component parts1 Brief piano introduction drawn usually from final bars of chorus or beginning of verse2 A two or fourbar vamp with melodic and rhythmic material drawn from and leading into the verse
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