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readings extra - Irving Berlin in Tin Pan Alley Before 1950...

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Irving Berlin in Tin Pan Alley Before 1950 In the united states during the 1890s, organizers of the variety entetainment known as vaudevilee and theatrical producers consolodiated their offices increasingly in New York City, which has already become the center of the music publishing business The arena where the publishers set up shop became known as “Tin Pan Alley”, a name that would later stand for the kind of songs created there Both the vaudeville circuit and the broadway show relied on Tin Pan Alley songwriters for their music; in turn, the stage with its national cicuits of theatres and touring attractions, popularized and circulated this music among customers who enjoyed listening to, singing and playing it The decade of the 1890s dawned on a popular music scene dominated by Victorian-style ballads and waltz songs composed by European American songwriters Before the decade was over, however a vigorous new style created by African America musicians called ragtime was introduced Both types of song (as well as others) persisted through the years 1900-20, each developing in its own way Songs from tin pan alley were heard on live stages and in other entertainment venues across the country and overseas and on phonograph records and player-piano rolls as well as being performed at home There was a primacy of sheet music at this time for the circulation of commercial music, a medium that makes songs appear similar in formal terms however the apparent standardized quality of these songs also enables a great deal of flexibility in performance, allowing the song to be re-articulated in a mulitude of different contexts and genres Differences in the performance,strongly affect the reception and meaning of the songs Irving Berlin and the Crucible of God Early songs from Tin pan alley, encode, reflect,perpetuate,shape or power- depending on how one views the social function of popular music-the culture and the values on this complex community Tin pan alley songs came to be accepted far beyond the community in and for which they had been created At exactly the same time, a quite different community, this one of African Americans, was forging its own body of popular music-created for and perfomed within its home community at first but eventually finding favor elsewhere as well This music was jazz, and its acceptance by people outside its home community like that of tin pan alley song, seems to be explainable by this observation: although it retained important aspects of the character and the
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distinctive musical style of the people who created it, it also accommodated and assimilated enough external aspects of America’s older and more dominant culture to make it easily accessible to those outside the community cas well Creation, collaboration, and originality Tin pan alley worked in collaborations One would write a melody, someone would then add words and music, in collaboration with another songwriter and or an arranger
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