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The Great American Songbooks shows how popular music shapes and permeates a host of modernism's hallmark texts. Austin Graham begins his study of 20th-century texts with a discussion of American popular music and literature in the 19th century. He posits Walt Whitman as a proto-modernist who drew on his love of opera to create the epic free-verse poetry that would heavily influence his bardic successors. One can witness this in T. S. Eliot, whose poem The Waste Land relies on Whitman's verse style to emphasize how 19th-century structures of feeling regarding music persist into the 20th century. From opera and standards of the Victorian musical hall, Graham moves to the blues to reveal the multifaceted ways it shaped works in the Harlem Renaissance, most notably in the verse of Langston Hughes and Jean Toomer's stream-of-consciousness masterpiece, Cane. The second half of Songbooks advances an argument for a musical eclecticism that arose alongside rapid industrialization. Writers like Scott Fitzgerald and John Dos Passos, Graham argues, developed a notion of musical eclecticism to help them process—or cope—with the unprecedented invasiveness of popular music, particularly in major cities. This eclecticism runs counter to critics like Adorno who equate popular music with mass produced mechanisms such as the phonograph and radio, and thus with degraded, cultural forms. In conclusion, Graham suggests how modernist writers experienced, and sometimes theorized, a more nuanced, sophisticated, and fluid mode of interaction with popular music.
“Not since the late Leonard Bernstein has classical music had a combination salesman-teacher as irresistible as Kapilow.” —Kansas City Star Few people in recent memory have dedicated themselves as devotedly to the story of twentieth- century American music as Rob Kapilow, the composer, conductor, and host of the hit NPR music radio program, What Makes It Great? Now, in Listening for America, he turns his keen ear to the Great American Songbook, bringing many of our favorite classics to life through the songs and stories of eight of the twentieth century’s most treasured American composers—Kern, Porter, Gershwin, Arlen, Berlin, Rodgers, Bernstein, and Sondheim. Hardly confi ning himself to celebrating what makes these catchy melodies so unforgettable, Kapilow delves deeply into how issues of race, immigration, sexuality, and appropriation intertwine in masterpieces like Show Boat and West Side Story. A book not just about musical theater but about America itself, Listening for America is equally for the devotee, the singer, the music student, or for anyone intrigued by how popular music has shaped the larger culture, and promises to be the ideal gift book for years to come.
(Piano/Vocal/Guitar Songbook). From Gershwin and Rodgers & Hammerstein to Stephen Schwartz & Stephen Sondheim, 100 timeless hits from the Great White Way are showcased in this book of classics in arrangements for piano, voice and guitar. Songs include: And All That Jazz * Beauty and the Beast * Can't Take My Eyes off of You * Don't Rain on My Parade * Edelweiss * Footloose * I Whistle a Happy Tune * If I Only Had a Brain * The Impossible Dream (The Quest) * Luck Be a Lady * Maria * New York, New York * One * Popular * Puttin' on the Ritz * Seasons of Love * Send in the Clowns * Seventy Six Trombones * Singin' in the Rain * Someone to Watch over Me * Sunrise, Sunset * The Surrey with the Fringe on Top * This Is the Moment * Tomorrow * Whatever Lola Wants (Lola Gets) * You're the Top * and more.
(Piano/Vocal/Guitar Songbook). From Gershwin and Rodgers & Hammerstein to Stephen Schwartz & Stephen Sondheim, 100 timeless hits from the Great White Way are showcased in this book of classics in arrangements for piano, voice and guitar. Songs include: And All That Jazz * Beauty and the Beast * Can't Take My Eyes off of You * Don't Rain on My Parade * Edelweiss * Footloose * I Whistle a Happy Tune * If I Only Had a Brain * The Impossible Dream (The Quest) * Luck Be a Lady * Maria * New York, New York * One * Popular * Puttin' on the Ritz * Seasons of Love * Send in the Clowns * Seventy Six Trombones * Singin' in the Rain * Someone to Watch over Me * Sunrise, Sunset * The Surrey with the Fringe on Top * This Is the Moment * Tomorrow * Try to Remember * Whatever Lola Wants (Lola Gets) * You're the Top * and more.
From Tin Pan Alley to Broadway and Hollywood, The Great American Songbook: The Stories Behind the Standards tells the stories of our most popular songs with humor, drama and insight. This is timeless music written in unique ways that is constantly being reinterpreted by each generation. Isaac Stern made this distinction between talent and genius: A person possesses talent; genius possesses the person. This is a book about singers, musicians, lyricists and composers taking their talent into the atmosphere of immortality. They are fascinating, and they set the standards by which popular music is measured. They may not have lived easy lives, but their creativity drove them to new heights and they changed the face of American music forever.Music by a wide variety of artists is covered. Some chapters tell the story of just one song; others sketch the life stories of the artists. Music lovers will find new facts and deeper understanding about old friends in The Great American Songbook: The Stories Behind the Standards.
For the characters in these stories, love and music are almost indistinguishable. A famous songwriting duo is destroyed by their creative differences, a jazz musician is consumed by his inability to speak or play, a man takes a pop song literally and charts his love onto buildings. These stories cover songs and riff on melodies. They unearth chords that bridge the gap between past and present. A playful, elegant debut collection, The Great American Songbook explores the profound hold that music has on our lives.
The American Song Book, Volume I: The Tin Pan Alley Era is the first in a projected five-volume series of books that will reprint original sheet music, including covers, of songs that constitute the enduring standards of Irving Berlin, Jerome Kern, the Gershwins, and other lyricists and composers of what has been called the "Golden Age" of American popular music. These songs have done what popular songs are not supposed to do-stayed popular. They have been reinterpreted year after year, generation after generation, by jazz artists such as Charlie Parker and Art Tatum, Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong. In the 1950s, Frank Sinatra began recording albums of these standards and was soon followed by such singers as Tony Bennet, Doris Day, Willie Nelson, and Linda Ronstadt. In more recent years, these songs have been reinterpreted by Rod Stewart, Harry Connick, Jr., Carly Simon, Lady GaGa, K.D. Laing, Paul McCartney, and, most recently, Bob Dylan. As such, these songs constitute the closest thing America has to a repertory of enduring classical music. In addition to reprinting the sheet music for these classic songs, authors Philip Furia and Laurie Patterson place these songs in historical context with essays about the sheet-music publishing industry known as Tin Pan Alley, the emergence of American musical comedy on Broadway, and the "talkie" revolution that made possible the Hollywood musical. The authors also provide biographical sketches of songwriters, performers, and impresarios such as Florenz Ziegfeld. In addition, they analyze the lyrical and musical artistry of each song and relate anecdotes, sometimes amusing, sometimes poignant, about how the songs were created. The American Songbook is a book that can be read for enjoyment on its own or be propped on the piano to be played and sung.

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