American Popular Song The Great Innovators, 1900-1950

ISBN-10: 0195014456
ISBN-13: 9780195014457
Edition: 1972
List price: $75.00 Buy it from $18.41
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Description: When Alec Wilder's American Popular Song first appeared, it was almost universally hailed--from The New York Times to The New Yorker to Down Beat--as the definitive account of the classic era of American popular music. It has since become the  More...

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Book details

List price: $75.00
Copyright year: 1972
Publisher: Oxford University Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 4/27/1972
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 576
Size: 6.50" wide x 9.75" long x 1.25" tall
Weight: 2.376

When Alec Wilder's American Popular Song first appeared, it was almost universally hailed--from The New York Times to The New Yorker to Down Beat--as the definitive account of the classic era of American popular music. It has since become the standard work of the great songwriters who dominated popular music in the United States for half a century. Now Wilder's classic is available again, with a new introduction by Gene Lees. Uniquely analytical yet engagingly informal, American Popular Song focuses on the melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic qualities that distinguish American popular music and have made it an authentic art form. Wilder traces the roots of the American style to the ragtime music of the 1890s, shows how it was incorporated into mainstream popular music after 1900, and then surveys the careers of every major songwriter from World War I to 1950. Wilder devotes desparate chapters to such greats as Jerome Kern, Irving Berlin, George Gershwin, Richard Rodgers, Cole Porter, and Harold Arlen. Illustrated with over seven hundred musical examples, Wilder's sensitive analyses of the most distinctive, creative, and original songs of this period reveal unexpected beauties in songs long forgotten and delightful subtleties in many familiar standards. The result is a definitive treatment of a strangely unsung and uniquely American art.

Alec Wilder was an American composer who wrote both serious and popular music. He composed short operas and chamber music, including the Suite for String Orchestra. He composed and arranged band music for Benny Goodman and Jimmy Dorsey, among others. His songs were performed by such singers as Frank Sinatra and Judy Garland and include "It's So Peaceful in the Country" and "The Lady Sings the Blues." He also composed film scores and children's songs.

Gene Lees is the publisher of the Jazzletter. He is also a song lyricist and the author of more than a dozen volumes of jazz history and criticism.

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