The American Popular Ballad of the Golden Era, 1924-1950: A Study in Musical Design

The American Popular Ballad of the Golden Era, 1924-1950: A Study in Musical Design

by Allen Forte
     
 

In this pathbreaking book, Allen Forte uses modern analytical procedures to explore the large repertoire of beautiful love songs written during the heyday of American musical theater, the Big Bands, and Tin Pan Alley. Covering the work of such songwriters as Jerome Kern, Irving Berlin, Cole Porter, George Gershwin, Richard Rodgers, and Harold Arlen, he seeks to

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Overview

In this pathbreaking book, Allen Forte uses modern analytical procedures to explore the large repertoire of beautiful love songs written during the heyday of American musical theater, the Big Bands, and Tin Pan Alley. Covering the work of such songwriters as Jerome Kern, Irving Berlin, Cole Porter, George Gershwin, Richard Rodgers, and Harold Arlen, he seeks to illuminate this extraordinary music indigenous to America by revealing its deeper organizational characteristics. In so doing, he aims to establish it as a unique corpus of music that deserves more intensive study and appreciation by scholars and connoisseurs in the broader fields of American popular music and jazz.

Expressing much of the traditional tonality associated with European music in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the love songs of the Golden Age are shown to draw on a rich variety of elements—popular harmony, idiomatic lyric-writing, and Afro-American dance rhythms. His analyses of such songs as "Embraceable You" or "Yesterdays" in particular exemplify his ability to convey the sublime, unpretentious simplicity of this great music.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691043999
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
10/16/1995
Pages:
336
Product dimensions:
7.33(w) x 10.31(h) x 1.29(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
1Introduction3
2The Harmonic Language of the Popular Ballad6
3Rhythmic Features of the Popular Ballad18
4Melodic Design: Descriptive Categories24
5The Lyric: Its Qualities and Melodic Roles28
6Form: Nomenclature and Templates36
7The Large-Scale View: A Primer42
8Ballads of Jerome Kern52
9Ballads of Irving Berlin86
10Ballads of Cole Porter117
11Ballads of George Gershwin147
12Ballads of Richard Rodgers177
13Ballads of Harold Arlen209
14Ballads of Richard Whiting, Walter Donaldson, Harry Warren, Jimmy McHugh, Vincent Youmans, Duke Ellington, and Kurt Weill237
15Ballads of Hoagy Carmichael, Arthur Schwartz, Vernon Duke, John Green, Burton Lane, and Jimmy Van Heusen275
16Ballads of Kay Swift, Bernice Petkere, Ann Ronell, Dana Suesse, and Ruth Lowe310
17Concluding Reflections331
Notes337
Bibliography349
Copyright Credits351
Index359

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