The American Songbook: Music For The Masses by Ann Van Der MerweThe American Songbook: Music For The Masses by Ann Van Der Merwe

The American Songbook: Music For The Masses

byAnn Van Der Merwe

Hardcover | December 22, 2016

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With their unforgettable melodies, timeless messages, and stylistic indebtedness to both jazz and Broadway, American popular standards have proven to be among the most widely performed and enjoyed songs of the past century. Shaped in many ways by the technological and cultural developments of the early twentieth century, they have also managed to transcend these origins and become an enduring part of the American musical landscape.Ann van der Merwe explores how and why American songbook standards developed in the early twentieth century and how these standards have shaped American-and even global-musical culture ever since. The American Songbook explores key aspects of individual songs, including the musical and lyrical reasons for their broad appeal and applicability over the years.The American songbook continues to permeate the fabric of our daily lives. It is a repertoire that spans generations, from Fred Astaire to Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga. As a result, music lovers both young and old will enjoy discovering how these beloved songs emerged and why they remain relevant a century later.
Ann van der Merwe has taught in the music departments of Miami University and Ohio State University. She is the author of The Ziegfeld Follies: A History in Song (Scarecrow Press, 2009) and has contributed entries to the second edition of The Grove Dictionary of American Music. Her research has also been published in Music and the Mov...
Title:The American Songbook: Music For The MassesFormat:HardcoverDimensions:164 pages, 9.32 × 6.16 × 0.68 inPublished:December 22, 2016Publisher:Rowman & Littlefield PublishersLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1442242442

ISBN - 13:9781442242449

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Essentials of the American SongbookChapter 2: Authors of the American SongbookChapter 3: The American Songbook on StageChapter 4: The American Songbook on ScreenChapter 5: Jazz and the American SongbookChapter 6: Interpreters of the American SongbookChapter 7: The American Songbook in the 1950s and 1960sChapter 8: The American Songbook TodayEpilogue: Amateurs and the American SongbookFurther ListeningFurther Reading

Editorial Reviews

Van der Merwe has skillfully used both her academic and her professional musical skills in this compact overview of the American songbook, particularly popular songs from the 1920s to the 1950s. Following a time line, the author focuses on a selected few songs-e.g., 'Blue Skies,' 'I Got Rhythm,' 'Night and Day,' and 'All the Things You Are.' She devotes chapters to composers (among them Irving Berlin, Harold Arlen, and E. Y. Harburg), stage shows and musical comedies (such as Lady, Be Good!), musical films (including Singin' in the Rain), and the connections between jazz and popular songs. In a chapter titled 'Interpreters of the American Songbook,' the author looks at Ethel Merman, Fred Astaire, Helen Forrest, Billie Holiday, Judy Garland, Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, and Diana Krall. The two concluding chapters discuss the role of the American songbook from the 1950s onward, providing useful discussions of singers Audra McDonald and Brian Stokes Mitchell. Van der Merwe is particularly interested in the changing role of technology. Including a helpful discography as well as a bibliography, this is a valuable introduction to the subject.Summing Up: Recommended. Lower- and upper-division undergraduates; professionals; general readers.