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Music Makes Me

Author: Todd Decker
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 0520950062
Size: 43.99 MB
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Fred Astaire: one of the great jazz artists of the twentieth century? Astaire is best known for his brilliant dancing in the movie musicals of the 1930s, but in Music Makes Me, Todd Decker argues that Astaire’s work as a dancer and choreographer —particularly in the realm of tap dancing—made a significant contribution to the art of jazz. Decker examines the full range of Astaire’s work in filmed and recorded media, from a 1926 recording with George Gershwin to his 1970 blues stylings on television, and analyzes Astaire’s creative relationships with the greats, including George and Ira Gershwin, Irving Berlin, Jerome Kern, and Johnny Mercer. He also highlights Astaire’s collaborations with African American musicians and his work with lesser known professionals—arrangers, musicians, dance directors, and performers.

Show Boat

Author: Todd Decker
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0190250534
Size: 57.59 MB
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Show Boat: Performing Race in an American Musical tells the full story of the making and remaking of the most important musical in Broadway history. Drawing on exhaustive archival research and including much new information from early draft scripts and scores, this book reveals how Oscar Hammerstein II and Jerome Kern created Show Boat in the crucible of the Jazz Age to fit the talents of the show's original 1927 cast. After showing how major figures such as Paul Robeson and Helen Morgan defined the content of the show, the book goes on to detail how Show Boat was altered by later directors, choreographers, and performers up to the end of the twentieth century. All the major New York productions are covered, as are five important London productions and four Hollywood versions. Again and again, the story of Show Boat circles back to the power of performers to remake the show, winning appreciative audiences for over seven decades. Unlike most Broadway musicals, Show Boat put black and white performers side by side. This book is the first to take Show Boat's innovative interracial cast as the defining feature of the show. From its beginnings, Show Boat juxtaposed the talents of black and white performers and mixed the conventions of white-cast operetta and the black-cast musical. Bringing black and white onto the same stage -- revealing the mixed-race roots of musical comedy -- Show Boat stimulated creative artists and performers to renegotiate the color line as expressed in the American musical. This tremendous longevity allowed Show Boat to enter a creative dialogue with the full span of Broadway history. Show Boat's voyage through the twentieth century offers a vantage point on more than just the Broadway musical. It tells a complex tale of interracial encounter performed in popular music and dance on the national stage during a century of profound transformations.

Jazz And The Philosophy Of Art

Author: Lee B. Brown
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1315280590
Size: 69.35 MB
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Co-authored by three prominent philosophers of art, Jazz and the Philosophy of Art is the first book in English to be exclusively devoted to philosophical issues in jazz. It covers such diverse topics as minstrelsy, bebop, Voodoo, social and tap dancing, parades, phonography, musical forgeries, and jazz singing, as well as Goodman’s allographic/autographic distinction, Adorno’s critique of popular music, and what improvisation is and is not. The book is organized into three parts. Drawing on innovative strategies adopted to address challenges that arise for the project of defining art, Part I shows how historical definitions of art provide a blueprint for a historical definition of jazz. Part II extends the book’s commitment to social-historical contextualism by exploring distinctive ways that jazz has shaped, and been shaped by, American culture. It uses the lens of jazz vocals to provide perspective on racial issues previously unaddressed in the work. It then examines the broader premise that jazz was a socially progressive force in American popular culture. Part III concentrates on a topic that has entered into the arguments of each of the previous chapters: what is jazz improvisation? It outlines a pluralistic framework in which distinctive performance intentions distinguish distinctive kinds of jazz improvisation. This book is a comprehensive and valuable resource for any reader interested in the intersections between jazz and philosophy.

Blue Rhythm Fantasy

Author: John Wriggle
Publisher: University of Illinois Press
ISBN: 025209882X
Size: 72.28 MB
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Behind the iconic jazz orchestras, vocalists, and stage productions of the Swing Era lay the talents of popular music's unsung heroes: the arrangers. John Wriggle takes you behind the scenes of New York City's vibrant entertainment industry of the 1930s and 1940s to uncover the lives and work of jazz arrangers, both black and white, who left an indelible mark on American music and culture. Blue Rhythm Fantasy traces the extraordinary career of arranger Chappie Willet--a collaborator of Louis Armstrong, Cab Calloway, Duke Ellington, Gene Krupa, and many others--to revisit legendary Swing Era venues and performers from Harlem to Times Square. Wriggle's insightful music analyses of big band arranging techniques explore representations of cultural modernism, discourses on art and commercialism, conceptions of race and cultural identity, music industry marketing strategies, and stage entertainment variety genres. Drawing on archives, obscure recordings, untapped sources in the African American press, and interviews with participants, Blue Rhythm Fantasy is a long-overdue study of the arranger during this dynamic era of American music history.

Duke Ellington Studies

Author: John Howland
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 0521764041
Size: 24.85 MB
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Duke Ellington (1899-1974) is widely considered the jazz tradition's most celebrated composer. This engaging yet scholarly volume explores his long career and his rich cultural legacy from a broad range of in-depth perspectives, from the musical and historical to the political and international. World-renowned scholars and musicians examine Ellington's influence on jazz music, its criticism, and its historiography. The chronological structure of the volume allows a clear understanding of the development of key themes, with chapters surveying his work and his reception in America and abroad. By both expanding and reconsidering the contexts in which Ellington, his orchestra, and his music are discussed, Duke Ellington Studies reflects a wealth of new directions that have emerged in jazz studies, including focuses on music in media, class hierarchy discourse, globalization, cross-cultural reception, and the role of marketing, as well as manuscript score studies and performance studies.

Who Should Sing Ol Man River

Author: Todd R. Decker
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN: 0199389187
Size: 73.12 MB
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"Who should sing Ol' man river? : the lives of an American song tells the almost eighty-year performance history of a great popular song. Examining over two hundred recorded and filmed versions of Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II's classic song, the book reveals the power of performers to remake one popular song into many different guises"--Provided by publisher.

Hymns For The Fallen

Author: Todd Decker
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 0520282329
Size: 33.96 MB
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"This book describes in detail how music and sound function as a constituent part of the prestige combat film's larger work of memorialization in the cultural realm of commercial cinema. As Rikke Schubart and Anne Gjelsvik note, historians must deal with 'the complexity of history, war, heroism, patriotism, memory, and the process of their representation.' Hymns for the Fallen traces an expressive sonic continuity in this 'process of representation' for serious war films. The three elements of the soundtrack--dialogue, sound effects, music--are treated in detail in the chapters which follow, although music proves to be of particular interest"--Provided by publisher.

Irving Berlin S American Musical Theater

Author: Jeffrey Magee
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199911630
Size: 34.37 MB
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From patriotic "God Bless America" to wistful "White Christmas," Irving Berlin's songs have long accompanied Americans as they fall in love, go to war, and come home for the holidays. Irving Berlin's American Musical Theater is the first book to fully consider this songwriter's immeasurable influence on the American stage. Award-winning music historian Jeffrey Magee chronicles Berlin's legendary theatrical career, providing a rich background to some of the great composer's most enduring songs, from "There's No Business Like Show Business" to "Puttin' on the Ritz." Magee shows how Berlin's early experience singing for pennies made an impression on the young man, who kept hold of that sensibility throughout his career and transformed it into one of the defining attributes of Broadway shows. Magee also looks at darker aspects of Berlin's life, examining the anti-Semitism that Berlin faced and his struggle with depression. Informative, provocative, and full of colorful details, this book will delight song and theater aficionados alike as well as anyone interested in the story of a man whose life and work expressed so well the American dream.

The Astaires

Author: Kathleen Riley
Publisher: OUP USA
ISBN: 0199738416
Size: 42.18 MB
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Traces siblings Fred and Adele Astaire's rise to fame, from humble Midwestern origins and early days as child performers on small-time vaudeville stages, to their 1917 debut on Broadway,to star billings on both sides of the Atlantic.

Dance Me A Song

Author: Beth Genné
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0190624175
Size: 52.67 MB
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Dancer-choreographer-directors Fred Astaire, George Balanchine and Gene Kelly and their colleagues helped to develop a distinctively modern American film-dance style and recurring dance genres for the songs and stories of the American musical. Freely crossing stylistic and class boundaries, their dances were rooted in the diverse dance and music cultures of European immigrants and African-American migrants who mingled in jazz age America. The new technology of sound cinema let them choreograph and fuse camera movement, light, and color with dance and music. Preserved intact for the largest audiences in dance history, their works continue to influence dance and film around the world. This book centers them and their colleagues within the history of dance (where their work has been marginalized) as well as film tracing their development from Broadway to Hollywood (1924-58) and contextualizing them within the American history and culture of their era. This modern style, like the nation in which it developed, was pluralist and populist. It drew from aspects of the old world and new, "high" and "low", theatrical and social dance forms, creating new sites for dance from the living room to the street. A definitive ingredient was the freer more informal movement and behavior of their jazz-age generation, which fit with song lyrics that poeticized slangy American English. The Gershwins, Rodgers and Hart, and others wrote not only songs but extended dance-driven scores tailored to their choreography, giving a new prominence to the choreographer and dancer-actor. This book discuss how these choreographers collaborated with directors like Vincente Minnelli and Stanley Donen and cinematographers like Gregg Toland, musicians, dancers, designers and technicians to synergize music and moving image in new ways. Eventually, concepts and visual-musical devices derived from dance-making would give entire films the rhythmic flow and feeling of dance. Dancing Americans came to be seen around the world as archetypal embodiments of the free-spirited optimism and energy of America itself.